BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! It’s cold!
The thermometer said -8C as I cycled to work this morning, and – believe me – I felt every one of those minus degrees. I thought I was supposed to spend my pregnancy feeling all hot and bothered, but in fact I spend half my life feeling … well, quite chilly, actually.
It doesn’t help that most of my really warm clothes don’t fit me anymore: since Christmas, the bump has been growing day by day and cardigans that once offered a warm haven now stretch pathetically over my beach ball belly and make me look as if I’ve stolen them from my little baby sister.
For his part, Bub has spent two or three days being an absolute hooligan, kicking and punching at all hours of the day and night. He’s getting so strong that sometimes, if I’m not expecting it when he kicks, he manages to boot my arm from its resting place on my belly. I was sitting in a meeting at work the other day and I could actually see the bump twitching and flexing. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud.
But I think all that wriggling must have finally worn him out: today he’s been quiet as a mouse, with only the occasional movement to let me know he’s still there.
Anyway, with or without his acrobatics, life seems to be clattering along at a rare old pace: I’m so busy I barely have time to sort out the mundane things like car insurance and doctor’s appointments and paying the gas bill. I’ll be glad when the little fella comes so that I can sit down and have a rest.
(Relax. I’m joking. I’m under no illusions about what’s to come…)
Still, I’ve noticed that since I’ve been pregnant, a funny thing has happened: despite being in literally the worse shape of my life – never before have I had the silhouette of Barbamama – I’ve never been less worried about my body.
Maybe it’s the happy hormones, maybe I’m just enjoying being pregnant, but despite my bumpy bod I think I look pretty good. Or, perhaps more accurately, I’ve stopped worrying about whether I look good or not.
Pre-pregnancy, I’d fret over every little bulge, changing my outfit five times and still leaving the house unhappy. Now I have three pairs of trousers to choose from, a limited selection of tops, and the same coat come rain or shine. And you know what? It’s great.
Clothing has stopped being something that defines me, or dictates my mood; it’s shrunk back to being a purely functional covering. And my body has stopped being something to worry about and criticise; it’s become a cosy baby-home for my little pud. And if its shape isn’t going to be winning any awards any time soon, well … so what?
The upside of this is that I feel happier than I have in years. The downside is that I notice my girlfriends’ criticisms of their bodies even more.
Now, on the whole, my girlfriends are a foxy bunch. Sure, none of them is Pamela Anderson, but each of them has a healthy and attractive body … so it seems such a shame that they can’t see it. I listen to these sassy ladies bemoan thunder thighs, chunky calves and buxom bums – all defects that, to my eyes, are non-existent.
Not that I’m judging them for a moment. I know that the very words they’re using to castigate themselves have flown from my own mouth so many times in the past.
And as I ponder this, I wonder if my beatific state of contentment will pass once my little sproglet wails into the world, leaving me prey to baby blues and self-loathing, or whether I’ll no longer be the centre of my own universe and worrying about things as trivial as the girth of my thighs will be a thing of the past.
Right now I don’t have the answer. But I do have a sneaking feeling that once the gorgeous little bundle in my belly makes his way into the world, nothing else will ever seem as important again.