If week 14 of pregnancy had been a person, I’d have got down on one knee and done some overly soppy proposal with a harp and maybe some dancers and doves and maybe like Mariah Carey or the lord Jesus Christ or something.
Week 14 was the week when HELLO, WHO IS THIS CREATURE EMERGING FROM THE DARKNESS?
Is that? No, it can’t be? Is that… Hannah Frances Gale?
Guys, it was groundbreaking, and not just because I could finally brush my teeth without vomming into the sink. I started to feel like an actual person again and not some shadow of a soul who’d had the kiss of death by a loving dementor.
And with the normality came so many incredible things. I started being able to eat normally again. Salads! Eggs! Tea! Coffee! Yogurts! Prawns!
I can’t actually put into words how nice it is to get through mealtimes without weeping into sofa because I’M SO HUNGRY BUT EVERYTHING MAKES ME FEEL SICK.
It’s so nice to go back to being a version of myself that I vaguely recognise.
That can do things that the Hannah Gale of four months ago was happily doing. I mean, yes OK, my California suitcase still has a few items lingering in it, and yes OK I’m still cripplingly knackered in the afternoon and can’t do anything aside from nap or lie on the sofa staring at the wall, but there are flickers of the old me there.
I’ve started getting these little bursts of I CAN TAKE OVER THE WORLD, and alright, they tend to only last a few hours rather than a few days, but it’s nice to have that passionate sparkle shining through again – if only for a fleeting moment.
And in those moments I feel like the version of myself I really like. The version of myself I admire and look up to, the version of myself I wish I could bottle up and devour on low days.
I hold out for those moments because they are one of the only things that tie me to the person I was before y’know, a baby started attempting to kick down the walls of my uterus.
Because lemme tell you, everything else is changing.
My nipples now look like the nipples of a stranger. Like um hello who do these bobbly pieces of salami belong to please?
And my chest and stomach are constantly slimy – a really dreamy combination of various stretch mark creams and an ongoing severe sweat situation. I mean, it got to the point the other day where I was Googling ‘under boob yeast infections’. WHO KNEW THIS WAS A THING AND WHY IS IT A THING AND WHY AM I BROKEN? (I mean, I don’t think I have it just yet but freaking heck if we have anymore heatwaves I think that might be me done for).
Getting dressed is also a fresh struggle because I am solely restricted to floaty dresses (but nothing too short), maternity leggings and – fingers crossed at least for the next few weeks – my dungarees.
So I’m desperately clinging on to the other little things that make me feel like my sassy best self. Things like bright lipstick and happy perfume and tassel earrings. The things that make me feel like me, despite what my growing body is getting up to.
But I think my biggest challenge right now is my self esteem, and that’s really taken me by surprise. Because although yes OK it’s weird getting used to gaining weight on a weekly basis and not being able to see your pubes when you lie down in the bath, it’s the way I view myself as a person that I’m really struggling with.
It was only when I was stripped of my work ethic and my dedication to my online space that I realised how much I use those things to prop up how I feel about myself.
Without feeling like super woman, I don’t actually like myself all that much.
And because I don’t really like me so much at the moment, I assume everyone else doesn’t really like me that much at the moment either.
I feel like a nuisance and like a burden. I feel like spending time with me is about as much fun as spending time with Argus Filch.
And the sweet, sweet joy of pregnancy is that whenever you feel anything negative, it’s like holding a match and then LOL the pregnancy hormones wash over you like a litre of petrol and suddenly you’re in flames and crying on the floor.
So I’m currently tackling that. Mostly by eating chocolate fingers tbh.
I’ve also found a new appreciation for taking long baths with a candle, a pint of squash and a good book. Mostly because a) it makes me feel somehow closer to the baby and b) because it allows me to switch off and escape. To get off the internet and actually just, well, relax. And that can only be good thing, right?
Other things to note: I had my second midwife appointment and not much happened (apparently in Ipswich they no longer listen to the baby’s heartbeat in appointments which is a bit wah), I booked my NCT classes and my hypnobirthing classes, AND I bought a couple of baby grows and cardigans in the Marks & Spencer sale.
And that, gal pals, is about it.
Oh and if anyone else reading this has any advice for things I should be doing/buying around now, please hook a girl up! Books, products, baby things. I wanna know plz!
Til next time.