I seem to be surrounded by a lot of pregnant ladies at the moment. Friends, strangers at the gym, co-workers and even family members are all currently ‘with child’. Hearing updates from my little sister on her pregnancy got me thinking back to when I was up the duff…
I will never forget the moment I found out I was preggers. Feeling a bit off and with my period slightly late I got a test from the chemist. It was lunchtime but once I had the test I couldn’t wait till I got home so I did it at work. As soon as the wee hit that stick in the Channel 9 toilet cubicle and the double lines popped up, my tummy popped out. I have never been blessed with a tight stomach, genetically the Mahoney’s have more wobbles than abs you see. I felt like I had been holding my mid-section in my entire life. It was wonderful in that moment I found out I was pregnant to just let it all hang out! Some pregnant ladies can go their whole pregnancy with the a neatest of bumps and end up at nine months looking like they have merely put a basket ball up their jumper – as I sat on the loo with the pregnancy test in hand I was already at the basketball stage.
The immediate excitement and joy of becoming a mother soon made way for morning sickness. Like lots of women I suffered really badly and pretty much felt nauseous from the moment I woke till the moment I fell asleep. I was so bad I ended up moving into the spare bedroom, I felt depressed and all I wanted to do was to sleep. I struggled for 14 weeks with sickness and nothing, not even lashings of mash potato (with half a tub of Lurpak butter) or loaves of toast with peanut butter helped. It was like a non-stop hangover for 14 weeks straight without the fun night-out and burger and chips at 1am bit.
And then one day I woke up and didn’t feel sick anymore. I did feel (due to some serious carb-loading) 5kgs bigger around the waistline but hey I felt so bloody amazing and on such a high I didn’t care. Plus by then we had hit the 12-week mark and all the scans and test results were good so we could share our news. It is a wonderful feeling when you could tell people you are pregnant and bask in the excitement of it all with friends and family. Also I could stop wearing baggy clothes and scarves to work in an attempt to hide my wobbly growing middle. Good times!
I really loved the second trimester of my pregnancy. I felt like I floated along with the biggest smile on my face, cartoon birds flying around my head and woodland creatures at my feet. I could have been an advert for Elevit and the wonders of pregnancy. I went from a dark, dark place to feeling like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music – The Hills were bloody alive let me tell you!
I had energy, no sickness, my floaty dresses all fitted perfectly around my growing body and the body I was growing. By trimester two I was back in the same bedroom as my partner and I think from memory I even put out a bit! Yes trimester two I loved you and this pregnancy lark. #barefootandpregnant #babyonboard #makemineadouble #lifeisgood
I knew it was too good to last. The third trimester kicked in. Oh yeah baby we were on the home stretch; the finish line was in sight, which about the only thing insight – looking down my toes certainly weren’t!
Thinking back when people would say things to me like ‘Oh you look great you are just ALL tummy’ it wasn’t entirely true. They may have been telling a white lie, the sort of white lie you can and often should tell a pregnant lady. The real truth of the mater ended up staring me in the face or rather in the mirrors and the stark reality was I was a lot more that ‘just tummy’.
I had gone to David Jones to buy maternity bras and found myself in the changing rooms with a mixture of white and beige, practical and very unflattering maternity bras. As I stepped out of my dress and started to try on the underwear I was confronted by a sight I will never forget. The 360 mirror set-up and down lights clearly didn’t help the situation (DJ’s who the feck looks good in that changing room set-up) I was in shock. This was the first time I’d seen myself in a 360 set up. My normal, little, uneventful bottom was now so enormous it could have had its own postcode and a massive social media following. WTF. I looked like I was about to hit the ring for a Sumo wrestling match.
I mean I was no fool. I didn’t think I’d been getting around looking like Victoria Beckham when she was preggers, but dear lord I didn’t know I looked like Jabber the Hut either. Yikes. It seems that the drive through KFC Buckets had taken their toll on the old bod, and maybe the whole jars of peanut butter I’d been eating while watching TV were not the best source of protein for me and bub.
I did what any normal woman would do, I jumped online and researched a vegan diet for pregnant women, did I bugger! No I got on the phone to book an emergency spray tan. A fake tan always made me feel immediately thinner and at that point I needed all the smoke and mirrors I could get my hands on.
I waddled into the tan studio and got my gear off and the disposable g-banger on. The lovely young girl came into the booth and started to spray me. Three quarters of the way through the job she apologised as she’d run out of tan and needed to get another cartridge – it was a lot of skin and body to cover so I understood. A low point for me was when she asked me to bend over. Fine. Bend over more. OK. Actually a bit more please as she needed to get under ALL of my bottom. Forget having its own postcode my rear now appeared to be bigger than Texas. I had to stay bent over while she got the dryer thing out to help the tan dry.
Finally out of the salon and surprised I wasn’t charged for two tans I walked to the car. Now normally I’d be getting around in maternity trousers but I had to wear a loose dress as the tan was still setting. As all my body parts were now ‘super-sized’ this included my thighs. I walked three or four minutes to my car. This was enough for the chaffing and friction between my opposing thighs to wipe all the tan off. I now had a bottom the size of Texas and a white map of Australia at the top of each inner thigh. As if I wasn’t already feeling sexy enough, thanks thigh one and thigh two for that.
Weight gain wasn’t my only issue. From midway through my pregnancy heartburn had struck and became a regular fixture in my day and night. I gulped heartburn medicine down like it was milk to try to soothe the pain. I even slept with a bottle by my bed and I had perfected the art of reaching for it, opening and drinking it down with my eyes closed when the 3am burn hit. As the pregnancy slowly came to an end, so did the amount of room left in my body for food. But as a real lover of eating (and true believer in three-meals-a-day) I couldn’t let the diminishing space in my body affect amount of food I consumed. I pushed through. I’m good like that. I knew there would be consequences, but I really loved my grub.
To best describe how my insides felt at the end of the nine months I was so full with baby that my stomach felt like it was around my heart and throat area. More than a few mouthfuls of food filled me up and would cause severe reflux. I vividly remember one night I was home alone ( husband was interstate) and I woke myself up at 2am choking, I had brought my dinner back up and couldn’t breathe. I honestly thought I was going to die like a rock star chocking on my own vomit at 35 weeks. What a way to go!
At this stage of the pregnancy I was averaging 150 trips to the bathroom through the night to wee, I was knackered. I also had restless leg syndrome and my wind was lethal. And I mean lethal – it would have taken out a field of healthy crops. Nothing in my wardrobe fitted and I had a bad case of water retention that had given me the world’s worst pair of cankles and none of my shoes fitted either. When the husband tried for a ‘special cuddle’ one evening in the kitchen all I wanted to do was jam his appendage in the dishwasher door. (Big up to all the ladies that find themselves feeling amorous during their pregnancies but toward the end of the nine months I felt a more Lorena Bobbit about men’s front bottoms and love making.)
It was about this time in the pregnancy we’d had a request from one of the newspapers. To back up a bit, my then husband was quite well known. We had been asked at various times through our courtship, engagement and wedding to ‘sell’ our story and do photo shoots for various mags. We had always said no. We had been snapped at various times at events and had arranged to give the media a couple of shots of our wedding but that was it. Luckily this was the mid 2000’s way before social media and just ahead of the term WAG as my thighs I’d have never made in into the skinny jeans and knee high boots.
My point is we were never one for courting the media and as a woman if I wasn’t happy to pose for shots throughout the relationship why would I want to start when I was heavily pregnant?! I remember the email from the newspaper to my husbands management when we had said no to a pregnancy shoot. “OK. Why don’t they just tell us a time and location and we can have a photographer hiding somewhere to snap them.” I presume this came from a man. At that stage (and size) in my pregnancy to agree to a shoot I would need a a make-up artist, stylist, my husband strategically positioned in front of me to make me look less gigantic (maybe I could stand 20 metres in the distance??) and possibly a veil over the camera lense. I took a bloody awful photo at the best of times. Getting papped walking through a park looking like an up-the-duff BFG alongside my other half was certainly not how I wanted my pregnancy immortalised. We declined.
With my due date a mere week away, bag packed, names picked out, nursery ready, baby seat fitted, all that was left to do was some last minute maintenance. I booked in for my final tan and this time I was prepared. I suggested the tan specialist bring in two cartridges into the booth. I then got into the best version of downward dog I could muster to make sure all layers of my bottom got tanned and I walked slowly with my legs far apart to the car to avoid chaffing. I had my hair cut and coloured. However as my usual hairdresser was away I ended up with another girl. Great cut but I ended with a stronger colour than I was used to. And then the last job on the list. I got my bits waxed.
I hadn’t seen my bits for a good four mouths at this stage, let alone maintained them. I realised this could have been a two man job as I lay on the beauticians bed and maybe a wiper snipper would have made a better tool of choice. Getting waxed at the best of times isn’t pleasant, getting a wax heavily pregnant was hideous. As the last strip of wax came off I was half expecting to go into labour (now that would have made a story). With all my bits and baby still intact I left for home. It wasn’t until I was standing in front of the mirror that night that I realised the wax had taken off all the fake tan around my front bottom and thigh area. It was then I noticed how brassy my hair looked against the tan. What a sight!
Fast forward almost 10 years…. and as I bid farewell to Rachael my co-worker and dear friend as she heads off on maternity leave, looking like a beautiful pin-up for pregnancy and still wearing tight jeans with the neatest bump (think basketball up her top) I think of how I looked back then and laugh. Lordy lord, I would have given Bubbles Devere a run for her money – and yes of course I was just ‘all tummy’.
I would like to add if I was ever lucky enough to get pregnant again I would be more than happy to roll with all of my extra rolls… I’d also know to give the drive through and family bucket a wide birth this time around.