Thoughts on Life, Pregnancy and Blogging

Me-made jersey maxi! I didn't realise how big I'd got until I saw this picture... 

As of last week, I'm off on maternity leave. So now I'm just waiting (patiently, so far) for the baby to make an appearance, though I've a few weeks to go til my due date. I've been trying to take it easy but also have so many different sewing projects I'd like to do. Plus this amazing super-hot weather makes it difficult to be too busy as I want to enjoy it. I can't tell you how thankful I am not to be in an office when the weather is like this, with an internal central heating system I was really struggling!

There's a few changes I'd like to make to the look of the blog which I may get around to making. Once the baby arrives I have no idea how my blogging schedule will go so I'll just have to take it as it comes. It's hard to imagine exactly how life will change. I hope I can keep up some kind of blogging as I feel like this blog has become an important part of who I am, so I don't want to let it go.

I've been very lucky to have a healthy pregnancy and have been feeling very well. I've enjoyed being pregnant and also dressing during pregnancy, though it will be a novelty to get back to wearing some of my old favourites again - whenever that may be.

Pregnancy dressing has really made me think about how many clothes I actually need. I feel like I want to take a step back from my usual approach of 'Get Pattern-Find Fabric-Make Garment' and think about what colours I like to wear and the shapes that suit me, and consider the overall look I want to achieve. I don't really know what my style is, though I have an idea of the colours I wear frequently, the skirt/dress shapes that suit my body shape and the accessories I like to wear. However I know this may be subject to change post-pregnancy so I'll need to take some time to think about it.

Before I was pregnant, I wasn't aware of how much I would feel like public property as a pregnant woman. I mean, it's not something you can hide for the whole 9 months, unless you have a lot of strategically-placed, stomach-hiding items around your home and office. Thankfully I haven't had any unwarranted bump-touching, but people do tend to comment on your appearance. Now I'd never thought much about this before because being pregnant is not like being overweight and having people comment about that. However it IS still commenting on your appearance, and that can be disconcerting at times.

You have no control over the development of your bump and just like how everyone has a unique pregnancy and birth experience, everyone develops at a different pace. I've found that how I feel about any comments about my size depend on who the commenter is, how well I know them and the frequency I've heard that same thing before. Plus, you know, all the extra hormones you've got buzzing about can make you take things to heart a little more. So an innocent comment in the early days of 'Oh, you're still so small' makes you think 'OH MY GOD, THE BABY MIGHT NOT BE DEVELOPING PROPERLY'. Nope, that's just the way it is. I haven't necessarily minded people telling me that I've got big, it all depends on the context of the comments.

People have different opinions on whether you are actually big or small. One person will tell you, 'Oh, your bump is so neat' and the next person will say 'You've got so big but you haven't put on any weight anywhere else, so that's all baby isn't it? Have they told you you're having a big baby?' That second comment was actually said to me and I'm still marvelling over the stupidity of the person who said it. She actually has got kids, so you think she might remember that everyone is different and also bear in mind that she works for the council, not as an obstetrician. Idiot.

Also, women LOVE to tell you their stories. Wow, do they love to tell you their stories. Now, I totally understand this because having a baby is likely the biggest thing that will ever happen to your life, emotions and body and is something I can't yet fully comprehend. However I think people sometimes forget how overwhelming this can be, no matter how well meaning they are. I don't mean just in relaying gory details but just in the amount of information you can get bombarded with. It can be really stressful. There is so much to learn about, but I need to do it in my own time and the only occasions I have been stressed during pregnancy have been as a result of these information bombarding episodes.


All in all, the best thing to say to a pregnant woman is 'You look great' and if you have advice to share, offer to give it only when she wants to hear it. You cannot go wrong with that. I know that even the dumb comments are well meaning, in their own misguided way, and happily the vast majority of people are really lovely and love to ask how far along you are and about baby names and comment that you are looking well. Thank goodness.

K x

p.s Very glad I'm not Kate Middleton, with details of my pregnancy being endlessly scrutinised in the press.

p.p.s I have 2 shoddily-made jersey skirts to blog about, when I get around to taking photos


47 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you on everything you've written. People do tend to forget pregnancy - and everything that goes with it - is a personal thing. Don't even get me started on people's negativity about your preferred names... really? would you say that after the baby was born?

    A colleague of mine told me I looked great, or gorgeous every single day of my pregnancy. At first I thought she was being a bit patronising and false (and lumping me into the whole - all pregnant women think they look awful and I felt like I looked OK, thank you very much) but by the end of it, I really appreciated it for it's simplicity, genuineness and thoughtfulness.

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    1. What a lovely colleague! We haven't told anyone our baby names, as everyone has an opinion and once the baby's named that's it!

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  2. You look great Kerry! That's the first thing I thought when I saw the photo of you. Enjoy your maternity leave, honestly, savour every minute, it really is precious! So pleased to hear you've had a healthy pregnancy, keep up the good work. Xx

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    1. Thanks Jane, I'm enjoying it so far x

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  3. Kerry, you really do look great my dear! I can only imagine the information overload you're experiencing at the moment, but as you said, you will learn and figure stuff out in your own time. It's not rocket science for crying out loud and I'm sure most things will fall into place naturally...and for the bits that don't, you know there are a myriad of people out there willing to offer advice ;o)

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  4. ooo - exciting times! enjoy these last few weeks of calm, I'm sure things will be a bit of a whirlwind when the baby gets here. you really do look great - so pleased that you've had a good and healthy pregnancy. You've been v lucky to escape the unwarranted bump touching though - my cousin has had a few randoms asking to touch her bump, which is just the weirdest thing ever I think. x

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    1. It's really weird, you don't normally touch people you don't know!

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  5. I'm glad it's a healthy pregnancy! I've never been pregnant, but I have noticed that pregnant women do attract a lot of attention from strangers and I imagine that's not so fun sometimes.

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    1. Thanks Donna, the attracting attention has definitely taken me by surprise

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  6. you do look great! i thought so too before i heard i was meant to say that!
    good luck with everything and i look forward to reading more on your blog.x

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    1. Thank you Sian - it does sound a bit like I was fishing for compliments!

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  7. I loved reading this post of yours. I would have never thought about any of this had you never have shared this.

    I'm an introvert and do get overwhelmed already so I fear that if I was ever pregnant I'd be that grumpy lady who yells at everyone. You sound like you're handling all of this excess beautifully. :)

    I think you look lovely in your maxi skirt. Good luck and have fun on your maternity leave!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the post - it's all been quite new to me to have people discussing my appearance, I'm not a fan of attracting attention!

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  8. I really enjoyed reading all your thoughts on what people have said to you during your pregnancy and how you felt about them. You must have thought a lot about this post as it is beautifully clear and makes perfect sense... I must admit my friends and I told endless birth stories to each other AFTER the event. For a while it seems the most fascinating thing you have ever done! Anyway I will be cheering you on during these last few weeks, I hope you stay feeling well and enjoy your maternity leave x

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    1. Hi Philippa, yes, I have been thinking about this for ages!! I think birth stories shared between mothers are fine and I'm sure I'll be doing the same thing. Already at this stage I've come to terms with things I found a bit frightening a few months ago!!

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  9. My kids range in age from 33 to 22. And yes, I was 6 when I had my first one :) I still remember comments that people made about how I looked or wanting to touch me. I am a very private person and that stuff drove me crazy. Sometimes I sit and wonder how my kids can all be so very different when they share my DNA. Being pregnant is the same thing. Everyone is different. Enjoy the time that you have to yourself right now, get rest, enjoy the weather and things will take care of themselves. Oh, and let current husband help out as much as his little heart desires.

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    1. Thank you CTpat. Current Husband has been very helpful for sure :)

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  10. Just wait until you have it! Thats when the comments really come. From the time they are born until they are about 3. Everyone will look at your baby as public property, ask how old and what they weigh, ask you if you are breast feeding, offer all sorts of advice, touch and talk to your baby.

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    1. Oh Sara you're so right! This is probably good practice :)

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  11. Hi Kerry, you look fantastic! I love that waistband detail on your maxi-dress. I laughed at some of your comments as I've had the same thing/reacted in the same way. When I went for my last scan I kept asking 'are you sure everything's ok?' becuase I was so worried my baby wasn't growing properly due to all the 'you're so small' type comments. Enjoy your maternity leave and happy to hear you're keeping healthy!

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    1. Thank you Kathryn, I hope your pregnancy continues to go well too.

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  12. Firstly - you look great!
    Secondly - the 'kind' comments about pregnancy are nothing compared to when you actually have a baby! I will give advice here but only because I learnt the hard way. I read libraries about pregnancy and birth but completely forgot to read about coping with a newborn. I just assumed the hospital would prepare me for what was to come. Big MISTAKE. Read everything you can find now. I will step down off my soap box now...

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    1. Thanks Claire, there is so much you can read about, it's really overwhelming!

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  13. First time commenter here. You DO look lovely, you are one of those lucky women that pregnancy obviously agrees with.

    I have never had children (by choice), and have always been blown away by the thoughtlessness of people when talking to women who are pregnant for the first time. Drink a big cup of shut the f@@k up and stop talking people. Labor horror stories are so unnecessary. Why do they say things like that? One woman I used to work with was tiny, like 12 year old girl tiny. People had her terrified and tearfully begging her doctor for a cesarean. He wouldn't. She delivered a large baby naturally and without difficulty. She tells every pregnant woman she comes across her story and not to stress themselves about it. That is the story to tell. Right?

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    1. Hi ElleC, thanks for commenting. That's exactly the kind of story people should hear, not all the terrifying ones!

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  14. Oh my gosh, how invasive! It must be difficult to deal with the onslaught of information and personal experience narratives! I nearly had a meltdown the two days that I babysat my friend's infant-- EVERYONE had something to say to/about the baby (and not a few New Yorkers let doors slam in my face while I was wrestling with the stroller). I'm hoping that you won't be too overwhelmed by all the new experiences and social interactions and that you'll be able to deal with idiots graciously and firmly.

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    1. I will certainly try, and am kind of intrigued to see what kind of attention the baby will bring!

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  15. I was just remembering the other day something I found really weird after my daughter was born - people kept asking, "Is she GOOD?" I was completely baffled. Of course she was good - she was wonderful! I think they might have meant, "Is she easy...co-operative...does she sleep at all..?" (but I was too tired and confused to work that out at the time!)

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    1. Ha ha, yeah that's a bit of a weird one, one of those questions that you just have to say yes to really.

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  16. When my sister was pregnant, people would just reach out and rub her belly without asking permission. Now, this was the real trial and test of pregnancy for her--we're not a touchy-feely family (which should not be confused with not affectionate--we're very affecionate! We just prefer that people we don't know don't touch us). My sister is a kind, caring, beautiful soul but she's also a very straightforward person. More than one person took umbrage to the fact that she informed them that under no circumstance was it okay that they invade her personal space in such a manner, and that it was rude to not ask permission first. She actually had one lady in the grocery store huff off muttering under her breath.

    So the long and short of it is--I've never been pregnant but I so *get* the sentiment you've expressed if from no other vantage point than an observer. And I've always wondered what it is that make pregnant bodies "public property"--they're not. Ask permission and be prepared for a no!

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    1. I agree, I'm lucky that I haven't been put in the same position as your sister, that sounds horrible.

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  17. You look fabulous!

    I have to be honest...I never got any attention until I was 8 month pregnant! I think because I'm a bigger woman people never quite knew if I was expecting or just pudgy. So I guess it's good that people minded their manners and didn't assume one way or another. But man, did I want that attention. I was so excited and I wanted to chat with anyone who would talk to me about my baby, ha!

    Be prepared for the attention baby will bring. My lord. I had three people this week touch my son without even asking. That grates my nerves. I'm a bit of germaphobe (and happily have not had a cold in...uh...I can't even remember when that was).

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    1. Thanks Mela. I don't like the sound of that, people touching your child without asking, very presumptuous!

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  18. My first thought was how happy you looked in the photo. Secondly was how much larger your bump looked but then I realized the last photo on your blog I remember was from May. Of course you & the baby would've grown in the meantime. Glad to hear you've had an easy, healthy pregnancy and I hope that results in a similar delivery & baby. As for unwanted stranger touching, no wonder new parents frequently drape blankets over baby carriers!

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  19. A gasp and a shriek, "My, how you've blossomed!" - that was the worst comment I got. I'm pretty sure I just glared at the person.

    I'm glad to hear you're feeling well! I'm past this stage, now, so it's really fun to see others really enjoying it (most parts anyway(: )and having fun sewing for the bump and the little one.

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    1. Thank you Joy, I'm enjoying making a few little things :)

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  20. How is it that you say what I'm thinking? Yesterday I got a check-in text (husband was out of town) from a male friend, ending with "be careful." I said, be careful what?? At work, he said. Um, yeah. For whatever reason, that irritated the crap outta me. I sit at a computer all day. And cause I'm pregnant doesn't mean I've lost the ability to care for myself. Why do people think you're broken when you're just pregnant??
    Luckily I've only had one lady reach for the bump. She was an older lady, she asked, and we were at Mood, so I figured, hey, she at least likes sewing, hahah! But yes, I've heard it's after the baby we have to watch out for!
    Sorry for such a long comment, but it's really nice to read other's similar situations. You DO look beautiful in your new maxi dress. It looks quite cozy. Glad to hear your pregnancy has been healthy and sending you positive vibes for labor and delivery!!

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    1. It's weird isn't it, you're still the same person after all!

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  21. Two pieces of advice from an old auntie, if you want the but don't worry if you don't : first 'stretch the clothes, not the baby.' Self explanatory really. Second, kept your dressing gown on for at least two weeks after the bay is born. Even if you look fab and are dressed up ready to go out, each time a visitor calls put yor dressing gwon on, then they won't see you as the hostess and expect cups of tea and bicycles, they will wait on you. This secret was told to me by a midwife and it really works. Hope you are well Margaret xxxx

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    1. Thanks Margaret, Will bear that in mind and keep my dressing gown handy!

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  22. That was biccies not bicycles

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    1. Phew, I could probably manage tea and biscuits but might be a while before I'm up for tea and bicycles :)

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  23. Hey Lovely! You look SO fabulous! I think there's still a deep seated sense of "community responsibility" when it comes to pregnant women. They are sacred in a way; and people naturally feel an almost tribal urge to be protective and supportive towards them; which sometimes translates into thinking that everything about you being "their business". I was never really offended or frustrated by any of it. I found it kinda sweet mostly. (MOSTLY:) But I did always marvel at how it was OK to tell me how "big" I'd got. WTF?! You wouldn't say that to anyone who wasn't preggers! I'll second what everyone's said. The baby touching was way more common than the bump touching! Again, didn't really bother me; I just think a baby is one of those things that genuinely makes people joyful and they can't help themselves! But J used to get really cross about it. The amount of old dears I thought he was going to swing for, lol!
    When it comes to advice (and reading too many books!); the best thing I ever did was throw away all the books and stop thinking the midwives and all the other mothers knew what they were talking about; (mostly conflicting advice btw!) and start trusting my own common sense and instinct as a mother. You'll know what you and your baby need ;)
    Enjoy the last few weeks of your pregnancy. A super special time! Aw, lovely, lovely, lovely!!
    Px

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  24. You look beautiful and I hope it all goes well. sending loads of love x

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