Since Evie turned six months old at the end of August, I’ve found myself reminiscing a lot about my pregnancy. Now that we have our little girl in our lives – with her vibrant personality, wide smiles, constant giggles and love of high pitched singing – it’s very hard to journey our minds back to a time when we hadn’t yet met her.
But of course, although the last six months have been the most monumental of our lives, in reality it isn’t all that long ago that we were waiting and wondering – who our baby would be, who they’d look like, whether they’d be a boy or a girl (we totally got that wrong btw) and excitedly imagining a new life with an additional family member in it.
It’s true when they say you forget a lot of pregnancy and birth once the baby comes along. Life with a baby becomes so ‘normal’ that it’s almost impossible to fathom who you were and what life looked like before this little human was your every waking (and sleeping!) thought. It’s similar to how you forget each stage of baby rearing as soon as you’re onto the next, and often have to be reminded of how far you’ve come and how different things look today compared to only a month ago. I remember that euphoria I felt during much of pregnancy, the anticipation of what was to come and who was to come, the flutters of nervous excitement every time I felt a kick or a tumble, the amazement as my body grew and changed to accommodate a growing person. I look back on it all so fondly now because it brought me Evie and every time I look at her and watch as she learns something new and discovers more of the world, I’m still in awe that she came from me. That I grew her in my tummy and brought her into the world.
It’s easy to forget the harder parts, the trials and worries, the aches and pains. The truth of course, is that pregnancy is tough – from start to finish. Alongside giving birth, it’s absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in life. For 9 months you’re fraught with worry – spending every moment wondering whether you’re supporting and developing your little bean as you should be. Whether you should be eating better, or drinking more, or doing more exercise, or doing less.
Then there’s the endless line of not so fun symptoms like sickness, tiredness, crazy hormonal ups and downs, backache, pelvic pain, muscular pains, headaches, bladder crush and so on. Not to mention the fact that your belly, ass, chin, legs and ankles get progressively bigger and with each passing day and you spend 8 months trying desperately to find just one outfit that doesn’t make you feel the size of a house.
I openly admit that I struggled with many parts of pregnancy. I had a love/hate relationship with my changing body – some days I adored my bump (especially towards the end when it really popped and I could feel Evie every second of the day), other days I felt self conscious and down about my new shape. The hormones play crazy tricks on you too and I found I was up and down with mixed emotions throughout – probably, looking back now, mostly apprehension about what was to come and whether I was prepared/cut out for it. I felt like I lost myself a bit during the pregnancy (and I’m still not sure I’ve found my old self again just yet), found the identity shift hard to get my head around and often found myself mourning my old self, old body and everything that person was capable of (suddenly very aware that I hadn’t made the most of having a flat stomach, being able to run around town without breakfast or jump on a plane at a moments notice). It’s a huge change for anyone, even if planned and considered and well thought out. And it’s just a preparation for the even more colossal change that comes at the end of it.
BUT, (and it’s a very big BUT) there’s no doubt that it was also a hugely special time in my life. To look at pictures of my bump now and know that it was our little Evie growing away in there is mind boggling, in the most wonderful sense. Despite all my worries and apprehension, despite the backache and the lack of energy and the pelvic pain, despite spending a year being ridiculously unfashionable and mourning my old wardrobe, I would do it again in a heart beat to have Evie here with us now. Because with every small low was an even bigger high, all leading to an undeniably life changing high at the end. Pregnancy and childbirth was such a small price to pay for the daily joy that our little girl brings to our lives, it seems so silly to think that I ever moaned or complained about having to pee more than usual!
So OF COURSE I remember it all fondly now, OF COURSE I still miss my bump sometimes and OF COURSE I’ve all but forgotten the struggles. I tell myself now that if I’m ever lucky enough to get pregnant again, I’ll worry less and enjoy every second because just like all of the stages of Evie’s life so far, that precious time is fleeting.
Therefore I’m so glad that I was able to document some of my journey on this blog, so that I’ll always have something to look back on and reminisce about those key moments. There is still so much pregnancy content that I never quite got around to publishing (and I fear it’s probably too late now – can you believe I never actually posted my third trimester diary? One of these days I’ll actually finish a series I start on this blog!) but while most of it might be a little irrelevant now that I have an actual baby, I knew that I wanted to finally share this bump photo series. It felt so important to document how our baby grew over those weeks and months and what started as an innocent pre-bump pic at 15 weeks ended up being the beginning of a fortnightly photo challenge as we marvelled at how different the bump looked each time (even though I often felt like I hadn’t got any bigger).
There was a haircut and a house move along the way, which made for a slightly less cohesive photo montage (I never realised quite how different two white walls could be in a photo before!) and Christmas came and went too, all while my bump went from small, slim and round to giant and square – towards the end Evie was always in a curled up position with her bum prodding out the middle and her legs up underneath my ribs.
So I leave you with this GIF of my growing bump. 40 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy which led to our beautiful, funny, clever little girl and the beginning of what has been the best part of our lives so far!