One of the nicest things about my pregnancy has been listening to the stories from my friends, family and colleagues about their experience. The women in my world have been really kind to me and made me appreciate how special this time is. They’ve reinforced the importance of looking after myself as well as advised and reassured me. The force of the sisterhood is strong around me.
People respond differently to being given advice and I’ve spoken to a few pregnant women who find it patronising, especially when their told they can’t or shouldn’t be doing what their doing. I can kind of understand this, although I don’t personally feel this way. My mum died of a brain tumour in 2011 and whilst my older sister shares her stories of pregnancy with me, it’s not quite the same. I love getting advice from older women, women my mums age, as I image this might be some of what she might say. Every culture has old wives tales around pregnancy, so whilst I love to listen I won’t necessarily implement what I hear.
Alongside all the lovely (and graphic!) stories you’ll hear about pregnancy and labour you might also hear a few heartbreaking ones. Recently I met a friend who is a few years younger than me, and the last time we spoke she five months pregnant. Unfortunately she lost her baby, she had a full term still born. Even at 17 weeks my baby is very real to me. We have a relationship; I’m already a mum to my bump. I can’t imagine anything more devastating than losing my baby. To nurture this bump for nine months, to learn to love so extremely and deeply and then to lose it must be the most horrific experience, I cant even fathom it. It’s really made me appreciate the time I have with my bump, life is short and unexpected and random, so make the most of every step in this beautiful journey.