Nine months. Nine, bloody long months.
In reality, it’s not really that much time out of your entire life to give toward growing a child in your womb, but those 40 weeks seem to drag an awful long time.
Especially when you’re not allowed alcohol, nicotine, and limited amount of caffeine!
However, there are some things about pregnancy that are worth while. I found it hard to think of the positives when I was pregnant, because I stuggled so much with my body image. Okay, I didn’t think I wouldn’t grow, but I don’t think I was quite ready for the drastic change.
1. The pregnancy card.
You can play this card as much as you like, and although your other half (or colleagues) may think you’re exaggerating, they won’t bat an eyelid.
To be fair I didn’t take the mickey with it, but I might have exaggerated here and there. Such as saying my feet were hurting from standing at the kitchen sink too long, and that my belly was so big I couldn’t reach the dishes and it would give me a bad back.
Which would actually happen by the way, but it might not have been as bad as I used to make out.
Just don’t play the pregnancy card on a pregnant woman, because it most certainly will not work. She knows how to play that card, too! It normally works best on men and women who have NOT had children before.
2. You can blame binge eating on cravings.
Okay, now we know we’re not supposed to eat this and that, and eating healthy is ‘best for the baby’, but what about what you want?
Thankfully, my cravings included healthy stuff. In the first 12 weeks, all I wanted to eat was tomatoes. Big, giant red ones, the size of apples.
It was one of the first things that made me suspect I was pregnant, and because I knew it was weird, I’d buy them from Tesco in my break and eat them in my car.
But, that was a genuine craving.
You can expect people to suspect you don’t really crave that chocolate cake with double cream, or that whole tube of pringles, but who is to say that you don’t?
3. Free dental care.
I’m not sure if many women know this, but you are entitled to free dental care on the NHS whilst you are pregnant. This free dental care also continues to cover you until your baby had reached 12 months.
Gum problems are common in pregnancy, and your gums may bleed when you brush or floss them. This is because the hormone progesterone softens your gums and increases the blood supply to them.
It’s really important to take care of your teeth in pregnancy to prevent and problems. So, if you’re pregnant or have a child under the age of 12 months, get yourself to the dentist now!
4. Free stuff!
I found out that I was pregnant at the doctors, and was told to get in touch with one of the midwives at the surgery. I went home and called them, and spoke the words: “I’ve just found out that I’m pregnant.”
The words felt so strange, it was as if someone else had said them, and I was just listening.
After being given an appointment with the midwife, I was told to pick up a ‘mum to be’ pack.
I arrived at the doctors the next day to pick one up, and I was so impressed. I had guides of what to eat, what to drink, 50p off this, £1 off that – it was great!
I’d receive things in the post, such as Johnson’s Baby Oil and powder, just by taking part in a survey and saying I was expecting a baby. It was so cool!
5. Feeling baby move and hearing the heart beat.
At my 16 week appointment, I was treated to being able to listen to Esme’s heart beat from inside the womb.
It was fast, and tiny, and was such a fantastic an amazing thing to hear!
I first felt Esme kick at around 21 weeks. The first flutters I felt were at around 19 weeks, and the only way I can describe it is this: You know that feeling of holding a butterfly in your cupped hands, and you can feel it gently crawling around, trying to find a way out?
It feels like that, only just below your belly button. On the inside ..
After that, the kicks get bigger, and they feel like little taps. However, when you get nearer to 30-40 weeks, your belly will take on different shapes, as it changed and stretches to accomodate for the little person in there.
I remember feeling a lot of pressure in my side one day, and when I looked down, what looked like a tiny elbow or a knee was pushing itself on the inside of my belly. I put my hand on it and applied a little pressure, and it disappeared. She’d shifted position.
It truly is amazing to be able to see and feel a baby move around. It’s one of the best things ever!