Please raise your hand if you think there should be an easier way to get a baby than nine months of pregnancy.
(All men must raise their hands unless they wish to be beaten soundly by the women around them. Again: thank you.)
It's only 15 weeks and already I'm heartily sick of feeling sick, and food tasting weird, and having a sore back (it happens even before you get big), and having crazy dreams, and sudden bizarre shooting pains, and not being able to get comfy in bed at night (which again, happens even before you get big).
I hate being awake at 3am. I hate maternity clothes with something approaching a passion (I have to feel bad and look unfortunate too? How amusing!). I miss going for runs. I miss wearing pretty things. I miss being nimble – now there's a word that's not used enough. I miss sushi and shrimp and Pinot Grigio, and the occasional diet Dr Pepper.
I miss things that smell nice, because everything smells weird to me, even now that I'm out of the first trimester. I can't tolerate the smell of cologne, moisturiser, lip balm, perfume, air freshener, furniture polish, exhaust fumes, scented candles, incense, dryer sheets, shampoo, face cream, cleanser, shea butter or shaving cream. So showers are fraught with danger – I hold my breath as much as I can. It's a weird little life I'm living here.
I know a lot of women have more trouble – all kinds of trouble. I even know that when I was pregnant with Berry I had a tougher time than this; complications upon complications. Still doesn't make me feel very merry.
But one last thing: I wrote this post, up to here, miserable with sleeplessness at 3 o'clock this morning. At 10am I went to the doctor, and I heard the baby's heartbeat again. Just a few seconds of fluttery little-bird heartbeat – but in that instant all was forgiven.
I won't promise not to whinge anymore (my sister, my mum, my best friend and I all agree that a good whinge is deeply therapeutic) but I have promised myself that I'll remember, every day, that every bit of inconvenience, weirdness, pain, discomfort and annoyance, in the end, will be worth it.