pregnancy

“The 3 special things we need to talk about when you're pregnant for the first time.”

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I wasn’t always sure I would have kids. 

In fact, there was a time where I said that I didn’t want kids. 

I realise now that it was a bit of self preservation. And then along came my partner Charlie. We always have a chuckle at the fact that when we started dating, I flat out said, “just letting you know, I don’t want to get married, or have kids.” Which he was fine with.

Although if you ask him, he’ll say he knew I would want to with him. And he was right. I turned around less than 12 months later and asked if it was possible to change my answer to “I’d definitely like to do those things with you.”

Four years later we started trying for a baby. 

It was May 2021, and in August we fell pregnant. 

It’s now April 2022 and I am 36 weeks pregnant. 

It’s incredible to think that in 4 weeks or less our baby girl will be here. 


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I’m having a little chuckle to myself as I write this with tears in my eyes, because if I had have written this a few days ago, when I was going through one of my weekly third tri growth spurts – AKA 48 hours of belly stretching, discomfort and little to no sleep – I would probably have some other choice words! 

As I come to the pointy end of my pregnancy and think back to newly pregnant Kee (who peed on a stick and, thinking it would be negative, walked away, forgot about it, remembered an hour later only to get the shock of her life), compared to soon to be a real life mama Kee, there are a few special things I’d wish I’d known. 

There are countless, but here are 3 special things we need to talk about when you're pregnant for the first time. 

Image: Supplied.

The positive power of the parenting village.

There are a multitude of reasons why we wait for the safety of hitting 12 weeks to share our news that make sense. But I would say there are just as many reasons to share that also make sense. 

Somehow pregnancy has found its way to being a bit of a secretive special thing between you and your significant other. This is great by the way! It should be a special time shared with the person you have decided to create a small human with. 

But I also found that there was a conversation I needed to have with the village of women who had birthed before me. 

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Charlie and I were completely different in our approach to the first trimester. He didn’t want to tell any friends until we hit what he felt was the ‘safe-zone,’ whereas I, after showing him the stick and a couple of hugs and kisses, called one of my best friends who is a mother of two and quickly organised a walk with my friend Kelly, who at that time was 4 months pregnant, and guessed straight away! 

It was really important for me to have that core group of friends that I could talk to and even just know that were there if I needed to ask a question.

I think also, knowing your power in choosing and creating your parenting village.

One of the best pieces of advice I received was to shop around for an obstetrician if using the private system.

Book in a couple of initial appointments with different OBs. 

While it is a bit of an investment, it means you’re able to get a feel for the OB and their team and also have a point of reference and something to compare to when making the decision. 

They are going to be your point of contact throughout the pregnancy and deliver your baby. It has to be a great fit!

Similarly, if you are going public, look into an independent midwife or some form of constant birthing support person to beef out your parenting village.

I would also add to seek out other people who are pregnant. It could be a colleague or a friend of a friend. 

The power of the village is real. 

There is nothing like the bond of two pregnant people discussing pregnancy things. What nipple shields to get. What baby bags are most practical (and what wipes and nappies to actually fill them with. Huggies FTW).  

Deliberately under-organising the nursery.

A newborn baby doesn’t need all of the things. Did I buy all of the big ticket items in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales at 4 months pregnant? Yes. Do I regret it? Somewhat, yes. 

Why? Well, baby stuff is ALWAYS on sale, plus there is so much pressure on expectant mums to create the perfect nursery set up. Newsflash, these things take up a lot of space and a lot of the stuff you don’t even use until the baby is many months old I'm hearing from my parenting village!

If I could do it all over again, I’d say not to worry myself with the perfect nursery set up. 

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Being kind to yourself is key, as you are going through so many changes. I would say to the next expectant parent: do as much or as little as you can (or want), just make sure to have the nursery essentials: first to come to mind is that changing table station.

Change mat, nappies and wipes – I went with what my parenting village have recommended (a popular recurring suggestion as a duo), the Huggies Newborn Nappies and Thick Baby Wipes. They’re designed to protect and care for newborns’ delicate skin, endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives and the brand my birthing suite provides and recommends too, so a trusted recco on all fronts.

Essentials ready. Image: Supplied.

Then there's the nappy rash cream, hand sanitiser and nappy sacks (odour-neutralising to wrap up dirty nappies) or a nappy bin to stop that stink.

Once those essentials are ticked off the list, I'd say take a well-deserved break before delving into the next haul, and get yourself a pregnancy massage. Life-changing.

The idea of surrendering to the experience.

Image: Supplied.

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We need to talk about how so much of pregnancy is dreaming. Dreaming about hearing the heartbeat for the first time, or when your belly might start to show. 

Feeling the first kick and imagining what they might look like. 

You completely surrender timelines, expectations and yourself to the unknown. But then suddenly we get into the third quarter, the birthing zone, and there is a big push to make a plan. 

I’m one of the last out of a group of girlfriends to have my first baby, which honestly feels like my special superpower. 

I feel like I’ve bottled all of their wisdom. Why? The parenting village around me have all had such varied birthing experiences. But the one, actually two, things they have in common were: their gorgeous baby's arrival at the end of it all, and, while having positive experiences overall, nothing went exactly to pre-conceived plans. 

Knowing this, my focus throughout the pregnancy has been to understand the incredible physiology of birth and my body – what might happen naturally and when, why and how – and feel comfortable with the options that are there to assist the birth should I need them. 

We’ve done our antenatal and Calm Birth classes (which we LOVED). I’ve also been listening to a podcast on positive births, which includes inductions, epidurals, vaginal births and C-sections.

Image: Supplied.

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I really feel like this has normalised a variety of outcomes. Do I have that little voice inside of me hoping to have my dream birth? Sure! But I won’t plan for the dream birth, instead I’m surrendering to my child’s birth. 

And finally, acknowledging that being pregnant is really hard. Like, REALLY hard. 

Yes, women have been doing it for centuries. And it's beyond special and fulfilling. But it doesn’t make it any easier. All pregnancies vary in their level of difficulty, but what you are feeling and going through is important. 

Do the best that you can and I promise you it is enough! 

At the end of the day all a baby (and yourself as a new parent) really needs is love and support, and the rest I hope will fall into place. 

Huggies understand how important it is to start your baby’s journey with the best care. Their Newborn Nappies and Fragrance Free Thick Wipes are endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives.

Make your parenting village bigger by joining the Huggies Club for exclusive offers and information to help new mums and parents-to-be on their journey. 

Feature Image: Supplied/Instagram/@keereece

Huggies
Hi baby! We understand how important it is to start your journey with the best care. That is why we’ve developed HUGGIES® Newborn Nappies & Wipes designed to protect and care for your delicate skin. We got you, baby.