Tag: whattoexpect

Things no one told me about pregnancy

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I’m 33 weeks pregnant exactly today and feel particularly agitated. To make things worse I haven’t had a pizza in two weeks because my ovens broken and i’ve just had an encounter with the post lady, i.e. Satan in a fluorescent jacket and the inability to close a gate. So I thought i’d channel my aggravation into a ranting little list of things I wish I had known about pregnancy.

*Disclaimer – This isn’t proven, this is my opinion from my experience. Everyone’s experiences are different.

The blooming period doesn’t exist.

No matter how many weeks you are, its lies, its all lies. For the whole three trimesters you will feel like a sack of potatoes with greasy hair and a pale complexion.

Hair Growth

People told me that I could expect a stunted body hair growth. Again, lies. My leg hair resembles that of a yeti and grows at an alarming rate, I also have a VERY hairy stomach and lets not even mention how fast the forest down there is multiplying. But, on the plus side the hair on my head is growing faster than I can book a hairdresser appointment!

Everyone thinks you’re disabled

As much as I appreciate being offered everything without having to move and the luxury of always claiming a seat even if i’m the youngest in the room (and therefore are normally downgraded to the floor). I’ve had an irritating amount of strangers using the phrase ‘in your state’ like i’m a disabled heroine addict who needs professional health.

Everything Itches

Speaks for itself. Itching. Constantly. Everywhere.

You could’ve potentially been an alcoholic

Before pregnancy I had not appreciated the sweet sweet taste of a strawberry daquiri quite like the way I’m glamorising it now in my head. The inexplicable need to just drink a pint of cider or even a shot of sambuca (my worst nightmare) is overwhelming and now im questioning whether before pregnancy I really was a functioning alcoholic? Also why does EVERYONE drink? It’s just pure cruelty to drink a G&T around me and if you value our friendship you better turn up with a drink at the delivery suite.

Your Partner is actually really annoying…

This one is in jest because I obviously dunno what i’d do without john but seriously, one more night of snoring and I swear to god I will go Freddie Kruger on you. With the spike in all the hormones all the annoying habits I have overlooked seem to have suddenly hit me, like, why you gotta use all the utensils and all the saucepans when cooking? Why do you fall asleep before me? What the fuck is that weird twitchy thing you do when you fall asleep? Just stop. Why does the football being on mean you need some beer? Why you drinking the vodka I got for my birthday when I am clearly saving it for a binging session after the birth of OUR child? Why do you go to work to early and come home so late, I need attention? Why cant you be at work longer, I need my space!? Why don’t you discourage my excessive eating? Do you want me to get fat? Why do you put your dirty laundry next to the basket and not in the basket? Why do you burp so loud? Why do you need the tv so loud? Why is everything you do the volume of an earthquake? Aww, you have a cold? IVE BEEN GROWING A CHILD FOR 8 MONTHS! I’m gonna stop before this ends in an argument…

Sleepless nights

For some reason i’ve developed the inability to sleep through the night. One minute im fast asleep dreaming of Tom Hardy and the next i’m wide awake wondering why I suddenly need to do some DIY. (Despite John’s horrific snoring which also wakes me up).

Every conversation turns into being about your baby

I don’t know why but I find myself physically unable to not mention my pregnancy or my baby when having a conversation. We could be having a discussion about onions and id still managed to link it to having a baby. So i’m sorry for everyone who has had to endure me.

Why cheese though?

I could just about live with having to give up patê on my toast, even not being able to have a runny egg or smoked salmon. But I absolutely draw the line at cheese. If I’d have known I had to give up camembert or brie, I would’ve opted out. That’s a deal breaker.

Isolation

Having a baby can be an isolating experience, especially when you’re the first out of your friends to be expecting. You find your whole paradigm shifts and it means accepting your social groups will change aswell as your whole lifestyle, you’re suddenly really busy and don’t have a lot of time for social interactions. But it is important to (at least virtually) surround yourself with understanding friends and likeminded people. If it means letting go of old friendships who just don’t get the place you’re at in life, so be it. There is a whole new world of similar people you are likely to meet when baby arrives.

Sex

Sex is great. Better in pregnancy. The only benefit of pregnancy that makes it worth it (besides getting a child at the end obvs).

The ‘Morning’ Sickness

Everyone knows one of the most common tell tale signs of pregnancy is morning sickness. They didn’t tell you however that ‘morning’ sickness is actually ‘every hour of every day for 40 weeks’ sickness.

The use of the phrase ‘You’re gonna need it’

As lovely as your concern for how I will cope post pregnancy is, I HATE it when you only have to mention being tired and EVERYONE says ‘Get the sleep in now, you’re gonna need it and you’ll miss it when baby arrives’ Yes Barbara, I know I will be sleep deprived. I’m sleep deprived now despite sleeping 15 hours a day and I am fully aware it’ll get worse, you don’t need to remind me.

Why is everything so expensive!?

I’ve always thought that me and john live fairly comfortably, we are by no means rolling in it but we certainly aren’t eating 15p spaghetti hoops out the can. However, brand new baby products and all the necessary (or just preferred) bits and bobs is quite eye opening, ive considered taking out a mortgage on furniture for the baby’s room its so expensive and there’s just SO MUCH. I’d assumed things like cot sheets would y’know be a tenner or something but no, £50 on a couple of sheets for a cot!? Then just when you think you’ve bagged a bargain cot you’ve got to get the mattress which is another couple hundred, then the bumper and god forbid I want a mobile. Baby product design is where the moneys at kids.

Ignore everyone else

Following from the previous statement, yes baby shit is fucking expensive. But if you want it for your baby, you get it. I absolutely love getting advice and recommendations because its my first time and im a little clueless, but one thing I really dislike is people judging me on my purchases or passing judgement on them. If I want to buy something, whether it gets used or not, I obviously wanted it. So many people see what ive bought and be like ‘That’s such a waste of money’ or ‘You know you wont even use that’ and ‘I had one of those, never used it, you should take it back.’ While I appreciate the advice, it’s my first baby and so i’m going to spoil her, and i’m also going to spoil myself by buying all the unnecessary products for my child. Part of being an excitable expectant parent is buying all the crazy baby shit, whether its necessary or not. So, if you can afford it and you want it, who cares what other people think? Secondly, everyone has something to say about EVERYTHING. Yes im a clueless first time mom but I will figure it out by myself and with advice and support from those I see fit, I don’t need lecturing on what I should be doing or interfering strangers telling me i’m doing something wrong. I’ll parent the way I want to and the way it happens. Before the baby has even arrived people are giving me rules and lectures on how to bring up my child, and honestly, i’m gonna do it how I want to and how I think is best, whatever you say.

Tiredness

Despite the fact that I cant sleep properly or for a good uninterrupted period of time I am tired ALL OF THE TIME. Literally could wake up from a 5 hour nap and then need to sleep again straight away. Imagine being asleep and dreaming of being tired and needing to sleep. THAT.

You haven’t treated yourself in ages

One change that I actually enjoy is the fact that everytime I go shopping, I no longer even bother going to the women’s, its straight to the baby section and every purchase is now for said baby. I see everyone’s insta stories of their brand new summer dresses and designer handbags and have come to the realisation I haven’t shopped for myself in a long time, infact the only bags I own are underneath my eyes.

Maternity fashion is ugly

When I do try to shop for myself unless I go to a supermarket’s fashion section or a department store, nowhere seems to have a maternity section in store. When I do finally find a maternity section it is all the same. It is all stereotypical ‘pregnant-middle-aged-woman.’ Gone are the skinny ripped jeans, gone are the cute slogan tees, gone are the summer two pieces with matching accessories. Instead you can have stripes. If you don’t want to wear stripes you can opt for the second option of misshapen plain Tshirts, failing that your only other option is…more stripes, perhaps a different colour stripe? how about a vertical stripe instead of horizontal? Basically for 9 months you can wear stripes.

Becoming public property

Since the development of a bump (not that im complaining) but personal space seems to have been eradicated. Everyone, without asking, seems to want to touch my stomach. It’s become a kind of greeting, they shake John’s hand and then magnetise their palms onto my tummy. Secondly, every medical staff has now seen every angle of every part of my body possible and so I may aswell just be a public art expedition. If you’re shy, being pregnant isn’t gonna be a fun time for you, every inch of you will be exposed, even parts you’ve never seen yourself. One of the scans I went to the sonographer rested her hand on my thigh whilst probing me with an internal ultrasound and I have to admit for a second I thought I could’ve been in fake hospital but y’know, 8 months down the line, its pretty standard.

9 months is an eternity!

I swear to god ive been pregnant for years, I can’t even remember a time I wasn’t pregnant now, it goes sooooo sloooowwwwlyyyyy.

Where is my vagina?

Seriously, I haven’t been able to see my vagina in about a month, Ive forgotten what it looks like from my POV. The only way to try to tame myself was by propping up a light up mirror between my legs and go by touch, which was 100% more terrifying than any horror film ive ever seen.

Heartburn is literally Satan climbing up your throat

I’d had heartburn and indigestion before but I was not prepared for the trauma that is pregnancy heartburn. I’ve thankfully only experienced it a handful of times and I honestly think I need therapy to get over it. It is what I can only describe as a fire in my chest that was trying to creep out, and when it finally did (after hours) it was the most horrific vomit ive ever had, it was pure foaming acid. If I wasn’t used to weird occurances from my body, i’d have thought that I was about to spontaneously combust, my mouth was literally foaming. So if you can, stock up on Gaviscon or other pregnancy safe remedies.

You dribble like a baby

Never in my life have I dribbled in my sleep, but all of a sudden I wake up with a snail trail and a wet patch on my pillow. Apparently during pregnancy your body produces excess saliva, but I didn’t realise the amount i’d dribble would be enough to quench the thirst of Africa.

Weird leaks

One thing no one mentioned to me was the amount of discharge that comes out throughout pregnancy. Discharge is completely normal for most women but during pregnancy it is like double the issue, so make sure you’re stocked up on pantyliners! Same goes for wee. One minute you feel fine, the next baby has kicked your bladder and you’ve pissed yourself. It’s fine, its normal, don’t worry.

You have an alien growing inside you

One of the most magical feelings is feeling your baby wriggle around. Although it can be absolutely terrifying when their pattern changes or slows down it is incredible when you can relax. I’ve recently learnt to chill a bit when it comes to baby’s movements and just enjoy them when they come. I’m actually feeling and witnessing limbs moving across my stomach and at times you can feel bones and little feet through the skin. It makes you think how absolutely crazy it is that there is literally a human, with arms and legs and nails and hair inside your stomach. But they don’t half hurt sometimes when they are big enough to get under your ribs!

I could go on complaining but Come Dine With Me is on and recently its been my go to napping program.

Remember these are all in jest and everyone’s experience is different, i’m not a medical professional just a first time mom-to-be moaning and being angry hormonal.


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Alex Dawson : What to expect from your first year of Uni

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As something a lil bit different on the blog today i am going to share a complete contrasted lifestyle. Myself and my sister are two peas in a pod, however this year of our lives has been worlds apart when she left for Uni and the promise of cheap alcohol and I ended up with a mortgage and a resident in my cramped up uterus (I obvs picked the short straw). Whilst my time of being passed out in a gutter and vomming onto someone elses fake Gucci sliders whilst inhaling a dirty kebab from Mr Egg is over, for my little sister it’s just beginning. I don’t cover much of what to expect if you do in fact follow educations expected path: “Go to school, Go to uni, Get a job, Settle down” because for me I left education at 16, so I thought why not get the other version of me (My sister) who experienced the standard Uni transition to share her insight on what the first year of university entailed.

1

” I’ll start firstly by introducing myself, I’m Chloe’s younger sister Alex, I’m currently finishing my first year of university at Liverpool, and I’m going to tell you my experience at university. Now going into university, I had very high expectations, I had a large group of friends already and we would love getting f*cked up every week, but also could rely on each other for anything. So, I assumed I would make friends straight away and just have constant fun (I’ll get back to why this isn’t the case later). Six of us from my group all decided to move to Liverpool, I would try and lie and say I loved the city and my course sounded amazing, but the truth was I wasn’t ready to leave my friends behind, I think the same can be said for them too.

On the way to uni , the car all packed up, I sat in the back of the car and cried along to Hannah Montana ‘I will always remember you’, whilst sending snapchats to the group chat of me sobbing, for my friends to respond with crying selfies too. 2

This was followed by my friend Isabelle sending videos of her forgetting all her coats and being screamed at in the back of the car. ‘YOU’RE LIVING IN A DREAM WORLD’, will still to this day be funny.

Once I got to my accommodation I went out for a meal with my family, the nerves had really kicked in at this point, I hardly touched my food and found it hard not to think of the fact that in a few hours I was going to be all alone in an unknown city, without being able to call up my parents when I needed them. I said my goodbyes after and held back the tears as they left me in my room, now it was really happening.

To take my mind off my nerves I started unpacking all my stuff and waited for my flatmate Mollie to arrive, a friend from back home, (told you we weren’t ready to part ways just yet). Of course, just being her luck, her car broke down before she even set out, so it was a long wait.

When Mollie arrived, she had about five hundred bags of stuff which was not going to fit into our tiny box rooms, I helped her bring her stuff into the room and questioned her on why she needed nine types of hairbrush. The following day me and Mollie did our first food shop and met our flat mates, sigh. The first was a girl from Wales called Lacie, she seemed like a nice girl, the second was a boy from Liverpool whose name was James, he was ginger with a dark tan, (that didn’t quite add up to me). Our third flatmate I have seen all of four times this year, he leaves as I enter the room, so I have nothing more to say on him. Our final flatmate Bella joined us the next day, thank god is all I’m going to say.

Fresher’s week was now beginning, and the week consisted of the six of us from Birmingham joining our flats together in a bid to make as many friends as possible. I know many people claim Fresher’s week to be amazing and the best time of the year, but personally adding as many people you can on snapchat and looking for things in common with people you would never normally talk to, just didn’t seem that great to me. I now have a bunch of strangers who I know I will never speak to again. This was also the week I discovered James was an absolute twat, firstly Mollie walks in and he looks her up and down and goes “yeah you look a lot better than you did this morning.” He then later comes up to me and goes “Alex you don’t look anything like your pictures you know.” I am well aware I’m a catfish James, but I would rather you didn’t tell me, thank you. Also, at our pre-drinks some lad had forgotten to bring drinks for himself, so asked if anyone could spare their drink. James then measured a double vodka coke, hands it to him and goes that will be five-pound mate. Some may think fair enough, but to me that was so rude. He also runs everywhere, I am constantly woken up by his pitter patter down the hall, freak. Enough about James, now onto Lacie. She walked into pres firstly in a top, no bottoms at all, pants on full display, is that how people dress in Wales? I wasn’t going to judge her by her interesting outfit choice, but I couldn’t help but laugh at her hilarious dancing, a move that could one day be famous. I’ll be honest, she did carry me home on this night after I fell down the stairs of the club head first, I was going to thank her for this, however we never spoke again.

4I do have to add, during fresher’s I met all of Bella’s friends including their flatmates Andri and Niamh, all people who I absolutely love and now call good friends. A few friends from home came up to visit on the weekend of Freshers, friendly faces were very welcome after a week of forcing friendships. We had a great weekend and it ended with me and my friends waving them off at the train station sobbing once again, we all walked back from the station crying, and I almost got hit by a taxi, ‘Take me then I dare you’ I had said, don’t joke with Liverpool taxi drivers, they don’t play.

I was also very keen to join societies, so signed up to netball and the singer’s society at the Fresher’s Fair. I attended the netball trials, which may I add were an hour’s bus journey away which was off putting from the get go. I managed to get into the netball team and so I went on my first netball night out, never again. It firstly consisted of the fresher’s having to stand in front of everyone and say their most embarrassing memory, for a lot of people this would have been an easy task but that, mixed with the huge crowd of unknown people was very overwhelming. As it neared my turn to stand up I ran to the toilet and had an anxiety attack in the cubicle, whilst messaging Mollie on what to do. She told me to breathe and just stay there until I had calmed down, this was great advice as it meant I would get to miss the public speaking. I waited it out and left the cubicle, when people asked where I had been I told them I felt too drunk and thought I was going to be sick- an easy lie to tell at Uni. This was shrugged off and we continued to the club. This was where I realised I definitely was not suited for a society. Fresher’s were given challenges which I just found annoying like ‘hump the floor’ and ‘go and grind on the security,’ hilarious right? Whilst I was still out at the club I saw a friendly face, my friend Remi out with people from her netball, I joined her for the rest of the night and proceeded in having a decent night. After my anxiety over a simple speaking task in front of people, I then realised I just didn’t have the balls to actually attend  the singer’s society open mic night, I used the excuse the people who went didn’t seem like my people, but I knew it was because I was too terrified to try and fail.

During the actual Uni part of Uni I met Jodie, we had already spoken online in uni group chats and I had spotted her in the crowd and thought, wow she dresses like me we would get on. It turns out we did get on, we discovered we are practically the same person, we have the same walking pace, and she once asked me if I had seen Les Misérables, those that know me know will know why this was music to my ears. I made other friends on my course as the year went on, but it is very hard to actually bond with people during a lecture hall that is supposed to be silent. 7

A common misconception about Uni, one that I did make myself, is that you are going to go and make so many friends in your building and on your course, this hadn’t really happened for me yet. At least not to the extent I had built up in my head. Ill also add that the actual Uni work of Uni often got in the way a lot, but I did find i breezed through the year, admittedly my attendance fell as I began favouring student nights or simply an entire season of ‘RuPauls Drag Race’ over lectures in the morning, I’m only a first year was my excuse.

As I began getting into the swing of things as the year went on I began having more and more fun, I realised quite early on that I just wasn’t the type of person that wanted to go to a new pre-drink each week and meet constant strangers in a bid to know as many people as I could. I knew that the new friends I had picked out from a large group of people were people I wanted to spend time with, and that of course nobody could beat the friends I came with. Now I had this mindset, Uni really became amazing and what I had believed it to be.

6

I will now bore you with memories that will forever make me laugh. We learned that Isabelle is a complete liability. She once threw up on the dance floor and we propped her up in a booth trying to ignore the people slipping over in her sick. Another night, which is called 999 night, actually turned into 6 six people carrying a lifeless Izzy home, with me standing idly by, shouting ‘OHHH FUCKINGGG HELL’, whilst the security attempt to drag her to our room. Remi phoned an ambulance as she choked on her sick in my hall, they told Remi to put her in the recovery position. (Izzy told me to insert a warning about Tesco vodka here ). Mollie had what was called the sick cup which she would use to keep her place on the dance floor, classy. Remi often ‘lost her health’ a phrase we find hilarious, she went out in arctic temperatures in a skimpy skirt and see through top and claimed she could no longer feel her limbs- she later got mumps and had to leave Uni due to being too contagious.

Our friend Georgia also came to visit us from Leeds for the weekend, she lasted for ten minutes before she was throwing up in the toilets and Mollie was carrying her home, she later woke up as afters began at our flat, which turned into cracking eggs of Izzy’s head. Often nights had resulted in people falling asleep in club booths, a personal favourite is Mollie asleep with High School Musical playing in the background. Day drinking in the courtyard resulted in a drunk catwalk to RuPauls ‘Sissy That Walk’ and screaming ‘Shout Out to My Ex’ as loud as possible, I apologise to everyone in my building.

Me and Remi were also known to wonder off after a few drinks, this once had us exploring an abandoned house which we discovered to be a brothel, we made a swift exit. Ella’s hilarious voice notes of what problem she has found herself in also occurred frequently.

Applebum night for Remis birthday turned into Izzy getting kicked out and trying to change clothes on the side of the road with Remi to get back in, surprisingly this didn’t work and resulted in Izzy running home, I spent that whole night thinking I was in an episode of Black Mirror and thought nothing was real. Another messy night being circus, this was my turn to be the mess, I remember nothing but apparently, I got kicked out, refused entry at another club to then steal a stranger’s jumper and tie my hair up in a bid to get in. This worked, and I lost my ID that night, and then arrived at afters in my pjs, I gave my famous matching PJs to Ella and Remi who stopped over.

5

Of course, I have to also mention Space jam night, an abandoned warehouse with an outdoor area which looked like the alien outback, which was rather fitting, and old car seats placed randomly. As well as this, inflatable aliens were hanging from the ceiling, we all collected our own alien and as the night progressed I think I became emotionally attached to mine, I held him on my shoulders on the dancefloor and introduced him as Noah to everyone I crossed paths with.

9Me and my friend Isobel have a freaky connection where no matter how far away from each other we are we will make eye contact and have what we call ‘content moments’. We also befriended people who lived in mine and Mollies accommodation, who happened to live in the same area as us back home, we found it mad how our paths had never crossed before. Jack, who is known as BB, the dopiest person you will ever meet but also the funniest, Tom, who is forever sick of BBs shit, also known for his famous side fringe, Alex, a very extravagant dancer but he pulls it off and Ben, known as Beans, the most laid-back person I have ever met, and finally Dom also a bit of a dope and the male version of Isabelle. I can happily say that going out with everyone, I really have had some of the best times of my life, we drunkenly called them family nights.

Now, I realised I have rambled a lot on memories that many people won’t understand at all but writing this I have realised just how much fun I have had. I do want to add though, with highs comes lows. Uni isn’t always having an amazing time, I do spend a lot of time alone in my room watching shit tv or inviting people over to watch to feel shit with me. Often Izzy invited herself to do this, we would mock her about how she practically lives with us, but she was always a welcome addition (I wouldn’t tell her that to her face). 8

Me and Mollie often communicate with a simple ‘tea?’ text every few hours. Mollie also whacks my hand from the pan whenever I try to help as I tend to burn things, my bad. I often went in to her room to talk all things makeup, ‘Do you reckon this smoky eye would look good with a white and red eyeliner combo?’, or to simply complain about how poor I am.

Anyways, back to the point, if you think Uni is going to be constant laughter with your flat, then you could either get really lucky or in reality it won’t be. But find yourself some great friends and you will have the time of your life. ”

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[The following was written by Alex Dawson and edited by Dawsonxo for copyright disclosures. Any implications or defamations of character/place/events mentioned are not of the opinions of Dawsonxo and conform to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948]

 

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