I’m a positive thinker, I always have been. I haven’t read any self help books to teach me to do so, I’ve just always preferred to think things will go right rather than what will go wrong. Going into pregnancy I was really positive. I’d never watched one born every minute or thought much about birth for the matter, I knew that if I did my picture perfect vision of what it would be like would be ruined. However, as soon as I was pregnant it’s almost as if it gave every woman who had ever had a baby a license to tell me every possible thing that could go wrong, why do people do that?
I wouldn’t say I loved being pregnant, but I definitely didn’t hate it either. Yes, I felt sick occasionally and not fitting into clothes and getting swollen ankles is annoying but did I want to moan about at every occasion? Definitely not.
Every pregnancy appointment I was about to attend, other mums would warn me how terrible it was going to be and each time I came out thinking ‘it wasn’t as bad as they said!’
During my pregnancy I did everything I wanted to do. I went on a couple of holidays and on nights out with friends as long as I felt okay in myself I would still do it.
As my pregnancy went on, I was constantly told ‘you must be so fed up, you poor thing!’ Fed up? Why would I be fed up? I was anything but. I was just a few days/weeks away from meeting a tiny human that my husband and I had created, what did I have to be fed up about? Yes, I was a couple of stone heavier and noticing that I was getting tired a little bit quicker, but nothing that an early night in some snuggly pyjamas couldn’t solve.
My birth story is more of the same. I had to be induced; you can imagine what scaremongering that provoked. Looks of panic on every woman’s face I told. ‘It’s five times more painful than natural labour’, but I had nothing to compare it to I thought. I went into hospital with freshly blow-dried hair, new nails and a new outfit ready to take on the challenge. Fourty five minutes after the pessary was given, my contractions were coming in thick and fast but my waters hadn’t broken. An hour or so later the pain was pretty bad so I asked for an epidural only to be told I needed to be at 4cm. The next time the midwife came round I was 9cm. I hadn’t screamed, cried or sworn at all? But they told me I would have wanted to kill my husband and shouted several expletives at the midwife by this stage. After convincing the midwife to still give me an epidural, the Sister in charge came in to see how my labour was going. Fuming that I’d be given the magic injection she told me I’d done the hard part and my labour was finished (I couldn’t see a baby, I thought!) and warned that my contractions would slow down and I probably wouldn’t be able to push. I began to push (with her help!) and my waters broke without having to be broken like ‘they’d said’ and within half an hour baby Axel was with us, I turned to my husband and said, ‘That definitely wasn’t as bad as they said it would be.’
Maybe I struck lucky? Or maybe I just don’t want to think of all the things that could have been luckier. I think of my pregnancy and birth as ‘not as bad as they said it would be’. So expectant Mammas my advice is not to dread the process that is going to give you the biggest reward and those who have been there and done it, try and think back to what you would of wanted to hear.