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Pregnancy affects everyone differently.

I was looking forward to weird and wonderful cravings and sending my partner on midnight scavenges to source my random desires. I expected I would be feeling all zen and mother earth. But what I actually got was neuroses and fury. Those movies don’t prepare you for that.

Looking back I was quite hard work. I said and did some pretty wild things. I blame the hormones. They made me do it.

Pregnancy Rage and anger

When writing this post I asked Si if he could recall any funny or bizarre things I did when I was pregnant as a bit of research. I sat back waiting for him to regale me with cute little anecdote. What I hadn’t bargained on was his brutal confessions of his take on my behaviour. I think his exact words were “you were a rage beast”.

Yes, I have the potential to be a tad fiery at times (strong willed and headstrong I say) but I did have a colossal amount of semi psychotic rage going on, in those first weeks especially. It wasn’t even rational fury it was crazy ass, slapstick, ridiculous level rage that resulted in Si bursting out laughing a number of times and me then getting more angry or just crying!

Sometimes it was the usual gripes, badly hung washing (I mean are they actually doing it on purpose to avoid being made to so it again?!?!), or not listening. But often it was just breathing annoyingly or not b having the magical insight into knowing exactlywhat I wabted or needed or was thinking at that exact moment. I’d be sat there feeling it bubbling up and then full beast level shouts would erupt, because how very dare he not even sense my fury!?

Labour and birth anxiety

It is completely normal to be worried about giving birth, the pain, and whether everything will go to plan, but what people don’t talk about is the more irrational catastrophising worries we sometimes have. I personally was full on obsessed with dying in labour.

My concerns were not normal ones, like not being able to cope with the pain. Rather that my body was so damn pathetic that unlike the millennia of women whom had birthed before me, my feeble bod would become a useless lump that would self destruct and give in. I kind of believed that everyone around me was deluded for reassuring me and believing I could pull it off.

Looking back, this is actually quite sad, like I believed not only that I wouldn’t be mentally strong enough but that physically ny body was incapable of carrying out its biological purpose. It really didn’t matter how much anyone reassured me. It wasn’t their fault I had done a fantastic job at pretending I was a capable adult. They didn’t know that I would suck.

Baby vanity: what if I think my baby is ugly?

Normal people worry about their child being well and healthy and the birth being without complications. Me? Oh yes of course I absolutely had those concerns too, but a not so socially acceptable worry I had was that I would have an ugly baby.

Who even thinks that? Maybe it crosses everyone’s mind but for some obscure random reason its all I could think about for a few weeks. I’m not a particularly vain person or anything myself so I’m not sure where it came from. Or why it manifested my mind the way it did but I was just certain I would have an ogre of a baby. Not only was I scared of this, I felt fearful that I would be detached and unable to find them beautiful.

All children are beautiful, childhood itself is a beautiful thing and as someone who loves children and has always worked with them this plagued me. Who was I? What kind of monstrous evil witch thinks that?!

The idea of being this horrible person judging on appearance, upset me, especially as I wouldn’t in normal circumstances. Perhaps people do worry about this but don’t voice it as it makes you sound like a vain and shallow mother with some kind of narcissistic personality? But me? Pregnancy seemed to remove any social filter I had and I was willing to discuss this thought process with absolutely everyone. It was genuinely something that worried me. Alas as per all parents out there, when my shrivelled prune newborn was born I did infact think the sun shined out of his ass and it was perhaps the most beautiful baby ever born. If course anyone else just saw standard wrinkly scrotum baby that looks like all babies that came before him.

Pregnancy cravings: Baby wants Ice cream

The expectation

In the movies pregnant women always have the strangest cravings. Excitement filled me about having random cravings that I could look back on and tell my kids about. The dream of sending Si on midnight scavenges to acquire obscure foodstuffs for me. What would be mine?

You hear about it don’t you? The mothers eating chalk or charcoal or devouring jars of pickles.

Unfortunately my only real craving was for something quite normal, but impossible to acquire during both pregnancies: 2 very distinct and specific ice creams!

My pregnancy craving

With both my pregnancies I had this constant desire to have a lemon ice. Any 80s and early 90s kids out there? You know, those bright yellow ice creams the colour of highlighter pens, you can only get from the ice cream van in the height of summer probably stuffed with all the E numbers.

There is nothing natural that should be giving them that colouring that’s for sure! When I was pregnant with Ravey it was easier as I was due in December so had a good stint in the second trimester where I could attempt to fulfil this craving. I was however a nurse in hospital working long shifts so the reality of obtaining a fluorescent ice cream at 8pm at night was low.

I did live next door to a primary school though, and spent many a day off at the school gates in the queue with tons of children awaiting my precious.

Acquiring a lemon ice in the winter, well that’s a near impossibility.

When I was pregnant with Roo, what I did find was an amazing stem ginger ice cream when I went to the local picture house cinema. I loved it, it settled my nausea at a time when I felt sick all the damned time. This one trip to the cinema and ice cream discovery lead to an obsessional pursuit.

The craving persuit

I absolutely needed that ice cream and I couldn’t actually live without it. It was imperative I had it at any cost. I looked everywhere. I scowled the internet looking at all supermarkets and online retailers to see where might stock it. Bloody Nowhere! I even went to the official Jude’s ice cream website and it turned out they didn’t make this flavour in large tubs to buy in normal shops. It was cinema mini pots only. At a whopping £4 a go. I was beyond distressed. I felt like I wanted to barf all day and the more I thought about the miracle ice cream the more convinced I was that it was the cure to all my ills. I mean, I’d go as far to say that I felt it was a personal vendetta against me and an injustice I had to fight.

To make matters worse the cinema was a fair distance requiring transport. So I did what any crazy ass pregnant person would do. I contacted Jude’s ice cream directly. Yes, an email straight to the founders!

Pregnancy delusion

I gave a full-on sob story about my first world problem of not being able to get hold of this stem ginger holy grail and my absolute need for it to cure my nausea.

I convinced myself that these lovely people who were the CEO’S of a mahoosive buisiness, would hear of my terrible plight and feel it their moral duty to intervene. Alas, they did not. They told me they could deliver tubs to anyone living in their local vicinity at some cost but that they couldn’t help me. I am ashamed to say that I was actually angry with them. I felt it was their duty to provide a public service to me in my hour of need. I had to fight the urge to not reply with some hate filled spew.

Obviously looking back I am a little ashamed. Embarrassed at my delusions of grandeur. I really must have sounded like I thought the universe revolved around me. What a spoilt, highly neurotic, sickly feeling brat.

I don’t know how my partner managed to not laugh in my face. He actually just sat there whikst I wrote the damned email and sent it.

Pregnancy neurosis and Intrusive thoughts

Pregnancy worries and anxiety was something I really struggled with and I think I am not alone. It started in my pregnancy, a real sensitivity to any news stories of world events that were emotionally upsetting. Especially those involving children. The usual charity adverts had me sobbing away on a regular basis. This quickly developed into a far more serious and persistent traumatic experience I would keep reliving.

High emotion

I vividly remember it started with a documentary I watched with Si about Eric Clapton. What I didn’t know was that an awful tragedy befell him with the death of his 4 year old son. I was merrily watching this documentary which I thought was about his musical career and WHAM, out of nowhere came the sucker punch that his 4 year old fell 50 stories out of the hotel room window when in the care of it’s mother. Its the inspiration behind ‘tears in heaven’.

It floored me. I didn’t see it coming and I literally hysterically cried for half an hour. Like proper, gasps to get air, toddler tears.

Si was trying his best to comfort me but in fairness this was a full on emotional breakdown. I couldn’t get it out of my head. The slow motion playing the scene in my mind.

From this one programme I spent months and months having very upsetting and unwanted intrusive thoughts about it plaguing me. I would be going about my normal life and BAM it would pop back into my head.

Unwanted distressing images

Once bubba had been born this struggle with intrusive thoughts only got worse. I had to switch off all news bulletins on my phone and generally boycott the TV news which I religiously watch each day, in fear of any horror headline involving children that would terrorise me.

It became pretty severe happening on a daily basis. Obsessive intrusive images about things that could befall my children or things happening at the hands of others or even by me, which would just jump into my mind when I was randomly doing completely unrelated stuff.

It worried me. I thought I might need to seek help, but thankfully after about 6 months it subsided. I didn’t have a name for it then. I thought I was just really messed up and probably nuts, but it’s actually really common. Nobody talks about it though out of fear others will think you mad.
Baby hormones fuck with your head!!!

Pregnancy Nesting: Marie Kondo on crack

We’ve all heard of nesting right? When you have a compulsion to tidy and make the house ready in the weeks leading up to giving birth? Well I think I had a spot of that, but mine was more like Mary Kondo on Crack, tidying and organising the most ridiculous things with absolutely no regard for safety or logic. Let me share some of these with you.

Risk Taking

At about 8 months pregnant with my first born Si found me up a ladder standing on the top platform trying to stick up alphabet stickers around the top of the new babies room. I’m short and the ceilings are high so I was having to stretch out a fair deal. As you can imagine Si was trying to get me down, telling me off and looking at me like I was a crazy woman. I on the other hand was oblivious to any part of this being ill thought out and I wanted, no I NEEEDED to do it.

Pregnancy gave me a silly sense of indestructibility and a complete disregard or sense for safety at times. I took silly risks I didn’t need to in the pursuit to Marie Kondo ‘spark joy’ the shit outta my house. All the drawers did look ace though!

Also around 8 months pregnant I decided the layout of my bedroom just wasn’t doing it for me and decided to move all the furniture around, without even removing the clothing in them. Simon was furious when he came home, completely understandable to be honest. I could have done myself a mischief or brought on labour. My rebuttle was that I had actually asked him to do it and he hadn’t so what had he expected me to do? I would hazzard a guess the answer to that would not be to do it myself! Absolutely daft and irresponsible of me.

The Nesting and tidying Urge

In a random desire to ready the house for the arrival of our first baby I really felt the nesting urge. But not to do anything that would actually make a difference to babies life or the presentation of the house, but bizarre random jobs. Si came home from a late shift at work one evening to me in the hallway cupboard in a mountain of hundreds of ribbons I had collected over the years. There I was hunched over a box I had sourced for the job, I imagine looking like Golem (my precious ribbons!), frantically reeling up ribbons in neat little balls and nestly putting them into a box in a beautiful swirl layout. Obviously Si asked what on earth I was doing and I recall with clarity answering in a shrill and crazed voice that “RIBBONS! There are so many ribbons… all mixed the ribbons, mixed up and tangled. I need to FIX THE RIBBONS”. Si full on cracked up in my face!

The Pregnancy desire to clean

A month before Ravey was born I read something about the chemicals in new clothes and fragrance in detergents causing allergies. A new panic and obsession was born; I must wash EVERYTHING! You know how it is with a first born, you buy so much stuff. We had also been bought lots of stuff and my friend had donated bags and bags of clothes from her little one. Over the space of 24 hours we had a tsunami of hundreds of tiny babygrows, outfits, bedding and blankets all over the house. The early December weather was not a great time to dry clothing. It was hung and sprawling over everything in every room.

We were trying to get about our life, eating dinner, watching TV with baby clothes draped over all the furniture and surrounding us like some weird creepy bunting.

Prenatal Mum Guilt and Separation anxiety

Returning to work after maternity leave

I think it’s actually very common for mums to worry about returning to work towards the latter part of their maternity leave but mine started before baby had even arrived.

Maternity leave hadn’t even started yet and I was already having constant worries about going back and how I would be able to leave the baby.

This was a really challenging thing during my maternity leave as I spent so much mindspace and time stressing and worrying about it. Counting down every single day, and it took away from my ability to really be in the moment and fully enjoy the time with my bubba to its absolute fullest.

It’s something so many mums feel and something I discuss at greater length in my post on Mum Guilt

Pregnancy dreams

Hormones in pregnancy are rumored to give you wacky dreams. My neurotic mind did not let me down here. I had lots of weird dreams but two in particular stand out as they occurred one night after the other.

One night I dreamt my baby was full on toddler size and physically pulled himself out of my womb and proceeded to get up and walk. My toddler beast new born baby came out fully clothed in dungarees and left me on the floor and went to join my mates at their table in the pub.

When I joined they all wanted to know what his name would be. In the dream this was totally normal and not experienced as in any way weird to anyone other than me.

I woke that morning rather freaked out and unnerved thinking ‘what the actual?!’

Next night I dreamt my baby just fell out and was the size of a finger. Little Thumberlina baby had to be wrapped it up in leaves and flowers and he kept it in my pocket to stop birds and other animals eating it.
Both dreams an absolute Freudian field day I’m sure! Make sense of those freaky dreams as you will!

Pregnancy expectations

Pregnancy is a magical experience with all the fun and excitement it brings. The time is full of wonderful thoughts and memories but it can also be really hard and full of a whole lot of crazy.

What I’ve shared is just my story but I’m not alone. Privately behind closed doors many pregnant women have these experiences which they feel unable to share or discuss. Fear of not fulfilling the image of the graceful and glowing mother earth figure or others judging our capacity takes priority.

Slowly things are starting to change and people are speaking out about pregnancy neurosis and prenatal and postnatal intrusive thinking.

Lets own our wacky pregnancy quirks and if it becomes too much or dangerous feel empowered to speak about it!

5 Replies to “Pregnancy Nesting & Neurosis: The stuff they don’t tell you about pregnancy”

  1. ‘Marie kondo on crack’ ??? that got me haha!! Bleach scrubbing the grouting on the tiled floor- this was a serious nesting urge with both pregnancies….
    I too am a freaking crazy pregnant woman … I mean maybe I’m just crazy anyway ?

  2. I got the nesting in second pregnancy really bad. The first pregnancy I didn’t get it as bad. But then wasn’t my house, so there wasn’t much I could do to the house had I wanted to

    1. You’ll look back and laugh. I wish id written mine down at the time as I have forgotten most of my hormone rants

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