Whether you like it or not, when you are expecting your first child people will give you all kinds of insights into your future as a parent and share their own stories of pregnancy, birth and parenthood. We all know about stretch marks, sleepless nights and wobbly skin but after having my first child nearly three years ago, I found that the changes didn't just stop there. I must admit, I didn't read many birth books as I preferred to know the basics and to go through the birth experience a bit 'naive' and handle it my way. That being said, while books and friends give you plenty of insight into what happens post partum, there were some physical and mental changes that I never expected.
Is this just me? I feel like I have to live by my calendar week by week otherwise I completely lose track of what I am doing. I forget names and what I did yesterday and the other week I completely forgot that I had made plans with a friend until a week later when I went to text her and I saw my last message to her read 'Great, see you Monday'. Ooops.
Your Period symptoms may change.
Mine have big time! All of the symptoms that made me realise I could be pregnant are now what I experience every month from breast tenderness to nausea. I know, lucky me!
You may have to change your tried and tested contraception.
I found that the pill I had been on before falling pregnant no longer agreed with my body and have had to try a couple of others before finding one that works for me. Despite being on it for a few years before wanting to have a baby, post partum it made me ill, gave me horrible migraines that lasted for days and turned me into a hormonal monster.
Because I am blind as bat I cannot see anything without my glasses or contact lenses and while once upon a time I used to wear lenses day in a day out, I find that I can only wear them now and then these days because my eyes get so dry. This started when I was pregnant and has never really gone away although it has eased a bit.
(Am I putting you off yet?)
Your body shape changes.
This one isn't so secret really but I still had to include it. Even if you fit back into your pre pregnancy clothes you may not like how you look in them anymore. I found myself getting rid of a lot of stuff!
Your tastes may change.
I couldn't function without a couple of black coffees first thing in the morning before having a baby but when I fell pregnant that was one of the first things I went off of and while I have had a couple since, I don't enjoy them anything like how I used to. If I fancy one, the reality of it is never as good as what I thought it would be so I don't really bother.
You will cry. A lot.
All new mothers no matter how in tune with parenthood they seem or how 'together' they appear to be, cry. It is inevitable and it should be made known so that new mums everywhere reading this (who could even be crying now) feel normal. You are hormonal, in charge of a new person, a little bit sore and sleep deprived. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CRY.
Your family will forget to ask how you are.
This one sounds a bit cruel, but it is true! There have been many conversations I have tried to have with people but given up because I can see no one's listening. It can be a little deflating but let's face it; there is nothing wrong with filling our little ones lives full of love. My daughter has lots of family around her that are besotted with her and I wouldn't change that for the world. (Plus it is a major benefit when you are sleep deprived and they are begging to have baby to stay).
Despite all of these changes to my body and my life, I wouldn't change anything. Being a parent is an amazing experience and every day as I watch my little girl grow and develop, I burst with pride and still feel the need to pinch myself that she is mine. It makes the backaches, food stained clothes and extra grey hairs I now have to hide all worth it.
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