What the Midwife Forgot to Mention.

My friend is pregnant. 4 weeks pregnant. She has 8 months to fill her brain with other people’s opinions on pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. And there are 1000s of opinions out there pleading to be heard (my favourite source can be reliably found on Facebook. Everyone has an opinion on babies/parenting/foreign policy, on Facebook.) But, despite the shelves of Waterstones buckling under the weight of tens and tens and tens of baby-themed books, no one covers the real facts about life with baby.

The midwife won’t help. She’ll tell you breast-feeding is ‘second nature’, using earth-friendly reusable nappies is ‘second nature’, and motherhood in general is ‘second nature’. She lies.

Here’s the truth. Here’s what your midwife won’t tell you (forewarned is forearmed, hey?):

Pregnancy

  1. In the first trimester, no one will know if you’re pregnant or just fatter than you were a few months ago – unless you deliberately arch your back and/or waddle when you walk. This is not the time to bump into the girl you disliked/the boy you loved in school.
  2. As your bump expands, you’ll scratch yourself like a scabie-ridden ferret. Skin itches like hell when it stretches to accommodate your baby’s enormous head. It really stretches.
  3. Your sex-drive sky-rockets, once the vomiting reduces to just once a day. You could find yourself frequently rubbing up against all manner of fixed objects (corners are good) and masturbating in the downstairs loo whilst pretending to make tea for your mother-in-law.
  4. In the last trimester, you won’t sleep; it’s good practice for when the baby arrives. Get used to it. You won’t sleep through the night for another 3 years (if you’re lucky).

Labour.

  1. A fellow blogger wrote that labour burns; bit like a urinary tract infection. Well, not exactly. Multiply that pain by 1000. Then double it. Then add a million. Burns? Sure, it burns. But more like sitting atop an erupting volcano or feeling the red hot poker of Satan himself rip through your torso.
  2. You’ll shit the bed. And pee everywhere. And drench the midwife in amniotic fluid. Dignity? No, you said goodbye to dignity the night the little fella was conceived. It’s horrifically undignified here on in.
  3. There is no such thing as pain relief. It’s the midwives’ private joke. They’ll offer you gas and air, which is a bit like offering a plaster to someone who lost their arms AND legs in a chainsaw accident. The only thing that works is the blessed epidural (although watch out for the enormous needle they plough into your spinal column. That hurts).
  4. If you’re in the UK, expect to half deliver the baby yourself. With shockingly low numbers of midwives available, you may need to do a bit of reading-up beforehand.

Parenthood.

  1. Breast-feeding is a learned skill. It doesn’t just miraculously happen, and it could take months to perfect. It’s hard. bloody hard. Your nipples will sprout milk without your invitation and your milk-soaked nursing pads will put you off cheese for ever.
  2. You’ll be inundated with well-intentioned (not always) advice. EVERYONE will tell you EVERYTHING they know about raising kids. Ignore it. Ignore it all. If there’s one way to solicit self-doubt, neurosis and anxiety, it’s listening to everyone else tell you what to do.
  3. Avoid baby-groups – see above. Unless you actually want to leave each meeting feeling like a failure. They’re a hive of negativity, criticism and judgement.
  4. You brain turns to sawdust. Made worse if you don’t follow points 1 & 2. You won’t have intelligent conversations anymore. Your once clever and sparky friends will talk incessantly about the colour of Tammy’s poops, the enigma of colic, and how to purée parsnips.
  5. Sex will never be the same again. Initially, you’ll worry your vagina is as wide as the Channel Tunnel  – ‘I can’t feel anything, I can’t feel anything!’ And when that passes, sex will be something you participate in to stop your husband’s nightly erections stabbing you in the back.

Come, come, it won’t be so bad. Nothing lasts. Good or bad. You’ll experience the A-Z of emotions, usually within the first 4 weeks. And no matter how horrendous you feel, it’ll pass and soon you’ll be watching Home Alone with your 15-year old wishing you could go back to the beginning. Minus the sleep bit. And the sick bit. And the labour bit.

“This too, shall pass.”

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa V says:

    Funny! C-sections aren’t much easier. I refused to tell any of my expecting friends the whole story of my first child for fear of terrifying them. The anesthesiologist got the epidural stuck in my back for about 12 hours (you read that right), no permanent damage done, then a part of my incision opened back up (about an inch) sending me on DAILY trips to the wound care center to “pack the wound” for the first 10 WEEKS of my child’s life! It was the first time I’ve ever had doctors CALLING ME to see how I was doing and meeting me at the wound care center to check on me (yeah…they knew they had a potential law suit on there hands). Needless to say, everything turned out fine, and remarkably the second child’s birth (also c-section) was flawless. Hmmm…wonder why? LOL But this won’t happen to any other woman, so don’t let it scare you 😉 Both kids were fine and it makes for a great birth story.

    Like

    1. Annie says:

      Ha ha, of course, don’t be put off folks! Eeek, sorry to hear of your troubles. Blimey!
      The sentiment behind this post was well intentioned, as I feel too many new mums walk blindly into motherhood, due to the lack of frank discussion. If only someone had told me how hard breast-feeding would be to master, I would have been better prepared mentally, & wouldn’t have felt such a screw-up for messing it up. But, yes, like yours, both my younglings are amazingly awesome, just growing too fast 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. crummymummy1 says:

    Goodness this is cheery! I would caveat this list with the fact that a brain is a very clever thing and you DO forget… #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie says:

      Oooh, don’t think I ever will! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with some and not others. Unfortunately for my husband, my sex drive plummeted when i was pregnant and baby groups were a life saver for me. Breast feeding IS definitely a learned skill that takes time and patience and you are totally right about the sleep. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie says:

      Ah yes, it’s a slight exaggeration. My posts should never be taken too seriously. I met my now best friend at a baby-group. x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wet myself at this,must work on my pelvic floor.Funny how people say the pain isn’t so bad.I had an epidural on my 3rd – only numbed 1 half.So near yet so far. #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie says:

      Oh yes, I love the ‘you forget the pain’ comments. No, no you don’t. I will remember it for ever!! xx
      ps. Thanks for reading. x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this! Although I didn’t poo during labour, I did hold my daughter in for an hour at 10cm dilated thinking she was a massive poo and I was embarrassed! Haha! #KCACOLS

    Like

    1. Annie says:

      10cm!!! I would have passed out if I’d got to 10cm! Perhaps I am just super weedy!! xx

      Like

  6. Becky Pink says:

    Ha ha this made me laugh. Those people who say about ‘stings’ should be banned. As if! Luckily I never fell for that one! But I did fall for the breastfeeding is natural line and never managed it. And then felt (and sometimes still feel) like a failure. Even though I know that is not true! Looking forward to getting more sleep… one day…. soon hopefully! Becky x #KCACOLS

    Like

    1. Annie says:

      Breastfeeding nearly drove me insane. Actually, I think it probably did, for a while. Although that could have been my daughter’s demands for hourly feeds. I do wish midwives, health visitors and anyone who’s been there, should tell all new mums that it may not happen naturally; in fact, it may not happen at all. The stress made me loopy!
      And I didn’t enjoy baby-groups as I felt judged for not bottle-feeding. On my first visit, someone actually said, ‘Get her off the tit!’ 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Becky Pink says:

        Oh no that is absolutely awful! I felt a bit judged FOR bottle feeding! Though luckily I found some brilliant groups and made some great friends. I wish everyone else could have such luck as it really helps. But I have been to some that weren’t exactly welcoming. xx

        Like

      2. Annie says:

        We all judge, and we’ve all been judged. As long as my pups are laughing, I know I’m getting it right. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. As a midwife I’m a bit afronted! I know it’s tongue in cheek really but I don’t make out everyone’s an earth mother and try to tell the truth where possible. I find even the most well read people will still find it a shock having children, it’s something we just can’t prepare for until we’re immersed in it, it’s that combination of hormones and instinct that kicks in. #KCACOLS

    Like

    1. Annie says:

      Jenny, you’re absolutely right. It’s completely tongue-in-cheek. It’s not really serious, and, of course, it doesn’t apply to ALL midwives nor ALL pregnancies.
      Thanks for commenting though. Much appreciated. x

      Like

  8. Funny post! Made me laugh! How can people forget about the pain!! I was in labour 24 hrs trying but nothing happened so I ended up having an emergency c-section so I haven’t experienced an actual birth only the horrible labour pains!! My best friend also had a poo in the bed!! She was so embarrassed as she never thought something like that could happen when in labour!! These are the exact examples that people should be sharing as nobody wants to say anything so thanks for mentioning it Annie!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS! I’m so happy to have you for the first time. I hope you like it. Also, I hope you join me again tomorrow for the last #KCACOLS of 2015!!! 🙂 xx

    Like

    1. Annie says:

      Tee hee, well, yes, I think so too. Although, I understand sharing is not always welcomed!!
      Thanks lots for stopping by & for hosting another fab linky. They’re great, but utterly addictive. xx

      Liked by 1 person

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