A reflection on my pregnancy

I’m writing this as I wait for little one to make her appearance and I thought “what better a time to reflect on my pregnancy and the things I wish I’d known at the beginning?”

  1. Don’t stress so much about what you eat. There’s a lot of literature out there to convince mums-to-be that they must eat super healthily. Having suffered from very severe eating disorders in the past, this is something I’ve struggled with throughout the whole of my pregnancy. I’ve by no means eaten a strict or healthy diet and I’ve felt very guilty about the foods I’ve eaten – having had many a breakdown that I was making my baby fat and ill. I can’t believe I spent so much of my time worrying about this and now they are having to induce me as they fear she may be too small. Maybe people did tell me that I didn’t have to eat as healthily as the pregnancy books and apps suggest, I don’t know, but I wish I’d believed them if they did. **In the end she ended up being a slightly small but perfect 6lbs 8oz**
  2. Don’t worry about how your body will change. Embrace it and love it. I spent many hours when I first found out I was pregnant stressing out over the fact I was going to get “fat” and put on 28lbs etc. Worrying that I wouldn’t be able to cope with it. That was a waste of time. Trust your body, it is doing a miraculous thing. – Plus, in reality I’ve only put on just over a stone and I loved every way in which my body changed!
  3. Buy a folder for your notes. Mine ended up looking like they’d been chewed by a dog after carrying them everywhere in the third trimester!
  4. Don’t worry too much. In pregnancy there is SO much to worry about and trying not to worry about them is easier said than done but the things that “go wrong” tend to be the things that haven’t crossed your mind anyway.
  5. Ask people about their birth experiences. People love to talk about themselves and it’s actually really interesting.
  6. Embrace your pregnacy and be proud of it. I found that many a time I was made to feel like my pregnancy was a hinderance. Don’t let people make you feel this way. Be honest about how you’re finding things, especially at work. You’re pregnant, you don’t need to be making excuses!
  7. The only maternity clothes worth buying are over-the-bump jeans. Maternity clothes tend to be over priced and despite having a very small bump, the ones I bought from TopShop in particular didn’t even last me the whole of my pregnancy. Primark is fab to get cheap, nice and stretchy things instead!

** Looking back at this now that I’ve given birth, I’d like to add a few things:

  1. Giving birth REALLY hurts! I’d planned all along that I’d try to give birth just by focusing on my breathing and the saying “be careful what you wish for” has never been more true. After my contractions started, I was desperate for some pain relief. I tried one puff of gas and air and decided I couldn’t be dealing with that, I was then told that things were progressing too fast for an epidural. I was devastated! It’s really important that you stay true to yourself during labour but also that you allow yourself to change your mind. It takes a lot of strength to give birth but even more strength to recognise that maybe you aren’t as strong as you think and don’t have to be a hero. Saying that, I’m already forgetting the pain and complaining about the after cramps even though I swore I would never complain about little cramps ever again!
  2. Everyone will tell you that you’ll miss being pregnant – you’ll struggle to believe them but honestly, it might be lack of sleep and the racing hormones but every time I think about my little angel being tucked up inside my belly and kicking me in the ribs it makes me a little teary! I’m so glad that I took lots of photos and remembered to take a couple of photos in hospital so that I will always be able to look back on the way my body grew to create such a prefect little creature.

Why I love my love

As it’s Valentine’s day and I think my other half needs a little bit of appreciation, I thought I’d write a post about love.

Me and Seb haven’t been together very long for the stage of life that we’ve ventured into but I have no doubts that this was the right step forward for us.

From day one, the relationship has felt stronger than any other I’ve been in. Coming from a relationship that removed all of my confidence and being absolutely sworn off men, dating Sebastian was like a breath of fresh air. He was straight-forward (despite ending our first date at 8:30pm and almost walking out the restaurant without saying goodbye, leaving me pretty confused), kind and patient – helping me to rebuild my trust in relationships and dealing with a fair few uni-finals-related breakdowns! – and he remains one of the most trust-worthy and genuine people I’ve ever met.

I fell in love very quickly and knew a long time before we found out about Squish or got engaged that I’d spend my life with him. When someone doesn’t get scared off by receiving pictures of babies 10x a day from about a month into the relationship, you know they’re a keeper.

Our relationship works because we both want the same things – puddings over starters any day of the week! (I genuinely don’t believe that a starter and a pudding person can ever be happy in a long-term relationship together…)

Career and family are very important to both of us. Seb’s motivation and work ethic is beyond admirable – the man owned his own flat at 21 and if that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is! We both knew we wanted to start our family young and build our careers at the same time as building our family (I’ll write a post about why this is at another date.) And the amount of support, motivation and inspiration I get from him, especially now that I’m heavily pregnant so work and exam preparations are becoming a lot harder, really helps me to be a better and more driven person.

You see a lot of posts on Facebook about how love is all about compromising and how you’re never going to be happy all of the time but I’m ready to say it, that’s bullshit. I’m not saying I think you’re never going to be unhappy if you’re in love but it shouldn’t be your relationship that’s making you unhappy. If you’re letting yourself feel unhappy about your relationship over a couple of washed pots or a few games of FIFA then you have your priorities wrong. I truly believe the only thing that can come between me and Seb’s relationship is flat pack furniture (and we all know that no relationship is strong enough to get through the building of a whole nursery worth of furniture without a few tears!) No one is perfect and people aren’t mind readers but love is about knowing that person inside out and feeling secure that whilst they may not be behaving in the way you would, they’re showing you they love you in their own way. If you expect someone to show that they love you by doing everything that you ask, you’re looking for a puppy not a relationship.

I wasn’t looking for a puppy, I wasn’t even looking for a relationship but out of the blue this amazing man who makes me feel happy, secure and like my heart could burst; who may not have long conversations with me about how I’m feeling but who’s cuddles take away the need to have those conversations and who makes me laugh every single day (whether he means to or not…) has walked into my life and whilst sometimes I might complain, because let’s face it – men are men , I really, honestly don’t know what I would do without him.

You know it is love when you voluntarily buy your little girl a Chelsea FC babygrow to make your other half happy, even though you’re a Manchester City supporter.

 

I have a breech baby and I am terrified!

Today I’m 31+4 weeks pregnant and my little Squish is still breech. So here I am, trying desperately not to cross my legs as I sit down to study/write this post.

I know that she has a couple of weeks to turn until I should start to worry but my over-anxious mind is worrying already, I can’t help it. I don’t want to have a c-section.

There are two reasons why I’m terrified of having a c-section:

  1. Call me crazy but I want to experience labour. After all, isn’t labour a woman’s right of passage? This is my first baby, who knows if I’ll have another, I don’t want that experience to be taken away from me.
    It’s only recently that I’ve begun to think about labour and the more I think about it, the more I realise that I want to go through it as naturally as possible. The opportunity to go through labour and  bring a little life into the world is a gift and I want to experience this gift naturally and to be fully present in the moment. It may be selfish but I want to know that I’ve done this for my baby. I don’t want to feel like I don’t deserve her. She’s a gift and a miracle and I worry that if she’s handed to me from behind a screen, I’ll always feel like I’ve missed out and haven’t tried my best for her.
  2. The recovery. Funnily enough, I’m not scared about the major surgery. I’m the most squeamish person in the world and the idea of an epidural makes me gag but I’m not scared. I’m scared about the recovery or more importantly, the extra support that I would need.
    Pregnancy is tough. I don’t particularly think that I’ve had a difficult pregnancy – I haven’t had cravings that have demanded catering to, I haven’t been overly sick and my mood hasn’t been swinging backwards and forwards (at least not any more than usual, less than usual if anything!) But I’ve needed support and although I can’t deny that Sebastian loves me and will be a great Daddy, he’s been far from supportive. I don’t want this to turn into a boyfriend bashing so I’ll leave it at that, but I worry more than anything that he’ll leave me to cope with the aftermath of major surgery whilst expecting me to be the same Anna that I was before pregnancy. That’s what has happened during the pregnacy and I can’t see that changing. I’m already at a greater risk of postnatal depression because of my history and I’ve struggled throughout my pregnancy to keep my mental health in check (for the record, I’m very proud of how I’ve been doing) so I really do worry, for myself and for my baby, that without the support there it could be very difficult.

I know that at the end of the day, what will be will be but that’s not going to stop me from spending half my time upside down or from sending a lot of positive energy to my little girl to try and persuade her to turn!

Come on little Squish, you know you want to turn for Mummy!