I'm pregnant - now what? Well, you know the saying that goes something like ‘Hop on board. Hold on to your hats, cos you’re in for a bumpy ride.’ Well, that’s it in a nutshell.
You might have already thought you had a rollercoaster of a life, but as soon as you hear the news that you are going to be a mummy, level up ladies. That rollercoaster is on steroids! Mainly good... but sometimes a little strange too...
When we found out we were expecting our first, we thought we knew exactly what we wanted. Life was good. I was in full time employment. My job was great. We were in a great place as a couple, and then …. BOOM! The hormone rush. One of the unexpected pleasures of being a ‘First-Time Mum’.
The expectant mum. But did you expect this?
It feels strange. And yet, there is a beauty to finding out you have created another little human being.
The kind of beauty that you can’t explain.
No matter how hard you try to express how you feel, you can't really find the words – even to the one with whom you co-created!
It’s a ‘woman thing’. Now that may be a little bit controversial, but after all, nature intended the woman to be the bearer of the fruit.
You feel beautiful too. You get that first few weeks of pregnancy ‘glow’ and beaming with delight. Yes, I
know... if you suffer with morning (anytime) sickness, you may not feel glowing... but be assured others will see it.
As the news starts to sink in, you realise that life will never be the same again.
So, once again... I'm pregnant, now what?
We all do it, and it’s quite possibly the worst thing we could do. We get straight on the internet!
We Google all sorts of everything and throw ourselves into the biggest state of internet-driven anxiety, quite unnecessarily. Maybe this phase of our new life should officially be written into medical books as an actual condition – 'early pregnancy internet-driven anxiety'!
Then there’s the real life ‘officialdom’ – those who have been there before and tell you everything you should and absolutely should never do.
If you carry in one way it's a girl, in another it's a boy. Don't do this exercise. Don't eat this food. Do do this, but noooooo don't do that...
Ladies just remember this. You are YOU! Nobody else is sitting in your very soon to be expanding waistband.
And speaking of growing waistbands … just accept it. It’s going to happen... it's inevitable!
Now we’re all tempted to go with the ‘I’m eating for two’ option at every chance, but especially as a first-time mum, you may be amazed at just how quickly the pounds can pile on. Chopped apple and peanut butter can suddenly become your best friend. Carrot sticks and Guacamole are a Friday night treat, if you can manage to avoid the cheesecake and gateau. Low fat yogurt with fruit and nuts (that’s actual fruit and nuts, not Fruit and Nut of the chocolate variety. Other chocolate is available!!)
In actual fact your baby only needs the equivalent additional calories of one bag of crisps - a small one, not a family bag!
And cravings... some go through healthy cravings... I had a friend who wanted lightly steamed carrots smothered in butter... but not me... I craved all sorts of weird and wonderful concoctions. I could probably talk all day about those, but we'll leave for another time!
If you do decide to eat healthily and try to be fairly strict, make sure you just let go sometimes. Don’t hold yourself to task if there are times when your get up and go has got up and gone. All you fancy is literally everything in the fridge on one plate. Strange? Nah, that’s quite normal!
Honestly, if you are reading this because you're going through your first pregnancy, I am sure your head is nodding, you’re breathing a huge sigh of relief, and you’re grinning away thinking this is me! I’ve not lost the plot after all.
It’s like a combination of pure love, energy, and pride for this little person (or people, and that’s a whole different ball game!) inside you. Wrapped up with fear and vulnerability you’ve never experienced before. Yet all the time knowing that this is the start of the best thing you’ve ever done.
So, to all of you first-time mums out there, take all the comments and advice on the chin. Accept the bits that fit for you and ignore the bits that don't. Try to remember the people around you are only trying to help. But pop back in here for some virtual hugs from the ones who know!
Watch out for more of our 'mummy world' nattering, and good luck to you all.
Never feel the need to say 'I'm pregnant - now what?' again. And, please always remember, you’re not alone!