I am going to be totally honest with you – I did not enjoy being pregnant.
I have always been the kind of person who has had a lot on the go. From social events, to late nights at work, training for marathons and weddings almost every weekend, life has always been busy. That’s the way that we have always liked it. It has however often resulted in a couple of all fall down exhaustion moments. Burning the candle from both ends was a way of life.
The changes in my body were not something that I saw as something magical but rather as a hindrance. Exercise has always been my way of relaxing. I gymed throughout my pregnancy, it was not only a method of relaxation for me but also a form of attempting to maintain control over my ever changing body.
At work I continued to push myself, on numerous occasions I found myself still at the office after 8pm. Again a way of maintaining control.
When I was 32 weeks pregnant we had to move house. From a flat on the fourth floor to a flat on the third floor. Although we had sold the flat fully furnished and moved into the new flat fully furnished and although my husband was AMAZING, I could not help but be involved. From unpacking boxes, to traipsing up flights of stairs, I was in full on house moving mode.
I shouldn’t have been surprised then that at 33 weeks pregnant I went into early labour. I didn’t actually realise what was happening when I started having contractions at work, but I knew that the pain was not normal. I drove myself straight to my gynae where he did an internal and saw that I had started dilating. I was rushed to hospital where they managed to stop the contractions and started pumping me with steroids. Our little poppet was only 1.8kgs and was too small to come out this early. The steroids were precautionary in order to strengthen his little lungs.
Jon and I both got a big fright. Lying in that hospital bed, hooked up to drips, a trace and being injected every 8 hours with steroids I knew that something had to change. It had taken this to force me to stop and slow down. I strongly believe that it was Luke sending me a very clear message. You need to chill out. You need to listen to your body and be gentle with yourself. You need to enjoy this pregnancy experience because it only lasts 9 months.
So if we had to have another child would I look at pregnancy in a different light? Definitely.
Don’t get me wrong I strongly believe that being pregnant does not equate to being immobile and that maintaining a level of fitness throughout the process is hugely beneficial to not only keeping ones sanity but also to aid in recovery after labour. I have however learnt that listening to one’s body is more important.
If I am blessed to go through this journey again I would take moments to just sit and reflect and realise what an incredible miracle is unfolding inside of my body. Instead of beating myself up about cravings, weight gain and being out of breath I would realise that this was my body’s way of creating a happy and healthy vehicle to carry my unborn child. I would learn to say no – to know when I was pushing myself too much and to put an end to it then and there. I would breathe, listen and embrace every emotion, feeling and craving.
Luke, from inside his cosy little uterine crib taught me an invaluable lesson. He taught me to breath. He taught me to stop and embrace each moment and he taught me to slow down and soak in every incredible moment of pregnancy.