I wrote this post 9 days before my son Josh was born and never published it. Partly because it was on the 1st of April 2017 and I figured people would think it was an April fools joke, but mostly because having these feelings made me feel like I was clearly doing something wrong. But I wrote them down, which made the last 9 days of my pregnancy lighter, at least emotionally in some way. I found this blurb I had written on my phone and I am able to laugh at it now. It went a little something like this....
1 April 2017 - Taetim Smith
Okay so I don't know where I was when the memo went out on pregnancy and preparing for a baby, but I clearly was NO WHERE NEAR that conversation!
Firstly, there is a lifetime of shock and dismay that has taken place in the past 9months. Whilst the blessing of carrying a baby and having it grow inside you is the most amazing experience ever, actually carrying and having a baby grow inside you is exhausting!
No one tells you that you'll wake up one day and not recognise yourself in the mirror. It is traumatic. It's a lot to digest.
No one tells you that you will begin to worry about every single thing you think about or do from now on until the end of time. From the angle or position that you sleep in, the amount of caffeine your tea contains, to the temperature of your bath water. You even worry that worrying will make you worry.
No one tells you that the smallest human you'll ever know will take up more space in your home before he/she has even arrived in this world than an entire army of people. So. Much. Stuff. EVERYWHERE!!! And it doesn't end. The more you organize, the more you need. And rumour has it, that when this baby comes home, a series of secretly hidden bombs go off in your home and you can never find them or stop them from exploding.
No one tells you that you will lose your sense of humour. Or be forced to dig very very very deep to entertain conversations and actions that previously were completely normal.
No one tells you that when they say you have a "bun in the oven" .... that YOU are the OVEN!!! You are hot, ALL the time!!! And not just hot as in "I won't take a jersey along" hot or "open a window" hot... but flipping gross, drenched in a pool of sweat hot. The kind of hot that leaves your husband on the brink on pneumonia at night when the aircon is on 18 degrees, he's sleeping like an Eskimo with the duvet up to his eyeballs and you are standing in front of the vents in tears, convinced the aircon isn't working.
No one tells you that you will lose all sense of modesty you once had. That you will wake up one day and not be able to see or navigate your vagina with any sort of precision. That any solo grooming that once was a private act will become a task mission for two that will terrify both yourself and the person helping you! All of a sudden the once resilient private part will become this delicate never-before-seen mystery to you both. Don't say I didn't warn you.
On the note of grooming and general cleanliness, no one tells you that you get to a point in your pregnancy when you cannot get out of the bath on your own, normal sized towels won't wrap around you, and that you can't reach your toes to dry, clip or paint them. It's safer and less exhausting to just shower and drip dry ! ha ha!
No one tells you that you will wake up one day during your pregnancy and notice that your husband sees you in a completely different light. That you are now both amazing in every way but also completely fragile to him. For any capable and independent woman, this is scary. It's only scary because it's true. You are growing a human, a life inside you and it's the most incredible gift but it's also scary because you aren't able to do half the things you could do before.
One of these things that caught me completely by surprise was my ability to think clearly and complete tasks. It just disappeared. I found myself eagerly starting something, anything, and then half way through wondering how I even began or how I would ever finish. Simple things like cooking a decent meal or filling out a form at the doctors office. They call it porridge brain.
What they don't tell you is that porridge/preggy brain is just the result of sleep deprivation. Whilst you go to bed much earlier than you ever did and technically clock waaaaay more hours horizontally than you ever thought imaginable. You don't actually sleep. You are tackling mounds of pillows and stuffing them in every gap you can to keep yourself propped in a comfortable position and just as you get to that pinnacle of relief, you need to pee. *dammit!* And it's not just the slight urge to pee, it's a painful cramp under your belly where you think your bladder might live that throbs like you're about to wet yourself. So you quickly unravel all your hard work and rock yourself out of the bed to go wee, only to find what comes out is a teaspoon amount of wee and no more. You sit there in disbelief for about a minute hoping your sneaky bladder is playing a trick on you and then when nothing happens you head back to bed. Build your pillow fort again and start the process all over again!
Oh yes. Restless legs and calf cramps. Those are awesome. Actually if they were people, they'd be the epitome of someone we'd categorize as an asshole. They wait until you actually do find a comfy sleeping spot and don't need to wee and when you're finally drifting into that amazing land you once called sleep, WHAM! It strikes! And you have no control over it but to ride it out."
This is as far as the post went. I obviously got distracted or fell asleep - both very plausible. But I can look back now and have a good chuckle. The end reward was the most amazing gift we ever received! And was well worth it!