Like most women, over the years I have spent a lot of time picking faults with my body, but nothing compares to the scrutiny you go through whilst being pregnant.

I’ve personally really struggled with my changing body throughout pregnancy. There’s something quite terrifying about the lack of control over your ever expanding waistline (as well as your thighs and arms) and that’s not a feeling I was expecting. I thought I’d really enjoy the experience, how naive of me! Obviously the only thing I’ve truly cared about throughout this journey is the health of our unborn child, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had a few seemingly superficial meltdowns along the way.

I’m usually quite active, but from about week six into pregnancy I had horrendous sickness, nausea, and vertigo so any kind of exercise regime went out of the window, and the only foods that didn’t make me vomit, or satisfied my cravings, were starchy carbohydrates.

Once we started to tell people our news, I couldn’t quite fathom how many people would ask to see my bump, or stare at my stomach, whether that be walking through the corridors at work or whilst I was doing the weekly food shop. It didn’t take long for me to start feeling incredibly self conscious. I know some women probably enjoy the extra attention that comes with pregnancy, but I just wanted to wear baggy clothes and hide myself away.

Don’t get me wrong, I have laughed (a lot) along the way as the comments people make are completely ridiculous, and if you didn’t see the funny side, you’d definitely break down in tears on a daily basis. From “you’re so big” to “your bump is tiny” I feel like I’ve heard it all. I’ve been asked to turn around in the loo by a colleague so my body could be inspected – and I even obliged, how humiliating (and unnecessary!)

Everyone has an opinion, and whilst I’m fortunate to have family and friends who have listened to me moan when my raging hormones have made me emotional and irrational – there has still been a bazillion moments that I’ve really wanted to ask “why on earth would you say that to somebody?!”

I’m nearly 41 weeks as I type this, and this very human experience is drawing to its conclusion as we eagerly await our daughter’s arrival. I’ve already forgotten elements of my pregnancy, so I thought I’d document these feelings. If we’re ever lucky enough to have more children, I really hope I’ll feel more comfortable and confident next time. It’s such a special chapter in our lives, but it’s also been challenging in ways I couldn’t imagine.

I’d love to know what sort of crazy comments people made to you throughout your pregnancy, so please leave me your observations below.

Photographs sourced via Pinterest

My Hospital Bag Checklist

It’s been so lovely to have had the last few weeks off work, it’s not been as quiet as I thought but it feels good to be getting organised before baby arrives. I have read so many hospital bag lists over the last few days and put together my own, so hopefully I’ve not missed anything!

I’m feeling really uncomfortable now that I’m 37 weeks, and I would be completely fine if she decided to make an appearance sooner rather than later (as long as she’s healthy, of course).

So, here’s what I’ve included in our bags, and hopefully it’s useful to some other first time mummies out there. I had a little primark haul for things I didn’t have as I didn’t want to spend much knowing it won’t stay nice.

For me:

  • A dark towel (my friend mentioned that the last thing you want to use is a white hospital towel post birth)
  • Black knickers
  • Disposable knickers (will see how I feel!)
  • Maternity pads
  • Breast pads (I’ve gone for Lansinoh)
  • Face wipes
  • Hand cream
  • Lip balm
  • Travel toiletries (I’ve not packed much make up as I doubt I’ll care, but thought a little mascara and some blusher might be nice if we’re not discharged for a while and have a few visitors)
  • Hair ties
  • An old nightie to give birth in
  • A bikini (in case we’re given the option for a water birth)
  • Large comfy pjs (I much prefer pjs to a nightie – I have got some oversized night shirts for when we get home to wear to help with nursing)
  • Nursing bra (x2)
  • Warm socks (I hear your feet can get really cold?!)
  • Lightweight dressing gown (mine is white – in hindsight I should have picked up a darker colour)
  • Flip flops
  • iPad and headphones (playlists, programmes and a few films downloaded)
  • Phone charger
  • Outfit to come home in (again, I’ve gone for comfort)
  • Snacks – I’ve also put some water bottles in the freezer that we’ll put in a cool bag before we leave (if I get too hot, I’m always desperate for icy water)
  • Spare outfit for Mr P (who knows how long we’ll be there!)
  • Camera
  • Cash for the car park
  • I know I’ll want some fruit and a trashy gossip magazine if we’re waiting a while, but we’ll have to pick that up en route if there’s time
  • Maternity notes (I actually had to add this in after I posted – VERY important!)

For baby:

  • 3 baby vests (various sizes)
  • 3 baby grows (various sizes)
  • Muslins (big enough to swaddle if needed)
  • Nappies
  • Hat and mittens
  • Water wipes and cotton wool
  • One heavy cellular blanket and one light cellular blanket (the weather is very unpredictable at the moment!)

I might also pack my own pillow and birthing ball, depending how I’m feeling. I know some mums suggest taking a luxury item to make the time more bearable. I’m sure I’ll do some more tinkering with my bag over the next few days, but I’m happier knowing all we need to do is put everything in the car should we need to get going quickly.

How exciting (and terrifying!) If there’s anything you think I may have forgotten, please let me know in the comments below.