By BERN MORLEY
If you were to consult a proper (dignified, science-based) publication about the major milestones that you hit during your pregnancy, it would tell you that there are three major pregnancy stages, hence the word ‘trimester’.
As a layperson, who am I to argue with the experts? But as a mother now three times over, I know for sure that there are at least five stages, five CLEAR stages of pregnancy. Sure, this is less scientific but, I think, more accurate:
1. The ‘Holy shit, I’m pregnant’ Stage
This is, regardless of want, met with a certain amount of panic and disarray. We’ve all been that woman sitting on the toilet, peeing on a stick, seeing the two blue or pink parallel lines come into startling clarity.
For me, at the age of 23, unmarried, due to be wed in nine months and half-way through a degree, met with QUITE the surprise. A pleasant, beautiful and with hindsight, welcome surprise but I don’t care who you are, how much you’ve longed for or wanted to be a mother, it is met with these two words: HOLY. SHIT.
2. The ‘Why do I feel like I am perpetually hung-over?’ Stage
Not so long afterwards, this next stage hits you with the proverbial hammer. No one can predict how this next stage will affect you. If you are one of the lucky few, you’ll sail through this. You’ll be all like – “Morning sickness? Pfft, I feel great!” and look, don’t take it personally, but almost every other pregnant woman suffering morning sickness will want to kill you.
I can’t count the amount of times I had to stop the car on the way into work and vomit into a bush and/or simply wish to take a nap out of pure exhaustion by around 1pm. After the panic and/or excitement leaves you, you will feel a bit shit, but hopefully not for too long. Around the 16-week mark, you should start to feel remarkably better.
3. The ‘Everyone thinks I’m getting fat but I’m really just growing a little human and I don’t know how to relay this without wearing a sign around my neck’ stage
So here’s where you awkwardly start to grow but not so obviously that people know what’s going on. You no longer fit into your jeans and you are at the non-committal stage where you refuse to buy maternity clothes because SURELY you can just get through this with your own wardrobe.
No. Before you know it, you are raiding your partner’s wardrobe, discovering his undies, his board shorts; his t-shirts are WAY more comfortable than your own. It’s about now that you will head into the shops and purchase jeans with elastic and maternity shirts. Embrace it! It won’t be too long until that bump is very obvious and you find yourself loving the fact that you have this beautiful bump that kicks, moves and constantly rests upon your bladder.
4. The ‘Holy shit. In 8 weeks, there will be a little human living in my home and I have NFI how what I’m doing’ Stage
Don’t panic. No one knows what they are doing so this realisation is TOTALLY fine. It’s been all fun and games, researching prams and cots and attending antenatal classes and joking about the kind of pain relief you’ll NOT be giving into (heads up: you will, or at least you’ll want to).
So much time is spent thinking and planning on how to get this little person into the world that not too many of us actually think about what happens after that. It’s around this stage you’ll start to ponder it. But then the baby will kick and it’ll feel so beautiful that it’s perfectly conceivable you’ll forget again. This stage, in my opinion is the most beautiful time of your pregnancy. Enjoy.
5. The ‘Get. This. Thing. Out. Of . me.’ Stage
So assuming you get to at least two weeks before your due date, or anywhere thereafter, you will get to this stage of your pregnancy. YOU WANT OUT. More so, you want IT out.
You’ll start Googling safe ways to bring on labour. Whether it’s eating curry, having sex or undergoing acupuncture, you can be assured of one thing, it, the baby will come out. When it’s ready. The thing being, you are fed up with limited sleep, full bladders, being generally uncomfortable and dammit, you just want to meet this little person already. It will be out, soon enough,
Then you go on to the next stage, the most important stage. You have your baby in your arms. Enjoy!
Did Bern forget any stages?