The first in our Bumps of Edinburgh casting series: A 3D Casting Documentary. Through Body Casting and interviews we explore pregnancy, mums and life beyond the bump.
Occupation: Dance Teacher
Pregnancy: 32 Weeks and 4 Days
Location: Born in Edinburgh, local to Portobello
Everyone wants to touch it
When your bump gets bigger everybody wants to touch it and people had warned me of that. Some people don’t like it and think it’s a real invasion, but I don’t mind at all, I quite like people coming up and touching my bump. You only have it for so long so I think it’s nice if people appreciate it.
“Pregnancy for me is a means to an end”
I feel like I’ve been pregnant for about three years! (laughs). I’ve not really enjoyed being pregnant, I always thought that I would really enjoy it but it’s been very, very, tough physically. I’ve got a really physical job I work as a dance teacher. So I had visions of doing grand jetes around the room until I was 40 weeks until my waters break, but after about 4 weeks of being pregnant I got terrible nausea. Some days I just couldn’t get out of bed, so I had about 9 weeks enforced off work. I am a self-confessed and very happy work-a-holic, I love my job. I work 60 hours a week and don’t bat an eyelid, so to suddenly not be able to work was really difficult. I’m not very good at sitting doing nothing.
I don’t want it to come across to people that I’m not happy to be pregnant, because I am. It’s been quite difficult to tease that out. The grateful and excited feeling by having a baby is the main thing, but the actual pregnancy for me is a means to an end, so not enjoying the pregnancy doesn’t mean that I’m not looking forward to having a baby. I would still have gone through it obviously, but I have spent a lot of time saying ‘I don’t think I’ll do it again’.
“It’s not an illness, it’s growing a person”
I fought it for about two weeks. Generally as any Dance teacher will tell you, if you feel ill, you just keep going. And you generally feel better after you’ve taught a class, so I was treating it a bit like an illness. I was trying to push through. When I wasn’t able to push through I was getting really frustrated, and then I realised it’s not an illness, it’s growing a person.
I think that’s made the pregnancy go on much longer, from my point of view. My husband thinks it’s gone really quickly, and my friends think it’s gone really quickly. But for me it feel like it’s dragged on. A lot. It has made me kind of look differently at my job, I could never imagine cutting down, but then when I was forced to cut down and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Which was a bit of a revelation to me.
“She was worried I had a serious illness…and that I was dying”
One of the girls that I teach, she’s only 14 but she’s very involved in the school, and a real little worrier. Before I had told anyone, she had apparently gone home to her mum and said she was worried I had a serious illness, and that I’d be too ill and that I was dying! It’s lovely to know that somebody cares so much.
“I’m not fat, I’m pregnant”
Sometimes when I look in the mirror I catch myself and think ‘That bump looks massive” and “Where have my abs gone?!” There are some days I feel so fat, and people will tell me I’m not fat, I’m pregnant. I am already thinking about how soon can I go back to exercise. How soon can I get my figure back, it might sound a bit selfish but it’s quite important to me.
There are some days I feel quite ungainly. I was given a picture of a dancer cradling her bump and she just looks beautiful. Then I got this other picture of a pregnant girl and she’s on one leg and there’s a penguin next to her. I look at them at think ‘This is what I thought I’d look like, and this is how I actually look’. There’s a difference in expectation versus reality!
“Being happy is the most important thing”
I want them [my baby] to learn early on that being happy is the most important thing. Sometimes when I look back on things I’ve done, there’s quite a lot of pressure from my school. If you were bright, then academia was the way to go. I ended up doing a degree that I don’t use now, and instead I’m in a job that makes me much happier.
I want them to know, it doesn’t matter what you do in your life as long as you’re happy. Whatever that may be. Although, I would prefer it if they didn’t join the Armed Forces, or a Rep somewhere like Magaluf. (Laughs) Other than that I’d be happy for them!
“There are quite a few things they don’t tell you”
They warn you that you might have morning sickness, but they don’t necessarily warn you that it’s 20 out of 24 hours. It’s not morning sickness, it’s all the time! There are quite a few things they don’t tell you. And the tiredness. People had said to me, it’s like something you’ve never felt before. But I’m used to working seven days a week, surviving on 6 hours sleep. I thought – that’s exhausting! I’ll be fine! But this is a completely new level of exhaustion, and people can’t really prepare you for how that is going to feel.
“I’m really glad I’m in Edinburgh when I’m pregnant”
I have been incredibly grateful for being pregnant in Edinburgh. I’ve never felt so well taken care of by the NHS. The midwives have been amazing, even being able to access the NCT classes and things, and the antenatal classes we go to. Edinburgh has a really good NCT support network, and there are lots of events and things. I’ve said quite a lot I’m really glad I’m in Edinburgh when I’m pregnant, and not somewhere more rural where it would be a bit more difficult to access it.
“I did that, that was my 9 months of hard work”
Being pregnant, it’s almost like a badge of honour, its something else you’ve done in your life. That’s why I was so keen to have my Bump Cast because I could look at it on the wall and I’ll think ‘I did that, that was my 9 months of hard work!’. And when they are older I can say, that’s what I went through to have you!
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