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trying for a baby
daunting task
parenting
literature
Expect The Unexpected…
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So you’ve been trying for a baby, or perhaps it’s a complete surprise when the stick turns pink, lines appear or in big, bold writing the word PREGNANT appears, but don’t worry there is plenty of resources for you to get stuck into to prepare you for anything. ANYTHING really?! I can already hear the disputes arising from other mums. Yes there are books, websites and most importantly your midwife who will go through every little part of pregnancy and labour with you, your partner and probably a whole antenatal class, so much so you will never be able to look at that midwife the same way ever again. So if there is so much literature, why am I writing this article you ask? Well, the answer is quite simple; with pregnancy you can never be too prepared, in fact you won’t feel prepared at all.

My advice expect the unexpected, prepare for as much as you can and if by some small chance you have a textbook pregnancy and labour, congratulate yourself and move on to the next part… the actual parenting.

I read every book I could on pregnancy, and then towards the end on labour. I borrowed from friends, the library, scoured the internet for any kind of article to help me face this daunting task that I had no idea about. My husband and I attended prenatal class, and huffed and puffed with the rest of them, learnt all about the breathing, positioning and the process of labour. I had it all straight in my head, a checklist mantra I kept going over in those last few weeks; waters break, plug, contractions getting stronger and closer, getting to hospital, dilating to THE big number all women know - 10cms (Is this even possible? Can I do anything? Will it hurt?), and then entering active labour, and the birth of your child. In all for most first time mums, the experts say the whole process will be at least 8 hours, obviously not always but this is what they tell you to expect.

So I go into labour, the contractions go from zero to painful in minutes, and go straight to seconds apart. My husband rushes me to hospital and two hours later, my little boy arrives. People look at me and ask to repeat myself, “yes in just two hours I say” and they stare incredulous at me. Other mums give me the jealous stare, and say “and this was your first”. I nod and look guilty but really it’s not as easy as it sounds, I didn’t get the steady build-up of pain, the slowly increasing contractions, just wham the extreme contractions and, oh now you have to push.

I didn’t even get to moan and cry at my husband at how much this was his fault, which I know I can’t complain really. I had a great labour; the baby was born perfectly and is perfect, but still a little bit of the ordinary would have been nice.

So, the point of this little tale, when friends, family, midwives, books and anyone else who deems fit to give you advice goes on about all the signs of labour, just remember the biggest sign will be your own intuition. I just knew at tea time there was something wrong, and after a lie down, I knew we needed to be at the hospital. Yes, sometimes things go to plan, so have a little checklist, write a birth plan but plan for the unexpected too. It is wonderful the arrival of a new baby, but if your body is set on one route and your brain is adamant about another, there is nothing you or your husband can do, the baby is coming when it wants to, you’re on its time now, so just go with it.


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