Category Archives: pregnancy

Expectant

Yes, it’s official now – I am expecting Baby No. 2. Well, most of you probably guessed from my post “Pregnancy is not an illness“.

This now explains why I had to quit Missing Link a few months back. I have been finding it very hard to operate normally with “morning” sickness and the debilitating tiredness that pregnancy brings. Worst of all, I have had to run out of class mid-lecture on one occasion. Oh well, they are a nice class, very polite, they didn’t say anything about it.

Fortunately, I am now feeling a lot better – still not 100% yet, but I reckon I’ll be pretty good in another week or too (touchwood).

I find that I get more anxious about the state of the world when I’m pregnant, and particularly just after I’ve given birth. Last time, I would cry at news stories of abandoned children or children caught up in war. I had to stop watching the news for a month – there was just too much sad and bad stuff. It must be the hormones – they make you want to mother everyone in the world. So I’ll try not to let my blog become too anxious and neurotic!

Our daughter is very excited about the prospect of being a big sister. Some days she thinks it will be a boy, some days she thinks it will be a girl. She hopes Baby will come out and play blocks with her – I’ve had to explain that Baby won’t really be able to play or even do very much when he/she comes out, but when Baby gets bigger, I’m sure he/she will want to play.

I’m really fascinated to see whether this baby will be like our daughter or totally different. My sister and I are very, very different in many ways (although, naturally, we’re also very similar in many others). I can’t wait to meet him or her! So it’s all exciting.

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Pregnancy is not an illness…

…but sometimes it sure as hell feels like it. Boom tish!

When I was having my daughter, we had a trainee midwife attending us as one of her “case studies” for qualification. She had a sticker or something with the motto “Pregnancy is not an illness”. From this you could tell she was young, idealistic, totally delightful and had never had a child herself. I always wanted to add the punchline above, but I restrained myself. After all, I had no idea until I had become pregnant myself.

I have to say that I was gobsmacked by how unwell I felt when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had blithely expected that I would carry on life as usual, and work up until the day I had her, but it didn’t work out like that. I ended up leaving work early. I know some women who haven’t felt ill, and others who ended up having to be hospitalised because they were so sick, so it really does depend on the person.

The worst of it is that the really sick period (5 weeks to 14 weeks for me) is when you aren’t supposed to tell anyone. So you can’t explain to anyone why you’re turning green at the sight of a cup of coffee, or you have a sudden insane desire for Pink Lady apples all the time. (Mmm, that yummy pink crunch!)

Any expectation that your life will go back to normal straight after having a baby is also misguided, in my opinion. I’ve heard of a barrister struggling to Court to make an appearance one and a half days after giving birth, which just seems insane to me. In fact, from the way it was reported to me, it was like a competition: “X came back 2 days after she’d had hers, but can you believe it, Y beat her and turned up 1 and a half days after she’d had her baby!” Seems like a pretty stupid kind of competition to me.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the reports that Cate Blanchett is to take part in the 2020 summit two weeks after her third baby is due. That seems like insanity to me. The only way in which she could possibly manage it is to palm the child off to someone else for most of the time. And even then, she’ll still be feeling a little sore and sorry for herself. If she’s trying to breastfeed, she might need the baby brought in and out of the summit. Or I guess she could take the child to the summit, but it’s very difficult to concentrate on work-related matters when you’ve got a beautiful newborn there demanding your attention. At least, that’s my experience. And I wouldn’t have it any other way: this new person has come into your life and you want to get to know them.

Cate might miss out on her new child for nothing anyway: this 2020 summit sounds like a bit of a furphy to me. A case of letting people talk, and then just going on as normal afterwards. It reminds me of Charles II’s strategy with Parliament – he got them to fight and talk amongst themselves, while he got on with ruling the country. Mind you, Parliament had an equally dismissive idea of him: “Give him a whore and a side of beef and he’ll be happy.” Lovely.

So, despite thinking of myself as a feminist, I’m just not sure about Cate’s appointment to 2020. She’s a great actress and all that, but her attendance so shortly after the predicted birth of her child gives a message to women that, yes, you can just get back to things straight after having your baby. This might be the case if you have a phalanx of nannies and other support people, but for most normal people, the process of having a child is an exhausting and all-engrossing one which does affect your capacity to work. Even if you’re not unwell and tired during the pregnancy itself, you are likely to be sore and tired after the birth (whether natural or caesarian). And babies are made so that they cause us to focus a lot of attention on them when they are born. And you know what? That’s natural.

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