There’s a lot to think about when you are pregnant. Or have a newborn. Or have a slightly older baby. Or a toddler. Or…. Oh god it’s never going to stop. Parenthood is certainly a challenging time!
And with each of those thoughts comes an emotion. Most of them different. Most of them slightly heightened by hormones that are much more excitable than your pre-baby hormonal offerings. Most of them changeable by the day, hour, minute. On an extra special day, you might even think all the thoughts and feel all the feelings at once and not really know what’s going on and just have a little cry on the sofa.
One of the most important things I’ve learned since I first found out I was pregnant, is to take each moment for what it is. If it’s a good moment, with a good feeling.. just drink it in for a moment, really acknowledge it and recognise it as a good thing. Because what comes just a few seconds later might be really shit. But with equal measure.. just take THAT for what it is. It won’t last long.
The other thing I’ve learned, is that babies KNOW.
They know the following:
- When you’ve made a cup of tea. (No scientific study has been conducted to find out why, but they REALLY don’t want you to drink one)
- When you’ve planned a magical day out in advance. (They will sense this is the case and wake up a demon gremlin version of your child on that day)
- When you’ve dared to plan a date night. (They will let their immune system know your plans and time a vomit, fever or terrifying rash to appear 60 minutes before your departure)
- When you have something really important the next day and really need some decent sleep. (As above, but throughout the night. Or will just wake 18 times for the hell of it)
- When you need them to nap so that you can attend an important event. (They will not nap. Then they will get overtired and very angry. The event will not go well)
On a serious note, there are a lot of unknowns and juxtapositions and hurdles from the second you know you are carrying a baby. The shiny new boatload of excitement and love arrives, but it’s coupled and matched with the fear of something potentially going wrong. You are so excited to meet your baby, but know that it has to exit through your vagina or yet-to-exist sunroof first. You’re cannot wait to go out for dinner with just your partner on a post-baby date, but you feel sick at the thought of leaving your baby.
So here are some tips that might help you navigate these choppy hormonal waters:
- Be mindful about who you follow on social media. Filter your feed so that it doesn’t promote comparison and anxiety unnecessarily.
- Get educated. However this works for you.. by attending classes, by reading about things. But always make sure the information is reliable, unbiased and evidence-based. (I highly recommend reading ‘Informed is Best’ by Prof Amy Brown to help out here!)
- Take care of yourself. Eat well, stay active, be mindful.. it will all help the crazy hormones be the least level of crazy they can be.
- Talk about your hopes, fears and everything in-between with someone you trust or someone who has been through it before and who you know is on the same wavelength as you.
- Allow yourself to indulge in your excitement. Be in the moment. Who knows how many times you will be in this position in your lifetime?! Buy the tiny sleepsuit, think about names, go to the baby shows. What will be, will be… whether you buy the cuddly toy or not.