My first pregnancy was a BIG surprise.
None of my friends had children yet, and I hadn’t the first clue what to expect.
My first action as a pregnant lady was to go straight to the pharmacy and empty a bag full of about ten positive pregnancy tests onto the counter and told the horrified woman behind the counter that I thought I might be pregnant and what did she think.
Luckily, she discouraged me from driving straight to Holles Street, and instead advised I book an appointment with my GP and start reading up about what to expect.
My partner and I bought his and hers pregnancy books and settled down to discover the magic of growing a human. My husband’s book was one giant high five – it outlined how important skin to skin contact was for a dad, the miracle of creating your own offspring and how to change all the nappies. Easy Peasy.
My book was an encyclopedia of fear. Whole chapters outlined Sudden Infant Death, Post Natal Depression, Tears, Episiotomies, Colic, Sleep Deprivation, Nipple Burn and other wonderfully frightening topics I never knew existed. I cried for three days. It was too much, too soon. You hear about the heartburn, the restless legs, the inability to tie your shoelaces, but the process of growing a baby isn’t just a struggle.
I have created my own list of all the lovely things about pregnancy
1.Most people LOVE you when you are pregnant. There is a certain smile, that I have never experienced since pregnancy, that signals one human’s compassion for you as you nurture this little baby in your belly.
2. You get to see your partner in a whole new light. The gentle way they rub your belly, the fascination with the entire process.
3. You suddenly never feel alone. I used to work early shifts and loved this peaceful time where I would mentally chat with my baby about our hopes and dreams together.
4. You have an excuse to nap, as much as you like and without being judged. Bring it.
5. You get to name another human.
6. You suddenly have amazing superpowers like growing human ears and toes and hosting an entire person within.
7. You get to skip the line for toilets.
8. You get to buy tiny cute babygros and fluffy blankets with elephants on them. It is so much more fun than dolls.
9. You get to melt into a bag of emotions when you hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time (and every time!)
10.You enter an amazing chapter in your life that passes in a flash and that you will yearn for someday. You get to create a love that will never end and a bond that will never break.
If you are pregnant and nervous, don’t be. It is about so much more than they outline in the books.
And after three pregnancies, I can tell you that every tear, every ache, and every panic is really really worth it. It is probably your finest moment and your best achievement.