At least 3 of the Mummykind mummies were NOT expecting that they would soon be expecting (have I used the word “expecting” too many times yet?) and all for different reasons.
Harriet didn’t think she could have children naturally. Neither did Amy due to the fact that she was taking Zoladex to undergo a chemical menopause – she ended up being the 1 in 100,000 that fall pregnant on that medication.
As for me, I didn’t think I could, after being told by a really harsh sonographer that if I had PCOS it was very likely that I’d be infertile. As it turns out, I don’t have PCOS and never did, but being on hormonal contraception caused me to have small pockets in my Fallopian tubes that appeared to be cysts. The exact nature of what they were is still unknown to me, but needless to say I stopped using hormonal contraception because of the effect it had on me.
Even though I stopped using the pill, I still wasn’t expecting to fall pregnant. In fact, I’d convinced myself that I never would be able to! However, when I did fall pregnant and when we let the cat out of the bag to our family and friends that we were having a baby, there are a few things that I wish I’d been prepared for…
1. “So was it planned?”
Unless you’ve announced to Bob and his uncle that you’re actively trying to start a family, expect EVERYONE to stick their noses in and ask you if the pregnancy was planned. If you’ve ever done this, please be reminded that IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. I never knew what to say when I was asked that, because, no, she wasn’t planned, but she also wasn’t unplanned – we could easily have been more careful. Our situation wasn’t some rare exception like Amy’s! And planned or not, what bearing does that have on how much we will love our baby, or how we will be as parents? Newsflash: it doesn’t.
2. Every lifestyle choice you make will be scrutinised.
I don’t just mean by the midwife, though, of course, being told to change your vegetarian diet to a meat one so that you don’t have an iron deficiency and having to stand on the scales to be told that you’ve put on too much weight (even though you STILL have a healthy BMI despite being 6 months’ pregnant) is utterly ridiculous.
As much as I’d like to pretend that this was an isolated experience with my midwife, I’ve unfortunately heard similar tales a few too many times.
But, the scrutiny isn’t just going to be from your midwife or other health professionals. It’s going to be from wider society, your friends, family. Apparently, everyone you’ve ever shook hands with or had a drink with now has an interest in what you do. I was very good when I was pregnant; I wouldn’t touch a drop of alcohol, ate relatively healthily and wasn’t irresponsible, but that didn’t stop a friend questioning me over whether or not I could eat some god damn mayonnaise.
3. The awkward food baby phase
There’ll come a time at around 4 or 5 months’ pregnant where “you just look like you’ve had a big lunch”, as my dear, lovely friend said to me one fine morning as I sat down to a lecture on our dissertation module. Don’t worry, it doesn’t last very long and you’ll begin to look properly pregnant soon enough (you poor, poor thing).
4. Money, money, money
Oh. My. God.
BABY THINGS COST SO MUCH MONEY.
This really shocked me when we found out we were having a baby. We didn’t go crazy, but a pram, a crib, a carseat, clothes, nappies, sterilisers, bottles, breast pumps, etc. can easily add up to a grand or more. We are quite money savvy anyway and don’t tend to overspend on things – we got our pram and carseat in the mothercare January sale for £475 altogether instead of £775 (we weren’t due until May but the forward planning saved us a lot!). It can be overwhelming when this is sprung on you a bit unexpectedly, but do your research and you will find some good deals.
5. “Is it a boy or a girl?”
Ummm…. WHY DO YOU WANT TO KNOW IF MY BABY HAS A PENIS OR A VAGINA?
Taken out of context, this is a very weird question. In what other setting would you ask somebody whether they had male or female genitals? YOU WOULDN’T! However, what’s worse than this is people asking if you wanted a boy, instead of a girl. No, I want a healthy baby, and that’s what I’ve got, thank you very much. Also, I’m not big on gender stereotyping anyway. Yes, Olivia likes dolls and prams and has a newfound obsession with unicorns, but I didn’t make those her only options. She chose to play with those things, and I will never stop her from choosing who she wants to be (unless she decides she doesn’t want to be a lawyer, because that’s just unacceptable).
Have you encountered anything else that you weren’t expecting when you were expecting?
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