This one is for all those unsuspecting parents and mothers-to-be out there, or those who just want to laugh at my misfortunes. WARNING: do not read if you’re easily offended, take things too personally or are just in general an arsehole. 🙂
It’s inevitable that every human body is different. We all function differently and have different experiences. It was only when I fell pregnant last year that I realised just how different each person really is and how amazing the human body is; I mean c’mon, they create tiny humans, that’s pretty impressive! But one thing I noticed as a hormonal-newly-pregnant 20-year old was just how much of the normal stuff which comes with pregnancy and post-partum is well protected. And by that, I don’t mean locked away in a file only accessible by MI5, I mean the gory details which are very seldom mentioned.
I imagine that those of you who have already had children may be able to relate to some of the following experiences more than those who haven’t, HOWEVER I feel as though I wish I’d stumbled across this type of content whilst I was pregnant in order to somewhat prepare for the unimaginable, so for those of you wanting a baby in the future this could be disturbingly interesting for you. There’s probably similar articles out on the web somewhere, but these are my personal experiences. If you’re one of those people who’s stomachs turn easily and you worry far too much- this is perhaps not for you, so I suggest you don’t continue reading. For those of you who are curious and get a guilty pleasure out of reading stuff you can not only relate to, but laugh at and still gain some potentially useful knowledge, carry on my loves, you’re warped like me, congratulations!
You’ve probably heard about the common ‘needing to pee’, and ‘can’t get comfy’ stuff, but darlings, I’m gonna tell you about the WAY more intense stuff.
And I don’t mean the kind you experience when you’re trying to multitask. I’m talking about the fact you have a god-knows-how-many-lbs baby literally resting on your pelvis. Imagine gripping a bowling ball right inbetween your thighs and keeping it there for weeks. Walking becomes waddling, getting up from your chair becomes a mission and sex becomes non-exsistant for the foreseeable future. There is no possible sexy way of pulling off either three of those tasks. Sorry, gents! “Pressure! Pushing down on me..” La de dum.
Aaahhh, boobs. Either a woman’s enemy or best asset. In pregnancy, most likely enemy. Why, you ask? Because don’t they get fuller, perkier and contribute to that renowned pregnancy ‘glow’?! Nope, they fucking don’t, not for me anyway! I shit you not, it was my boobs that gave away the fact I was pregnant! How, you ask? Well, it was a plain old February lunchtime and I went for my typical stroll on my break, when the winters air hit me in the face (and chest) like a tornado. My nipples literally stung! Never in my life have my chesticles expericenced such pain; we are all farmiliar with that boob-ache before a period, but this was SOMETHIN ELSE! I felt like Mike Tyson had done ten rounds on my tits. Luckily, I discovered boob-massages (I don’t know if they actually exist by professionals, but I regularly performed this act on myself) and my god if done right, it’s goooood and helps relieve that boob tension building up in there. I did get some weird looks when I was doing it in the queue in Savers, though. Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.
3. All day sickness
Ok, I don’t know why this is always referred to as “morning sickness” but this can be a big fat lie to some people, like myself. Funnily enough, I only puked a handful of times throughout the entire pregnancy, but constantly feeling like you’re going to be sick haunted me until I was around six months and quite frankly, I’d rather get it all up than feel like shit all day. My daily walk to work consisted of walking past a Morrisons at 07:30am every day and I can tell ya one thing; the stench of greasy, fatty bacon at that time of the morning for once in your life is actually revolting. I mastered the art of holding my breath for a good couple of hundred metres, but then a bastard bin lorry would drive by and the putrid smell of general waste would whaft me in the face instead. I’d often be caught by members of the public giving two fingers up to the poor driver of the bin wagons. (Lol!!!!) I became a veggie for a good couple of months as I couldn’t stand the thought of any meat let alone eating it, and ended up just wanting cold juice, ice lollies and fruit to help settle the sicky feeling. (I did have proper alternative meals too btw). This proved amazing for my skin and waistline- I actually lost weight whilst pregnant, which wasn’t worrying or anything as I was carrying some extra timber beforehand, then lost even more after giving birth (obviously!) so I definitely could have had worse cravings. But that horrible sicky feeling isn’t always just in the morning like on the films, ladies!
4. Shaving, what’s that?!
At the start, your skin can be sensitive anyway when taking care of your personal hygiene. Shaving your legs and armpits can need an extra bit of TLC as your skin can become SUPER sensitive, and the thought of going for your routine bikini wax may be off the cards for a while. It’s fine- I’m totally with ya; been there, done that. And one particular evening springs to mind, being around 7months pregnant and no longer being able to view my vagina/muffin top without a mirror to help. It’s not that I liked to just look at it or anything (I’m not judging if you do that, by the way) it’s just I like to maintain its tidiness, shall we say. I was in the bath one night and it dawned on me that within the next few weeks I would need to expose my nether regions to a stranger who was to deliver my baby. So, how can I sort this monstrosity?! I got a handheld mirror. ‘SHIT’, I thought. ‘It looks like fricken Aragog down there!’ (You Harry Potter fans will understand me there, google it otherwise). I broke down, both at the fact I physically couldn’t see nor style (y’know, bald eagle or landing strip kinda style, not a mohecian or anything) my faloolar without a mirror. Well, you ladies will know it’s a two-hand job; one hand holds the hairy area in place whilst the other shaves. I ONLY HAD ONE HAND SPARE! Desperate times called for desperate measures…you guessed it, hubby to the rescue! Fair play to him, he a good’un. For better for worse, and all that.
But just for the record, when you’re pushing that machunga out during birth, neither you or your midwife care what it looks like, and chances are they would have seen worse at some point anyway, so don’t stress yourself girls!
5. Gas and air, of the flatulence kind.
Luckily for me, the whole passing wind in front of your partner thing happened pretty quickly into our relationship, mainly because I’m shameless when it comes to farting and burping, and have always been really comfortable in front of my husband, so when I got pregnant three years later there was nothing new. But a word of warning for those of you who have somehow remained lady-like in front of your partners for a lengthy amount of time… prepare to fart, a lot! And burp. Look, I know some people prefer being all girly and dignified in front of your lovers, I get it, keeping it traditional and classy as you don’t NEED to do that stuff in front of them, and all that bullshit. But when you’re suffering with all the other random stuff like heartburn and the frequent urge to wee, you get to the point where you’d rather pass the wind than put up with cramps and belly ache to add to the already long list of pregnancy-related crap. So forget it princess, let nature take its call and make the most of having an excuse to be a melodious trumping symphony whenever you like! To be brutally honest, the chances are you’re going to shit yourself during birth anyway, so this wind malarkey is really minor. It’s better out than in!
Oh, they’ll probably stink more than usual too. Blame the baby, it’s fine, it’s the ever-growing fetus that made you eat those four Kit-Kats and jar of Gherkins anyway.
6. You MAY resemble Chewbacca for a while.
Just kidding, but you get hairy. All these folic acid tablets and pregnancy hormones in general has a knock on effect with hair growth, and not just in the normal areas! For me, since being about 17 I’ve always had this one really annoying tiny hair that appears on my chin which I spend ages trying to pluck. Well, this tiny hair grew a circle of friends when I was pregnant. In fact, one may say I had a beard. The day before my wedding, I was getting pampered and having my brows threaded. I had started noticing my little forming beard and tash, so asked the lady to proceed and give the full ‘works’. I presumed that this would be a package thing- so brows, lip and chin. Nope. I realise I stood corrected when I could feel the side of my cheeks and forehead being threaded! FOREHEAD, seriously! Didn’t even realise they got hairy! I walked outa that place looking like Sebastian the bloody crab. There’s some pro’s to this hairiness, though- your head hair grows very thick and luscious and bouncy! This is because the amount of hairs that you usually shed decreases whilst pregnant (something again to do with hormones). However, everyone failed to tell me that around 12 weeks post-partum, you then start to lose these hairs by the clumps. You’ll likely be in the shower or brushing your hair and notice a good clump just come out completely painlessly. All very normal, don’t fret. KNEW THERE WAS A CATCH TO GROWING MORE IN THE FIRST PLACE! I panicked and resorted to google to comfort me and reassure me that this was normal. Needn’t bother guys, you heard it here first! You won’t be Cousin It forever!
7. It’s happening! Wait, is it?
Approaching the actual labour phase now, all these months of agro pains and aches and hair growth are finally coming to an end! This baby is on its way! However, especially with your first, this doesn’t always happen straight away. You may or may not have heard of the ‘Mucus Plug’. I’m not gonna sugarcoat this; it’s exactly what it sounds like. This big vagina bogie has been in place this whole time in your cervix to help prevent infection, but when you’re getting very close to the big day, it starts to seperate and come out. It’s a sign of your cervix dialating, so you’re definitely on the way to having this baby soon! But by soon, I don’t nessecerily mean the next day- you can lose bits of your plug weeks before. Which I did in my case, and being typical last-minute-research-Charlotte, I didn’t know what was happening to me when I went for my 182865th wee of the day and was astonished to see a lovely bit of goo staring back up at me. Had I been carrying a sack of snot these past nine months?! Had my vagina caught a cold and just sneezed without me noticing? No, it’s fine, just my mucus plug.
8. Oh, shit.
So earlier on, I touched briefly on pooing during birth. I spent my entire pregnancy building myself up to that moment. (Obviously not as much as seeing the actual baby!) You see, I’ve always been a bit of a secret tramp like that and spent ages leading up to the birth teasing my husband that he was going to see me full on shit myself and have to be supportive about it. When the time actually came, I didn’t poo! *HOORAY* which shocked me as most people do! To be fair though, I’d had a hefty Subway footlong the evening before and managed to unload before going into labour, so that may have been why. But anyways, I just want to say, don’t worry about pooing during birth! No. Worry about your first poo and wee AFTER birth. Chances are, you just got piles from all that pushing, and quite possibly have had stitches from tearing. Luckily, I didn’t tear but did have a slight graze down there which didn’t require stitches- by blimey, I became scared to go to the toilet. And that bad boy itched for weeks in the healing process, you’ll likely end up mastering that itchy-vag walk that we’ve all done in public. Your midwife will probably ask you for a wee sample in a pot a few hours after birth (providing everything has gone ok) in order to allow you to go home. This is a bitch too. Stingin’ell fire, as if pushing a human out wasn’t enough! And it’s hard to tell if you’re weeing or not since you’re still pouring with blood (for weeks afterwards btw). BUT, every woman’s body is different, and the above was only my expericence. Plus, you can actually buy certain oils and creams which can be massaged into your bits pre-birth to help soften the area, making it more stretchy and therefore less likely to tear. As much as this is all understandably horrifying, just remember that most women expericence this and to see that little bundle makes it all worthwhile. Our bodies were designed for this, so they say.
9. To milk, or not to milk.
One of the most memorable things to date during those hasty few days after birth. I mentioned further up about how boobs can be very sensitive during pregnancy. Well, post-partum only differs slightly- you now have giant boobs full of milk. They still hurt. Whether you plan to breastfeed or not, you’re still likely gonna have to go through some painful days before they calm down. I always wanted to give breastfeeding a go- and did until my daughter was almost a month old. By this point, she had picked up her mothers habits in becoming a little pig and started getting in a hissy at feeding time because she couldn’t get the milk in her mouth quick enough! I expressed to help with this, my god that was funny. Well, it is now that I look back on it, but at the time I used to just wanted to cry with the pain. Was kinda like the scene from Bridesmaids where they all have food poisoning- I’m the one in the corner telling my husband not to look at me whilst I milk myself. And the scene in a Bad Neighbours where she NEEDS to milk her boobs? Yep, that’s real too ladies. I persevered with this for a while before we decided to give her formula, but had many occasions in public where I’d slightly knock my boob on the pram or something and then a milk explosion would take place in my bra, leaving my favourite blouses advertising what would have been Mila’s lunch. My top would literally be soaked, they used to fill up SO much and hurt loads but I’d feel soooo relieved once I’d expressed or fed her. Take extra breastpads wherever you go, girls!
10. Stretch Marks
Some women are very lucky. My mother is one- she’s not got one single stretch mark after having us but unfortunately these type of genes are not always hereditary. My weight has always fluctuated; I basically love food and don’t like much forms of exercise, sue me.
I’d already experienced stretch marks on my hips and other places you tend to get them just from growing in general. But never in a million years did I expect to see two distinctive marks on my muffin top! Of course, I couldn’t see down there when I was heavily pregnant, so this came as a shock once I’d relieved myself of an 8lb baby. It appeared that the pressure of Mila’s head burying down there before she made her appearance ended up stretching the area’s skin slightly, leaving me with a couple of marks there. (It’s cool, though, I’ll just grow my Mohawk back to cover it up!). Now I’m sure this does not happen to everyone, but it did happen to me, so putting a word of warning out there to get stocked up on Bio Oil and Cocoa Butter. I also got a few on my tummy, which is the place where you’d expect them most anyway. Ladies- everyone has different reactions to their body after birth. For me, I was astonished that my body was capable of creating and keeping safe our beautiful little girl and looked at it that way- if that required my skin to stretch a bit here and there and leave me with some marks, then so be it. I’ve got traces of what MY body did in order to have our daughter, and quite frankly, I never regarded myself as perfect in the first place! I had imperfections before pregnancy too, so didn’t really give a shit! Yes, it can be a bit overwhelming to see at first, and yes you can become bitterly jealous of those mums who appear to not have a single mark on them, but they fade a lot to almost nothing, and are little reminders of what your body has been capable of. Embrace it all!
Yep, you saw that right. And for this one, I’m thankfully not talking about the mums shitting themselves.
We all know babies poo a lot. Lots of nappy changing required for this role. However, nobody told me just how much the said babies have actual nappy explosions. Always happens at the worst time too- usually in public, like down my white Lacey top on the tinned food isle in Asda. I know it’s quite a trivia for new mums to dress their newborns in cute little outfits, and you hear this more so with girls, so when I found out we were having a girl we stocked up on cute little dresses, rompers and dungarees to coo over. Want some advice? Don’t bother with that right now, wait until they are a few months old. Waste of time, most of Mila’s wardrobe contents still have tags on! Opt for some cute babygrows/ sleepsuits instead. I’ve took a big liking to the Mothercare and Sainsburys multipacks of sleepsuits, good value for some really nice ones- boys included. The reason I suggest this is firstly for the practicality of them. As you’re forever changing them, or in my case forever changing their outfit too, it’s easier for them to be in baby grows for just popping the buttons on and off. This means minimal disturbance for the sleeping baby too, plus as an inexperienced new parent, getting your new baby’s limbs in and out of technical clothing is scary! “How does that go on? Is their arm in right?!” are questions you’ll find yourself asking otherwise. Plus, they are still just as cute as other outfits! Secondly, they will definitely be more comfortable for the little one, I guess it’s just like when we take our ‘normal’ clothes off and whack on a onesie or pjs! Let them sport those cute little numbers when they are wriggling round more and having less poonamis.
I suppose that’s a wrap from me! Mila is now just a few days away from being six months old, so I’m still learning and experiencing new things with her, which I’ll probably blog about in the near future.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I imagine some if it may have been more graphic than you anticipated! But like my blog says- The Good, the Bad and the Honest! I wish all you ladies trying for a baby the best of luck and health for your future pregnancies, and all you existing mamas feel free to add on any of your experiences in the comments, I’m sure there’s WAY more which I didn’t get the, erm, privilege of experiencing.
Laters, taters! X