By BETH MACDONALD
All the pregnancy books and stuff you read when you are pregnant prepare you for just that: the pregnancy. The tricky bit is all the stuff that happens AFTER that. And by tricky, read the hardest thing you will EVER do in your life (except, of course, if you run marathons or cure diseases or something hard like that).
It’s like all those brides out there who become obsessed with prepping for their wedding without actually thinking about the whole marriage thing. I think it was the wise Dr Phil who said to prepare for the marriage, not the wedding. So it must be true. Because he is a doctor and everything. You are prepped for the pregnancy- just not so much on everything that comes after that. Like the child-rearing bit.
Like every other first-time Mum, I was completely swept up in the whole growing-a-baby thing. Thinking smugly to myself how clever my husband and I were for making a baby. A baby! I subscribed to all those emails that describe what the baby had done that week. “See honey? I’m tired because I grew some eye lashes!” I read everything and anything I could get my hands on about being pregnant and giving birth.
I soaked up all the attention that I was getting, the seats on the bus, the ever-growing concern from my husband about how I was feeling every second of the day, the chats from co-workers about how I was doing. I loved, reveled, BASKED in all it’s first time pregnant glory! It was just the family and friends who were already mothers who smiled at me as I passed on the charcoal chicken just in case I would get listeria. If only I knew what that smile meant.
Boy did I have NO clue. None. Not one. And that’s okay. NO ONE can tell you just what you are getting yourself in for. It wasn’t until 1 week being at home that I called each and every female I knew and trusted who had kids and said, “No one told me it would be like (adding in possibly F***ing) THIS?!” And each and every one of them, with loving concern said, “I know. It’s hard. It’s really hard. But it DOES get easier. Promise.”
For starters, no one asked me how I was anymore. It was ALL about the baby. No one really cares how you are, except your Ob who may be concerned whether your stitches are healing well, or that you have passed your first movement. Even your beloved husband may only remember to ask if you are feeling OK when he sees you wincing in pain as you attempt to latch on the baby for a feed while you have BLEEDING NIPPLES. It’s all about the baby.