1. Breastfeeding isn't easy. Now I know you probably know that, but what I mean is, some women really REALLY struggle, so much so, that it just won't happen for them. I bought books on breastfeeding that I read when I was pregnant, little did I know that something I thought would come so naturally to me, didn't. My boys couldn't latch on, for all the midwives that visited me in the week I was in hospital, and the weeks thereafter. It just didn't happen, and I felt so guilty and like a failure at the time, but I tried my best and expressed until my milk ran out and that's all I could do.
2. Your body will NEVER be the same again. Now I know that sounds pretty horrific, but pregnancy does change your body shape. For some lucky women they almost get back to their previous body shape, but I know for a lot of women, myself included, things are going to be different now.
3. You will actually SEE your baby move when looking at your belly. Yes, that's right, you heard me correctly. I had no idea about this, and I was used to people saying 'my baby kicked me', but you never expect to SEE your baby moving. Obviously, when thinking about it if you're being attacked on the inside, it's going to show on the outside. Towards the end of my pregnancy I would just have heads, bums, elbows etc. poking out of my belly constantly, I think my twins were having a party!
4. You aren't eating for two. Sadly, you don't need to eat much more, and there are a lot of foods to avoid so make sure you check out what you can and can't eat. Sometimes pregnant women think that they are able to eat a lot more, but then when it comes around to it remember you've got to lose the excess weight you've put on after your pregnancy.
5. Pregnancy is scary. I was a high risk pregnancy which added even more fear to it, but as a worrier anyway pregnancy is a rather scary thing. Apparently 1 in 3 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage*, and that haunted me throughout my pregnancy. Not wanting to scare anyone with that, it's just something I was not aware of. To be honest I only thought there were complications if you had a history in your family of illnesses etc. How naive I was! *Please note, this number does vary, I've heard it also be 1 in 5 or 1 in 7 etc. regardless, it's still a scary statistic.
6. Being pregnant is like entering a new club you never knew existed. Mothers you've never spoken to before will chat to you about everything baby, and until you become a mother this may not be so interesting. I know for me I wasn't that bothered about chatting about my pregnancy with random strangers, but now I have children of my own I probably talk too much about everything baby.
7. Your waters may not break. You know in the movies you always see the woman's waters break and a mad dash for the hospital? Well, it's actually quite rare that your water will break, and even if it does, there's no mad rush to the hospital. If anything you'll be asked to wait it out at home until your contractions become more frequent.
8. Labour isn't a quick thing. I really didn't realise that it wasn't like on TV, but actually labour is a looooooooooooong process; mine was 18 hours and would have been longer if I didn't need a C-Section. If only it were like the movies...
9. Friendships may disintegrate before your eyes. Those friends who don't have babies or who are TTC may want nothing to do with you and your baby talk. There may be jealousy from those who want a baby of their own. Sometimes people think 'you've changed' because you don't have the same social life, or because you put your unborn child and your need to rest your pregnant self, ahead of meeting up with them. True friends will always be there for you.
10. The amount of advice you will get from everyone and anyone in regards to how to raise your unborn child. Please note: this will not stop when your baby is born, and if anything the advice gets worse. Just remember YOU are this babies mother, even if you've never been a mother before. When people tell you how to raise YOUR baby, smile and nod and take it with a pinch of salt, unless the information is helpful.
11. Relationships will be strained. Your hormones are high, you may be dealing with financial stress, it may have been an unexpected pregnancy, and maybe your partner panics about becoming a dad. Even if this was planned, once you're pregnant you may be shocked about the whole thing, and a little scared. Remember to try and ride things out and stress as little as possible in order to keep you and your baby relaxed.
12. Labour is scary. Yes, you heard me. Of course it's scary, that baby you've been growing for 9 months is ready to come out and your life will never be the same again. Also, labour is an unexpected thing and you just don't know how you'll end up giving birth. I didn't know that being induced I'd give birth the following day via C-Section! However, giving birth is NATURAL. How do you think women did it back in the days when there was no medication or assistance? It is scary, but there is so much that can be done to numb the pain that you'll be fine, especially if you get an epidural ;)
13. Your unborn child will kindly wee, poop, hiccup and release gasses into your belly. You'll even feel the hiccups and see your belly wobble. Your little one may also be more active when you want to go to bed, which is just a sign to show you how awake they'll be at night when they're out of your tummy!
14. Braxton Hicks are fake contractions you feel during your pregnancy, you may also feel real contractions towards the end of your pregnancy that you mistake for braxtons. Not only that but once your labour is over you'll still experience contractions for some days after.
15. You will lose all self respect after so many people see your private area (lol), the amount of people who have seen my bits now is just ridiculous. I was so worried about people seeing my private area but now I don't care, that's what pregnancy does to you, makes you lose all dignity you once had!
Pregnancy is tough and can be scary for a first time mum. Just remember that it is normal, and that some women may act like their pregnancy was a breeze, but in reality they get constipated, vomit day and night and even if they don't get morning sickness, they've still got to push a baby out just like you do.
Good luck with your pregnancy, and let me know if you have anything to add to this list! :)
Why not check out my YouTube Mum and Baby Channel, for more mummy chat!
Lots of love,