real life

The worst thing that you can say to a pregnant woman.

It’s meant with kindness, but it makes me want to scream.

“I’m not disabled, I’m pregnant.”

That’s what I silently scream in my head multiple times a day.

I don’t dare say it out loud. I have very loving, kind people around me. They are only looking out for me and my 24-week bump. But still every time they mention some dreaded few words, I have to squash the pregnancy hormones and breath.

“You shouldn’t be doing that…”

“You can’t do that…”

“You should be resting instead…”

“Soon, you won’t be able to…”

Argghhh.

It’s me. I know. It’s me and my first world problem. Too many caring, helpful, supportive people. Poor, poor me. But still, it’s a problem that is just going to get worse.

The other day I read Bec Douros’s pregnancy post on her reflections of her first 20 weeks (you can read it in full here). In it she writes:

“This has been one of the things I have hated about pregnancy so far. I can’t do much without some help. Yes, it’s true. Things like tying my shoes and getting in and out of my car have started to become a real chore. On the up side, I get fussed over a little which is nice too.”

Bec, I love you (huge fan). But I admit that when I read that on a Friday afternoon, I eye rolled. Can’t even tie up your own shoelaces? Milking the pregnancy huh?

Bec Douros at 20 weeks.

That's until I found myself the following Saturday morning, getting ready to take my dogs for a walk with my husband. As I was taking a while to get ready, my husband asked if everything was okay.

"Yeah, just struggling to tie up my runners." Damn it, Bec, you were right.

"Do you need me to help?" came his very genuine response.

Lots of silent screaming in my head.

I managed to tie up my laces on my own, thank-you-very-much, but it was damn uncomfortable and I fear one day it won't be a possibility.

Avi at 24 weeks. Image supplied.

It's not the fuss or the helpfulness that bothers me. I'm very grateful I have people around me who worry over me and my bump. I'm very grateful I have a husband who insists on carrying EVERYTHING (I'm only allowed to carry the bunch of flowers I bought at the supermarket).

It's more that I'm struggling to get used to the changes that come with pregnancy. I'm sure I'm not the only one in pregnancy history to find it all overwhelming. The boobs growing (read my apology to my former boobs here). The oily skin. The dry skin. The back ache. The sleeplessness. Moving from the fast walking lane to the slow lane on the footpath.

Read more: The no BS version of pregnancy.

Now, I'm just adding one more to the list. I've always been self-sufficient and quite proud of it. Too heavy to lift? Not for me, I go to the gym. Something you'd usually need two people for, pfft, I can do it on my own.

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Avi's pregnancy cravings. Image supplied.

Not only is my body becoming foreign to me, but I am slowly losing control of it.

Two weeks ago, I picked up a cold. Pre-pregnancy life would have seen me swallowing cold and flu meds like they're Skittles, having a couple of afternoon naps, going for a run on day three and voila, back to the picture of perfect health. (NB: this routine is not recommended by any doctor.)

Being pregnant I had to give up everything except paracetamol. And the running. All I could do was rest and sleep. I did this for three days. A week later I wasn't getting better, in fact, I was getting worse. Nausea and headaches had set in. Knowing my body, there were only two possibilities.

I either had Pneumonia. Or Ebola. My bet was on Ebola.

Avi's 20 week bump. Image supplied.

After my GP checked all my vitals, she said I was fine. I just needed to rest. The disbelief on my face must have been very clear because she continued to tell me that, as I was pregnant, it would take longer to get better. That if I didn't rest, I would just get worse. By not resting enough (yes, more than three days), I was making myself physically exhausted (hence, the nausea). To go home, lie on the couch, watch some TV, read some books in bed. Stay horizontal.

I went home, got into bed and silently screamed in my head.

At this point, I would usually give you, dear reader, some wisdom. Something I've learnt from all of the above. But I don't have one.

I still have people telling me that I can't do things now and in a couple of months.

"You won't be able to walk those two dogs soon."

"You won't be able to be on your feet for so long."

"You shouldn't be doing [insert absolutely everything]."

I still silently scream in my head.

Avi's 15 week bump pic. Image supplied.

I just hope I'm not the only pregnant woman who is, or ever has, struggled with being treated as if I have a disability instead of just being pregnant.

What did you find the most frustrating part about being pregnant?

CLICK THROUGH the gallery for everything happening from Week 1 to Week 18 in your pregnancy.

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