A couple of weeks ago, I finally told my coworkers I’m pregnant. I’m not sure why it took so long, but I got really self-conscious about saying anything. Partly, I guess, I didn’t want to have the conversations which always seem to follow the announcement with a bunch of people I hardly know. Partly I felt a little awkward about going off on maternity leave when I’ve been here for less than 2 years. Partly I’ve been working hard to appear mature, knowledgeable and professional, and I didn’t want to divert attention from the process changes I’ve been trying to make to the things that are happening in my uterus.
Anyway, whatever the reason, it was difficult for me to tell them, but I eventually tacked it on as an awkward postscript to an email about having brought biscuits back from Scotland (Dan and I went to Scotland for our 6th anniversary. It was nice).
Which led, as I knew it would, to the awkward conversations. Perhaps the most awkward of these was with a colleague who I don’t get on with particularly well at the best of times, and have even occasionally come into conflict with. We’ll call her PainInTheArse. The conversation went something like this:
PainInTheArse: You’ve got such a big bump!
Me: Uh… yeah.
PainInTheArse: You look great. It really suits you!
Now, I daresay she was trying to be nice, but it seems like a funny thing to say – having a giant distended stomach is a great look on you!
The thing is, though, I don’t think pregnancy suits me at all. It feels like I’ve been pregnant forever now (at least partly because we’re getting to the point where this time last year I was also pregnant), and the longer I do it, the more convinced I am that I am fundamentally unsuited to gestating in all sorts of different ways.
Firstly, it seems like my insides don’t like it. I suffered all through the first trimester with all-day sickness, barely able to keep any food down and feeling miserable and nauseous most of the time. Just in the last couple of weeks, the nausea is back. According to my midwife, Tiny is now pressing on my stomach, so it may well be going to get worse again before it gets better.
Secondly, I don’t have the temperament for sitting around and being looked after. I can’t bend easily now, and I get tired quickly, but having to ask the boys to do stuff for me around the house sends me into paroxysms of guilt. They’re being great, and taking good care of me, but I don’t like imposing on them.
Finally, the uncertainty about when I’m going to give birth is driving me crazy. I realise that’s the deal, but I’m not very patient by nature. It might have been easier if it wasn’t going to happen some time around Christmas. I have slight control freak tendencies, as some of you probably know, and Christmas is usually meticulously planned. I normally know exactly who we’re seeing when. Not being able to make any plans for the festive period is quite a strain.
Don’t get me wrong – after the miscarriage, I’m grateful that this pregnancy has gone smoothly (so far), and I’m looking forward to meeting our little probably-daughter in a couple of months. But I can’t understand why some people seem to enjoy being pregnant, or why the books say I should be savouring the experience. I can’t wait for it to be over!