pregnancy

"I'm pregnant for the first time, and there are 4 pieces of 'advice' I'm sick of hearing."

'Your vagina will swell so big you won’t be able to sit on it.'

'You’ll wee yourself daily so invest in - and start wearing - adult diapers.'

'Prepare to beg for death in the third trimester as you slowly lose control of all your bodily functions, along with your dignity, self-respect and ability to hold in a poop.'

Watch: Be a "good" mum. Post continues below.


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These are just a few of the things I’ve been told will inevitably happen to me in the last twelve weeks of pregnancy. 

You see, I’m a new mum-to-be; 20 weeks pregnant and feeling the incredible bliss of trimester two.

I’ve started creepily watching my husband sleep at night (whilst whispering ‘I love you’ at his face), caught myself crying in the newborn aisle at Target and, this week, started feeling the first tiny flutters of my new best friend.

And while I’ve read, watched and heard enough to know that the next three months aren't exactly pregnancy nirvana for most, I really want to enjoy this experience without thinking of the apparent black hole of death that’s waiting for me on the other side. 

Despite faking meetings, calls and bathroom emergencies to get out of fear-mongering conversations at work, every horror delivery story, water birth plan courtesy of your doula and maternal mortality rate URL has been shared with me, despite never asking for it.

I’m all for advice - tell me how to get rid of morning sickness, which stroller to try and how to minimise these giant boobs I now have - but don’t tell me the percentage of women who didn’t survive childbirth in Australia in 2020. 

There is definitely a fine line between advice and ‘scaring the absolute shit out of someone because of your own personal experiences’, and whilst I understand that knowledge is power, some things are better left un-shared (unless you’ve asked to hear about it, and in that case, roll out the stats). For example...

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Morning sickness will have you asking for Satan.

Scaring the shit out of someone: "Prepare to lose three months of your life - minimum. You’ll be crawling to the bathroom at work, unable to leave the house without a spew bag and searching for dirt or ice to satisfy your upset belly."

Advice: "Morning sickness is incredibly tough, and while there are far better ways to spend weekends than being rugged up on the couch and gagging at the idea of salmon, there are things you can do, and people who are there, to help you. Lean on those around you - your partner, friends, doctors, psychologists, the cat, the dog, the neighbour - anyone that can make that period of time more tolerable as you grow your healthy baby."

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All your bits will burn and balloon.

Scaring the shit out of someone: "When you sit down, you’ll feel such intense pain in your crotch, you’ll swap seats for standing up - which is so exhausting in trimester three. You won’t even be able to wear knickers, but you’ll have lots of discharge, so you’ll go through pants like you go through undies, so HELLO NEVERENDING LAUNDRY DAY."

Advice: "Your body is inevitably going to change. However, everyone’s experiences are different, which means what I went through is most probably going to differ to what you’re going through. Be kind to yourself, acknowledge that things are moving, growing or swelling even, to prepare your body for delivery. And, if you have any concerns about anything you’re feeling, speak to your doctor - they’ve seen it all, which makes them far more equipped than Dr Google and human Reddit threads."

You need a pre-birth bucket list because your life is basically over after birth.

Scaring the shit out of someone: "Do every single thing you’ve ever wanted to, because your social life is about to drop off a cliff. You’ll completely lose yourselves, and your whole life will revolve around the baby’s routine, and nothing else. And if you’ve missed out on an overseas trip because of Covid, you might as well toss your passport away - you won’t be needing it again."

Advice: "I have some friends in Melbourne who bring their beautiful baby girl out to date nights or arvo pub sessions with their friends. She laughs gleefully as she’s passed from pal to pal, before dozing off in her pram for the remainder of the night. They started this when she was quite young, learning to ‘baby-proof’ their events to include the welcome addition. Sure, they’ve missed out on a few nights out, but their life hasn’t ceased entirely because of their newborn.

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Whilst it’s nice to book in a babymoon and a few extra date nights in the lead-up to d-day, there’s a reason why so many people go back for second, third and fourth bubs if they’re blessed to be able to - right?

And while you know your life won’t be the same, it’s only as “over” as you want it to be."

And, my favourite… 

Your partner will NEVER want to have sex with you again.

Scaring the shit out of someone: "A husband watching his wife give birth is like seeing his favourite pub burn down."

Advice: Ladies, aren’t we past all this bullshit? Childbirth is one of the most incredible things our bodies can do in life and I’m sure most partners aren’t staring at the gateway and calling it hell, because you’ve endured morning sickness, sacrificed wine and cheese, and in some cases, literally pushed out an actual baby to build upon your lives together.

And while I’m ranting, don’t archaic sayings such as these merely squash a women’s security and reduce her presence to that of a few bar stools and a beer tap? I’d like to think after all we’ve been through, we’re far more than that.

Feature Image: Getty / Mamamia

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