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Reflections on Pregnancy

I am guessing that this is the last post I will write for you during my pregnancy. We’re at 38 weeks now, so Moley could be making an appearance at any time in the next couple of weeks.

I’ve had some really nice responses to the posts I have already written about pregnancy – so it seemed worth throwing another one out there into the ether. I still find it fascinating that all over the world there are these waves of people discovering what it’s all about at any given time. And we’re all convinced that no-one tells you this and that about pregnancy beforehand. The information is all out there, you just don’t bother looking! (Because why would you!!)

Attending a gig whilst 37 weeks pregnant
Moley has been to 4 different countries, about 10 gigs and a metal festival whilst in utero!

Staying Active

I have been massively fortunate throughout my pregnancy. I’ve not had any complications, and Moley has been perfectly boringly normal and average. This is to my great relief and I hope it continues through to delivery! It does mean that I have perhaps found it easier to keep getting out and about than some people.

The last few weeks have seen a noticeable tail off though. I think it’s pretty inevitable that the extra weight on my joints have taken their toll. And the foot and ankle swelling. Oh the swelling! As with all pregnancy symptoms not everyone gets it, but I have definitely had to slow down. But there is still plenty of room for swimming and cycling. I have found it more surprising how many people tell me not to cycle! It is easier than walking! It’s a billion times quicker than walking for getting around. It takes the weight off and it’s quick. What’s not to like?

pregnant cycling

Swimming is an absolute godsend though, for being able to get a good stretch in my arms and legs that I just cannot get any other way. Getting to the swimming pool is increasingly difficult, and the Good Ship Lo-Lo is running incredibly low in the water now, but it is really just the best. I think I could potentially be quite evangelical about encouraging newly pregnant women to start or continue swimming so that they can enjoy the relief that it gives in the later stages.

Being Public Property

I was also fortunate in that the early stages of my pregnancy were private, and from week 20 when the world did know, most people kept their opinions to themselves. Great. Now I am at full term, but I am still out and about going to meetings and working, I have apparently turned into public asset number one. Everyone and anyone has an opinion on me, my bump… And I am 100% sick to the back teeth of it.

The main remark I am getting, from friends and strangers alike, is how big my bump is. The Boy and I have come to the realisation that you don’t see that many 38 weeks’ pregnant people out there, so people are surprised what a pregnant belly can look like with a fully grown baby in it – they probably assume I am less pregnant than I actually am.

I couldn’t care less though, because *actually*… it’s none of your damn business. As mentioned, my baby is boringly average in every way. It’s awesome. That means that my bump is also a totally normal size – for someone who could literally go into labour at any minute.

Pregnant Extreme Housewife

The Truth about Pregnancy

What people don’t appear to realise when they make a comment on how massive you are, is that you actually already know that your belly is large, and that your ankles are swollen, and that getting out of the bath is really challenging. You know that if you drop something on the floor it’s potentially lost forever. You know that you have to sleep propped up in a seated position in bed because there is no other way of getting comfortable enough to get an hour or two of uninterrupted sleep.

And you’re living that every minute of every day. So having every person you meet essentially going “URGH!! LOOK AT YOU!!! YOU LOOK FUCKING HORRIBLE!!!” doesn’t feel great. And it starts to wear you down after a while. I thought it was going to be my sore knee that stopped me swimming, but it hasn’t yet. I thought my swollen ankles would stop me getting to the bus stop and into town, but I’ve been OK so far. However, the endless barrage of unsolicited opinion about how shit I look is definitely contributing to me staying at home more than I would like to.

If you feel like you need to say something to a pregnant, why not just ask how she is and maybe just tell her she looks nice – or don’t comment on her appearance at all. Maybe ask if there’s anything you can do to make her smile, instead of making her feel bad.

Be Positive

All of which sounds bloody horrible, I know. It has just been the last 2 weeks or so that I have found things getting to me, it’s not forever. Also, this is the point where I think hypnobirthing is really helpful. Time is still yet to tell whether it will benefit me when it comes to delivery. However, practicing the techniques and relaxation has definitely already helped me. I am calm and relaxed about pretty much everything. Even people making rude comments can be quickly overcome (not bus drivers though, obviously).

I think there is probably a lot of merit in learning to keep yourself calm. Definitely merit in filling your head with positive affirmations. The idea that a gentle, enjoyable birth experience is possible does not seem at all alien to me know, it seems logical. I also know that many things can happen, completely uncontrollable things, that may prevent your birth going as planned. But I am prepared for them and I understand the reasons for them. I hope this means I am well equipped to deal with whatever the next few weeks will bring us. Hopefully all it will bring us is the peaceful delivery of a healthy, happy baby.

Gone Drinking

It continues to tickle me no end that people are *still* telling me that I won’t be able to drink now I’m pregnant. No shit Sherlock! I haven’t been drinking for months and months and months now. Yet that seems to be all some people can think of when faced with a pregnant.

I have really enjoyed getting to grips with some of the non-alcoholic products out there. It has been a perfect time to do so with the tide really turning to low and no alcohol consumption. The basic lesson is that non-alcoholic beer can be very good, wine is very bad, and thank goodness for quality bartenders making quality mocktails!

Wine glasses stand ready for a tasting at Rothley Wine Estate, UK

Investing in a good spittoon right at the start of my pregnancy was a very good idea though. Not least because I was taking my WSET Level 3 at the time!! But delivering the wine tastings at Rothley each month has continued to be a source of pleasure for me. I love introducing people to English wine, plus you get just as much pleasure with a swirl and a spit when it comes to proper wine tasting that I have not felt any FOMO whatsoever!


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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