Having a baby is a constant barrage of new experiences. From learning you’re pregnant to the first almost full night’s sleep in months there are millions of things to learn. If I choose to do it again, there’s a lot I’ll change with the power of knowledge.
Here’s a few things I’ve learnt that they didn’t tell me:
- The beginning of your pregnancy can feel like the beginning stages of your period (therefore you keep thinking it’s coming, when it’s not).
- Nothing can prepare you for the fatigue you suffer in the first trimester (not even having chronic fatigue for years).
- They say the second trimester is the “golden” trimester – they lied. (The fatigue didn’t recede and the pain increased with my size from week 24.)
- It’s not discomfort, it’s pain.
- Labour is not always made up of contained plots of pain that slowly increases in intensity. You can have severe, unrelenting backache the entire labour, in addition to the contractions (which can start with a bang at 5 minutes apart).
- Labour is not necessarily the worst part. After 24 hours the baby begins to scream. And doesn’t stop. You need to produce milk for this tiny dictator.
- You need to care for the baby in between running to the bathroom in order to deal with the profuse bleeding (they didn’t exaggerate about that) and hope the alkalising stuff worked so that your poor stitches don’t burn – on almost no sleep.
- Breastfeeding DOES hurt. (And. although you will be judged, choose what works for you and your baby, we have choices now, so use them – a fantastic piece of advice from my midwife)
- It’s so so so hard to smile and nod at unwanted advice, particularly when it’s to feed your baby -who is actually desperately windy.
- Your stitches, while healed after several weeks, will still ache when you’re tired. Which is almost all of the time.
- How gobsmacked you will be when your small tyrant, who kept you up most of the night, smiles properly for the first time.
- There are no words that can describe how you feel when your baby begins watching you for sustained periods and responds to your smiles, words and touch.
I am so in love with my boy. I can’t believe he is mine! But I am in no rush to replicate the process!