There is nothing worse than being pregnant at Christmas
I was pregnant at Christmas, and it was not very merry at all. I feel for all the Aussie woman who are pregnant right now (sorry, Jasmine) and accustomed to enjoying Christmas, because this year you will find it's not business as usual.
You can't bloody eat anything. You can't drink alcohol. You're exhausted. You're uncomfortable. You're forced to answer the same questions everywhere you go. You're bloody hot.
And, possibly worst of all - you're probably watching your partner enjoy all the things you can't.
You just hope the baby is worth it.
Food no go zones
Cured meats, seafood, soft cheeses, eggs - these things are hard enough to resist at the best of times, but especially when they are served everywhere you go over the party season.
Which of course means you crave them. And thus want to cry.
On Christmas Day, I wanted to eat the fresh prawns so badly. But I didn't, because motherhood is sac-ri-fice.
(And then in the new year, I caved one morning and had scrambled eggs in a cafe, was hospitalised with suspected listeria poisoning, then went into labour and gave birth at 32 weeks. But that's a story for another time.)
The other annoying thing is that everyone has an opinion on what you can and can't eat. They get offended if you don't have "one little bite of my Christmas pavlova. I promise it won't hurt."
When you're trying to ignore the existence of the pavlova because it's your absolute favourite thing to eat, such encouragement is not helpful. At all.
You are hot because: Australia
There's a reason why they call it a 'bun in the oven'; incubating a baby is hot work.
Add to that an Aussie Summer, and you're enjoying a permanent sweat bath with a side of sticky clothes.
You hope to God that wherever you're going at Christmas is airconditioned. But there's another problem: what are you going to wear?
A balance between complete nakedness (preferred) and decency in front Uncle Edgar, is needed.
But, you know there will also be many Christmas photos taken and you want to see them in the future and think, "Wow, how amazing did I look when I was pregnant? Look at my Summer glow!"
The silver lining is that whatever you wear, if your stomach expands after eating whatever you can eat, no one will know the difference.
Q & A in real life
When you're pregnant, everyone wants to know everything about what's happening in your body, especially the friends and family you're most likely seeing over Christmas.
Everyone's eager. They expect you to be, too. It's nice to be loved and that people are interested in you; unless you've been asked the same question for the third time before you've even finished your weak iced tea.
And sometimes, as anyone who's been pregnant will know, you're just a bit weary of the kicky little heat bag inside you and you don't want to talk about it.
You need to nap all the time
Being pregnant is exhausting because there is literally a being inside you whose life depends on your body.
You'll find that the need to nap will hit you out of the blue, at the most inconvenient times. I remember falling asleep on the sofa at my in-laws' because I just couldn't keep my eyes open.
I did not want to sleep/drool/snore in front of them; but there I was, sprawled on the sofa, until my MIL woke me up saying, "I bought some of that blue cheese for you, I know it's your favourite."
The good news is, "I just need to sit down for a bit" is an excuse that is generally accepted, and will get you out of those awkward conversations about mistletoe with Uncle Edgar.
Watching your partner
Mark my words, you will hate the person who knocked you up a little more at Christmas.
They may be attentive, loving, understanding … but you won't remember any of that as they pour themselves another gin and tonic, and say "This is incredible" while devouring pavlova.
This is all their fault, you will think, as they merrily suggest you can be the designated driver because you're not drinking.
This is so unfair, your mind will scream as they receive a massive bottle of scotch from Uncle Edgar, and you get a pack of three muslin wraps with ducks on them.
And you won't be wrong.
Virgin cocktails do not numb the pain
Christmas is the last time most people want to drink anything 'virgin'; yet for a pregnant woman, such drinks constitute most of her options.
And for women who are accustomed to having a drop/three glasses as part of festive merriment/to get through Christmas with family, having to abstain can feel unfair …. and boring.
Yes, it's not healthy to have an attitude that alcohol can help numb pain, but please see the five points above.
The silver lining to all of this is that people may treat you like an invalid, so you get out of bringing anything, and doing anything productive afterwards, if you so choose.
Oh, and the other silver lining? The bundle of joy that will make all the annoying things and sacrifices worth it. Most of the time.
Nama Winston is a columnist with RendezView.com.au