“I’m a bad mother”: The constant refrain of a good mother.

It’s been a bit of a rough few days in the (mal)Contented household. Bubs had a bit of a reaction to the MMR jab. Nothing major and a lot better than having measles, mumps or rubella. But still, there’s been some screaming. Quite a bit of screaming. In the night. Like, all night.

I suppose it’s a of a parental rite of passage to finally in give at 5.50am and take your poorly child downstairs to stare a blank television screen until CBeebies starts up (teletubbies is still on, who knew?). Anything to distract from the screamy fever! Thankful it worked; Bubs was transfixed and I could lie semi-conscious on the sofa. There was a lot of TV watched that day, A. LOT. Partly because he was too poorly to want to do much else and partly because I was too tired to be engaging in any way, shape or form. Bleurgh.

That afternoon, as I was carrying the boy upstairs for nap-attempt number 1,385, I thought to myself “hmm, I’ve been a bit of a bad mother today.”

Wait, what?

As I am carrying my fed, watered, talked to, cuddled child, I am simultaneously telling myself I’m a bad mum. Because we watched TV. Have I mentioned yet that I was also ill? I had one of those sore throats that makes your whole neck tender. But how dare I not lay on at least twenty stimulating, creative and educational activities? Someone call social services!!!

I have heard so many mums call themselves ‘bad mothers’. This is usually because they allow their children to eat biscuits, or they occasionally feed them from a jar, or they let the kids sleep in their bed, or never let the kids sleep in their bed, or they leave them to cry, or never leave them to cry, or they don’t own a ‘that’s not my…‘ book or a Sophie the Giraffe, or… Well, you get the picture.

What I think is happening here, people, is that we are getting being a ‘bad mother’ mixed up with being a human-being-who-is-also-a-mother. Easily done. In our weaker moments we think that the only way to be a good mum is to be a perfect one. Seeing as that’s impossible we should probably find a more logical approach.

When Bubs was just a few days old we had a midwife visit. True to new-parent form we bombarded her with a thousand questions. What temperature should the bath be again? Should I wrap him up more? How can I tell if he’s over-heating? Is this okay? Is that okay? She was very good natured and answered us patiently, often just saying what we were doing was fine. When we had finished our onslaught she said “If you’re worried whether you’re doing things right, then we’re not worried!’ Basically, we cared enough to worry, so we’d be fine. (obvs my particular worry grew into new and uncharted levels of bleurgh, but that’s another story)

If someone is actually a bad mother – like that woman in the news today who told her kids she was popping to the shops but actually flew to Australia for 6 weeks – I doubt they advertise it much, or feel guilty enough to categorise themselves in that way. You have to actually care to feel guilty; it seems to be a natural side effect of (good) motherhood.

So, what I am proposing isn’t some complete eradication of guilt. I mean, that would be awesome but I am just not sure it’s realistic. Instead, I reckon we could all stand to take our guilt a bit less seriously. Or even (pushing it?) see it as a good sign; a sign that we are thoughtful and caring mothers who want to do the best for our children at all times. Even if that is massively ambitious and unsustainable.

Dear Reader, have you thought or said that you are a bad mother/father in that past weeks? If so, congratulations, your parenting skills are more than adequate.

 

What do you think? Are you convinced you’re a bad parent? Do you compare yourself to others? Or maybe you don’t give a crap? Comment below, tweet me @aafew or share on my facebook page

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Birth stories: why you won’t be hearing mine.

*trigger warning: despite the title there is a bit of birth talk in this post*

When I was a new mum doing the drinking-coffee-with-one-hand-rocking-pram-with-the-other-attempting-to-maintain-a-half-decent-conversation-thing was part of the deal. Admittedly a much nicer part than the crying at sleep-deprivation and poo-handling bits. It helped me bond with my fellow mums, mostly because we frequently did the too-much-information-thing. You know, talking about the colour of poo; the state of your boobs; your distinct lack of lobedo. Oh yes, small talk becomes a whole new ball game once babies are involved.

Of course, on the top of all our over-sharing lists was the birth itself. With slightly pained expressions, we’d ask each other if the birth was ‘okay’ and wait to see what was divulged. Some would give a short account; 40 hours, exhausting, natural delivery. Others would go into much more detail. This was not because they wanted the attention, nor were they playing bad-birth top trumps, they just needed their stories to be heard, especially by those who could have some genuine empathy.

In those early months I talked birth a lot. The funny thing was I never really wanted to talk about it at all. For me, labour was traumatic. About a thousand people tell you ‘nothing can prepare you for it’ when you’re pregnant, to this you might nod sagely in agreement. But then it happens and you realise: nothing can prepare you for it. Nothing. This isn’t to scare any one or say that antenatal classes are useless; I am very glad that I went to NCT and in some ways it did prepare me. But this is the queen of visceral experiences and, as such, no one can quite put it into words. And I’m not just talking long labours or assisted births (I’ve given my two pence about ‘good births‘ before). I know women who have had 7-hour labours and delivered in the pool and felt, well, frankly, fucked. Feeling like that myself, but not really being able to articulate it, meant it was not easy for me to talk about births, or hear about them. A swell of dread would rise in me at the mere mentioned; sort of like a flashback. It was not pleasant.

Despite my internal panics, I continued with the chat. In fact, often I would initiate the chat. Why, Dear Reader? WHY? Someone would make an offhand comment and I’d follow it up with a question. Then, before you know it, BOOM! This is a proper conversation with details and what not. As if nursing a baby whilst simultaneously trying to drink a luke-warm cappuccino weren’t enough to cope with on 3 hours sleep. Deary me.

The thing is, I wanted to have these conversations with my new friends and I’m sure they brought us closer together. It is an honour to be admitted into that most viscerally private of experiences, even if all that you learn is that they were scared, or shocked, or awed by the whole thing. I’m glad I know what happened to my friends and that many of their experiences resembled mine. I never thought I would shout I shout the words “I had an episiotomy too!” quite so loudly, or enthusiastically over a table in a public place. Once all of the babies were born our groups’ catchphrase became “where are all these ‘natural births’ then???” as 7 out of 8 of us had some complication or other. Sharing it meant we could laugh about it, just a little bit.

But sometimes, when these type of chats were in a group rather than one-to-one, I’d would feel myself slowly disappearing into an internal world. I remember meeting up with a group once, and a mum who I didn’t really know talking about her birth. I had thought we had passed the ‘how was your birth’ stage by then – I desperately wanted to be – even though it was probably only about 3 months after the fact. I found myself not bloody caring that she’d been sent home because she wasn’t dilated enough, and I certainly didn’t want to know home much hypno-birthing helped her. “Yah, so I started doing my meditations…” Meditations?? WTF??? after 2cm I couldn’t bloody see-straight! (FYI I do not think hypnobirthing isn’t good/genuine/etc, but because at that point I was still in the ‘if I’d done that it would have been better’ place. That place is crap.) The more she shared, and others shared with her, the more urgent the sense of dread became in my body became. If we’re talking ‘fight or flight’ reflexes, mine body was definitely telling me to catch the next flight to Kazakhstan.  So I just sat back in my chair and nodded at the appropriate points, trying to do my best interested/sympathetic expression. But I wasn’t really there, I was hiding somewhere in my head. Which was sad.

To be fair, I had worse. Friends without babies who I told I was ‘upset’ by the birth (and the award for understatement of the year 2013 goes to…) and didn’t really want to talk about it, would often respond by asking questions about the birth or, worse, telling me about ‘really bad‘ births they knew of already. I shit you not, Dear Reader, I shit you not.

And you know, I’m beginning to feel all weird as I write this. I’ve got the anxiety tingles. A year on I still find it hard to think about this stuff. And I’m not even thinking about the actual stuff, I’m thinking about talking about the actual stuff. What strange creatures we are.

Now, I shall get to the point. A lot of bloggers writing eloquently and movingly about their births. Some have managed to turn their traumatic experiences into dark comedies for our enjoyment, whilst others have shared their most profound tragedies in order to raise awareness and comfort others. All of these things are wonderful. But I won’t be reading any of them, I’m afraid. Not for a while yet, any way. And (obvs) I won’t be writing one either. Because it is not a day I want to relive.

I used to feel deeply sad and intensely guilty about not being able to remember my son’s birth fondly. But why should I? It was defo, totes, 100% the most physically traumatic experience of my life (and it wasn’t even a ‘really bad‘ one, bleurgh). Yes, afterwards I had my Bubs, but as I mentioned in the post I have just reblogged, my bond with him took time to form. I didn’t feel the Hollywood-sudden-rush-of-love sensation that makes it ‘all worth it’.

Now,, of course, I couldn’t be happier to have my Bubs (okay, I could be a bit happier when he is screaming in my face). As I may have mentioned before; he is the best. person. ever. (Sozzers other mums, but that is an objective fact!) And thought I am happy about the fact he was born (understatement of the year 2014) ; I will never be happy about the act of that birth. ‘The fact, not the act’, is actually a little phrase I coined to help me come to terms with my feelings about the it all. Pretty nifty, dontcha think?

When I realised that I never had to be happy about the labour and delivery, that I didn’t need to amalgamate the memory of a horrid stitches infection (TMI?) into some grand “isn’t motherhood wonderful at all times” narrative, it was a major relief. It is probably not a radical statement to say that women don’t  always have to smile fondly and say “it was all worth it!” when recalling the birth of their children, but it feels radical to me! Because, yes, or course it’s bloody worth it, but sometimes I just want to say it was fucking traumatic without a caveat, without any “but now he’s here and…” stuff. Sometimes, things are just shit. And I think going through labour earns us the right to say so!

So, just in case you were hoping to hear all about my birthing experience (weirdo), you won’t be. But I have created this visual aid, just so you’re in the loop:

Nuff said.

 

If you feel confused or upset by your birth then it might be an idea to talk to a Supervisor of Midwives at your hospital, see more info on my help for you page.

How to feel about retelling your birth? Maybe you adopted and feel left out in these conversations? Have your say by commenting below, go to my facebook page or tweet me @aafew

#BlameTheBaby: the naughty perks of parenthood

blamethebaby

 

Some dream of fame and fortune; others of just making a small difference in a big bad world. Me? I dream of starting a trending hashtag.

Okay, I dream of other things too. But, you know, starting a hashtag, that’s pretty spesh! Especially as I am one of those annoying past-it people who use ‘hashtag-XYZ’ as a comedy inflection to end my sentences. #that’sso2010

One of my fave spoken-hashtags (that’s defo a thing) at the mo is #blamethebaby. Why? Because babies are the best excuse for every unvacuumed carpet and social faux pas going!

Having a baby has lots and lots of difficulties, but it also has its perks. For example, my friends will attest that I am generally crap at replying to texts, emails etc. Also, I am not good at punctuality, not at all. I am always rocking up to things late. But now I have Bubs these annoying traits are looked on rather more kindly.

Before I had a baby, if I snuck into church ten minutes after the service began, walking past the pews of the faithful with my hair still damp, I would feel a little stab of shame. Now I just waltz in pushing my pram, gesturing at Bubs and rolling my eyes as if to say “kids, hey?” This is even when the only reason I’m late is that I ignored my child for twenty minutes whilst he gurgled/moaned in his cot, instead of getting up and at ’em. Or I couldn’t find my house keys. That’s a big one. But they shall never know. I am welcomed with smiles and nods. #blamethebaby (it probably helps that churches like mine get very excited at the thought of anyone under the age of 35, let alone a whole family, becoming a member of the congregation)

Also, before the dawn of parenthood if I didn’t feel like going to some social occasion or other (small talk is the WORST) I’d have to think of an actual excuse, be lame and cry off at the last minute (also the WORST) or just go, grinning and bearing it. Now, all I have to say is “sorry, we can’t get a babysitter”. #blamethebaby (Friends, this does actually happen sometimes, please don’t be offended!)

What’s more, though I definitely do about twenty times as much housework as I did B.C. (before children), some days I just can’t be arsed. The place looks like a forgotten wasteland by tea time. But it’s okay, because I have a baby now; I can’t be expected to have a spotless (or even vaguely tidy) home! #blamethebaby

Finally, if I answered the door at 11am on a weekday and was still in my pyjamas, it would be obvious that I had been a)in bed until then or b) watching TV on the sofa. Now, with my babe-in-arms, I can just say I haven’t got the chance to shower yet. Well, actually, this one is true. I used to wait for Bubs’ reliable morning nap to get myself sorted. Only now his morning naps have gone from reliable, to unreliable to existing mostly in my (waking) dreams.

Still, you get the picture. Whether we’re late, wearing dirty clothes, moody, not feeling sociable, whatever, our babies are the best excuses we’ll ever had to just do what we bloody well want. When they’ll let us, that is.

What do you blame your babes for? Is there anything you get away with now that you didn’t before becoming a parent? Tweet me at @aafew and make my hashtag dreams come true! #BlameTheBaby

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Best toy EVER! #WickedWednesdays

Dear Reader, just a little snapshot of life in the Few household today.

Some people buy their children fantastic toys, others play educational games and sing songs. I give my son a box of tissues for his first birthday…

But look how happy he is!

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Where is the Love?

One from the archives for your Sunday night perusal… What happens if you don’t get that instant rush of love?

The (mal)Contented Mother

*SPOILER ALERT: This post contains references to the plot of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It’s not like there are any major twists but, you know, just in case you care.*

Recently I watched the movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It’s one of those films that follows multiple story lines of vaguely connected characters, all of whom in this case are ‘expecting’ in one way or another. It has a cast made up loads of actors you recognise but can’t name (except J-Lo and Cammy D, obvs). It’s not exactly ground-breaking but I quite enjoyed it and the writers were thoughtful enough to include a couple who are adopting and someone who has a miscarriage. However, I found the end a bit hard to take.

The film takes a comedic look at the stresses of pregnancy and getting ready for your first child. It mentions…

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Mummy’s First Review: Revel Body SOL (I’m bringing sexy back)

*Fair warning: though there are no details at all divulged in this review, it is for a product of an adult nature, so if you know me and wish to regard me as an asexual being, look away now*

Dear Reader, I have ummed and erred over whether or not to include reviews in this blog. Since 90% of my posts are rants about the avalanche of advice that descends upon parents ‘these days’, it feels a bit hypocritical to then start telling you what and what not to buy for your kids. But, on the other hand, I quite like free stuff, and I also like being critical. Hmm. Dilemma.
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When birthdays go bad… #WickedWednesdays

As some of you will know from my baby junk birthday present post, Bubs turned one not long ago. So to mark this momentous occasion we brought the posh camera; no grainy iphone photos on my son’s first birthday, thank you very much! No no, this event calls for the somewhat amateur use of an SLR! What we had not considered, though, was our little one’s reaction to this massive, black, plastic object being trained on him…

Run mum, run! He's got a gun!

Run mum, run! He’s got a gun!

 Hehe. We have some nice ones too, but this is defo my favourite birthday photo!
Had any epic photo fails recently? Tell me about them in the comments section below, or why not link up with Wicked Wednesdays yourself? (just click on the badge below to learn more)
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Less advice, more washing-up: 6 ways to support new parents

Friends, cousins, grandparents; lend me your ears!

Hurrah! Your daughter or son/brother or sister/cousin/friend has just become a parent. You are likely to be very excited, and so you should be! Frankly, if you weren’t I would judge you. However, in your excitement over the baby you may not be quite up on your new-parenting etiquette. You will no doubt have the best of intentions. You will want to swoop in and lend a hand, maybe give a few hints and tips if you yourself have had a baby, or, like, read about it online. This is all good stuff, but it may need a little moderating. Remember, these people you have known for years have suddenly been handed the biggest responsibility of their lives, whilst also being sleep-deprived. This is not a combination that serves sanity at all well.

But do not fear! I have coined 6 simple rules to avoid any baby-related faux pas. (you’re welcome).

 

1) Become a Yes Man.

People we are close to are often the ones we’re most honest with. You know, like if a colleague at work says something you disagree with you let it fly, but if your sister says it you have a 30 minute stand-up row with her. (How dare she say Kim and Kanye’s love isn’t for reals??) It’s hard to tell a stranger when you think they’re wrong, but much easier when it’s your best mate; the person who has held your seventeen-year-old hair back in the loos after misguided boozing. This honesty is a sign of your closeness in itself, right?

Well, yes, but for now, just give it a rest. It doesn’t matter what they say, your new-parent friends/family are RIGHT. If they think it’s time for the baby to eat, they’re right. If they think it’s too cold to go for a walk, they’re right. Basically, unless they suddenly announce that they’ve decided to feed their baby McDonalds’ strawberry milkshakes instead of breast milk/formula, then they are right.

When baby first arrives on the scene most of us are one massive ball of doubts. Should I put an extra layer on him? Oh, but maybe he’ll overheat. It’s only been an hour, but I think he’s hungry, should I feed him? Is this okay? Is that okay? Arg *minor brain implosion*

So, when we actually make a decision, the last thing we need is to be told we’re wrong. Smile and nod. Smile. And. Nod.Oh, and say how well we’re doing; everyone likes that! Got it?

 

2) Sometimes advice is ill-advised.

There is one, simple rule for giving advice to new parents, and it is this: wait to be asked. Just. Wait.

Have you any idea of the level of advice-saturation a new parents’ brain is under at any one time? They are likely to have been to birthing-classes, read books, talked endlessly about babies with the world and his wife. They will know a lot. And even if they don’t, within a month of socialising with other mums your daughter/sister/cousin/friend will be well aware that there are 50 different ways to do everything. And all of them are the right way.

So just be patient. You may be itching to tell your loved one that it’s easier to do it this way, or to try this little trick you learned from a friend. But if you can manage it, keep it to yourself. If the baby is safe and the parent is okay, then what’s the harm? You will see when they’re struggling; that’s the time to tentatively offer suggestions. Just suggestions, mind you. e.g. you could try this, rather than you should try this.

The problem with advice is that to a sleep-deprived, doubting, first-timer it can often sound a lot like judgement. However nicely you put it, your words of wisdom may only be heard as You’re doing that wrong, I know how to do it better.

 

3) Be negative – in a good way.

I remember when my Bubs was tiny small. There he’d be in his little chair, with his chubby cheeks and sceptical facial expressions, and all my visitors would be cooing over him. “Aw, he’s soooo cute.” They’d say. And he was, obvs. But some days I just couldn’t see it. I was tired and emotionally exhausted and I didn’t have much enthusiasm at all for the little bundle that had caused these states. Of course it was lovely to be surrounded by loving people; I wouldn’t have it any other way. But sometimes, what I could have done with, was a bit of negativity.

A signature quizzical look from early Bubs.

A signature quizzical look from early Bubs.

“What??” I hear you cry. “You just told us we weren’t allowed to disagree or make judgements, what do you want from us woman???”

Well, I want you to be positive about their parenting, but just a little bit negative about parenthood. Okay, I’ll explain…

It’s is vitally important to hear that ‘it gets better’ and ‘having a baby was the best thing I’ve ever done’ and all that crap. You do need that. But. There comes a point when you just need someone else to sit next to you and say “yeah, mate, it’s shit when sometimes, isn’t it?”

Proper, down to earth, honesty. Because if you say that he’s much cuter when he’s asleep, or bloody hell that cry is piercing; I’ll feel a smidgen less guilty for thinking those things.

 

4) Ask Questions.

It is quite easy to visit someone close to you, spend hours with them and their new baby and not really ask them a single question past the obligatory how are you? greeting, which no one actually answers anyway. You will, of course, ask how baby slept last night, you might ask how feeding is going, or who’s doing more nappy changes. These are all fine, nowt wrong with a bit of baby chat. But somewhere in there, throw in a few questions to the parents. Directly to the parents.

How are you finding it? Have you seen Strictly this week? Do you want to come for lunch next Thursday? What’s been the funniest thing that’s happened since baby was born?

You know, just normal stuff. I’m not telling you to grill them or anything. But it’s amazing how little attention you pay yourself as a new parent (more on that here). It’s all about baby, so sometimes you need a bit of help to actually notice yourself. And a reminder that you are still a human being in your own right is nice too!

 

5) Remember, it’s not about you.

Of course, no one actually, consciously thinks that visiting a new baby is and all-about-me event. However, you may have imagined it in a certain way. Perhaps you wanted lots of cuddles, or a good long chat with mum/dad. Maybe you were hoping for a walk. Well, if you can, just let go of all that.

You may find that your gregarious care-free friend/son/brother has turned into a protective, cautious father overnight. He may not want you to hold the baby at first. Conversely, maybe all mum wants to do is have a nap, leaving you alone with a sleeping baby for an hour. Deal with it. And, whatever it is, try not to take it personally. You’re not being rejected or ignored, your just being included in this peculiar, mundane process we call parenting.

 

6) Do the dishes, then leave.

Make your own tea; clean your own mug (and whatever else is piling up by the sink); bring a ready cooked meal; take a load of washing. Do these things are you’re instant god-parent material. Nuff said.

 

Team Granny!  I was lucky enough to have my own personal cleaning service.

Team Granny!
I was lucky enough to have my own personal cleaning service (thanks mums!)

 

So there you have it. All you need to be the perfect visitor. Oh, and a bottle of wine never goes amiss either…

What are your dos and don’ts for supporting parents? Do you wish someone had told your loved these rules before you had kids? Leave a comment below, visit my facebook page (like me, like me!) or tweet me @aafew

The Second Trimester: Don’t believe the hype.

Annotations my own.

Extract from an NHS email. Annotations my own.

In the early days of pregnancy, when nobody at work knows, you’re experiencing new levels of grumpy, and the faintest whiff of food makes you dry-retch (or worse); there is one, great shining light at the end of the hormonal tunnel. It is a beacon of hope, a promised land of glowing skin, glossy hair and boundless energy; it is the second trimester. *angelic choral overture*

Everybody tells you that the first 12 weeks are the worst and you’ll start to feel better soon. Your boobs will stop feeling so odd; the not-just-in-the-morning sickness will subside and you won’t be so face-meltingly tired all-of-the-bloody-time. Huzzah, that sounded pretty good to me.

So, around week 13, I began to anticipate this change. I looked forward to not feeling the need to make my husband to list of the ingredients of every meal he cooked for my personal approval (‘no, don’t put any of that in, and can you bake those rather than boil them‘ Bleurgh to me). I thought that I would start making it to 3, maybe even 4pm without feeling physically sick with tiredness. The best was yet to come, the time would soon be here when I could, you know, really start enjoying my pregnancy.

But, Dear Reader, I have some shocking news (that you will in no way have guessed from the tone of the last three paragraphs and the image above):

IT DIDN’T BLOODY HAPPEN!

Week 13 came and went, but I thought I had been a bit optimistic and change was just around the corner. But as weeks 14, 15 and 16 went by and I still felt like utter crap, I began to doubt the ‘second trimester’ line.

It’s no wonder I was sucked in. The promise of respite in that much-celebrated middle stage of your pregnancy is EVERYWHERE. Women tell you about it, magazines tell you about it, the books tell you about it. My NHS emails told me about it. The NHS I tells ya!!

Dear Reader, even the pregnancy Bible itself, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, puts ‘more energy’ at the top of its ‘what you may be feeling’ list. Honestly, what’s a girl to do??

what to expect 2nd trimester

You may point out the massive caveat directly before the words ‘more energy’, but I’m not gonna lie to you, I always go straight to the bullet points. That’s what they’re for, right?

And I’m not the only one with whom these words did not chime. Loads of my friends had the same experience; watching for the magical week 14 and then seeing it pass by without out feeling one bit better. There are legions of us all over the world, crying out in an impassioned chorus:

“Where are our thick, luxurious manes? Where are our gorgeous strong nails? Where is our clear, radiant complexion? Where, oh where, oh where is our bloody energy boost???”

There is not much I can do about it now, of course, except get the word out to others. Unsuspecting newly-pregnant women, clutching their bump-books and eagerly awaiting the illusive glow. Don’t be fooled! Our bodies, like our babies, don’t read the bloody books! You will not be on a predictable timetable. It just don’t work like that.

Thinking about it, pregnancy is a really good time to ease into the idea that human biology is unpredictable and you just have to go with the flow sometimes. Even if the flow is vom-tinged or very, very cry-y.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, Dear Reader! I didn’t have a completely miserable pregnancy, not at all. For me, the fog just took a little longer to lift.

When I was about 18 weeks pregnant I remember talking to another pregnant woman in church one morning. She was about 2 months ahead of me and she asked how I was feeling. I looked at her with wide, bag-laden eyes and said “Rubbish”. Or something like that, it was church so I probably didn’t swear. Probably. She instantly replied “20 weeks, 20 weeks and you’ll start to feel better, honestly.” At the time I didn’t much believe her. I had heard all this crap before. I knew she was being sincere but I just couldn’t get my hopes up again. The whole ‘2nd trimester debacle’ had broken my little pregnant heart.

But Lo! What light from yonder window breaks? ‘Tis the 20 weeks!! ‘Tis the half-way line.

From the Shakespeare quote above you may be able to deduce that I did indeed feel A LOT better in the second half of my pregnancy. And I know I lot of women who experienced carrying a baby as a game of two halves, rather than three thirds. I didn’t get the heavy, achey crap at the end either even though Bubs was 2 weeks late (I know a lot of you do, sozzers). I felt crap for the first half and pretty good for the second. Simples.

So there you have it. My body, like my baby, did not behave in a textbook manner. With hindsight that is no great surprise. But then, that’s sort of the nature of hindsight isn’t it? Hmm, moving on…

If you have a pregnant friend, or a friend who may get pregnant in the future, or you have friend who has a friend who may get pregnant in the future, will you do me a favour and pass on this pearl of wisdom:

Pregnancy is often talked about in trimesters. You may experience it in this way, but you may not. Your experience may be more akin to halves, or quarters, or sevenths for all we know. Because you’re you and your baby is whoever they are, and there is only one you-and-your-baby. So, you know, don’t believe the hype.

Cheers.

 

How was it for you? Were you a textbook pregnancy? Share your experiences by posting a comment below, visiting my facebook page, or tweeting me @aafew.

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And then the fun began...