Radio Aire presenter Caroline Verdon on how pregnancy changes your body

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Before I got pregnant for the first time, I’d thought a bit about the changes my body would go through.

Gaining a bump, squidging my organs into different places, even getting a touch of baby brain. I knew that some of the changes would reverse themselves and that perhaps some of them wouldn’t – my MumTum for example is definitely now a permanent feature. I definitely was not prepared for some of the weirder changes.

The first time I looked in a mirror after having given birth I was shocked at my hair colour. All of my adult life it had been blonde with a bit of a red tint but there was no mistaking it, the red tint had definitely taken over. I remember my Mum coming into the hospital to meet her Grandchild for the first time asking me if I’d dyed my hair since the last time I’d see her, which was only 24hours previously. Funnily enough I’d been a bit too busy in the interim to pop into a salon! It was a definite visible difference that has remained ever since.

Then there was my sense of direction. Prior to pregnancy it was absolutely awful. I’m the type of person who gets a new job and a year later is still using a SAT NAV to get to work, even though it’s only 15 minutes down the road. During pregnancy though I was like a human version of Google Maps. Sadly my sense of direction disappeared after Arthur was born but now that I’m pregnant again it has returned with an absolute vengeance. If you’ve ever been to the Clarendon Wing of the LGI you will know that it is an absolute warren of corridors, stairs, lifts, and rooms that lead to other rooms. To be honest it wouldn’t at all surprise me if somewhere there was a wardrobe that was the real gateway through to Narnia. It’s got the craziest layout and I can only presume the architect was having a laugh when they designed it, either that or the builders had the plans upside down. Last week I went there for various baby checks on three different floors and I didn’t need to ask for directions once. I was in and out of that place like I was the owner of a floorplan.

Still though, it’s not the weirdest thing that pregnancy changed for me. By far the absolute strangest thing it changes is my allergies. Since I was about 10 I’ve had something called Oral Allergy Syndrome. It basically means I’m allergic to a load of raw fruits and vegetables. Eating a raw kiwi fruit would make my lips swell and my eyes itch, sometimes just an apple being in my hand would cause my nose to itch and my eyes to water but the worst was raw potatoes. Obviously I wasn’t eating them but the very act of just peeling them would cause my hands to itch uncontrollably and I’d feel forced to scratch them until they bled it was so so painful.

Cook any of the fruits and veg though and they’re fine. Thank goodness! Imagine not being able to eat a roastie!

Since I discovered the allergy I’ve avoided the raw versions and would constantly ask in restaurants if the green beans in a salad were raw or cooked, or if the coleslaw had apple in it. Arthur was born in 2015 and over the last 3.5 years I’ve continued to avoid the allergens but every now and then I’ve accidentally eaten something – raw cabbage in a salad or the odd piece of cucumber hiding in a fruity dessert and nothing really happened. Now that I’m pregnant again, I’ve had terrible morning sickness and the only thing that seems to help is eating raw apples. I’m having around three a day with absolutely no ill effects - it is bizarre.

It’s really made me realise how biologically mind blowing creating a new life actually is. It’s also made me cross my fingers and hope that this time round my body realizes it’s trapped inside a fat person and just lets me drop weight left, right and centre.