Dear future self,
Well done for managing to get knocked up again! High five to that! As much as it pains me to admit it, last pregnancy, you suffered what will forever be termed as ‘smug pregnancy syndrome’ or ‘SPRUGS’ for short. While you didn’t have a full on case of the SPRUGS, you definitely dabbled.
Working for a pregnancy magazine and being surrounded daily by baby related chatter didn’t help your cause. Researching birth plans, choosing strollers and drilling the resident midwife for breastfeeding advice wasn’t a chore, it was work.
Needless to say, it was with a decent dollop of confidence that you counted down the months, then days till the arrival of bub, confidently smug in the knowledge of the advantage you’d had, living in a baby bubble not only for the past nine months, but the previous two years.
You probably remember (or maybe you’ve blocked it out) but it came as one hell of a surprise to realize that, as super prepared as you were, you really didn’t have a clue about, well anything. There was an ‘L’ plate firmly fastened to the front of your highly attractive nursing bra (nothing sexier than a bra that can pop open at any second to show off a hugely swollen breast) that you really and truly had not expected to be there.
The stuff that was unfolding wasn’t included in ‘What To Expect’, or ‘Up the Duff’ (your pregnancy bible), nor had any of your mama friends enlightened you as to the icky, amusing and downright bizarre moments you’d experience in those first few weeks. These are the glorious things you’ve probably forgotten now that you have a toddler who can feed himself and sleep longer than three hours at a time (please god, let that be true).
1. After the birth, you will waddle.
Yep, you’ll waddle. Ever seen those women gingerly pushing a plastic bassinette down the maternity ward corridor and wondered why they appeared to have a large carrot stuck, to put it politely, up their bottoms? No matter what your birth was like, if the baby comes out the natural exit point, the pushing will make you sore, really sore. To the point where it may take you close to 5 minutes to get comfortable in a chair. You were not prepared for this, first time around. “Why is my bum sore?” you may have whined to the midwife. “That would be due to the 3.5kgs baby you just pushed out using only your pelvic floor,” was her reply.
2. There will be blood.
Not taking the birth into account, post partum bleeding is epic. When they say ‘moderate to heavy’ they mean ‘oh dear lord there is a flood in my underwear.’ Not pleasant but with the help of a load of black knickers and maternity pads, you’ll survive (remember that wings are your best friend).
3. You will still look (and feel) nine months pregnant but your belly will have taken on the consistency of masticated play-dough; squidgy, but solid, jiggly but kind of firm.
This may make you feel a bit yucky. Remember, you didn’t really like touching your belly for a few days after Ollie’s birth, as it just felt ‘weird’. This will pass and you’ll gradually stop looking so rotund.
4. You will be left alone with your newborn, usually within an hour of pushing him or her out.
Most maternity hospitals have a ‘rooming in’ policy in place. A fancy term for the fact that it will be you and the baby (and possibly a roommate) very soon after birth. Remember the look of abject horror you shot Adam when, after settling us in our room, the midwife left with a cheery ‘buzz us if you need anything,’ and we were left alone, staring down at a brand new baby? This will happen again.