When I started blogging again, it came from a wont to document the ins and outs of pregnancy but there were other reasons, too. There had been an underlying urge to reignite some kind of creativity for a while. I just didn’t know what that would be, or how I was going to do it. I don’t know quite why the urge took me when it did. It’s hard to pick the most prevalent reason but if I had to choose I’d whittle it down to maybe three.
- It’s my first pregnancy, so I wanted to take note of its happenings as a little memoir for myself- to look back on and cringe at how little I knew, or reflect on how excited and anticipatory everything was.
- I’d read so many parenting blogs but I just couldn’t relate to them. Some of them were good at their own thing but, in most cases, they didn’t speak to me. I wanted to bring a bit of honesty, I guess.
- A lack of creatively fulfilling work opportunities since graduation left me with a bit of a deficit. I already had the platform- a blog that had been largely abandoned for a year or so- and the few posts that I’d written had reignited my love for it.
The responses that I got to my first pregnancy post were amazing. It had been a scary, personal, inimitable one to put up. After posting it, I went for a walk so as to not be there when comments rolled in, in case they were bad. Thankfully I needn’t have worried. It spurred me on to keep writing. It helped me find positives on weeks where I didn’t feel like I’d achieved much. My only prerequisite was that I wanted to be honest about everything and I hope that, for the most part, I’ve achieved that.
On the theme of honesty, I genuinely never thought anyone would be interested in reading what I had to write. As I said, when I started out, it was mostly for my own personal records. I didn’t really use Twitter much, never mind for blog purposes. The more I did, the more I saw interest grow. I got to know so many new bloggers- Scottish and beyond- discovered Twitter chats, got more vocal in participating, learned the ways of social media blogging etiquette (reading other people’s blogs helped), grew in confidence and felt like my contribution was worth as much as anyone else’s. A Film Club inspired me to write about film, an interest which had lain dormant forever. The Girl Gang ignited a love for challenges like #blogmas and their weekly chats made me feel like I wasn’t on the outside nosing in.
In time, writing about things that had happened became more natural. The real challenge was articulating what I thought or felt- thus veering into subjective territory. It seemed like a scarier leap. It’s easy to take it on the chin if your writing is objective, but it can hurt if someone rubbishes your feelings. I’ve had a few crises of ability in that time. I’ve written numerous posts that will never see the light of day because something just wasn’t right. There were kernels of ideas, I just didn’t love what they grew into. The more it happened, the more hung up I got on my lack of ability.
The answer turned out to be getting out of my own head. I wrote a list of blogmas posts and blindly typed away until, suddenly, I had 25. Not all great. But I pushed through it. I started thinking about things that mattered to me, like my encroaching 30th birthday and things that people had said to me during pregnancy. After my little slump I came back with posts that have been among my best received. As far as my writing has been concerned there’s a definite learning curve and fingers crossed, it’s going upwards.
The downside of that is that my last pregnancy post was over a month ago and oh my god, how things have changed.
For one thing, I feel like a walking bump. I bought myself a new pair of Docs as a pre-birthday present (and also because Black Friday) and I’ve hardly seen ’em. Walking down stairs has become as perilous as abseiling. I got stuck in a lift in work and my biggest fear was having to get hoisted out in a pulley. I’m writing this while wearing a tubigrip and perched atop a gym ball. I have to the the train to work every day because I can’t make the half hour walk. Going around the supermarket is painful and exhausting and I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in weeks.
I am officially full term. The scariest thing? Our baby could come out today and he’d be a fully formed little human dude.
My last pregnancy post was a little frothier, all about baby showers and parenting lessons. Never mind the whole 32 weeks beforehand, these last four have taught me how quickly things change. A week can be the difference between a comfortably-fitting work shirt and looking like the lamest attempt at naughty librarian. It’s going from a walk to a weightlifting class and back to struggling to get out the bath. Even a Sunday afternoon trip to the museum had to be cut short because I had to walk uphill to get back to my car and needed to conserve my energy.
I’ve had a 36 week midwife appointment (wherein I got weighed for the first time since June- weep). I’ve turned 30 and reflected on lessons from my 20s. My body has caught up with me and a couple of weeks ago I had to actually take a day off work. After walking home one night I could barely get in the shower and in a panic phoned maternity assessment. The next day even getting up for the bathroom was agony, and I took the day for some R&R. I managed to get a physiotherapy referral where I was told, basically, to stop. Out with body pump and walking, in with commuting, hot water bottles, sitting on an exercise ball and wearing a giant bandage that’s so unsexy they probably hand them out to ensure you’re not back in with a second baby any time soon.
When I started my new job I had three months until maternity leave. I’ve now got two days. What seemed like an unsurpassable stretch is now staring me right in the face. There’s a very real possibility that we could be parents before Christmas. Everything that I’ve been writing about and learning about is steaming towards us at a rate of noughts. I’ve already seen the benefit in having a read over old posts. When I feel like I’m slowing down, and get frustrated that I can’t do much, it’s been reassuring to see how much I’ve actually done.
I know, know. There’s still a lot to do. Still I can’t help but feel like we might be ready for this parenting thing.
I’ve written out my birth plan, we’ve packed mine and the baby’s hospital bags, Ally’s achieved the impossible and constructed IKEA drawers for the baby’s stuff in the time between him finishing work and me getting home. We’ve got a little baby rocker all set up in the corner, a cot, a pram and a car seat all ready to collect and a stockpile of nappies that we’re adding to every week.
All we need is a li’l bean to fill them. I just hope we’re not waiting too long.
TL;DR Highlights and Lowlights
Turning 30 (right?) surrounded by my awesome family and friends. It might not have been the big 30th I had imagined but it was the best one I could’ve asked for.
My new hot water bottle, Beartram. He’s become my biggest comfort. I don’t care if it’s sad to name your hot water bottle, or get emotionally attached, or even have one in the first place.
Getting the flat ready for li’l bean’s arrival and everything feeling real.
Having to accept my limitations has been a tough one to take (although, yeah, I do feel better for it).
The pain of not being able to move due to stubborn refusal to not accept my limitations.