Feeling your baby kick; it was so exciting to get whoever I was with to rush over and try to feel the baby kick. I remember spending an evening with my best friend just lying down on the sofa both watching the baby roll and kick, getting videos and photos where you can see so clearly a little hand or foot reaching through. It was also so special to get something back from the baby growing inside you. I know that may sound silly, but it would be a pretty dull 9 months if it was just like having a beach ball under your shirt. Having the baby kick was the first form of communication a mother ever has with their baby. I poke you: you kick me. It was also so interesting to see a pattern forming and to know that the baby was going to sleep inside your tummy and when he was up and ready to play. I loved thinking, "I wonder if he can hear the music I'm listening to" or "I wonder if he can hear me and Luke talking and recognises our voices"
Midwife appointments; it sounds daft but I felt so reassured to have regular check-ups and have someone making sure I was okay and someone I could ask the strange questions I was wondering. It felt like when you become really close with one of your friends Mum's. You have a second Mum. They're always so happy to see you and you feel like they genuinely care when they ask how you are. It's always lovely to say 'See you next time!' and by the time that day comes your bump is a bit bigger, something new has happened, you check the heartbeat together and you just have a connection. My midwife was the best kind, the plump, chirpy Midwife that's so lovely and you just want to hug with a really calm and 'Mumsy' voice. I was really lucky to be able to have straight-forward and positive midwife appointments and definitely don't take it for granted that my pregnancy was low risk.
The lifestyle; this may sound ridiculous but the lifestyle of eating for two, taking naps, getting smiles from strangers, swanning around buying babygrows, telling everyone 'how far along you are' and only having to worry about yourself and your schedule, is something I miss and will never get back! I wish I had napped every single day, whenever I liked, for as long as I wanted. More importantly, I miss not being allowed to carry the food shopping in. (that shit is heavy!)
The attention; OK, OK, not the most modest thing to admit but I did love being the centre of attention. Oscar is now the centre of attention and everyone wants to cuddle him and gush over how cute he is - he stole my thunder! When you're pregnant, particularly if you're the first of your friends to get pregnant, the whole ordeal is so alien to your group that it does become all about you. The conversation is so different and new from talking about nights out and reality TV to the human growing inside you and what it feels like and how you can't believe it's all happening. I remember reading a tip that suggested not to buy too much for yourself until you have a baby shower, and I remember thinking that's crazy I'm sure we'll just get a few cards and a few cute teddies! Not that I thought my friends and family weren't generous but just that I didn't think that much of myself to expected to be showered with gifts! I never knew how generous, thoughtful and kind my friends could be! We got the sweetest presents and not just at one occasion. We were literally spoilt with gifts at our gender reveal, when Oscar was born and when I had a belated baby shower.
The anticipation; ignorance is bliss, as they say. I will miss the unknown of what it's like to have a c-section or be in hospital and have a baby. Although I never went into labour, I will now fear all of the above when I have my next child. It will be at the back of my mind that a baby can come anytime and this time I'll really believe it. I will worry my baby won't be coming home with me on Day 1 and that we will end up in NICU again. I will miss the feeling of being sat, wondering what my baby will look like, what his laugh will sound like, what colour his eyes will be. It's such an exciting feeling of wonderment. When you are pregnant it feels like you have been pregnant for years, but looking back now it feels like it all happened in the blink of an eye. I will miss not knowing what was coming next and not knowing what it feels like to have that first kick, or what a baby's heartbeat sounds like, not knowing what it feels like to be 8 months pregnant and enormous. My next pregnancy I will know exactly what to expect and although my memory may be a little hazy when it comes down to it, I wonder if the kicks will be as exciting? I will miss being pregnant for the first time.
Being big; it felt so good to just BE big because you were allowed to be. I really liked having a bump - something to stroke, admire, gaze over. I loved not having to worry about looking skinny, that I could just let it all hang out. I loved wearing baggy clothes and not caring, wearing tight clothes and embracing it. I miss my bump so much and honestly can't wait to be pregnant again!
Checking my app every week; I loved checking my app every week seeing how big the baby was and what bizarre things it compared it to this week. I loved reading the progress of how the baby was growing and how 'today the baby is able to hiccup' - it was so unreal that what I was reading was actually happening inside me. I will miss being fascinated by the smallest feature just because it allowed me to get to know my baby that little bit more.