5 things to know before you give birth….
So, you’re pregnant for the first time. You can’t wait to meet the little person growing inside you, and as every day passes, you also can’t wait to ‘get back to normal’…except beyond imagining being able to see your feet, fit back into your jeans sometime this year and how you will deal with 101 key questions your child may ask you at the various stages of their life, you have absolutely no idea what normal will look like.
Here are a few things we all wish we had been prepared for first time around, five things to know before you give birth…
Post-its are going to become your friend over the next few months so buy in bulk! Yes, ‘baby brain’ is a real phenomenon and unfortunately, there is seemingly nothing you can do to avoid it. The great thing is that when you’re living through the intensity of one of the most life changing and miraculous experiences you will ever live through, things you would have once stressed over forgetting seem remarkably unimportant. Make sure your bills are on direct debit and your diary is filled in and above all, laugh about it.
Heart racing fear
Yes, you really did just check your bundle of joy was still breathing for the seventh time in one night. Suddenly, your mind is taken over by the worry of every possible thing that could go wrong. The cliché about ringing the babysitter every 5 minutes to make sure the bold typed checklist you taped to the fridge on how to prepare the bottle has been noticed and followed? It’s all true. Suddenly there is someone in your life you would gladly jump under a bus to protect – so every cell in your body is primed to facilitate that little person’s survival. The good news is that it does get easier eventually. But accepting that this heart stopping fear will, at some level, be pretty much constantly under the surface of your day to day routine for the first 12 months is probably a good starting point.
Your body is going to change whether you like it or not
No matter how many pictures you’ve seen of Katie Price, Victoria Beckham or some other celebrity mum wearing a crop top and dancing on a podium a week after their 5th child…it doesn’t mean that is a possibility for the average person in any time, circumstances or dimension of reality. I will say no more.
PND is real and can affect anyone
One thing people don’t discuss quite as much after pregnancy is the very real possibility of Post Natal, or Post Partum Depression. The huge drop in your hormone levels after giving birth, especially, but not exclusively, after a traumatic delivery, is a very real threat to your mental equilibrium and it can take time and patience with yourself to find balance. Stopping breastfeeding is another key stage in your postnatal journey where again, the hormonal drop can be unexpectedly devastating. Be kind to yourself and recognise that this can happen to anyone. Talking about it and seeking professional help is the first step to recovery.
This is the one thing about giving birth that people can tell you about, but you can never be truly prepared for. It may not happen straightaway if you’re suffering from PND (as discussed above), but it will happen, and when it does it will be beyond anything you have ever experienced before. Think you’ve been in love before? Think again. This love is so all encompassing, so unique and yet such a universal force that it will expand your consciousness, break your heart and make you into a brand new person with every moment that passes. Whatever your life was like before you gave birth, whatever things you worried you would miss out with a new addition in tow: this is what makes it all worthwhile. Welcome to motherhood!
So that’s it, five things to know before you give birth, I hope these truths weren’t too painful! Thanks so much for reading my Birdie Post, I’m a maternity, newborn, baby and family photographer and I’m really big on the love and ever so passionate about what I do. Pop over to my site and have a look at my work. The magic you are about to experience will only last a moment and if you want to keep a little of it forever, you may want my help.