I’m accompanying someone to their 12 week scan on Thursday. Very exciting as I’ve only ever seen my own babies in my tummy and that’s always a bit fraught with worry. The 3D scan we had of DD was especially cool, definitely one of the highlights of being pregnant for the first time.
Broadly, though, I have to admit I hated being pregnant both times. When I first found out I was pregnant with DD, me and DH were so over the moon we took photos of me all excited, holding the little digital stick saying ‘pregnant’. She’d been a very long time coming.
A week later, the morning sickness kicked in. This wasn’t so good. It’s a very badly named condition that makes you think that you might be mildly nauseous when you wake up and you’ll be fine after a bit of tea and toast. Oh no. Not me. All-day projective vomming was more like it.
Then when I was expecting my little boy, who made me violently sick for four months, the little sod, my neighbour commented that I was ‘blooming’. I know this was not true, and I’m not being modest, because I had just liberally and uncontrollably sprayed myself and the inside of my car with ‘morning sickness’ while driving home. I was blooming only in the manner of that tropical plant whose very rare flowers smell like vomit. Or do I mean rotting flesh?
Another crap thing about being pregnant is the inverse relationship between how frisky you feel and the extent to which your partner finds you attractive. In the early weeks, daddy-to-be is feeling all virile and is hoping for old-style shagging again now that you don’t have to do the special baby-making version which involves specific times of the month, week and day and lying there with your legs in the air for 20 minutes afterwards. But no, mummy-to-be is feeling rubbish, exhausted and pukey, and although her newly swollen boobs look enticing, her entire upper body is a no-go area: ‘Don’t touch my f***ing painful tits!’ They felt like they were going to explode, like I had some integral suicide bomber kit.
Then as the pregnancy progresses – this is measured in weeks, by the way, not months: everyone knows human gestation lasts nine months until you are involved in a pregnancy and then it’s suddenly a rather more annoying 40 weeks – so the bump gets bigger and you start looking like there’s a baby in your tummy rather than a large undigested portion of lasagne. And gradually mum really does start blooming like a great ripe fruit and feeling really quite sexy. And at that exact point, dad realises he really doesn’t fancy her anymore.
I’ve heard some of my friend’s partners claim this is something soulful to do with their missus becoming a sacred vessel and temporarily having a more important and awesome job than being their lover. My own DH, bless his lack of GCSE biology, thought his thing might somehow hit the baby on the head. God only knows how big he thinks it is.
The honest answer is that the more pregnant you get, the more like a badly animated slow-moving herbivorous dinosaur you look. So your partner usually passes up his only chance since the very early days of the relationship of having sex every night because you look extraordinarily fat and pasty, having craved nothing but White Foods like tinned macaroni cheese for months.
And don’t get me started on the sciatica, the ‘bladder weakness’, the stretchmarks, and the weird stuff that happens to your hair (greasy, then glossy and thick, then falls out).
So I’m looking forward to going along with someone else to see the little bean wriggling, safe in the knowledge that now my two precious little people are here, my baby-making days are over.