If you're pregnant, you might not be feeling your sexiest. Yes, some women glow throughout (how come celebrities always seem to bloody glow? It's very insensitive of them if you ask me) and good for them.
But come on normal pregnant ladies, let's tell it like it is...
Sorry, what day is it again?
You did know it was Valentine's Day didn't you? Ah, perhaps not. Forgetfulness is a proper symptom of pregnancy, so you have a very good excuse if you've omitted to get him anything. Blame the baby.
When? In the first trimester because of rampant hormones, and probably also in the third because you're so flippin' knackered.
"You know, darling, I really love yo..." RASSSSSSSP. Yes, er, flatulence. Not very sexy. But frankly, your other half is going to have to get used to the smell of bottoms pretty quickly once your little bundle arrives. If you're trumping for England, just try to hold it in 'til he's finished saying those three little words.
When? Right from the beginning, and possibly all the way through I'm afraid. Initially, it's down to hormones relaxing your gastrointestinal tract, and later it's because your uterus is pushing on your rectum. Sorry to make you read the word 'rectum' - not very romantic.
Have you been presented with a delicious meal? I do hope so. Also I hope he's up to date with which particular foodie odours are making you want to hurl. The term 'morning sickness' is a bit of a con really, given you can suffer from it all day. If you're having trouble with certain things, tell him you'll take charge of dinner, and practice eating a dry Ryvita seductively.
When? The first trimester usually, and then hopefully the nausea will abate.
Could this evening's romancing start a little earlier than usual, perhaps? If dinner isn't served 'til 8.30pm, there's a high chance you might end up face down in your beef bourguignon.
Fatigue is the arch enemy of romance. As is snoring actually, which is something you'll almost certainly be doing by 9.30pm.
When? Fatigue is at its worst in the first trimester, but can also be a big problem in the third, when you feel like you're doing the physical work of a brickie's labourer each day. Snoring is usually caused by nasal stuffiness (a common symptom, which is down to hormones), but if your partner tells you it's VERY bad and he's not getting a wink, resist the temptation to say "get used to it" and get yourself checked for sleep apnea.
Kiss me quick!
If you're having that oh so unsexy problem of, well, drooling, keep your kisses short and sweet (no man will appreciate you spitting in the sink after what was supposed to be a romantic snog). Excessive saliva is a strange, and annoying symptom of early pregnancy, and it's not one that's easy to solve.
When? Usually just for the first few months – it especially seems to affect women who're suffering from morning sickness.
If you manage to slip into something less comfortable this evening, then hats off to you! By the time they're half way through their pregnancy, many women have given up and bought some big pants and panty liners because their ever increasing vaginal discharge. Leukorrhoea, for its proper name, is harmless and normal, but it does tend to do away with those lacy thongs.
When? Right from the start, and increasing until the baby is delivered.
...And boulder holders
What magnificent boobs you have! Have they ever looked so alluring? Well they might not be up to their Valentine's duties this year because if they're not hurting, they might well be leaking. If you didn't expect your bosoms to get to work until after your baby was born, leaky boobs can be a bit of a surprise. Stash the negligé then get yourself something nice and comfy with lots of support. Pop some breast pads in if necessary.
When? Any time from around half way through your pregnancy, and continuing to birth (and beyond of course).
Aw shucks, that's swell!
Think of all the lucky ladies slipping sparkly rings on to their fingers. But, er, have you taken your own jewellery off yet? You might want to start thinking about it. Yup, fat fingers, chubby ankles, feet like plates... it's all down to water retention, and I can't think of anything that feels less sexy than wobbling from the waist down.
When? It often starts from around half way through pregnancy, and can get progressively worse until delivery.
Weeing yourself. That's not sexy is it? Perfectly normal though. If you're planning a lovely evening together, ask him to not be tooo funny – he can be a bit funny, or even medium funny, but he mustn't be very funny. Laughing hard, sneezing and coughing can all bring on a little leak. I know! Get him to count you down as you do some pelvic floor exercises! Okay, sorry – you can make up for it next Valentine's Day though.
When? It can come on fairly early, because pregnancy hormones relax the pelvic floor muscles and the sphincter that enables you to hold wee in. By the third trimester, when your baby is filling up every little bit of space in your abdomen, and pushing on your bladder, it can become even harder to control. Believe it or not, crossing your legs might actually help!
The John Wayne waddle
If you get anywhere near full term, the pregnancy waddle is almost impossible to avoid. It's not graceful, it's not elegant. "It can be kind of cute though", a man once told me. As a person who's experienced it, how painful it can be to get around, you might be pleased to hear that I swore at him. It's down to your joints being all wobbly, your pelvis having widened in preparation for birth, your baby pushing down, and your centre of gravity being all out of whack.
When? The final month. Hang on in there, you're nearly done!
Want some good news after all that? Well, here's a truth: when your baby is born, and you hold him in your arms, and you and your partner gaze into each other's eyes... THAT will probably be the most romantic moment of your life.
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