This time last year I was just two weeks away from going on mat leave. The nights were drawing in and the smell of autumn was in the air, just like now. I’m feeling a little nostalgic because I miss being pregnant. I really do.
I know this is a loaded comment. Half of mums reading this may agree but then there’s the other half who will be shuddering at the thought and thanking the heavens it’s over- sickness, cankles, debilitating pelvic pain… and the rest…
I was lucky that I didn’t really suffer any of that (though I don’t think anyone escapes the frequent need to pee, poor sleep and night sweats) and generally did feel ‘blooming’. I even admit to liking my massive bump. What I miss most though is what came with the bump- the anticipation, the excitement and fear all wrapped up in one, and knowing life will never be the same again.
The wondering if it will be a boy or girl- adding new names to the list of potentials I’d been keeping on the notes app on my phone.
The challenge of trying to deck the nursery out in neutral colours- aiming for contemporary but timeless (sounds like I know what I’m talking about, eh?)
Getting away with being able to dress in the same few bump-friendly outfits in rotation.
The kindness of strangers in offering up their seats, or asking if they could carry my bag (northern people are fab!)
The excitement of the grandparents-to-be and them supplying a growing collection of ‘just in case’ things and cute knitted cardies.
The enthusiam of friends and colleagues who were on my journey with me.
The work wind down knowing that for a whole year I would have another focus and not have to worry about emails and politics.
Buying things in preparation, not really having a clue what I needed them for (never mind how they work) but knowing that in a few months I’d be a pro.
Being indulgent and having that piece of cake.
Making the most of getting out and about without it requiring military level planning.
The excited (admittedly clueless) WhatsApp chats with our newly bonding NCT group.
Of course there’s an element of rose tinted specs going on. Work was really stressful in the last few weeks and, as we’d only moved house in the summer, it was all hands on deck to try and get it sorted before Harriet arrived, but I’m so happy that I get to remember my pregnancy so fondly.
Almost a year on I have a special little girl. A little girl, not a baby. A smiling, laid back little girl who fills my heart with so much love and joy. It doesn’t stop me having bump envy though.
I sometimes find myself smiling wistfully at pregnant women. If I don’t get the impression that they think I’m some weirdo I’ll strike up a conversation… “How long left? Is it your first? How are you feeling?” Some are desperate for the pregnancy bit to be over, others are taking it in their stride and are grateful to be in good health. I wonder, this time next year, how many of them will be reminiscing and being the grinning idiot with bump envy..?