The only thing I remember from my first two pregnancies is the height of labor pain. I knew that I'd heard too many women say that the pain is horrendous but then you forget it and commit to doing it again...so I decided I would lodge that feeling into my brain so that I wouldn't fall for that. The trouble is I'm now 39 weeks pregnant with the fear looming. I don't remember any of the other bits! This time round though I choose a wider variety of survival notes... incase I ever do this again... because who knows...!?
1. Don't bother with the maternity label in clothes. Buying clothes early on is a good idea actually, so that you only buy stuff that you will fit and wear afterwards too. I've had to get a couple of maternity bits and pieces - a winter coat, skinny jeans with one of those unattractive but comfy waistbands (which I've been told are also great for breastfeeding when you want a few layers to cover up bits of body you don't want to show off in public weeks after childbirth) and a dress or two. Other than that I've looked for things like dresses and longer vest tops, a couple of pretty Joules tunics, basic cardigans and scarves that I can layer up and will fit just fine in the months to come post birth. I don't know why I did it but I succumbed to buying one of those maternity wrap dresses. It was mumsy, a weird 90's esq pattern, looked boring snoring on the website... but something in me decided that I might grow up and want to look sensible and pregnant this time round??! I wore it once to the office subconsciously when I knew I wouldn't be seeing many people. I felt like a boring, personality-less, generic lady from a catalogue and hated every moment in it. It wont get worn again- ever. I'm much, much happier in shirts, and cardigans over a long vest with jeans or shorts - I feel like me. Perhaps the best investment has been bump band though - anything which supports some of the weight of your tummy and gives your back a bit of help is well worth the money (and by 'money' I mean £12 from asos) .
2. Remember it's worth it. Right now its worth it. I'm 39 weeks, not sleeping or walking comfortably. I know there is a babies head very lodged right into my pelvis so getting in and out of a car, bending down to sort the washing, getting in and out of bed and generally sitting still at a desk all hurts... but it's still worth it. There was a moment in the first few weeks when tiredness and nausea was getting to me. I couldn't imagine growing a bump that would feel like a baby was even part of what was going on... so at that stage remember that people will be more sympathetic when you start to look pregnant and if you can get away with going to bed at 8pm for a few weeks it will be ok and that feeling of utter exhaustion won't last forever. If you need to puke your way through the first trimester then tell people that you feel that way. The worst part of any of my pregnancies (child-birth not included) was taking the drs advice, the first time round, not to tell anyone until after 12 weeks. Finding suitable puking places is so much more traumatic when you are set on trying to convince everyone around you that you are fine and not-at-all-pregnant.
3. Keep a lot of snacks ready and bottles of water in your handbag/next to your bed at all times. Don't allow your husband to drag you on an 11 mile walk with only a kids lolly to keep your energy levels up. You will go off him by mile 8 and start to fantasize about cherry tomatoes in pasta with anchovies. (Or pack up a meal like that and consume between mile 8-11.) Don't eat sweets to make yourself feel more awake - oranges, rice cakes and bran flakes with lots of full fat milk will be far better and keep the nausea at bay - unless its just that horrid nausea where you'll be sick whatever you have. Don't get that type. Corn flakes at 3am may be a bit odd... but when you were 10 years old that would have been the most exciting thing in the whole world so go with it and enjoy it - it will only last a month or two!
4. Spend your spare money on having nice hair cuts, beauty treatments, gorgeous overnight creams and treats for the bath. You'll be spending a LOT more time in your PJs than normal and not as much money on party shoes so make that PJ time feel a bit more productive and treat yourself before you go through the birth and you'll feel incredibly battered and certainly will not be wanting a bikini wax for quite a while. We had a massive cut in income for the first 6 months of this pregnancy...dying my own hair, no haircuts and feeling v drab didn't help. I've got all my treatments and hair appointments booked in for this final week so that I don't have to figure out how to do those with a newborn for just a little bit longer.5. Don't worry about nesting too early. I thought I was a bit OTT getting the nursery ready in week 12 but I do like to do things early on. If I'd held off till now I would have run out of energy. Looking after a 7 and 9 year old, working and trying to hand over 9 years of work to other people form while I'm away and carrying a huge tummy around has meant my nesting has worn off a little. I've decorated 5 rooms of the house at various points of the 2nd trimester but I'm not desperate to get out the paints again at the moment.
6. Eat as well as you can. I've been lucky enough to have spent 3 sessions in the last couple of weeks with a nutritionist. The plan was to devise an eating plan to help with weight loss after the birth. After a couple of hours listening about the benefits of B vitamins, calcium and the production of selenium I couldn't hold myself from a cupboard binning session and a big shop at Sainsburys. I know I've really benefited from eating well before but had got lazy more recently. I have no need to wait until I've given birth to banish those nasty sugar cravings and fill my day with filling and healthy snacks. I feel SO MUCH BETTER. Already.
7. Don't wear wooly jumpers. Huge boobs and a huge tummy do not need any more volume adding and you wont be happy when you look in the mirror in one. Christmas jumpers will be here to stay for a few more years so they can afford to take a year off.
8. Think of baby names earlier than 4 days before. Having banned all baby name discussion after both children were writing lists of 100 a day we haven't got back into that topic yet and with 4 days till due day the panic is setting in! We are now pretty much decided between 2... but they are only for one gender and if we get a surprise (it happens so often!) we are well and truly stumped! Time to get onto mumsnet for some help!!