Nobody Tells You…
Today we hear from the lovely Becca Maberly on her fabulous new book ‘Nobody Tells You, 101 truths about pregnancy, birth and parenthood’.
No matter how prepared you think you might be, no matter how much money you throw at your pregnancy and antenatal care, no matter how much you read, no matter how much gear you buy or borrow, nothing really prepares you for becoming a mother!
Why is so much of this stuff shrouded in secrecy? Is it so terrible that we feel we can’t share the gory details with even our best friends, sisters and daughters? No!
Is it so incomprehensibly wonderful that you couldn’t even begin to make anyone else understand? No, it’s not that either!
It is more the fact that most of the journey, from conception through to parenthood, is so unpredictable and different from person to person that it is futile to try and imagine that your experience will be the same as the next persons, or even your own sister or mother.
- First of all there is the Pregnancy.
Did it happen quickly? Are you glowing? Do you have a small neat bump? Are you full of optimism and confidence?
Or are you puking your guts up, plagued by aches and pains and full of anxiety about yourself and your baby?
Usually it is somewhere in-between!
- Then the Birth.
Is it going to be the text-book birth, in a pool, with twinkly fairy lights, essential oils and a beautiful sound track?
Or perhaps a slow and more drawn-out affair, with more medical intervention than you would have liked? A C-Section? Stitches?
You might be hoping for the former, but you need to be prepared for the latter too!
- After The Birth- How are YOU feeling?
Like wonder woman? Exhilarated. Proud. Tired of course, but breastfeeding successfully, healing well and adjusting to your new role as a mum.
Or a bit broken? Mentally? Physically? Sometimes both. Everything hurts and things are not as you had imagined. Breastfeeding is painful or difficult and the sleep deprivation is beyond anything you anticipated.
- How is Your Baby?
He sleeps and feeds on repeat. He smiles right on cue. He is a joy. This is everything you ever dreamt of!
Or does she cry a lot? Does she scream every time you put her down? Does she suffer from colic? Is it reflux? Are you doing something wrong? It might feel like that.
- And your Partner?
Super dad? Supportive? Intuitive? Up in the night helping? Loving his new role in life?
Or absent? Disconnected? Struggling himself? Back at work? Finding excuses to stay away?
We think we know how our partners will react, but in reality it is hard to predict?
So you’re probably getting the gist now. There are so many unpredictable parts to this amazing journey. It is likely that you will get a mixture of good bits and less good bits. There will be parts that feel like they are sent to test you, and parts that are more wonderful than you could ever imagine!
So what can you do to prepare yourself for the rollercoaster ahead?
If it sounds a bit scary and out of control, don’t worry, it doesn’t have to feel like that. The good news is that there is ONE thing you can control and lots that you can do to help this.
You can control your expectations. You can start this journey with realistic expectations about your pregnancy, your birth, your baby, your recovery and your partner.
How Can I Do This?
You can educate yourself about the birth process and encourage your partner to do the same. Make sure you understand the way the body is meant to work and what may happen if things do not go to plan. Accept that a large percentage of women will need some form of pain relief and many will also need some assistance in birthing their baby. Neither of these revelations need to have negative connotations – there are millions of happy births every year involving epidurals and caesarean sections!
Don’t pin your hopes on your perceived promises of hypnobirthing and likewise don’t hold onto negativity that stems from horror stories you’ve heard over the years.
Hypnobirthing can help, chatting to friends and listening to their stories can help but all within a wider context. Understand the facts behind the horror stories and also the hypno stories you hear and be realistic and you wont be disappointed.
Nobody can tell you exactly how it go for you, but with the right mind-set and a healthy dose of positivity and humour you will be informed and prepared for one of life’s greatest journeys!
“Nobody Tells You…101 Truths about Pregnancy, Birth and Parenthood” by Becca Maberly is out now in Hardback and is available here nobodytellsyou.co.uk