The first day I returned to work after my trip to the UK back in 2009, I knew I wasn’t quite right. I was very tired and had terrible tummy cramps. I found it really hard to wake up at 5am and felt weak and unmotivated to work. This was unusual because mornings are when I’m at my best. I put it down to jet lag and getting over food poisoning which had me stay 1 night in hospital in London.
Except, the jet lag and tummy cramps were relentless after a couple of weeks. Something was up. I remember working with dad to disconnect a floor of bathrooms ready for refurb and I struggled to undo the basin bottle traps and disconnect the water services.
A week later a pregnancy test confirmed that I was pregnant with Esther. I remember the range of emotions I felt. It unexpected and didn’t feel like the best timing as bub was due right in the middle of when my parents would be overseas and I would have to look after our plumbing business. We had also just spent most of our savings on our recent trip overseas. But I was also excited. Jacob and I were going to become parents.
The spewing started when I was around 6 weeks pregnant. Dad had a dedicated ice cream bowl or two in the ute for my use. I still remember getting up early one morning as dad and I had to go down to the Gold Coast for a job. I threw up breakfast just as dad arrived to pick me up at 5:30am. I knew I needed to have something in my tummy for the trip down or else I’d be heaving while travelling on the M1 to Southport so I grabbed a banana.
The banana came back up and my poor dad had to smell the vomit while he drove us down to the coast. When we arrived at the newly built building where we had to work, all the taps were anti-vandal, water saving hose taps. Lucky we were plumbers and knew how to turn the tap on so I could rinse my spew bucket.
The next thing I had to deal with was clothing. My pants were getting tighter and tighter and I needed to invest in some maternity pants asap.
I got dad to drive me to the northside of Brisbane where I had seen a maternity clothes store when we would go to pick up fixtures from a bathroom supplier at The Gap.
It was a crap place to park with a ute, so dad dropped me on the footpath. I was a woman on a mission as I had recently finished my Diploma in Fashion Styling. I bought 2 maternity dresses, 2 pairs of maternity cargo pants, 1 pair of jeans and 1 bamboo skirt. It all fit in one bag and cost me over $700 (from memory).
When I got back in the truck and told my dad how much I had spent, he couldn’t believe it. In a way I couldn’t either. I wished I had known about Maternity Sale online as I would have saved so much money.
Sadly, those cargo pants didn’t last me for all three of my pregnancies. When I was pregnant with Magdalene, both of the cargo pants split at the crotch when I bent down to turn off some water meters. Thankfully my XXL King Gee shirt was long enough to hide the evidence of an open crotch.
I stopped being active on the tools at 26 weeks. I had had a scare with Esther that made me be more careful at work. Plumbers bend and crouch a lot. The crouching is good exercise for birth, the bending was not good for my bump or back.
I would often joke that being pregnant and a plumber was ideal as there was always a toilet nearby to spew in. Thankfully my morning sickness would ease at the half way mark.
Dealing with pregnancy as a plumber isn’t easy, but it can be done. I just had to remember I couldn’t do as much as I could pre-pregnancy and most nights I was in bed fairly early because of the exhaustion. It was hard work growing a baby and fixing leaking toilets.
How about you? Where did you go to buy maternity clothes? Ever ripped the crotch of your pants by bending over?
This is post has been written in accordance to my disclosure policy.