If I could go back in time, there are 16 painfully obvious truths I wish I could tell my pregnant self and smack my own head with my hairbrush 16 times! I would say, “Forget about what you have read and/or what other people have said, here are 16 painfully obvious truths about pregnancy nobody ever tells you but YOU must know!”
- You’re pregnant when you ARE pregnant!
Quit googling pregnancy symptoms and visiting pregnancy forums. You ARE pregnant when you are. You can have all ten or hundred symptoms but you’re not pregnant until you see that second line. The more you read, the more you think you have ALL symptoms from nausea to needing to pee.
But you aren’t pregnant until the stick tells you.
Just go PEE on that stick!
2. Read the Pee stick instructions and FOLLOW it.
Don’t overthink the process – “Did I pee too late in the day?”; “Did I pee too early in my cycle?”; “What’s mid stream?”; “Does it have to be mid stream?”; “Is it two minutes or four minutes?”
Instructions are there for a reason.
3. “Is that a Second line?”
If you need to ask someone or place the Pee stick in some awkward angle, tilt your head and squint one eye, then there is no second line. It’s not Rocket science.
Buy a stick, pee on a stick, wait for two lines (or the words to appear).
4. Just BUY pee sticks in bulk.
I know you’ll keep testing two weeks early everyday, three times a day and ask everyone who will go near your pee to look at the sticks for the next fourteen days anyway, no matter what I tell you.
So just go buy in bulk.
5. Do not LAUGH at Morning Sickness!
Congratulations, you are Pregnant! Don’t assume just because your mother, auntie, sister, or cousin never ever had morning sickness, you won’t have it too.
Oh yes, and don’t assume just because you did not have it for your second pregnancy, you won’t get it during your third.
Morning Sickness is the Boogey Woman, made up to scare Pregnant Women. She is REAL, she is raging and she’s coming for you.
6. ALL DAY ALL NIGHT sickness, actually.
If MORNING Sickness is the Boogey Woman, then ALL DAY ALL NIGHT sickness is the Monster who lived in your closet as a child.
She’s back! And she’s out of the closet!
You wake up, feeling sick. You sleep, feeling sick. YOU. JUST. FEEL. SICK. ALL. THE. (PUT IN YOUR OWN ADJECTIVE). TIME.
Remember dry crackers and juice work best for you!
Don’t expect much sympathy from anyone else who has not been through it. Your husband’s exact words will be “Wow, I always thought Morning Sickness was made up. Now I know it’s real” and you’ll want to punch him but you’re too busy dry retching or vomiting.
7. Do not forget to pack your socks for your hospital bag!
Do not worry about the music, massage oils, book or Netflix — you are not going on a holiday. You are not going to a dream tropical 5 star resort vacation, where the accommodation is nothing like in the brochure and the locals are not as friendly, no matter how great the hospital tour was.
You’re there to WORK with very COLD feet. It is called LABOUR for good reason.
8. Sometimes, not everything, or nothing goes as planned, according to the Birth Plan.
You will have emergencies and need to have medical interventions to save your baby’s life. It is not a reflection of your Mothering abilities. It is what life is. So do not get too stressed if NOTHING goes according to your birth plan- it’s OK.
You are not a failure if you did not have a natural child birth or a water birth, or the birth you imagined yourself having.
9. Anyone who says Childbirth is easy and not PAINFUL is LYING!
They are in the business of selling birthing classes/products to you or themselves. They are either lying, drugged up or have short term memory loss.
Or most likely a man.
Bwahaha, bless your cotton socks, you think you know what contractions are and you can will it all away with meditation, breathing exercises, hypnobirthing, water birthing and all that jazz.
Preparing for contractions is like preparing for a Tsunami – you are never really prepared but you can get through it but when it comes, it will HIT you!
Lower back ache, a twinge, a tingle, menstrual like cramps…it’s all and none of them. Just like chocolate, you have to experience it for yourself.
It does not make you a bad mother if you cry, shout, scream or ask for pain medications, even if you have told every single person you are going for a drug free natural birth.
It is OKAY to your CHANGE your mind before, during or after labour.
11. You’re in Labour when you’re in Labour.
It’s labour when you start screaming and cursing, and thinking murderous thoughts about your partner! All other times if you can even muster to ask the question, “Is this it?”, then it is not IT. At 10cm dilated, you will howl “Put AWAY that stupid camera!” to your husband and then proceed to call him every swear word ever invented.
But don’t worry, you’ll both forget anyway.
You’ll just know, just like you’ll know when you have broken a bone.
12. You will never know you are in labour until it’s too late.
You are one of the rare few who will have excruciating fast intense labours and will never know until it’s too late. You are the mum who will give birth even before the doctor gets there! So don’t think it only happens in the movies.
You are the mum who thinks that nothing unexpected will happen to you.
So expect the unexpected. Anything can happen to anyone, hence, the point #8 Birth Plan. Don’t take your Birth Plan too religiously.
13. There is no “push”, only do.
It is more of a purge, very much akin to expulsion of bodily fluids which you have no control over. If you have to think about “how to push” and that “you’re not pushing”, then you’re not pushing.
You just do.
14. Breastfeeding is difficult, painful and totally unnatural.
You have to LEARN how to breastfeed.
You’ve had your mammary glands for all your life and have never used them for anything but cute tube tops. So don’t worry if your milk has not come in, your nipples are cracked and you naturally do not know how to position the baby, you will learn in time.
Nipples do not come with instructions nor do they have an automatic natural “ON’ button. The breastfeeding act may be natural but no one naturally knows what to do. We all learn from other women around us. Do not be ashamed to say “I need help” or “I don’t know how to do this.”
Oh yes, and if you can’t, you can’t.
That’s all right too.
15. Your baby will not need 60% of the things you bought for him.
The only thing your baby needs is you…but be prepared that you might be in too much pain to nurse him, be prepared that you might have had a different birth outcome, be prepared that you might not fall in love with him at first sight.
Your worth as a Mother is not defined by how you give birth or whether you breastfeed or bottle feed.
It is not a competition, it is not a race. We all get there anyway.
It’s OK to say, “I had to have help”; I need help” or “I don’t know”
Trust me, you’re not the first mum to say this and you won’t be the last.
16. Phew, the hardest part is now over!
(LOUD GUFFAWS) Do you honestly believe that?
I then give myself the final 16th big hairbrush whack on my head, hopefully to awaken my Pregnant Self.
Disclaimer : This is based on one woman’s experiences and no medical experts or time travellers were consulted.
When The Mulk tries to be funny, I become Agent Spitback writing life nonsense for my Secret Diary.
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