This probably won’t be the cheeriest post you’ve read today, but for some people pregnancy isn’t all that cheerful. It’s ‘supposed’ to be, which I think can be unhelpful, unsupportive and dismissive of people’s very real physical ailments. One of my least favourite phrases is ‘you’re not ill, you’re pregnant’. Ok, that can be true but pregnancy can make you very ill indeed with complications and conditions that make my experience look like a walk in the park. To deny that fact is belittling to all pregnant women.
I have now experienced two first trimesters and they have both been unmitigatedly awful. The first was perhaps the worst of the two, but to be honest the jury’s out. The first was defined by constant, all-day, unrelenting nausea and frightening patches where I couldn’t stop being sick. It puttered along with anti-sickness medication and bed rest and was wholly miserable.
The second I am just emerging from. I think my body and I had an exchange (that I wasn’t party to): less actual sickness (although more than enough) in exchange for more nausea, more aches, shortness of breath, crippling exhaustion and a daily flu-like feeling that rendered me useless from mid-afternoon.
In a bid to purge myself of the memories of all these things and also in an attempt to add one more voice to those that are saying ‘you may have chosen this, but you don’t have to enjoy it’, I have decided to reflect on the lows and (almost) highs of this period. I am talking to myself in this post but perhaps I’m talking to you too, I really hope not for your sake but if I am, hello, I’m sorry – but at least you’re not alone!