No I am not pregnant – but here are the things I would do differently if I could relive my pregnancy.
- When exhausted take a nap. I was such a martyr and was absolutely exhausted by 15:00 every day. If I had just allowed myself a 10 minute nap I would probably have achieved much more afterwards anyway but somehow the thought of closing my eyes during office hours was just unacceptable in my eyes.
- Not be offended by advice. Wow do people love giving pregnant women advice?! As much as I tried to let it roll off my back, I could not help but be offended by some of the advice. In retrospect I have learnt that normally it is a sign of insecurity when another mom tries to enforce her way of doing things as the only ‘right’ way. In retrospect rather than be overwhelmed, I’d keep an open mind and store all the (good) advice for future reference. There is such a thing as bad advice but I found this rather easy to spot (even doctors and nurses give bad advice on occasion so never become complacent).
- Get less offended when people tell me I look huge. Honestly, anyone who says something like that is just plain rude and does not deserve space in my mind. I am still gobsmacked by the comments that people made. My favourite was when visiting the building site that would become our home(oh yes and don’t build while pregnant) we were concerned about the size of the shower, and someone told me to quickly go stand in the would-be-shower. Like a true dumb idiot I did and he proudly announced that if I could fit in there anyone could. Sigh.
- Get fitter before getting pregnant. You never know whether you will face complications or end up on bed rest so the fitter and healthier the better. I also wish that I had gone for more walks during pregnancy. Also whether its recovering from labour or a c section the fitter and healthier you are, the better you will recover.
- Feel less stressed about all the baby clobber. If I went back in time I would worry less, as most of the stuff is unnecessary anyway. Although it may not be necessary some of makes your life easier but you’ll know what to buy once the child arrives that will actually be useful.
- I would be more aggressive about my birth plan. I had a fabulous doctor who I am very grateful let me push for the birth I wanted but there are a few things I would have done differently. I would also mention here not to underestimate the dad’s control in this process. I would work harder at getting his buy into the plan so that he would advocate for it in moments when I was not able. My husband would tell you how helpless they can feel in this process. I think if I had equipped him better he would have felt more useful and been able to help me better.
- I would not let visitors come to see me immediately after birth. I would prefer to have had time alone with my son before having the extended family descend upon me. Due to complications I had not seen my son for more than a few seconds before he was whisked away. Family managed to snap photos of him through the nursery window and the online world nearly got a closer look at my son before I did. I also never got to have time with just my husband and our child before all the extended family came into my room to visit. I doubt any of them realise any of the above and how stressed I was in the moment and how badly I wanted to have a just a few minutes to take in my sons face. I know that they were purely motivated by love and excitement. But if I could have that moment over I would have fought for just a few minutes to be alone with my child and his father before he was introduced to everyone else.
- I would take more regular photos of my pregnant belly. I was fairly good at this until I had a complication which really freaked me out and for quite a while after that I could not bring myself to take pregnancy update pictures. I really regret that.
- I would embrace the help offered by family and friends. My family and friends were amazing at helping afterwards. They brought the most delicious meals, cleaned our home, and really got along side me. I did not have to cook for a whole month! This is not to be confused with baby holders. I will write another post about baby holders another day.
- I would make sure that I had learnt how to wrap my baby for baby wearing and practice babywearing from day one.
- I would put more effort into choosing a Pediatrician. We didn’t put enough effort into finding a doctor that we felt comfortable with. I did not understand how big of a role they could have in your birth and breastfeeding experience.