Sickness and utter exhaustion, blissful and divine, excruciating pain, emotional rollercoaster, terrifying, life-changing, nothing prepares you, incredible love, feeling like the most astounding person alive, amazing, grateful, worth the battle, magical, the best, the worst and everything in between.  Pregnancy.

These words have come from real-life mothers describing their real-life experiences.  It’s such a crazy time, but in hindsight maybe the best preparation we get as parents.  The difficulty for both pregnancy and parenting is you can plan basically nothing.  This week has been a perfect example of that…having spent two nights in the hospital with Poppi.  Something I definitely didn’t plan for (and hence the late blog post this week).  So, for all us control freaks out there pregnancy and parenting can be a challenging time for many reasons. 

Nonetheless, there is one thing all mothers have in common…we have to get on with it.  Success or fail we have to pick ourselves up the next day and start again.  Each experience is totally unique for each parent, but unity is formed between us all in the process.  During pregnancy, mother’s form connections with each other because of common ground – they are all growing a baby.  Husbands/partners also form connections with one another because of common ground – they are witnessing the growth of a baby.  Let’s face it, pregnancy clearly affects over 50% of the population.

I have to admit, I am a bit of a control freak, but pregnancy taught me that I must learn to take things in my stride.  I didn’t plan for it to take so long to fall pregnant, I didn’t plan to have SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) and I definitely didn’t plan for Poppi to arrive a month early.  There is nothing we can do but to get on with it.  However, we can make this a little easier for ourselves by connecting with others in the same boat or who have been in the boat at some point in their lives.  I was very fortunate in that I had lots of friends who had had babies in the last few years so I knew that I was going to be surrounded by people in the know more than I was.  Groups such as NCT are brilliant for making such connections (as well as Bumpino – in which you can not only prepare your mind but your body too! (Subtle advert here)).  I must sound like I’m always harping on about this, but we are built for connections so why deny them to ourselves during one of the most upside-down, right-side-up times of our lives?  Pregnancy can be a lonely time and while so much is changing emotionally and physically sometimes our nearest and dearest just can’t quite understand. 

The human body never ceases to amaze me, but the changes it undergoes preparing to give birth to a little life is quite phenomenal.  I’m not going to go into all the physiological changes here, but what I am going to emphasize is; no wonder we are emotional wrecks, exhausted, can’t string sentences together, on top of the world, in awe, excited and apprehensive all in one stomach lurching mouthful.  And we get called irrational (I mean seriously!!).  Growing a baby is a magical and miraculous experience and one that deserves to be shared. 

Comments

Nicholas Stubbs says

Poppi's great grandmother used to say, "One who has no kids, has nine theories. One who has nine kids, has no theories!" How right you are, Rachel, that kids change us. Poppi's great grandfather used to say that people who had children learned to be flexible. And, as you say, the majesty of having children is far greater than the challenge - even if we need reminding of that fact! Watching Poppi fall quite ill this week and then bounce back reminded me of Christopher Robin saying at the end of AA Milne's poem "Measles", "Now, how shall we amuse them today?"

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