Before I had little A I had some ideas of how it would be to have children, but I don’t think you really know how it might be before you have tried it. I knew it was going to be hard, but it was much harder than I ever thought it would be. I was never one of those moms who bonded with their child from birth and due to our circumstances it made it even harder. When I think back on it now I wished I would have tried to enjoy it a bit more, it is definitely easier now and more fun. Maternity leave in the UK is usually three months, but most moms I know took between nine and 12 months. At the time I thought that six months would be fine for me and I was also really happy about being back at work so early on as I needed that time to myself so I had the extra energy to give to little A. We didn’t have the option of me taking any longer, I only had one month full pay whereas in Denmark you often get six followed by Maternity statutory pay which is more than twice the amount that you get in the UK. I had to borrow money while on maternity leave as I otherwise wouldn’t even have had enough to pay rent. Luckily my work has a bonus that if you are back full time withon a year and work full time for six months then you get an extra bonus so I managed to pay back the loan I had.
Besides from that I worked up until a week before my due date, although I had pelvic girdle pain so I couldn’t walk at all towards the end without being in pain. When I think back on my pregnancy I can’t think of any good days as I suffered from sickness all the way from the beginning towards the end and from pelvic girdle pain. Many people were impressed with me exercising, but that was the only way that kept me going on the days I was in pain. I cycled (I could only cycle up until the day I went into labour as it was not nearly as painful as walking), went to pregnancy pilates, went to the gym (only light exercises) and went to the pool several times a week. I loved going swimming (although I could only use my arms due to the pelvic girdle pain) and I always ended the day off in the steam and sauna. Going to the gym in London is expensive, I paid nearly £80 a month, but the gyms I went to were also really luxurious.
The first 3-4 months of my pregnancy were really bad. I managed to cycle into work, but I had to stop many times on the way as I felt sick from the car fumes and the food smells from any restaurants. Besides from that I felt sick from coffee smell, my boyfriend sometimes left a cup of coffee in the kitchen sick and I could smell it even after entering the kitchen. I couldn’t open the fridge without being sick from the food smells so my boyfriend had to cook everything. Besides from that for the whole nine months I felt sick from tooth paste, I tried everything but nothing helped. I remember complaining about my pregnancy to one of my friends and she said that it wasn’t a disease, that was how I talked about it and that is how it felt to me. But compared to other people I was really lucky with the pregnancy as I knew that something good would come out of it towards the end and my symptoms were only temporarily. My birth was also really easy, I was only in labour (at the hospital) for around 3 hours and didn’t take anything besides from gas and air. Nevertheless, my contractions started on Thursday night and I didn’t give birth before Sunday morning so I had a few days of being in pain and had no sleep.
Being pregnant I compared myself to all my friends, and I still do the same for advice now, but pregnancies are so different as are children and I sometimes have to be reminded of this. I get a lot of advice from the internet also and found this really good guide on Cupcakes and Cashmere. Again, nothing that you read can prepare you for having children.
Picture is from New Years eve nearly two years ago. I’m 20 weeks pregnant.