A is for Adjustable Waistbands
Hot new fashion trend? Afraid not. Despite being completely unflattering, they are a miracle of the maternity-fashion world. And they’re so comfy, you’re in danger of wearing them long after you’ve given birth. So bin them in the car park as you leave the hospital — for the sake of your sanity — as well as your sex life.
B is for Bump (obviously)
Suddenly the whole world thinks it is perfectly okay to stroke your stomach while commenting that it’s enormous/small/weirdlooking (or the all-time classic "Are you sure it’s not twins?"). We suggest patting the off ender’s belly and asking, “Large lunch, was it?” That should shut them up.
C is for Constipation and Crying
All the time. At everything. Justin Bieber tunes — and yes, it’s okay to fancy him a bit — cheesy TV ads, even shows like One Born Every Minute. And don’t even think about watching Kids in Charge. You may suffer from constipation during pregnancy, too, as higher levels of the hormone progesterone slow down the muscle contractions that normally move food through your intestines. So drink plenty of water — at least six to eight glasses a day.
D is for Driving
At first, you will be extra cautious of strapping in your bump. Then you’ll become the designated non-drinking driver, grumpily turning down the radio at the end of another sober night out. But when your tummy gets enormous, just hand over the car keys and enjoy being chauffeured around.
E is for Experts
Yep, everyone is an expert when it comes to pregnancy — Mrs Lee-next-door, your mother-in-law, the old lady in the queue at FairPrice. They can miraculously tell if you’re having a boy or girl, an early or late baby and even "predict" exactly how you’ll feel once you’re a parent. And, no, they won’t hold back from telling you LOUDLY. Ignore them.
F is for Father-To-Be
He’s trying to do and say all the right things (“How do I look?”, “Erm, pregnant?”), but he really doesn’t always get it, does he? And come D-day, this will all be his fault and you’ll vow never to let him near you again.
G is for Getting Creative
In the bedroom, that is. You might have tried handcuff s or chocolate body paint before, but sex-with-a-bump is a whole new world. It takes a bit of imagination — and a lot more effort — than usual, and you’ll have to work out the relative positions of face and bump. But a surge of hormones can do good things to both of you!
H is for Holiday
Take one. Now. Somewhere glamorous. Somewhere sexy. You’ll look back on it in disbelief one day, when you’re crammed into a small car with a travel cot and suitcases full of food and diapers — just to spend one night at a “family-friendly” resort.
I is for Impossible to Work Out
Nipple shields. Breast pumps. Car seats. Super-complex strollers. Baby slings. These things (and their manuals) are sent to try us. They’re also a perfect way to get your husband involved, while you lie on the sofa eating curry puffs.
J is for Just Keep Snacking
Popcorn, crackers or something healthy like almonds — just don’t go longer than an hour between top-ups or nausea could result. Your man may complain that it’s like living with a hamster when he’s woken by the sound of you crunching Twisties at 3am. But remind him (again) that this is all his fault.
K is for Kicking
Your baby’s first kicks are a beautiful, emotional pregnancy milestone. Though by the time he/she has perfected Gangnam Style at 2am, the novelty might have worn off a tiny bit.
L is for Listening
Listening to your baby’s heartbeat. Pure magic.
M is for Mysterious Words
Pregnancy comes with more than a few. *Midwife? *Vacuum Extraction? *Ring Sling? Anyone? And when you go online, get ready for DH, DS/DD (Darling Husband, Son/Daughter), POAS (Pee on a Stick, as in take a pregnancy test) or DTD (Doing the Deed. Yup, having sex). It’s enough to make you SUFID (Screw Up Face in Disgust) and CLAB (Cry Like a Baby).
N is for Names
This is the fun bit. Do you want to name her Annabelle or Candi, or prefer something traditional like Min Yi or Shiqi? If Gwen Stefani can get away with Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale, why can’t you? Still, think first of your child's face if she has to introduce herself as “Yew Jo King”.
O is for Oil
Who knows if it really stops stretch marks, but we’re slapping it on anyway and accepting the fate of our grease stained bedsheets. Many draw the line at oiling the perineum, but it is advised by experts. Sorry.
P is for Piles
In addition to swollen ankles, indigestion and nipples that could take an eye out. It’s the not-so-sexy side of pregnancy that nobody tells you about, until it’s too late and you’re sitting on a rubber ring while watching Minute to Win It. Two words of comfort: They go. Really.
Q is for Quickening
Whether baby’s movement feels like butterflies, bubbles, or even gas, those first flutters are known as quickening and typically occur in the second trimester of pregnancy for women who are expecting their first baby.
R is for Really Massive Underwear
There will come a day, a dark day, when big beige panties and shapeless bras sans underwire are not only permissible, but essential. Your secret is safe with us — just avoid communal changing rooms.
S is for Sober
You can pretend all you like that lime and soda is almost the same as drinking a vodka tonic, but we know the truth. Sober nights out suck. The good news is that one large glass of Merlot wine six weeks after the birth will be enough to get you completely hammered.
T is for Treasure This Time
You may be tired, uncomfortable and stressed, but give your bump a hug right now. One day, you’re going to finally meet this fabulous, little person and you’ll look back on your pregnancy with pride and some nostalgia. Especially the lie-ins, long baths, hours of “me” time…
U is for Urgh
Mucus plugs, nipple discharge, doing a poo while you’re pushing... All these can make the whole miracle of birth thing feel like a gross-out movie. Funny thing is, you’ll be too ecstatic to care about (or even remember) that stuff when your baby arrives.
V is for VIPP
Make the most of your rights as a VIPP (Very Important Pregnant Person) — so, demand that seat on the bus, the best bed on holiday, a comfy chair in the restaurant and that last brownie on the plate. There have to be some upsides to make up for U (Urgh).
W is for Waiting
For the blue line to appear on the pregnancy test. To tell everyone your news. For the first kick. For your first labour pains... Pregnancy is all about being patient and calm. And no, we’re not good at that, either.
X is for X-citing
What will your baby look like? How will it feel to hold him or her? It’s better than Christmas, birthdays and the pause before they announce The Final 1 winner, all rolled together.
Y is for Yoga
The exercise, of choice for many mothers-to-be, but we all know it’s mainly about the “rest and breathe” bit at the end, don’t we? Basically, it’s a bit of stretching followed by a snooze (followed by cake, obviously).
Z is for Zzzzzs
Grab them while you can. Seriously, why aren’t you in your PJs right now? The next six months are going to feel like one very long day. A good day, but a long one.