During my pregancy the first time round I was elated, excited and scared. Elated and excited because I had always dreamt of being a mum and here was my chance. Scared because I was still very young, I didn’t know what to expect but I totally wanted to nail being the best mum ever.
My now husband and I went on shopping trips to buy tiny outfits, scratch mittens, little booties and hats, maternity clothes, baby toys, nursery furniture, pushchair and any other piece of baby paraphernalia you can think of.
It was exciting.
I had started to learn how baby was developing at each different stage while still in my tummy, I felt him move, heard his heart beat and couldn’t wait to meet him.
I quickly learnt that there is ‘stuff’ that is kept from you! Stuff that mums, midwives, doctors, family members and friends don’t tell you. Stuff that when it happens you’re like “why the fuck was I never told about this”! It’s almost like an unwritten rule that certain stuff doesn’t get spoken about.
So guess what?
I’m going to tell you...
I’m going to tell you the three top things that I wish I’d been told!
3 Things ALL Expectant Mums Need To Know is going to be delivered in three parts (pun fully intended)...
Part 1 - Pregnancy & Labour
Part 2 - After the Arrival
Part 3 - Having more than one child
(Disclaimer...the three informative posts in this series are in no way supposed to scare you or put you off having babies, but instead are snippets of information I wish I’d been told so I wasn’t in such shock when I found out for myself!)
#1) Your dignity goes out the window.
I was not prepared for the amount of people that we’re about to see my, um...lady garden. And that is exactly what it had become...a garden! By the end of the pregnancy mowing the lawn is one heck of a task; you can’t even see your feet to put your socks on never mind see...that! So I was mortified when I had to put my legs a kimbo for a stranger to examine me.
Of course you get given blankets and you hide behind a curtain in your own room but come on, it's massively uncomfortable. Oh yes and they weren’t always female either!
During my first Labour the decision was made that I needed to be cut...I tore instead (gross I know, sorry!) so obviously I needed doctors to come and work their magic. At this point, not including my husband, there were 4 people, of which 2 were male, staring at my downstairs!
Having your private room, with blankets to hide under makes NO difference to how you feel right about now! However, whilst I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me I somehow didn’t care. I just wanted whatever had to be done, to get done.
But rest assured these professionals have seen it all before; no ones judging.
#2) Your tits blow up like balloons and your hormones go with them!
I’ve never had a big pair so when they blew up I was loving it. I had a cleavage! But wow did they hurt.
There was a strict no touching policy between my husband and I, unless of course he wanted to be punched in the face! You look amazing, your new boobs makes you feel amazing (as long as you don't touch them), you're glowing and people tell you this all the time so you generally feel great... until you notice your husband hasn't taken his plate out (or has done something else just as trivial). Under 'normal' circumstances you can let this annoyance go but now you feel a rage that is uncontrollable and before you've realised what has happened you've exploded. Guilt follows shortly after...so cry uncontrollably and all the while you're telling yourself you're being completely ridiculous! Once it's safe to do so your partner leans in for a cuddle to make up and give you a bit of tlc but knocks your swollen boobs!!! I think you know what happens next...
#3) Cross your legs when you sneeze!
Pelvic floor exercises are not to be sniffed at. You hear about this exercise a lot when you're having a baby but if you’re anything like me you think ‘ah I’m young, fit and healthy there’s nothing to worry about'...until you sneeze and nearly wet yourself!!Then after that, any sudden movement or strenuous activity such as laughing also causes you to nearly wet yourself - you feel like an old lady!
And this doesn’t really go away after baby arrives - at least not after having 4 kids anyway. Regular pelvic floor exercises from the beginning really will help loads.
If you're unsure how to do it correctly just type it into your search engine or ask your midwife 🙂
So that’s it for Part 1. Really hope you enjoyed reading.
Next week is Part 2 - After the Arrival...watch this space for some more home truths that all expectant mothers should know!