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The Things you Don't Expect when you're Expecting

Oh dear, apparently it's happening - here comes the start of the pregnancy blog posts! For those of you who don't follow me on social media or don't know me in real life, you might be currently sat there, slack-jawed, at the mention of pregnancy and to be perfectly honest - I'm right there with you. I never expected my 2019 to kick-start with this new stage of my life but here we are and I cannot put into words just how happy and excited I am about this next leg of my life journey.

Although I'm someone who wouldn't consider themselves a private person, I've realised I actually am in most capacities. I'm happy to blog about sex and mental health concerns etc. but most personal life things I keep to myself unless directly asked about it. I don't know why that's the case but it's the way it's always been. When I first discovered I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to keep that air of secrecy and privacy surrounding my baby (still as weird to type as it is to say out loud) but, I also knew there would be some elements I would want to share and shout from the online rooftops. One thing I knew I did want to share however, was and still is, the things that you don't expect to come out of pregnancy. Currently sitting happy in my second trimester, I have experienced negativities that I think many just don't associate with what is usually a very happy period of time for most individuals. I certainly didn't expect to find myself in some of the conversations, situations, or at the end of some of the jibes I've experienced thus far. So strap yourselves in folks, we're going for a rant ride and some truth telling!

Not everyone will be happy for you. Okay so off the bat, I never thought I would have pregnancy met with negativity from friends, family, colleagues etc. For individuals who know me, I thought pregnancy would never happen without an aid of some description or adoption would become more and more likely so to have people who know this react negatively or simply not at all, to the news, it's been an odd situation to find myself in. Whether it's been a colleague's jab about me "just becoming another part-timer who needs to be covered" or a friend just not even saying congratulations (or you know, anything in response to the news - hi if you're reading this, I'm still waiting!), it's not something you'd ever imagine happening but I'm here to say it absolutely can and possibly will. Now? I just don't care. I haven't got the time or patience with people who can't muster just general politeness. But just as a warning: not everyone will be happy for you and you know what? It's okay because not everyone matters.

People will be over-friendly. I always expected the boundaries to become blurred for some people during pregnancy but I guess I didn't anticipate just how blurred these boundaries can become. It's nice that people want to congratulate you or talk to you about it all but it's certainly bizarre to be on the receiving-end of some questions or comments that are just too over-friendly or too personal that you usually wouldn't receive. There's this weird notion that you almost become public property during pregnancy so any privacy you'd like to maintain is lost and others just assume you're happy to lose it. If you're quite a private person, this can be a huge shock to the system.

You suddenly become nothing else but pregnant. Again, I don't think this one is necessarily intentional when it comes to most individuals but, your identity kind of gets lost in this pregnancy bubble and label you have. Not only do many people want to talk about anything and everything pregnancy and personal with you but they seem to forget that you're your own individual who has a personality and life outside of the pregnancy. I've been elated to chat about it openly with friends and family however, my interests don't just end there because this is happening at this stage in my life. I still would like to chat about the vast array of other interests I have that make me *me* - I'm not just the baby incubator now.

People will invade your personal space verbally and physically. Kind of leading on from those last two points, I knew that people invade your privacy and space a little bit when pregnancy occurs but I just didn't expect the severity of it. The endless stream of comments or people literally touching you without consent is draining and induce anxiety in even the most strong of mind people. Having any sort of body image issues or self-esteem problems can make pregnancy a really testing time and considering I'm only half way through it all at this point, it does concern me a little. Thankfully, I'm not worrying about weight gain or bloating etc. because at the end of the day, I'm growing life inside of me and sustaining that life is way more important but it doesn't mean I can brush off the comments or the touching. Most of it comes from a genuinely good place and I'm fully aware of that however, there's only so many times I can hear
"are you sure there's only one in there?"
"you look good considering"
"you're getting huge!"

before I will inevitably lose my shit. Being this "public property" now means you're just open to this personal invasion whether you welcomed it or not and I think the most infuriating thing about it all is that actually? My wee babe is healthy but slightly on the smaller than average size so you know, please stop telling me I look humongous when it doesn't matter and this is exactly what a pregnant person is supposed to look like?

Everyone is a fucking expert. Okay, last rant and then I promise I'll stop. This one wasn't really any sort of shock or surprise but I've been truly *amazed* and some of the drivel that has poured out of people's mouths thus far. I love having any information I can from anyone who has been through pregnancy in the past because experience is the most genuine and true information to build on for myself but, please don't tell me how you drank 5 cups of coffee and was absolutely fine when I ask you to make me a decaff tea. Please don't tell me I'm being "ridiculous" because I've said I need to have more fruit or veg because I haven't had much in the past couple of days. Don't tell me what I want to buy for my baby, call my baby, or how I want to treat my baby is wrong. Of course if it was something more serious such as discussing vaccinations - I'd be all ears - but if you want to screw your nose up at what pushchair I want to buy or the name I've chosen for my baby, that's all on you, buddy. That's something you need to learn from and try to change so you're not such a shitty person in future.

Apologies if this is was a negative ninny post but I've needed to have a good ol' vent and this is my safe space to do so. Pregnancy is such a gift and I am honoured to find myself in this position as not everyone can so please always bear in mind the many layers of emotions, build-up, and history that is behind each pregnancy and each person carrying the child. Think before you speak and act and always approach both with kindness.

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1 comment

Sarah said...

Yes to all of this! I really wasn’t prepared for people I barely know demanding to know every little detail about my life, body and pregnancy. I keep getting asked what I’m going to call my baby and it’s like it’s none of your business?! I also got asked a lot when I first announced my pregnancy if it was planned (so inappropriate) or people would say ‘I bet that was a shock to your husband’ as if it couldn’t possibly have been a joint decision we made after 10 years together.

Congratulations on your pregnancy, it’s such an exciting time even if it is difficult, frustrating and scary sometimes! :)

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