I have friends expecting their first baby and I have to admit that I try to give them advice on what to eat during pregnancy and how and when to exercise. I tried to be as supportive as possible and maybe I got carried away and I pictured them this amazing journey where the nine months of carrying their babies are the most wonderful thing and what comes next is even more wonderful. Just because I had a very straight forward labor doesn’t mean everyone had it the same or will have it.
The thing is when I got pregnant most people got me scared. I only heard horror stories, painful memories, bad birth experiences and negative comments about first weeks of being a mother. Up until my 26th week when I started attending the antenatal classes I got to the stage when I was expecting hell on earth and I thought that no woman had a good thing to say about giving birth and being a new mum. I want to thank the lovely midwife from St Mary’s Hospital, the one who conducts the antenatal classes. She is so positive and so real. She managed to take all negativity that surrounded me and made me calm, relaxed and see birth as a journey. A beautiful trip at the end of which I will meet the love of my life. She made me understand that after labor I get my reward and the pain is not in vain. What helped the most coping with the pain was this: you are not here to think of the pain relief but to meet your baby. You are working to meet the most precious person in the world so concentrate on this and not on how to make the pain go away. I swear that during labor I could hear her voice and I pushed like there was no tomorrow thinking about the minute I will hold my baby in my arms. And it was so so worth it. All pain was in the back of my head the moment I got to see my Ruby. That was the most beautiful and the happiest moment of my life and I will never forget how it felt. It is amazing and every woman should experience it without any background stories from anyone else. No pregnancy and no labor are the same. There are surely few things we all have in common but again every woman goes through this experience on her own way. Some cope with it better than others. It is all up to how strong you are.
During my pregnancy I read about what to expect when expecting. Everything was so detailed but in the same time so far from the truth. All I can say is expect sleepless nights (I haven’t slept a full night since I was about three months pregnant), back pains, leg pains, sciatica nerve doing a good number on you, swollen feet and arms making you feel like a whale, getting tired after two steps and obviously the beautiful pregnant walk that looks more like a huge effort to not fall on your side or back, four am ice lollies while walking around in the house cause you suffer from insomnia although you swear you would give anything for a good night sleep, expect lots and lots of tears for no reason, a mushy brain that makes you forget the easiest of tasks, expect lots of antisocial behavior and so many stupid and annoying comments from know-it-all people who you secretly dream of killing. Expect everyone wanting to touch your belly like it’s a public good not thinking if you are ok with it or not, expect them to tell you you look huge never thinking that you already know it and most definitely don’t need to hear it again. Expect people to ask you who do you think the baby looks like although you haven’t met him/her yet and to be honest you don’t even care. And of course expect that you would pray for the baby to come out quicker as you get so sick of being pregnant.
And all these before you go into labor and before you meet that little bundle of joy you’ve been dreaming of for the past nine months. You will enter into labor exhausted and you will get out of there even more exhausted. But you know what? Adrenaline kicks in. I haven’t slept at all for the fist days I had Ruby. I was just staring at her and smiling like a dumb person thinking “Wow. I created this!”
After I gave birth I forgot all that pregnancy nonsense. I forgot all pain, tiredness and annoying people. But something else began. Life as a mother. And is so overwhelming, painful, lonely and hard. I can only say if you get over the first three months you done it. You are a good mother and things go a bit easier from here. Hang in there. You will get frustrated, you will cry, be tired, swear, dream of killing or constantly hitting your partner and think you can’t cope with it. If you’ve been and active working mum than get ready for getting jealous of every single working woman and her ability to multitask and still be full of energy, get ready to miss work with every fiber on your body. When you will feel all these leave the room you are in, breath and count to ten, take a look at your baby and breath again. You can do it. It is damn hard but you got so far. You created a life and I swear this is worth it. I can promise you that in no time all these would be memory. You will forget most of it. There will always be challenges but it gets easier. Soon baby will smile at you, respond to your monkey faces and let you know when she/he is hungry. You will figure out soon why your little one is crying and what he/she needs. No matter if you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, your munchkin will grow so beautifully. Remember that they need your love. Show them how much you love them and give them as many cuddles as you want, kiss them whenever you want and don’t mind people who will advice you to not pick up or hug your baby if they cry. Don’t be afraid. Do it. Your baby was inside you for nine months. They only need you, your smell, your arms, your voice and your kisses. You are their superhero. And if you are happy your baby is happy as well.
Give them your attention and your love for they are your world now.
PS: when your baby will smile for the first time get ready to have your heart filled with so much love you never thought existed. That smile will always be with you and help you through everything.
SONG OF THE DAY: – another one of Ruby’s favorites