The below passage is probably as close to the typical film/TV version of pregnancy we’ve had the whole way through. And in answer to your inevitable first thought after reading it, yes I am indeed incredibly lucky to have such a supportive partner…
Let me first set the scene…this week we’ve had two false alarm scares and very bad nights of sleep thanks to nausea, ever growing bump, itchiness, uncomfortability, ligament pain and generally the delights of the third trimester! We’ve stayed smiling and even managed to tick a few activities off the list of ‘things to do whilst we don’t have a baby in tow,’ but as every parent to be will tell you, it’s not easy.
Anyway, cut to 11pm tonight and I’m in the bath to ease my tummy, hips and pelvic pain and trying to ignore the nausea that’s plagued the evening and my husband comes upstairs to see how I’m feeling,
“Feeling any better? Is there anything I can get you to help the nausea?”
“I really need some kind of pork based food and a sugary sparkling drink.”
“*confused pause* Right, ok. Well I could bring you up some raw carrot and a glass of sparkling water?”
My face did the talking, carrot is not even remotely pork based and sparkling water just wasn’t going to cut it,
“It’s fine, I’m going to just try and go to bed.”
Post bath,now about 11.45pm and we’re trying to settle, nausea distinctly unabated and a sudden itchiness coupled with stomach cramps and I start pulling at the duvet,
“No no no no, please no, I really just want to go to sleep.”
My husband looked at me sympathetically, “can’t sleep?”
I tried to fight the sarcasm but unfortunately as is my natural go to, it just happens, “yeah, I’m asleep right now dreaming of pork flavoured carrots (I immediately feel bad for being a cow) I’m sorry, I’m just so….AWAKE!”
After a quick ‘I’m sorry for the unnecessary bitchiness’ cuddle, my husband gets a glint in his eye, “come on, get up, I’m really awake too, we’re off out.”
At this stage, I check my phone for the time in case baby brain meant I’d skipped the part where it was the middle of the night, but the iPhone screen only confirmed that it was now almost midnight. We’d earlier discussed getting a new toaster from Dunelm Mill and I started to get concerned that baby brain was contagious. But, out of a variety of curiosity, excitement, a sense of adventure and frankly a desire just to do something that wasn’t lying in the dark trying not to cry and/or vomit, I dutifully got dressed and got in the car.
“Are you still feeling sick?”
I nodded. We headed out towards the nearest bigger town and soon arrived at a 24 hour Tesco and I was given the instruction to pick out whatever I wanted. We were there about ten minutes and came out with the following…a pack of cooked chorizo, a packet of pork scratchings, some smoked salmon, and a packet of cheese thins. Individually not overly weird but probably not the first four items you’d put together in a meal. We returned to the car and headed back out onto the road, but not home. Firstly, a pit stop to a 24 hour drive through McDonalds to pick up a banana milkshake AND a sprite (the heart wants what it wants..!) and then roughly a 40 minute drive round the surrounding Cotswolds with soft music on. As I could probably have predicted, I demolished the drinks but had only a little taster from each of my Tesco food items, but my God did It make me feel a bit better!
Months ago, before we even knew we were having a baby, I mentioned in passing that as a baby myself, I would be eased off to sleep by a drive in the car and it continued to be something that relaxed me to sleep (probably mentioned at the start of a long journey as a prequel to falling asleep on the way!) and cut to months later, this marvellous individual, and my absolute rock had remembered, and not only taken me to get my ridiculous food request, but then driven round in the middle of the night to help me relax and get to a calmer sleepy state.
On our drive we chatted about our past, our future and several things we used to discuss on the many drives we took together before even becoming a couple, laughing at some very happy memories and getting excited about the impending arrival.
As it dawned on us both how close we are to meeting our baby, the stomach cramps seemed easier, the nausea abated and I could feel my shoulders physically relax. We pulled back into our driveway about 1.45am, and after putting away the leftover food, we headed straight up to bed.
I’m very lucky to have such a supportive partner who often knows the best thing to do when I can’t see the wood from the trees. I’m still not fast asleep but I feel much more relaxed and more comfortable after our little midnight jaunt out. As my husband gets some well deserved sleep next to me, it occurs to me that we can now tick off that clichéd ‘irrational middle of the night food trip,’ off the list of ‘things films expect you to do when pregnant!’
Tonight won’t be the last night I struggle to sleep while pregnant, but while I feel my baby kicking about (she’s a definite night owl!) the very welcomed break in routine tonight has reminded me that this part isn’t easy for anyone but I’m so lucky to have such a supportive partner and we’re incredibly lucky to be expecting our first child. So although you don’t necessarily need a 40 minute drive and a McDonalds drive through to do it, it’s worth just taking a bit of time out to realise why you’re doing this and what it’s soon to lead to. A bit of sickness and discomfort is a very small price to pay really.
And because he totally deserves it, my husband took a ‘during midnight hour adventure’ picture of me so that one day; when we watch one of those films that presents pregnancy in the familiar stereotypical way and I tut and shake my head at how unrealistic these films are, he can get said picture out to show our daughter, “let me tell you a little story about Mummy…”