The first three months were hard – forget the nausea, my main problems was a crippling tiredness that made me crave sleep, which was inconvenient as my job involved staring at a computer while tinkering with Quark or InDesign. I remember editing a dry financial feature and fighting the urge to doze off.
And don’t start me on the commute to work, I rarely got a seat even when my bump showed, despite wearing the London Underground’s Baby on Board badge. I’m not knocking the badge, it’s a great idea as some men cannot distinguish between a fat and a pregnant belly (I was once offered a seat because my belly was bloated due to period pains, although I’m not so sure it was the belly or the short skirt that did it – but I’m disgressing here!).
As my belly grew disproportionally big to my petite frame, the nausea vanished but the tiredness didn’t and I started to have back pain too. Having an aching body, a fuzzy, sleepy head and a huge belly that touched the desk made my job less than desirable – as a hot-desking freelancer you are expected to give your all and don’t get the perks of pregnant staffers.
I went on maternity leave early, towards the end of January. I was getting all the rest I craved but my days felt too dull. So I started working on the novel I have been neglecting for years then volunteered to coedit the local NCT newsletter. This proved to be a lifesaver as I kept my skills sharp and learnt about creating a newsletter from scratch, which included writing the copy, commissioning, dealing with advertisers, making the most of real-life stories and members’ tips, designing the pages and sourcing free photography.
Closer to my due date, I attended an NCT class, which I highly recommend as you cannot have enough information about birth choices, breastfeeding and surviving the first months as a parent If you want to find out about the NCT and what it offers to parents, visit www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com/home.
Local NCT branches throw a lifeline to parents and they are also a great social network – invaluable when all your friends are still single and/or childless. They won’t be as interested in your baby’s green poo and won’t have a clue on where to find a teether that works.
My top tip: when I was pregnant (pic shows me in my swimming costume at three months) I did an improver swimming course. When the course finished I kept swimming till close to the birth. I recommend swimming highly as the water supports your bump so you feel light and free - it's gentle exercise, too. Just don't use the breast stroke, as it's not recommended to pregnant women because of the softness of your ligaments during pregnancy.