There is a vast range of symptoms that pregnant women mention and complain about, from cravings to food aversions… from tiredness to increased energy… from headaches to tummy aches to aching breasts to aching everything!
These symptoms can be incredibly contradictory and confusing. I think that some women would have perhaps experienced certain sensations anyway, but because they are pregnant, they attribute the cause to that. For example, I might have felt really hungry at dinner the other night just because I was hungry, but because I’m pregnant, “I need to eat for two”. The tiredness that often accompanies pregnancy can also far too easily be translated into laziness, in my experience. My natural tendencies to lie reading when I should be tidying up, or get the bus when I could walk, are really coming into their own. But now, I can blame my lack of physical effort on how hard my body is working inside!
I have always loved my sofa
Symptoms can also be misinterpreted, and if something negative is happening to your body it is instinctive to immediately assume it is something to do with your pregnancy. I recently had a stomach ache one morning. While it was tempting to call the midwife in a stress, I knew really that it was due to the curry I’d eaten the night before. Obviously real abdominal pains should not be dismissed like that, and if the pain hadn’t subsided, I would have taken action. My point is that instead of dissolving into anxiety it’s worth thinking practically first.
On the other hand, it is comforting to know there are certain things that most – if not all – women experience when pregnant. For example, when I felt sick, exhausted and had sore breasts in the early days, I allowed myself to relax and indulge in excessive sofa time because I knew I was pregnant and my body needed it. My friend Harriet pointed out that if I hadn’t known about the pregnancy, I would have just felt really ill and not understood why. Thanks to received knowledge about this process, I knew what was happening. and if I hadn’t yet taken the pregnancy test I would have done so pronto!