20th December 2019

The ups and downs of being pregnant at Christmas

Morning sickness and sprouts are not best friends, but being pregnant at Christmas has its positives too, says Isabel Mohan 

Tis the season to be jolly…. which can be challenging if you’re in the thick of morning sickness, heartburn, SPD and/or the various other ailments which can strike throughout pregnancy. On the one hand, you feel extremely fortunate, content and full of love. On the other, you feel sick, tired and STONE COLD SOBER.

I was around 15 weeks pregnant over Christmas 2014, which was actually quite fortuitous because we’d had our 12 week scan, announced the news (with added festive punnage: “It’ll be lonely this Christmas without booze to hold” which I obvs had planned the second I saw the blue line), got past morning sickness (weeks 7 to 11, you miserable f**kers) but hadn’t quite commenced with the debilitating heartburn.

For Christmas 2017, I was eight months pregnant, which meant that heartburn was in full swing (Rennies make quite the stocking filler) but my enormous bump provided the perfect excuse to sit around and make people put pigs in blankets directly into my mouth and presents directly into my hands. Plus I could refuse to venture more than two miles from Lewisham Hospital in case of an early arrival (obviously my daughter arrived fashionably late on February 1st, but I wasn’t to know that at the time, was I?).

Anyway, there are lots of ways that Christmas is different when your partner has recently given you the gift of fertilised ovaries. Here are a few of them…

Being a little bit pregnant at Christmas

This is the toughest one. If you’re in the first trimester, you probably haven’t gone public with the happy news, which means the entire festive socialising period (including goddamned New Year’s Eve) will mainly consist of pretending to drink alcohol.

Whatever your technique (designated driver, “being on antibiotics”, secretly transferring all your booze to your partner), if you’re of a child-bearing age and in a relationship, people will still suspect you’re pregnant anyway so trying to put them off the scent is a big fat waste of time.

It’s even tougher if you’re suffering from morning sickness since the only part of Christmas dinner you’ll be able to contemplate is the roast potatoes.

But you’ll get through it. And this time next year, when you’re in the middle of the four…five… six… month sleep regression, you’ll wonder what you were moaning about.

Being quite pregnant at Christmas

Being in the second trimester at Christmas is not so bad. Everyone knows you’re up-duffed, so you can be openly sober, and you’re probably feeling reasonably OK.

The trouble is, you haven’t a stitch to wear. You’ve burst out of your normal clothes, but don’t yet have a big enough bump to be mistaken for a Christmas pudding. No matter how many times people insist you’re glowing, you just feel frumpy.

And just because people know you’re pregnant doesn’t make all the enforced socialising any more fun. Office Christmas parties and obligatory drinkies with various relatives/neighbours are pretty bloody dull when everyone else is wasted.

But all of this is totally bearable, especially when this is the absolute best time (post sickness, pre third trimester discomfort …) to implement some serious eating for two. Take one pair of stretchy leggings and six selection boxes and GO CRAZY.

Being excessively pregnant at Christmas

If you’re heavily pregnant – or fricking overdue – at Christmas, you’ve got a lot to put up with: jokes about your impending arrival being the second coming, for instance, and the side order of crippling fear that your baby will actually be born on Christmas day and endure a lifetime of birthday misery.

However, you’ve got the best excuse to spend the time doing exactly what you bloody like. You can get out of visiting tedious relatives because you wouldn’t want to be too far from the hospital. You can sit on your arse and cry at The Snowman & The Snowdog while balancing a bowl of bread sauce on your belly. You can throw a massive strop when people give you rubbish presents and then blame it on hormones, but conversely not give an actual hoot about giving other people really rubbish presents, because your stomach was too big to make it to Westfield.

This is your time, my friend. Enjoy every minute of it.

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