A letter to my pregnant self: What you should know about the journey ahead

pregnant woman in yellow dress standing outside

Dear preggy me,

First up, let me tell you how beautiful you look! Radiant. Glowing as they say. Now, I know you just swallowed a reflux burp and that shooting pain in your groin is about to cripple you in the middle of Woolies (again), but I need you to know that right now, at this exact point in time, you are majestic. Your amazing body is growing a miracle and it’s one of the most wondrous things you’ll ever experience. Now, here are a few other things I’d like you to know.

You won’t know what kind of mum you will be until you get there, so relax!

I know you are busy reading the baby guides before our son arrives, but stop. You can’t plan for this. Motherhood will be nothing like you expected, but it will also be far more than you ever hoped it would be. It will be much harder than you ever feared, too (sorry to say!). But don’t worry, you are going to love it through and through! 

Save your money on baby books

It will take you until your baby’s first birthday to realise he’s the ultimate teacher and that you actually had this all along. Right now you are filling a bookshelf with baby guides that will only confuse you and cause you to worry that you aren’t doing things right. I need you to know though that you are an instinctual mum. That’s not to say you already know everything, you don’t know a thing! But rather that little guy you are growing will soon show you the way (and also let you know very loudly when you’ve taken a wrong turn).  

Have lots of sex now

Okay, so you are a bit worried about your baby being poked (and yes, you’ve read the articles supposed to assure you to the contrary), plus your ballooning belly is making the deed resemble a David Attenborough special, but enjoy lots of sex now. It will be a long time before you get back in the saddle again. Sex won’t die for you guys but it will take a lengthy hiatus. It will start to happen again when that baby of yours starts sleeping longer, and you also feel like your body is yours again. Give it time

Sleep, nap, go to bed early NOW 

Talking of fatigue, I can’t really warn you about the bone-deep tiredness you’re soon to experience. Yes, you are pregnant-tired now and that’s exhausting, but new baby tiredness is something else altogether. There’s no magic cure, you will sleep more when your baby does, but even then, you’re still going to feel tired. I don’t know when you’ll feel energised again (it’s been four years and I’m still weary) but enjoy those daytime naps now, the lovely weekend lie ins and drifting off to sleep while clutching a book. Sleep is soon to become your most craved pastime.

Celebrate your locks!

Right now your hair is flowing like a waterfall. It’s lush, thick and shiny, thanks to those growth hormones circulating through your body. I’m sorry to inform you though, the day is fast coming when you’ll start to shed hair like it’s going out of fashion. Once your baby is here and you’ve both mastered breastfeeding (more about that later), your shower drain will clog with hair, and those ‘just stepped out of a salon’ days will be over. Enjoy it now. Let your hair out and ditch the hair ties. Mum buns are just around the corner.

Don’t assume breastfeeding is easy

You’ve already decided to breastfeed (breast is best! Yes, you’ve read up) and you will breastfeed, but you and your baby’s feeding journey won’t be easy at first. He’ll have attachment issues, you’ll be an emotional mess and your nipples will bleed. At two months old a doctor will snip his tongue tie and his screams will break your heart. But after that, he’ll magically attach and start guzzling his mama’s milk with ease. You’ll enjoy a breastfeeding relationship for a little over a year, and then cry when you are forced to give it up.  

Be kind to yourself

Right now you are religiously taking your pregnancy supplements. You are also eating well and sleeping lots. Good for you! That’s the best thing you can do right now for your baby. But you also need to destress girl! You are worrying about too much – ‘Will I be a good mum (yes, you’ll try!)?’ ‘Will I be bored on maternity leave and miss work (a little but not that much)?’, ‘Will we be able to live off one income (yes, you will learn to)?’ Will I love my baby as much as everyone else loves their’s (oh yes you will. Just you wait!)?’
 
So rest up, oh preggy one. Your life is about to change!

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