Becoming pregnant is usually such an exciting time for the expectant parents. Even with my second, when we knew what we were letting ourselves in for (or did we? More on that to follow), we were still so excited.
|But of course it’s worth it!!|
And then you post your scan on Facebook or something (our chosen method of sharing the news) and you get a hundred people saying “Congratulations!” and “So happy and excited for you!”. And then you have the baby and people say “It’s the best job in the world” and, my personal favourite, “Enjoy every second!”
And it sort of lulls you into a false sense of security that this is going to be the most magical, wonderful experience of your life. Which of course it is. But not every second. Not every second of every minute of every hour of every day can you possibly feel happy, excited and be enjoying it. So this is what I’d really love to say when people tell me they’re pregnant:
- Congratulations! It’s so wonderful being a mummy. And sometimes a bit shit.
- It’s ok if sometimes you want to go to work just to have a break. We’ve all been there (not physically there at your workplace. There emotionally).
- I’m so happy for you! And so pleased that it’s you and not me going through morning sickness and swollen ankles.
- Some days you will cry. A lot. You are normal.
- It’s the best job in the world. And the hardest. Especially when it’s your first and you’ve had no training. It’s ok to ask for help.
- You wont enjoy every second. If you do, you’re crackers or I’ve been doing it all wrong. Because who enjoys sleep deprivation? Yes, there may be bonuses to being woken up repeatedly in the night, like the cuddles. But you wont enjoy feeling so tired you could spend all day crying into your coffee.
- Breastfeeding is tough. Physically and emotionally it is so demanding. You will want to give up when you spend an hour and half feeding your baby, for them to want feeding 45 minutes later. You will want to reach for a bottle when you’ve just got in the bath and the baby starts screaming and you’re the only one who can feed him. You will want to throw in the towel when all your friends are at the pub and you can’t go because your baby, at 8 months old, wont take a bottle and so it’s your sole responsibility to put him to bed. And if you give up, reach for a bottle and throw in the towel (like I did after a couple of months with my first, and one month with my second), that’s ok. You have not failed. You are feeding your baby and preserving your own emotional and physical well being.
- Labour hurts. People who say “you forget the pain immediately afterwards” are either lying or…………no they’re lying. It’s worth it, of course. You have a baby so of course it’s worth it. But you’ll feel the pain for a little longer than ‘immediately afterwards’. Like every time you use the toilet. For at least a month.
- Congratulations on your second! I know you think you know it all, you’ll do everything the same, you’re all prepared. FYI you don’t, you wont and you’re not.
I really wish someone had told me the last one. I was a bit of a cocky sod, I’ll admit, because I thought, “I’ve done this before, it was fine, we’ll do things the same.” Then I had my second baby and it turns out he’s a different child! So ‘the same’ things don’t work. And I also forgot that my eldest would keep on growing and would still need supporting through developmental leaps and stages. Having one is a piece of cake compared to having two in my opinion!
But of course the thing no one tells you, probably because they can’t even begin to put it into words, is that you’ll feel love like you’ve never experienced in your life. Especially the first time they sleep through the night 😉