Don’t get me wrong, nobody could be more chuffed or proud to be pregnant and carrying a precious child than I am. However, as much as I anticipated breezing through nine months of growing a small human with all the grace of a true Earth Mother, what I resemble now is closer to a very ungainly hippopotamus. Don’t let anyone kid you that being pregnant is glamorous!
I had visions of keeping up running and swimming and gym-ing throughout like one of those super-mums who is still doing events up until her due date. It was never going to happen! I couldn’t make it through the first five minutes of breathing in my regular Pilates class without rushing to the bathroom to dispense of my breakfast. My nether regions couldn’t even look at a bike saddle without flinching and simply walking up a flight of stairs had me puffing like a tank engine. My fitness regime, therefore, is made up of waddling around the golf course and wallowing in the pool.
Living on a paradise island certainly has its perks – I’m usually the last person to complain about being posted to Barbados! Not so much when the temperature hits 36C with a relative humidity of 70%. It is all I can do not to retort with an extremely sarcastic “No s***!” when well meaning greeters inform me that I am glowing. You would be too if you had a radiator strapped to your belly, you were producing 40% more blood than usual and your body temperature was no longer sitting comfortably at 37C! It is all I can do to move from the air conditioned living room to the pool without breaking into a sweat which takes armpit rings and under-boob splotches to a whole new level. I may well be glowing, but that’s mostly because I’m on the brink of spontaneous combustion!
Mosquitoes love pregnant women. Apparently we release various hormones that are particularly attractive to the little suckers. Ironic, and not a little alarming with dengue fever being at an all-time high on the island, considering deet and other repellents are a no-no if you’re preggers. Instead, I find myself working steadily through bottles of “organic” spray, the effects of which last fifteen minutes at best and which seem, at times, to attract rather than repel the biting buggers! Add to this the fact that if you get zapped on the ankles, which is highly likely, you can’t bend down far enough to scratch the itch.
Which brings me to my next point – personal grooming. Without going into too much detail, it is probably enough to say that there are various parts of my anatomy which I have neither seen nor reached in rather a while, and am thus living entirely on trust that my lovely beautician Natasha has taken care of all that needs to be taken care of, given that swimsuits are my apparel of choice these (hot) days. The trust also extends as far as my long suffering husband, who had been put on bikini duty more times than he would care to remember. My toes are in dire need of a touch up and my cankles put the sturdiest tree trunks to shame. It’s not a pretty situation.
With all that said, when I catch myself in the mirror and see the beautiful bump that is our baby, or glance down as the little one kicks ripples across my belly, I cannot help but beam both inside and out. And I know that the glow really does come from within – from this little treasure growing and getting ready to greet the world. I wouldn’t have it any other way.