‘Things They Don’t Warn You About Pregnancy’, Episode A Bajillion

Before you read this and feel offended, all opinions expressed herein are the property of my hormones, cabin fever and the fact that I am in a considerable amount of pain.

Seeing as Emma’s Diary has now died a death (seriously, I have no idea where it’s gone… all my other pregnancy magazines are dotted about, but Emma’s sanctimonious, smug, oh-so-middle class ‘guide to a perfect pregnancy’ is still AWOL. No great loss to the world, but a massive loss to the blog, as I have no idea what organic baby swaddles I should be buying from Boden, or which luxury spa hotel I should be jetting off to on my sixteenth ‘babymoon’ this week.

In lieu of Emma, I’ll be using the pregnancy guides from The Bump and Babycentre. These guides tend to be a lot more ‘normal’ than Emma’s Diary, and aimed at everyone rather than a select few, so a lot of what they post is reasonable. Some of the aspects, however, need a little bit of translation. Allow me…

Your baby’s the size of a pineapple!
He’s about 15.2 to 16.7 inches long and weighs about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds this month. He’s getting so big, he’s probably crowding your lungs.
This translates to –
Your baby is the size of a pineapple!
He’s actually smaller than he feels when he’s trying to force his way out of your body, and doesn’t weigh as much as the scales tell you you’ve put on – that’s because only 2.5 to 3.8lbs of your new weight is baby. The rest is cake, tears and shame! He’s getting so big, you’re probably wondering how you can deal with another 9 weeks of this. Well – it could be 11 weeks, if you go overdue! Yep, your spiky little demon fruit is going to stay there, suffocating you, dancing on your bladder and trying to force his way out through your belly button for a good time to come!
Babycentre has this to offer –
If you and your partner are getting nervous about the big day, it may help to go over what you learned in your antenatal classes. Practise the breathing exercises you’ve learnt together.
To which I say –
However, if you and your partner decided against antenatal classes, because you are –
a) Busy students with a life/a job/too busy playing Xbox
b) Deluded and wonder what they can teach you
c) Worried they’ll make you moo like a cow and pretend to be in labour
d) All of the above
Then good luck during birth, because you will be a screaming wreck in absolute agony, and you will hate your partner more than anyone else on this green earth because he’s absolutely useless, you never enjoyed the sex anyway and he is NEVER. COMING. NEAR. YOU. AGAIN.
Some of the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ on The Bump give me the rage. They should let me spend a day answering these questions, I’d set people right.
Q. What are some comfortable sex positions during the third trimester?
A. Fuck you. There are no comfortable sex positions. You’re a whale. Whales don’t have sex.
Q. What don’t I need to pack for the hospital?
A. A fridge. Your pet tarantula. The ashes of your Great Aunt Margaret. What sort of a shitty question is that?
(n.b I mean no disrespect to your Great Aunt Margaret or her ashes, and if you truly wish to take her ashes with you to the labour ward, by all means do so. But I will be judging you).
Q. How do I pick a baby book?
A. Walk into a bookshop or a library. Go to the shelves marked ‘Baby Books’. Examine the range of books. Pick which one offends you the least. Buy it (if you’re in a shop)/borrow it (if you’re in a library). You’re welcome.
What all these websites forget to tell you is that at 31 weeks, you may experience a sudden rush of hormones (you may also find yourself completely unable to poop, or that might just be me) that make you so angry you can take on the world, as long as you can cry about it later. I was reading a mumsnet post about pushy salespeople in Tesco’s earlier, and my immediate thought was “Why put up with it? Push their table over”. Never mind “Say ‘no thank you’ and move away”, or even “Tell them where to stick their fake make-up”. My mind jumped to “Push their display table over and run away”.
I feel like I’m just waiting for someone to challenge me over something. I don’t even know what, and I’m not sure I really want it because I’d probably lose courage, cry and run away if I really was challenged. I just want someone, in real life, to try and have a go at me over something or other, and see where it lands them.
(That isn’t a challenge to anyone who knows me to try and make me cry. Nothing looks worse than someone shouting at a crying, fragile-looking (because trust me, I look an absolute state right now) pregnant woman. You will not win).
PS. I didn’t mean what I said about you all looking like whales. Pregnant women are beautiful, or so I’m assured.
PPS. And you’re perfectly entitled to have sex if you want to. There’s tips on the internet about comfy positions.
PPPS. However please don’t blame me if you get rejected for sex on the grounds of looking like a whale (if you do look like a whale).
PPPPS. IF you do look like a whale, I don’t mean to offend you by pointing it out. It’s ok. I look like one too. We can be underwater mammals together. (If you are not quite at the whale stage, more of a manatee, you can join us. Manatees are junior members of the Whale Club).
PPPPPS. I mean no offence to ACTUAL whales or manatees, in comparing myself and potentially other pregnant women to you. If it’s any consolation, I would much rather look like you than many of the other creatures in the sea. I offer up my example forthwith –
On second thoughts… I saw something very much like this in the mirror today.

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