Expectations of pregnancy v reality
What you expect from pregnancy and what you learn from the reality revealed
The vision: You’ll get a sudden desire for pickled gherkins in the middle of the night, which your partner will find sweet and hilarious.
The reality: He won’t think it’s remotely funny at 2am. Meanwhile, you’re downstairs carrying out a forensic search for salt and vinegar crisps/chocolate/fizzy drinks/ice and getting more furious by the minute.
Feeling the baby move
The vision: Fluttery, magical reminders from the tiny being growing inside you.
The reality: Left-hand jabs/drop-kicks at 2am, which always seem to be aimed at your bladder. Now you have to get up to go to the loo. Again.
Your body shape
The vision: No one can even tell you’re pregnant from behind because of your beautifully neat, ball-round bump.
The reality: You’ve been waddling for months, and your bottom seems to have grown in sympathy with your belly.
Enjoying buying cute things for the baby
The vision: Shopping in upmarket boutiques for tastefully pastel goodies, followed by a latte with cooing friends.
The reality: Long nights hunched over the internet trying to work out which buggy has the most storage space and if the one on special offer will fit into your car. The sheer amount of stuff a tiny being needs seems overwhelming. How can someone actually cry over choosing a buggy/car seat/cot? Answer: most of us!
The vision: Glowing, obviously.
The reality: Spots, redness, weird brown marks, under-eye bags because you can’t get comfortable enough to sleep well.
Slinky maternity clothes
The vision: Sleek sheath dresses showing off that lovely neat bump.
The reality: Comfort over style every time - jogging bottoms and saggy, baggy T-shirts.
Decorating the nursery
The vision: What fun you will have choosing colours, friezes, matching lampshades/curtains. Everything will be perfect. And so, so cute.
The reality: You kind of missed the window for painting and now you can’t climb a ladder or bend down to get to the skirting boards. Everything is sooo expensive. And you can’t summon up enough energy to get excited about shades of beige.
Choosing a name
The vision: You’ll unearth the perfect name no one else will ever have thought of – unusual, cool yet not barmy - and your partner will instantly love it. Sorted.
The reality: You’ve read three books, made a shortlist of 50, then worry they’re too conventional/popular/difficult to spell/plain weird. And your partner hates them all anyway. Time to buy a fourth book.
Other people’s compliments
The vision: Random strangers will comment on how beautiful/glowing/radiant you are.
The reality: Random strangers say, ‘oh, not long to go then;’ when you’re only seven months. Or ‘sure you haven’t got two in there?’ Funny. Not.
Your emotional state
The vision: You’ll be radiating inner peace and smiling serenely at a crazy world.
The reality: Much crying, occasional grumpiness due to lack of sleep, and watching the TV news shouting, ‘what kind of crazy world are you creating for my future child?’