First Time Mums – What to Expect

From the moment you fall pregnant, your body begins to change. Small at first, and hardly noticeable, it is easy to mistake these changes for other causes. When I fell pregnant for the first time, I thought I had contracted four consecutive bouts of Gastro! Funnily enough these bouts of gastro were worse in the morning and coincided with tender enlarged breasts. As a first time mum I was completely clueless and managed to get through the first seven weeks unaware that I was pregnant!

The initial stage of pregnancy wasn’t my only learning curve, and it won’t be yours either. Although we are given considerable amounts of information from medical professionals regarding pregnancy and motherhood, there are quite a lot of things that get left out. The things that people don’t want to talk about – The awkward conversation topics. And from my experience, I think it’s these things that you wished you had advance notice about. So brace yourself first time mums, this mother of three is about to let the cat out of the bag!

Who is that irrational woman?

Um that’s you looking at how you blamed your partner earlier for something which in no way was his fault. In retrospect you should have stopped yourself, but something took over, an uncontrollable urge to take your frustration out on him. After all he is the one that assisted in making you this way!  Ladies this is perfectly normal, and a natural response when overrun with pregnancy hormones. I’m not saying it’s right, just normal. So prepare yourself for a little irrational behaviour here and there.

Why am I crying?

You cry when you’re happy. You cry when you’re sad. You cry watching TV. You cry for no reason at all! I have never been much of a crier myself, but loaded with pregnancy hormones and I could cry at the sight of a cute puppy or that I accidently washed a tissue with my clothes. Sounds a little crazy right, well thank those hormones for this one too. And let me just extend the warning here, this continues through the post natal period also. So stock up on the tissues!

Where did that come from?

You feel tired and hungry a lot of the time but the worst thing you can do is eat anything and everything in sight. There is a huge misconception that you can eat whatever you like when you’re pregnant (with of the exception of food that may carry Listeria) because you are eating for two. Well let me tell you, that the very first time you catch a glimpse of your rear end in a mirror, you will re-think your food choices. I was quite prepared for my stomach to grow at a rate of knots but was shocked to find that my bottom expanded at the same time! And that certainly wasn’t due to the baby – that was directly attributed to sweets, slices, lollies, hot chips and anything else that took my fancy.

What is that?

There are a myriad of bodily functions and non-emergency medical conditions throughout pregnancy and birth that I think you should know about in advance. Haemorrhoids, constipation, heartburn, indigestion and vaginal bleeding (for weeks…not days like your usual period) are some of the things you may encounter. Stretch marks, sore breasts and body shape changes can be added to the list. A weak pelvic floor that can surprise you at the worst possible moment….”ahhhh choo, quick where’s the toilet”. And as for your libido, well it’s taken a leave of absence until further notice.

And finally – Oh so glamorous….

Motherhood really is a beautiful thing. But glamorous and motherhood generally aren’t two words that go together in the early days of being a mum. PJ’s, hair not done, bags under your eyes (from no sleep) and vomit on your shoulder may very well be your new look. Gone are the days of long showers, and pampering yourself. They will be replaced by feeding, settling and nappy changes….over and over…and over again.

Now having said that, I believe that becoming a mother is the most amazing thing in the world. All of the above becomes a distant memory when your little miracle looks into your eyes and smiles. That is why some of us brave it all over again. And the very reason why I am a mother of three.