Before I get too far into blogging about Elisabeth and how amazing and wonderful and clever she is and how lucky and awed we are as parents, I want to take a few moments to reflect a bit on my experience of pregnancy.
If I had to sum up how I felt about pregnancy in one sentence, it would simply be this: I loved being pregnant. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, first trimester wasn’t brilliant. It could have been a lot worse, though. And it’s rather easy to forget the bad bits of it given how good I felt through the rest of the pregnancy.
A few of the things that I loved about pregnancy:
- The miracle of being able to grow a whole new person inside you is really astounding and something that you comprehend in a whole new way when you experience it. We were quite lucky to have four ultrasound scans (rather than the usual two) – at 10, 14, 21 and 34 weeks – and it was amazing to see this little person growing before our eyes.
- I felt really sexy. For the first time in years (decades?) I wasn’t embarrassed about my poochy tummy and actually felt really attractive in my body. I’m sure that was helped by the fact that I lost a lot of weight early on and didn’t gain it all back until the week Elisabeth was born (net weight gain for the pregnancy = 0) so while my tummy got nice and round, the rest of me got rather more svelte.
- Feeling a baby’s movement inside me and having those movements get stronger and stronger. Elisabeth was quite an active baby in utero, and I loved every kick and punch and scritch and squirm. James and I both revelled in the interaction with Elisabeth while she was in my womb. In a way it gave her a distinct personality before we knew who she was – or even that she was a she!
- The anticipation of it all! I am someone who often enjoys the anticipation of an experience as much as (and sometimes more than) the experience itself. I’m glad we decided not to find out in advance whether we were having a girl or boy because it just added to that sense of anticipation. By the time I reached 35 weeks I was feeling very psychologically ready to find out who the little person inside me was, so I’m quite happy not to have had to wait longer than I did, but that anticipation while it lasted was so enjoyable. Now we have a different sort of anticipation – what will Elisabeth learn to do next, what sort of person will she become, etc?
I was really very lucky to have had such an easy pregnancy. I had a few flare-ups of heartburn and intermittent sciatic pain but there are a whole lot of symptoms that many women experience late in pregnancy – swollen hands, ankles and feet; backaches; piles; nausea; insomnia; etc – that I never had to deal with. I kept waiting for the really uncomfortable stage of late pregnancy to set in and it never did. Maybe it would have if I carried Elisabeth to full term, but I was still feeling great when I reached 36 weeks. My body just seemed meant for growing a baby!
And now we have our precious little girl and our lives have been changed forever. I couldn’t be happier about this amazing Christmas present that we have received this year – the best one I’ve ever gotten!