I spent most of my third trimester moaning - I can't even lie. Like most, I reached the uncomfortable stage where nothing anyone said or did was correct, and I was pretty much a walking nightmare. It's easy to forget though that during pregnancy other people still have to live with us, interact with us, love us unconditionally, and we can make it very difficult - I'll be the first to admit it. Having managed to come out the other end unscathed though, I'm now in the perfect position to offer some nice easy step by steps to make living with a pregnant woman that little bit easier.
1. Bring Home Some Flowers
This is more aimed at the partners than anyone else - I'm not sure if it's down to hormones, or if I really am just a sop, but after a bad few days towards my 38th week, when the other half came home with flowers and some chocolate buttons, I sobbed. There's nothing like feeling appreciated even when your probably being an irrational witch (let's face it, we've all been there). Flowers are so cliché, and I always said I'd make fun of Jordan for days, weeks if he ever bought them, but for such a small thing, I've never felt so grateful.
2. Make Fun Of Our Size
This may be a hit or miss for some, but I feel like so many people, men especially, skirt around the weight gain portion of child bearing. I gained 3 stone, yes, I hated it beyond belief. But what made it better was those who didn't tread around it or tiptoe across the subject - it was those who blatantly made fun of it. From Week 26, my other half referred to me as Chunky Butt. From Week 35, my dad would ask me if I'd eaten all the pies. Each time they jokingly played on my slightly rounder self, I got to hit back with my own ultimately scathing comment, and feel like my normal self, rather than a walking circus show.
3. Ask About My Baby
I'm excited about it - I do want to talk about it, you'd think by this stage I would be bored as hell of the subject, but I'm not. I probably don't want to bring it up though. Often, especially if your out with someone who doesn't have children, or men in general, you can get into the habit of supressing any baby-related things for fear of seeming like your 'going on and on' about them. You probably aren't, and if someone asks first, I feel a lot less awkward bringing up my amazing pastel nappy bin that I found at the weekend...
4. Don't Just Ask About My Baby
On the flip side, although I'm excited about it, I am not only baby talk. I'm the same person I was before I fell pregnant, and therefore I still can hold a conversation the same way. I suppose with a lot of people it's an exciting time, just as it is for you, and many can fall into the trap of asking question after question about the baby. During pregnancy I can guarantee within a few minutes of any conversation we'll have hit a few of these on the head; boy/girl? cravings? breastfeeding? when are you going back to work? do you have names yet? Keep it balanced - I can only talk about baby for so long after all.
5. Find us something fun to do.
I don't mean buy us take-out and switch on X-Factor for us, although that does seem to become pretty much the be all and end all of Saturday night fun. If you can think of something original and out of the box that I can take part in whilst pregnant - I'll probably love you forever. You'd be surprised at how much you can't do while pregnant, and it really hits home when you start to hit the third trimester, although the alcohol days have been left behind long ago, bowling is off limits (because we went bowling so often before..), the cinema can be an uncomfortable struggle and shopping is often taboo given the lack of choice and fat Friday feelings. When pregnant, my boyfriend dragged me around a pumpkin patch, my friends came equipped with cake making supplies, my dad took me mini-golfing, and my brother became my go-to Wii Sports competitor. It doesn't have to be a big elaborate plan, or an expensive day out, it just has to be fun.
6. Include us.
Just because I couldn't go to the pub last Saturday, doesn't mean I don't want to hear about everything that happened. I can't make the girls weekend away, but I still want to be invited. It's so easy to feel isolated during pregnancy - and with reason. Often, friends and family don't want to feel as though they are rubbing in experiences that you can't have - I get that, I do. But at the same time, it can feel so much lonelier when you are not even getting to hear about the experiences second hand, let alone join in.
Pregnancy can be an amazing time, but it can also be an irritable one, and ladies can be hard to please during that time. Listed above are only a few tiny things that I found helped me during pregnancy, flowers and a trip to a pumpkin patch? What could really be easier.. I think it all really comes down to still feeling wanted and appreciated, and not losing touch with the things and people that were in your life before a massive change occurred. If you enjoy pregnancy, then embrace the time spent growing your child, 9 months may just fly in for you - and if you don't, like me, enjoy pregnancy, then just remember that 9 months will also fly in for you, and the end result is well worth the journey.
This blog was written by Kirsty from Tracking Twenty.
'I'm Kirsty, a twenty-something year old soon to be first time mum and fiftieth-time blogger. I've dabbled in blogging on and off since my early teens - my most notable web venture to date being a riveting roller skating website I had when I was 12 - but I've never quite had a reason to stick with it. Impending motherhood has now given me plenty to write about, and my blog - Tracking Twenty - shares my trials and tribulations as a first time mumma, whilst I try to maintain any ounce of sanity I have left.'