So, since I had our baby 15 and a half weeks ago, I have managed to write about 3.5 blogs. One about giving birth (and even then I didn’t really finish the story…), a couple about Awareness Weeks and just a little one (hence the 0.5) about the fact she was here.
When I was pregnant, I had no idea where I was going to go with this blog and so vowed to ‘Stop Blogging’. I didn’t want my blog, which essentially was about our journey to pregnancy, to turn into a ‘Mummy Blog’. So, I still don’t know where I’m going with it but I know I don’t really want to stop blogging. Sometimes it’s hard to shut me up…
Lately, I’ve been thinking about being pregnant. It was such an amazing time, growing a little life but it really did scare the living daylights out of me. Not because I was scared of Motherhood (although that was a bit scary) – but I worried about whether things would actually be OK and it would actually happen for us. I do wish I could go back and tell myself that it was all going to be alright and to enjoy it just a little bit more. I have no idea if it will happen to me again, so I do wish I could go back and savour those little kicks and punches and stroke my bump just one more time.
So there’s a bunch of other stuff I would tell my pregnant self – on a more practical note:
Pregnancy and giving birth
- Giving birth is the most amazing experience ever. Don’t worry yourself about it – your instincts will just take over and you’ll do OK. Take heaps of photos (not you – The Husband, nurses, whoever you can con into it) of before, after, during if you can bear it (but not of ‘those parts’ – it really doesn’t matter that you look like crap and have been awake for 72 hours. You’ll be high on drugs, so you won’t remember that much about it afterwards…)
- Don’t bother reading loads of birthing books. Your time is way better spent sleeping/eating pizza etc. Read just one if you must and cry your way through a few episodes of One Born Every Minute – but I really don’t know if Giving Birth is something you can really prepare for. That Water Birth you thought you’d have. It won’t happen.
- Enjoy those maternity clothes and show off that bump. It is, afterall, the only time you’ll want to emphasize your stomach. Afterwards you’ll have squat all to wear that fits so embrace it. Afterall, you’re really not a celebrity that just ‘pings’ back into shape.
- Get your bag packed early (you did – well done!) and pack loads of food in it!!! Don’t forget a flannel etc. – that first shower after childbirth is like the most amazing thing EVER.
Being a ‘Mum’
- Breast isn’t necessarily best. Feeding your child is best with whatever works for you and them. If the whole breast-feeding thing doesn’t work out (which in this case it really, really didn’t – a story probably for another blog and another day…), you tried and what is important most of all is a healthy child.
- Everyone has an opinion. Don’t listen as you will drive yourself potty. (Unless you have specifically asked for advice from someone you trust, then listen obviously). You will also hear the following over and over: (Disclaimer – if you have said this to me, I am just taking the mick really, and I’m not annoyed with you. And this list is just a small selection of The Beauties I have heard in the last 15 weeks)
* Is she sleeping? (Well, yes, they all sleep – just not always when people think they should)
*Is she a good girl? (No, whilst we think she’s asleep in her cot, she’s out parading around town in her mini skirt and crop top)
*Ooh she’s crying – is she hungry/tired/teething/nappy needs changing? (I don’t know, I’d not thought of any of those things)…
*You need to sleep when the baby’s sleeping (Come on now, if i’ve heard this once – I’ve heard it a zillion times. This is only possible if the baby will go down in their cot for naps – and for longer than 10 minutes at that…) And if they actually do go down for their naps, this is the time to MENTALLY sort and put away washing, put another load on (invariably muslins, bibs, 3,000 vests and sleepsuits…), wash and sterilise bottles, wee, poo, shower, get dressed yourself, google any ailments you suspect your child has, read blogs, browse social media (probably uploading 3 million photos of your gorgeous baby in 16 different poses), sort any pets eating and toileting needs, do any life admin that you are WAY behind on and maybe, just maybe if you are lucky and the small child stays asleep long enough – have a HOT cup of coffee. Sleep is for when the child goes to school, surely.
- Get a good box set/sky package/lend lots of DVDs. There will be days when you are glued to the sofa. Baby snuggles and cuddles/feeding is great but you might as well watch something good at the same time.
- Get clued up on the good baby drugs. Calpol for a temperature. Teether granules and Anbesol for teething. Snufflebabes and saline drops for colds. Stock up and never have them not on your person (or at least in the nappy bag).
- Always have the nappy bag stocked and ready to go (and on that note, start preparing for Leaving the House an hour before being due anywhere. Your child will invariable decide to have a sick/poo accident before you leave the house and you might as well only be a little late, rather than a lot late…)
- If you try and sneak the baby out of the house asleep, the next door neighbour WILL appear, stick her head in the pram and bellow ‘HOW IS SHE?’ and wake her up so don’t bother trying. The pram/car gets her to sleep in 2 seconds flat, although she will try to make out that you are murdering her as you put her in it.
- That carseat is heavy, even without The Baby in it. Alternate arms or your muscles will end up lopsided.
- Everything is ‘Just a Phase’. Colic, the not being able to do a thing because the baby will not be Put Down. The refusal to sit in the Bouncer chair. (Or anywhere else except on you for that matter). That sling you bought in pregnancy and paraded round the house with Fozzy Bear in, will be a lifesaver so you can do something other than be glued to the sofa. And before you know it, they will happily sit in their chair/go in their basket and you’ll miss those newborn snuggles.
- Learn how to use the Travel System before The Birth. Or you may end up crying in IKEA carpark on an old couple, whose granddaughter ends up googling how to help you dismantle the carseat from the trolley bit. Just saying.
- Go through the next size up clothes earlier than you think. Some clothing brands make their sizes a little smaller – or if you have gone Nearly New, the previous owner may have shrunk them a bit in the dryer. Then you’ll get as much wear out of them as possible.
- Leave the house everyday. Otherwise you may drive yourself potty – and you may drive The Baby potty too. Even if just for a walk in the park or a coffee in a cafe for a change of scenery.
- Talk to other mums. They will tell you that they feel the same and are experiencing similar things and you will feel sane again. Even though people may think you just sit around and drink tea and eat cake on Maternity Leave, those chats are invaluable. And cake contains sugar. Sugar gives you energy. Enough said.
There’s probably a million other things I would say to my pregnant self, but right now, I need to go and fold muslins…
(Disclaimer 2 : Most of this is tongue in cheek and I love Motherhood and my daughter 200% )
Here’s a few pictures of our daughter since I last posted…