Imagine being hungover all day. And night. And then the next day. And the next night. And the day after that.
That’s morning sickness.
Kate Middleton has been living THAT day. Every day.
But surely it’s all smooth sailing now that she has passed the magical 12-week mark?
Hell, no, it’s just the beginning.
Of course, it varies from bump to bump. The most common early symptom – morning sickness – can strike any woman as quickly as you can say "pass me the bucket". Some women just feel a bit seedy. Sort of like having two or three champagnes instead of one. Others get the Kate Middleton treatment. And if you’ve never been through the hurls and burls of morning sickness, the only way to relate is to think of that one morning (rather, day … or for some, a week) where you learnt your lesson about alcohol the hard way. It gives you shudders just thinking about it. And you haven’t touched Peach Schnapps since.
But for Kate, this is just the beginning. There’s so much more this first-time mother has ahead of her. Some glowing. Some very much, er, not.
1. Fat feet. It seems a baby doesn’t just grown in one’s tummy but perhaps it does a bit of circuit work and occasionally has a vaccay in one’s foot. First time round, it’s very easy to believe that it’s actually possible to live life as you know it but you’ll just have a lovely Demi Moore-ish belly. It’ll be so balloon-esque – tight, round and detachable looking. Easy peasy. Pass me the Vogue for a little shoe-spiration and I’ll hit the chain stores in the morning.
But all of a sudden, your high heels transform into wedges, which turn into ballet flats, which turn into thongs. And before you know it, you’re wearing Havianas (and occasionally a naff looking pair of bedazzled sandals) like it’s your job.
2. Fat face. No matter whether it’s your first or your last – at some stage of a woman’s pregnancy, she says, “I’m so lucky I haven’t got a puffy face”. You do. Or you will. No one’s telling you because you’re giving the gift of life blah, blah. And while friends will ogle at your cankles, no one will ever admit your entire face looks like Lara Flynn Boyle’s lips. But believe it or not, it says something (I’m not sure what) about lovers and friends. They love you. Puckered and puffy.
3. Puffed. Speaking of puffy, you’re not only puffy, you’re puffed. I was working at Channel Nine, when at 30 weeks, I climbed three flights of stairs carrying a peanut butter sandwich, a can of Coke and my puffy face only to sit in a meeting with my boss and three other blokes from the newsroom who must’ve thought I’d climbed the TV transmission tower to change the beacon. Sweaty. Puffed. Embarrassed. And hungry.
4. Maternal faking. Nothing worse than being handed a baby when you’re expecting your first baby. Oh. God. A baby. It’s so little. It’s jerky. God. It’s going to cry. Need to laugh casually as if I do this all the time. Yes, haha, I’ll be a great mum. God. Don’t cry. Eek. Someone take it. Smile. Look around. Catch someone’s eye. Someone save us. Me. It.
5. New vocab. Dear newly-pregnant person, you’ve entered a foul web of descriptive language you didn’t even know was out there. Call me immature but I just feel sick all over when people constantly mention words like discharge and plug. Vomit.
6. Sleep. Lack of. Nothing will prepare you. And even when people try to, they’ll say “get all the sleep you can before it arrives”. Um, bit hard. I have a belly bigger than Kenny and my bladder has been squashed to the size of a corn kernal.
7. You start seeing a physio. Back. Neck. Shoulder. Hips. They’ll know your life better than you do.
8. Sex. My girlfriend Izzy, seven months pregnant (with quite a compact and endearing beer-belly style bump), was having sex with her husband one rare but lucky evening until he started laughing. He finally told her, “I feel like I’m having sex with a truckie”. Hot.
9. Giving birth. Doesn’t matter how it happens. It’s no picnic.
But it’s not all bad. Honestly, the best thing about pregnancy isn’t just the ‘glowing’ or the way people genuinely insist on carrying everything from your groceries to your sunglasses. It’s better than that.
1. Instant boob job.
2. Sleep. At some point, for a few weeks at least, your body will allow you to fall into the deepest sleep you’ve ever known. It’s a slumber, not a sleep. You’ll be like that guy you once sat next to on a long haul flight who slept the entire way. In Row 77J. Heaven. Peace out, mumma.
3. Maternity jeans. Despite your best intentions, they’ll never make it to the back of your wardrobe. The ol’ stretchies will always be there for you. My girlfriend, Sarah, was sprung wearing hers last week. Her ‘baby’ is three.
4. Don’t need to suck it in. For nine months. Bring it.
The days are long but the weeks are fast. In nine months (or six for Kate), it’ll all be over. Women re-build their bodies and their, um, faces. Life goes on. So despite all the changes, pregnant Mums – swollen, sexy or sick - it’s only going to happen a handful of times. Unless you’re Amish. So as hard as it can be, Kate, treasure the long days and the sleepless nights.
I mean, really, it’s not that bad. You may not even get a puffy face.