Mum’s the word

Me with my lovely Mum, for whom I am thankful for *not* telling me that my feet will get a whole shoe size bigger and other weird pregnancy related disorders.

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition in this family that Mother’s Day is always ruined one way or another. Last year my husband went out the night before and got so drunk he vomited all over the bathroom floor waking me up in the process. My one request of a lie in was obviously not met and to add insult to injury he took me to Nandos for lunch. I have never felt more humiliated in my entire life. Yesterday my 4 and 3 quarter year old (she’s so pleased she can now say that) came out from school with a bunch of daffs and a home-made card. ‘Open it Mummy read it NOW’ she protested, so I did the obligatory ‘Wow yes its beautiful darling thank you so much’ then I read the inside.

It’s not exactly ‘Thank you for being the best Mummy in the world’ but at least she is aware that the laundry fairy doesn’t do all the washing and ironing, unlike her father.

This year he is in the Philippines on a 9 day business trip, so I’m invading my poor Mother who lives by the sea, for some home comforts and the small chance of a lie-in. There are so many things that she has taught me, especially about being a mother, which I am thankful for. But there are certain things that just aren’t spoken about, because if they were, no one would give birth and the human race would die out, probably.

As a midwife when I was looking after women in labour, I would nod sympathetically as their contractions took hold of them, reassuring them of the pain they were experiencing ‘you can do this, this is normal labour’. But really I had no idea what that pain felt like, I hadn’t had babies then, in fact I had never experienced pain like it. But once the little two lines appeared on the stick and confirmed my first pregnancy, all these weird and wonderful things started happening to me both mentally and physically; which I really didn’t remember learning about during my midwifery lectures. To be honest if I knew half of these things were going to happen to me I probably wouldn’t have ever become a mother. (Sorry to those who haven’t given birth yet, it’s not that bad really). *pours another glass of wine*

  • In the first 3 months of pregnancy you are so constipated, that small bump is mainly full of poo. And no amount of prunes, apricots and Bran flakes will shift it. Things normally start ‘moving’ on by week 14.
  • Don’t attempt to look at your nether regions as your due date lingers. In fact best to lock the bathroom door when you shower, your partner has enough shocks to cope with in the weeks to come. Let’s just say your labia swells to something unrecognizable but don’t worry it does return to its normal state post birth.
  • You think when you’re pregnant and writing your birth plan that your dignity matters. It really doesn’t and to be honest you really don’t care who sees you starkers with your bum in the air mooing like a cow. I had both my babies in the hospital where I work, and I can still look the Consultant in the eye who broke my waters.
  • Night sweats, not just any sort of sweat. I’m talking about needing to sleep on a towel, changing your pyjamas, using a rag to mop and dry yourself during those first few weeks after your baby is born. It’s unbelievable how hormones can be responsible for pretty much everything.
  • Nappy brain actually exists. I once introduced my daughter as my little boy to the Health Visitor at the baby clinic – the baby was naked on the weighing scales at the time.
  • Hair loss. Oh my God this was so annoying (which resulted in me having a fringe). I felt smug with my thick luscious hair which grew during pregnancy but by the time my baby was 10 weeks old it all started to fall out. Mainly around the front of my hair-line but there was hair everywhere, even in my daughter’s nappy.
  • Nothing fills you with more joy then putting on your trackie bums, tucking into a box of chocolates and feeling sorry for anyone having to go out on a Friday night. That is unless, it’s your husband’s first night out since the baby was born and he stumbles in at 2 am and vomits all over the bathroom floor.