I’m currently using my mums laptop to type this post up, which is why it may look a little different to my other posts as I can’t use emojis etc so I apologise!
Becoming a mum has honestly been the best part of my life. It made me look after myself more and gave me a purpose when I felt pretty lost and worthless. Now I never got the hoards of parenting books that many people get, and I didn’t really ask for much advice etc as you either get people telling you absolute horror stories or that it was an absolute breeze. I thought I’d share with you some of the things I went through that I wasn’t ‘warned’ about. Please remember, this is my personal experience and everyone is different. I’ll try not to be too graphic, but there will be parts about body changes etc.
When it comes to thinking of names, you soon realise just how many people you dislike! I mean, you’re unlikely to give your child the same name as an ex or a childhood bully are you? I actually found boy names easier to choose for my name list. The other thing I think a lot of people don’t think about but maybe should, is what their initials spell out; for example you wouldn’t want your kids initials to spell out STD or something equally as embarrassing! Also I think the ‘flow’ of the names need to fit well together and not be a massive mouthful of a tongue twister to say.
Being pregnant can be rather uncomfortable, atleast it was for me as my bump was huge on my small frame that had never weighed more than 8 stone before (I went up to around 12 stone when pregnant) my daughter made it even more uncomfortable by being back to back with me and mainly over to my right side which often put me off balance!
I was ALWAYS tired. I didn’t get ‘pregnancy glow’ people harp on about, infact my skin became more sensitive and I always looked tired. I would nap during the day because at night I’d have to wake up to pee or I’d be uncomfortable, so I’d often wake up around 4am most mornings then doze off around 2pm for a bit.
I’ve always been one of those annoying people that is always cold, but while pregnant I was the total opposite I was like a menopausal woman getting hot flushes and having to strip off (not in public obviously!)
I lived alone whilst pregnant, which was fine until I had a bath one day and couldn’t get out! My daughter had positioned herself awkwardly which made it hard for me to lift myself up. I think I was stuck for a good 20mins before I managed to get out…I honestly thought I was going to have to call an ambulance or something to get me out which would of been rather embarrassing to say the least!
Talking of embarrassing, everyone failed to tell me that your body hair goes kind of mad. Everyone has like the tiny unnoticeable hairs all over their body, but pregnancy for some reason makes those hairs darker and more visible, especially on your belly! Along with a weird dark line on your skin going up the middle of your stomach (that goes away though)
For a lot of people, swelling is also a factor- not just your growing baby bump, but your feet, ankles, knees and fingers! (my first stretch marks were actually on my knee!)
Whoever came up with the term ‘morning sickness’ is a liar- my ‘morning sickness’ was all day almost every day for most of my pregnancy, though I wasn’t physically sick often I just had that horrible kind of motion sickness feeling which was bad enough!
I became extremely sensitive to smells, I had to leave my job as a carer because the smells I had to face on a daily basis made me gag and feel really unwell. I also became sensitive to different food tastes/textures/temperatures; at one point the only hot food I could stomach was rice so I often had cucumber and rice for a meal.
A good thing with pregnancy is that it made my hair grow longer, however, even three years later my hair has now got so thin and I get that annoying ‘baby hair’ at the front of my hairline that just goes wherever it wants to (usually sticking up like a weird unicorn horn!)
I thought that when your waters break its just one lot that happens once all in one go…nope! My waters just kept coming! It was like wetting myself on and off for ages! While at home and in the car to the hospital, I had to sit on those pad things you get for puppies when toilet training them so that I didn’t get my waters everywhere!
I’ve only ever heard good things about gas and air, but I HATED it. I tried using it for my contractions but it made me feel dizzy and tight chested so I stopped using it and didn’t have any other form of pain relief, though I did have to use gas and air when I had to be cut (TMI alert, my daughter basically got stuck and I couldn’t push hard enough to get her out and if I did she would of torn me open which isn’t great, so they cut me then stitched it back up after)
Talking of stitches…they are not nice when healing! They left a pretty long piece of ‘thread’ which would catch on underwear and pull, or I’d accidentally pull it if I sat down in certain positions. It didn’t help that for about a month after I had a constant period so had to wear sanitary pads that would also catch on the loose thread!
When I had given birth and had been on the ward for a while, the midwives realised I hadn’t actually been for a wee since the day before, so they done a scan on my bladder to make sure there was nothing wrong, and they found that my bladder had over 10 times more urine in it than its supposed to hold! (your bladder is supposed to hold about 4ml of fluid I think they said) so I had to pee into a measuring bowl and reach a certain amount of pee before they allowed me to go home. They did say that if I couldn’t empty my bladder they would have to put a catheter in which is basically a tube that goes into your bladder which empties it into a bag. Luckily I managed to empty my bladder myself!
As I mentioned above, my daughter was back to back with me, and that even now still affects my back- mainly the lower right side. If I stand up for too long or carry anything it really hurts my back and can often make me breathless from the pain. I’ve had a session of physiotherapy on it and do some of the stretches they told me to do but it hasn’t made much of a difference.
For me, becoming a mum made me more afraid of things in the world like illnesses, crime etc; I’ve always been a worrier but it got so much worse after giving birth. I cant even watch horror movies on my own anymore whereas years ago I watched them all the time on my own with no problems.
I didn’t breast feed my daughter, and I wouldn’t of been able even if I wanted to as I wouldn’t of been able to produce enough milk for my big baby (my daughter was 10lbs 1oz and 53cm long when born) I just assumed it would either ‘leak out’ or just kind of disappear with no problem…but no, I woke up one day with rock solid swollen boobs (I’m quite small chested, but this actually gave me a pretty good cleavage for the day!) that were so painful because I had mastitis from not breast feeding or expressing milk. The only thing that helped was to sort of bind my chest up until it stopped, which it did within a day or so.
Babies have various immunizations they have against different things, the first one was a needle in each leg in the same appointment… I felt so guilty putting my daughter through that because I had to hold her and hold her leg still for the nurse to inject her while she screamed her little heart out. It didn’t get easier either with the next two sessions! (especially the second lot, my daughter wouldn’t stop crying and wouldn’t drink any milk for hours, I actually took her to hospital because I was that concerned about her)
No one told me how fast babies grow. I find it so hard to believe that my daughter will be 3 this year and starts school next year. Its amazing watching them grow and learn and become their own little character, but its also heartbreaking at the same time at how fast it all happens.
Every part of pregnancy and giving birth was totally worth it; I love being a mum its the one thing I am really proud of myself for. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
immeamy, you’re you, and that’s the best way to be.