Like most things in life, there are going to be pros and cons, particularly when a woman experiences being pregnant.
What I remember are the backaches, headaches and painful breasts. I remember burping like a man, who had just consumed a foot long, hot dog and a few beers at a football match! I remember spider veins, varicose veins, stretch marks and swollen ankles and feet. I wanted the things I wasn’t allowed to have, such as a refreshing vodka cocktail on a hot summer’s day or copious amounts of champagne on New Year’s Eve.
I remember my bladder being the size of a pea, which resulted in running to the bathroom every five minutes, 24-hours a day. By the third pregnancy, I would basically pee my pants before I even made it to the toilet. I started envisioning myself in grocery store lines buying nappies for my kids and myself!
I missed the hot tubs, the steam rooms, soft cheese and my regular exercise routines. I missed being able to take meds like headache pills when I had a migraine or a muscle relaxer for my backache, caused by lugging around a 9lb bowling ball wherever I went. Men carry on about ‘man-flu’! Cry me a river boys! I missed being able to take cold and flu tablets when I suffered from a terrible cold for weeks.
I remember enjoying nice meals with my husband but feeling like I would explode after. Despite the fact I was feeling constantly ill, there was still the urge to put every scrap of junk food I could muster into my mouth. I remember the constant heartburn that this then caused. I remember then having to ask for assistance to pick my napkin up off the ground at dinner. Don’t even get me started on ‘morning’ sickness; it should be called ‘all-day’ sickness. I know of mothers who have endured it for the whole nine months.
I missed not being able to see my toes, tie my shoes or see past my gigantic tummy. I missed taking my bra off and not having permanent indents left behind by the straps because my breasts were on a global scale. I missed being able to stay awake longer than my children. Probably the biggest thing that I missed was being able to sleep without six pillows strategically placed around my body. I missed the simple luxury of sleeping on my tummy!
I remember when I first got the news that I was pregnant and how ecstatic I felt at starting this new chapter in my life. I remember embracing all that pregnancy had to offer. I remember that feeling of having a baby grow inside me and thinking just how unbelievable it was to play a major a role in creating this new life. I remember curling up in bed with my husband, reading 'What to Expect When Your Expecting’, impatiently turning the pages to check on the baby’s development each week.
I miss doing my water aerobics with all the ‘grannies’ at the local pool and pregnancy yoga with all the other first-time mothers. I miss being able to talk, play guitar and sing to my belly. I miss feeling the reaction from the baby, as she kicked to the beat of the music from within.
I remember attending the first ultrasound scan for all my three babies. Seeing my third baby for the first time was just as emotional as the previous two scans.
I miss not having my babies in my belly at times. Having this nine-month connection before the actual birth cannot be compared to anything else you experience. Usually when you meet someone it takes time before you get to know them and like them, but in this case, you love someone before you have even met them!
I remember the new, thrilling part of having a second or third baby; the shared excitement within the family. When we broke the news to our two girls that they would both be big sisters, the joy on their faces could not be contained as they jumped up and down, hugging and kissing my slightly protruding stomach, screaming, “I love you, baby!”
I remember the siblings being actively involved throughout the pregnancy, even attending all the doctor’s appointments. My eldest wouldn’t leave home without the ultrasound picture of her baby sister. She would kiss the photo and bring it to preschool for show and tell. She even slept with it under her pillow at night.
Pros or Cons?
Speaking for myself, having my three children grow inside me was, without doubt, the most incredible experiences of my life. And in the end, I have gained the most precious gifts possible.