Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Things they don't tell you about being pregnant (and an archaeologist)

Foetal skeleton from Culture 24. Poor little scooch.

 1) That everyone will have an opinion on the size of your stomach. "Ooooh, you're so tiny! You don't even look pregnant." "Oh my GOD, you look so fat today." All these people mean well, so you have to smile along. I can't help but think though, is there any other point when it's ok to screech about someone's abdomen to their face? Or any other part of their anatomy? "Look at that spot! Wow, it's so red and bulgy today, you look like pus is going to leap out of your chin." "Oh, love, you should really lay off the biscuits if you want to wear those shorts." You just wouldn't, would you.

2) People will try and touch your stomach unless your f*** off face is strong enough to repel them. Practice in the mirror, so that it comes naturally.

3) You will suddenly have a terrifyingly clear sense of perspective about archaeology and its place in the world, which is distinctly inferior to the small person growing inside you, and who is seemingly having a rave that involves doing "bigfish-littlefish-cardboard box" against your bladder. Dead people and their stuff are cool and all, but they can't enforce 50 toilet visits per day.

4) You also have a terrifying sense of your own utter normality- thousands, millions of women have felt those wriggles, and faced up to the fact that this thing is really going to have to come out of there. Most of them without any pain relief at all. You're not special, you're just another piece of human reproduction. Yeah!

5) That said, I do wonder about Etruscan childbirth. I'm guessing that those ladies had some trippy breathing exercises going down. Or shrooms. Seriously, though, that bit of pot from Poggio Colla has new meaning for the newly rotund me.

6) Apparently it's weird to cheerily announce to your midwife that you fancy squatting through labour, because you've regularly done 8 hour stints in that position before and nothing bad happened.And to then tell her that baby has already done a day of work on site in Italy, just at the point it was implanting and most vulnerable (whoops), in spite of your husband's pained expression.

7) You will suddenly post on your blog again, after an absence of almost six months. SIX chuffing months. Apologies, anyone who still checks in and reads this mass of ramblings. Apparently 40 of you did on the 23rd November. I suspect maternity leave (from end of January) may be good for blog output. But not necessarily for blog content and/or quality. You've been warned.

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