Then pretty soon after I gave birth, I couldn’t for the life of me imagine what it had been like (‘baby movements felt like what again?’ ‘I couldn’t drink much wine for all the time…really?’).
So it was a relief that as soon as I got pregnant again, it all came rushing back in a familiar wave of symptoms and strange happenings.
Here’s everything I’d forgotten about being pregnant, the first trimester special:
- Morning sickness – mixed in with occasional afternoon, evening and night sickness this time round – and most things making me feel queasy (a plea to the lovely people of Instagram, please consider your pregnant peers when posting photos of your food as it might have a touch of the bad Martha Stewarts about it). Sure it tasted nice though…
- And on that note, cravings and aversions. Last time, my cravings weren’t very remarkable; strawberry milkshakes, sweet things and terrible Jason Statham films. They’ve not really kicked in yet this time, although I have had moments of really, really wanting some things like crusty bread and green apples. But the aversions are a different matter entirely. If I even vaguely don’t want something, there’s no way it can pass my lips. And one minute I’ll be happily putting tomatoes in our dinner, the next I’ll be picking the evil things out with a fork, feeling green
- Tiredness that hits you like a concrete wave, encasing your limbs and dragging down your eyelids. It’s been sleep over spare time every time; the builders must think I’m the laziest person ever
- Needing a wee every two minutes. Not needing a wee every two minutes meaning you’re probably really dehydrated and need to drink a pint of water and oh wait! You need a wee again
- Waking up with all the feeling of a terrible handover (raging thirst and sickness). But with no fun night out the evening before
- The gloriously undignified and comedic nature of it all. Weeing on sticks. Weeing in a tiny bottle and having to subtly hide it in your bag from a waiting room full of people. The terrible skin of an angsty teenager. Being helplessly forgetful and putting the washing machine on even though the water has been off all day. (And actually, not really caring about any of this second time round)
- For me – being high risk due to a couple of factors – it means blood tests every two minutes and endless appointments with different consultants. This time with the added fun factor of a toddler in the waiting room. ‘Miffy at the Hospital’ comes in very handy, and on the plus side, it does seem to speed things up in the hospital pharmacy when there’s a little person tapping on the glass and saying ‘what’s THAT Mummy?’ every three seconds
- Pregnancy paranoia and paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s out to get yoooou. Last time I was utterly convinced, right up to the scan, that it was all a trick and I wasn’t pregnant. Although I did have a touch of that this time, I only took three tests, and generally felt pretty pregnant the whole time. I do think it helped that I stayed away from early pregnancy blogs and obsessive message boards though. And Dr Google
- Having an attention span that’s shorter than a…wait, what was I saying?
- The taut tightrope of pregnancy hormones meaning crying at anything that’s vaguely…anything (Crying in the supermarket when a song comes on. Crying with emotion at how amazing my daughter is. Crying at other people’s pregnancy news. Crying at the TV. Crying at Breaking Bad. Crying because I have no idea why)
- A superhuman sense of smell that let me identify what bland food my husband was eating from three rooms and one floor away. And the superhuman clumsiness that sees whole glasses of drink go flying and plates fall from my grasp in slow motion
- But most of all, the awe and wonder. The moment the second line appears on the positive test, and everything changes. The unearthly elation and relief when the sonographer says ‘that’s your baby, right there’. Knowing that you’re growing another person. Knowing that you’re only weeks away from baby kicks and months away from meeting the new life that you’re building inside you. It’s all at once so everyday yet so outstandingly and indescribably amazing. I’d forgotten how much I absolutely love it, strange symptoms and all.
Photo is me awkwardly posing at 13 weeks in the middle of our bathroom renovation. And not looking very pregnant at all (it did take a while last time though…)