MOTHER TONGUE: IT’S OKAY TO NOT FEEL BLOOMING MARVELLOUS

Hearing your soon to be child’s heartbeat for the first time is a strange and alien like feeling. I’d already told myself I wasn’t going to cry, freak out or book myself in for one of those gross 4D scans that people should really be banned from sharing on social media… (actually that’s a bit harsh and defeats the point of this post, each to their own and all that.)

Instead I found myself holding in my own breath in a mild panic to make sure I could actually hear whatever sound may be produced through the ear drums I damaged standing too close to speakers at dirty goth gigs during my misspent youth. As she glides the cold plastic across my abdomen, skirting the rim of my dyed grey in the wash pants.. there it was. The only thing I can describe it to is hearing your cat purr after you’ve been worried you’d pissed it off. The mild contentment and satisfaction that you’ve managed to keep something alive and happy. I half expected my boyfriend to tap me on the head ‘Babe The Sheep Pig’ style and mutter ‘that’ll do pig..’ but instead he squeezed my foot which must have been the nearest part of me to him in the unspoken way of saying ‘well done, everything’s okay don’t freak out.’
And so began, at age 7 weeks plus 2 days, what felt like the real beginning of my embryo’s dysfunctional entrance into the world.

I’d taken the positive pregnancy test in a virgin train toilet somewhere north of Euston after a mild hangover had taken a projectile turn for the worst. I knew my body well enough to know it could normally cope way better than this when it came to regulating itself after just the two Aperol Spritz and a white wine the night before so naturally feared the worse.
I was neither over joyed or disappointed, some kind of survival instinct just kicked in telling me that at 31 with nothing pressing that was going to get in the way I was going to make this work. This time it would be different. And hopefully I wouldn’t turn into one of those people I hate.

Up until recently I’d always found the majority of pregnant people a bit annoying but I currently have the utmost respect for anyone whose managed to physically grow another person… and I’ve become more baffled as to how people are even able to walk away from something they’ve had to painstakingly cook themselves for 9 months. That said my 1987 arrival was more like a Marks and Spencer’s ready meal someone chucked in the trolly without you realising that one time and is now in the fridge approaching its end date so you have to whack it in the micro wave quick smart.. but that’s another can of worms all together.

These were thoughts I scribbled down a good month ago or more, back when I was battling the first trimester which for many, or me at least is like a silent shitty trauma as you feel like cat poo over something the size of a mustard seed and because you can’t very well tell the world and his wife yet, you can’t even get any sympathy. Instead you lie there incased in a blanket of  sickness, white lies and pickled onion monster munch counting down the days ‘till that 12 week scan, which you’re equally scared that you might not reach. But I was too ashamed to share these thoughts. I am now because I think it’s important for people to know that it’s totally okay to not be skipping through fields like some kind of preggo Maria Von Trapp, stoking your bloated tummy and blessing your existence. Even if this is one hundred percent what you wanted it’s okay not to be relishing every moment and internally gushing about your little miracle.

I say this because since being pregnant I’ve received a selection of mild ‘pregnancy shaming.’ Made to feel shit for not feeling shit about it… and actually not seeing it as any kind of mistake… because you know, that’s kind of the normal thing to do in a long term relationship in your 30’s with someone you actually want to pro create with. And on the flip side being made to feel shit for not being super publicly over grateful for the fact that my reproductive organs decided to work properly when there’s other people out there who haven’t been lucky yet.

And that’s not okay. Pregnancy is tough no matter how the magic happened.  We all eat, dress, live, think differently so it’s the same with pregnancy and parenting, your dress fits far better on you then me… so your pregnancy ideas will probably suit you better too. At least that’s the idea… and it’s so much easier to think logically when you’re not sat with heartburn, crying at Super Vet and craving champagne you can’t drink so don’t what to offend a hormonal woman? Don’t say anything.

Things that made me cry in the first trimester…

  • Sitting down in the cinema as Fantastic Beasts starts, realizing the Coke Zero you’ve smuggled in from maccies is actually a Diet Coke and there’s nothing you can do about it.
  • Getting ‘Goodbye’ by the Spice Girls stuck in your head.
  • Seeing a kitten with cat flu.
  • Learning about ‘Whammageddon’ and thinking it’s really insincere towards George Michael’s memory as he died on Christmas day and you’re still not over it.
  • Christmas songs and any mention of George Michael in general.
  • Other people’s babies.
  • Old people.
  • Throwing up in the Clifton and it not being fair because you’re sober.
  • Dick Van Dyke tap dancing at 93
  • Your bank balance… okay that’s always been a bit of a tear jerker but this time it’s for realz.

This is just a snippet into the mind of a mildly depressed, self depricating over thinker at this time and as I slowly escape the morning (or all day and as would be a more apt description) sickness, I wonder how anyone has more than one child as I can’t think why I’d ever want to put myself through it again. I’m told I’ll forget this and that this is this easy part… which I’m sure is true but if you’re reading this curled up nursing all the emotions of growing a small organism in secret… chomping away at the foxes glacier mints in an attempt to survive week 9, you my friend… are WONDER WOMAN! Please remember that and accept this virtual hug xx