I’m 12.5 weeks today and I just wanted to do a quick post of firsts that I’ve experienced this week.
First telling people not in immediate family that it’s “official”. I told some friends this weekend, as we all met up. Including my BFF, who I really should have told first but she lives overseas and I wanted to tell her in person. Also some visitors from the US. Both times I did it with this…
Wow. The feels.
I never thought I would ever get to wear one. I silently resented / was jealous / was sad of all the women on the tube who wear them. Sometimes London seems stuffed full of Baby on Board-ers.
For those of you who aren’t in London (that’ll be all of you! My American / Canadian / Australian buddies!) this badge is something you get for free if you’re pregnant – you have to ask for it, obviously. It’s to counter the British sensibilities of people not wanting to ask for a seat and also people not wanting to ask a woman if she’s pregnant.
There’s a bunch of controversy over it as really people should offer seats to those less able to stand, like those on crutches or with invisible illnesses, etc. But this is something quite common (though obviously not common enough for the infertile like us) which can easily be remedied by wearing the badge.
This week I have been feeling so tired. So when my badge finally arrived in the post, I thought I would wear it. Mainly because there is one office I work in where there’s a really convoluted route to work on crowded underground lines and it’s hard to get a seat.
The first time I wore it, a black man instantly jumped up and offered me his seat. (I note his race for later; it does become relevant.) I almost cried with gratitude. It felt really poignant all of a sudden to be acknowledged as pregnant. I never thought I would.
On later trains I had mixed success. On some trains people would just kind of ignore it. Some they’d offer a seat. But each time people didn’t offer for a while, somebody else stepped in to ask/tell someone I was pregnant and needed the seat more than I did. And what I noticed was, they were more often than not black.
Now, I’ve moved to a majority black area. So maybe there are more black people on my tube journey. But actually what I found was that the black people actually seemed insulted on my behalf. One woman practically marched over to a (white) guy who was studiously ignoring the badge and made him give up his seat! I was so grateful!
I’ve mentioned before that I am a POC / ethnic minority (US/UK term) but I’m not black. But honestly I have felt so happy to move to this area. People are so nice, considerate, and I genuinely love seeing strong black women around the place. Almost all the POC I know through work are strong black women/men. We see so many negative stories in the media – this week I was hugely upset by the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. So to be surrounded by a strong community, where I get to see KOC (kids of colour) who are happy and proud in their skins means the world to me. I know if all goes well I’ll have one (biracial) of my own and it means a lot that I can bring up my child in a diverse environment.
T has actually commented on how much I have commented on it. I guess being where he is less sensitive to racial things. He thinks it’s sort of funny when I point out mixed race couples or [my ethnicity] families, but I don’t think he realised how big of a deal this is for me. He’s happy for me but it doesn’t really affect his life in the same way. To see families on our estate who look like me – it’s huge.
Anyway I digress. I feel like I’m a little bit “out” about being pregnant but I take the badge off when I get near work. I am not intending to tell people unless I have to. I would much rather rock up with a giant bump. I’ve been thinking about how to tell work… but I don’t think I have to for a few months, according to their rules.
Thing is, I don’t know how long I can hide it. I have totes porked out. I have a big belly now. It can’t all be fat. I am living at the weekend in my maternity jeans (the relief!) and a baggy sweater. I look like a complete fatty. I can’t wait for a proper bump (I feel like I have to caveat everything with “if we get that far”).
My friends who I told this weekend are over the moon for us. They are all aware that we lost a baby this time last year… And some know that we also went through IVF. I think people are still overly positive about things but I suppose that’s all they can do in the circumstances. It’s nice being the recipient of good wishes, but it also sort of makes me worry in more anxious times that anyone told might have to be untold… That’s pregnancy after loss for you.
Anyway, some more firsts in pictures…
A first ice lolly on the boat! I love commuting by boat! I saved it for the weekend though as it’s a bit hairy during the week trying to sync it with the trains.
A first for my friends who I met up with for a girly evening, at Dirty Bones. It’s an American inspired diner. Where else would I take my friends?!
Milk and cookies dessert. A first! It was delicious. The “milk” was gelato. The cookie was melt in the mouth chocolate ganache. Don’t mind if I do!
Okay this wasn’t a first as it’s from my favourite place, Ben’s Cookies. It was sort of a first for today as I had it for breakfast in bed! Triple chocolate!
My lovely sis sent me rainbow lilies – a first! I’ve never seen them before and they are really cheery! Excuse the unpacked alcohol around them! 😂
We tried the third of our local pubs for Sunday lunch today. A first! Won’t be the last! Delicious and dog friendly! I love this place!
So for now, my next pregnancy related thing is my midwife booking appointment next Friday. I had thought the other NHS appointment last Sunday was the booking appointment but it was the scan! So that’s a first too. Apparently that will mean I’m properly in the system.
And as for the second trimester… The tiredness is still there. Massively. And the weird stomach pains (like period pains). I’m trying not to worry. And having a big belly. I’ve always been significantly slimmer. That’s a first! A lot of firsts.
And the second trimester… A first for me. Can we get to the third? I hope so.