The first 12 weeks are the absolute worst part of the pregnancy. Well, perhaps asides from the birth itself, but at least that’s followed by the arrival of the baby. I’ll let you know when I get there.
I don’t think it’s the morning sickness that’s the killer; it’s what I call “The Freakout”. I had my freakout around 7 weeks. James was in the studio doing viewings with clients and I was left home alone.
The Monday before The Freakout, I had suffered a bout of intense constipation. I’d never felt anything like this before, but it basically felt like somebody had put corks in every exit and pumped me full of air. I thought I was going to burst open. It eventually went away, but it left behind a big ball of worry in my stomach. How could something so little survive that kind of atmospheric pressure?
Having tried for so long to get pregnant, I was still in shock that we had actually succeeded. I felt so scared that something would go wrong. All alone with my imagination and my computer, I started to look up symptoms of complications, as I was convinced that my bloating the week before had been something sinister.
After two hours of reading horror stories on the Internet, I called James in a flood of tears. I wanted a scan and I wanted one now. I didn’t believe there was anything in there.
James went into instant negotiator mode, like I was a jumper on a window ledge that needed talking down. He gave me the action of researching where I could get a scan and set me the task of phoning them up. He knew I was being ridiculous, but thankfully, at the time, he took me very seriously (though I’m quite sure he was rolling his eyes on the other side of the phone line).
I found a place to scan me one day later and got to see our little Abdul and its beating heart for the first time. There were tears.
And when we got home from our appointment clutching our first of many in-utero pictures, James picked up my copy of What to Expect and went to the symptoms in the second month section. He recited, “Symptoms: Emotional ups and downs, which may include mood swings, irritability, irrationality, inexplicable weepiness.” And also, “A sense of unreality about the pregnancy – Is there really a baby in there?” Ah. Okay.