A is for ANTENATAL CLASSES – Sitting in a room full of strangers and other hormonal women preparing for the biggest moment in your life. Sounds appealing, right? Wrong! Surely that’s why there are options to do it through private businesses now? You’ll ask questions you thought are silly but you can be guaranteed there won’t be a question that hasn’t been asked before you. Be warned though, you may be given a “handy pack” which could have little gifts and one of those gifts may be a video file of a woman giving birth with all the moans and groans and blood and maternal goodness. “Thank you. Please come again” (or not!).
B is for BREASTS – Pregnancy is cheapest method of breast enhancement. For all those A cups out there, think a C. For all those C cups out there think at least a D. It’s fair to use the formula x + 9 = 2x (and a happy partner) where x is your regular size. You and your partner might love the new and improved size or for some, you won’t know how to manage the double or nothing size increase and will be in too much pain to think of any of the positives!
C is for CRAVINGS – or a really good excuse to eat all the weirdest, sweetest, most carb-loaded foods you can get your hands on. Pickles and ice cream anyone?
D is for DATE NIGHT – At this stage, date night still consists of exciting and intellectual conversations, talking about the future, your hopes and dreams as a couple and family. Enjoy it. Make an effort to lift your game if date night means sitting on the sofa and watching a movie. When your baby or babies arrive, date night will often involve being excited about watching TV, having dinner together and in peace, being able to have a conversation without interruptions or for those lucky couples out there, you will get a WHOLE night away from the children or maybe even a weekend while others live vicariously through your social media posts of a romantic little moment between the two of you without it being #babyspam.
E is for EPIDURAL – There’s always controversy around the word epidural and it won’t stop here. Remember there is no trophy given to the woman who had a calm birth because she couldn’t feel the burn and there’s no trophy given to the woman that wanted to be at one with the natural way of life. I say hats off to those mamas that birthed the el natural way, hats off to those mamas that used western medicine, hats off to those mamas that had a c-section and didn’t have a choice, hats of to all the mamas that made a decision to have a child knowing that there was going to be pain before pleasure. You did it and you did it YOUR way.
F is for FERTILITY – So many couples experience fertility issues (1 in 6). To those who have been successful, you deserve this happiness. To those who are still on the fertility rollercoaster, there are fellow mamas out there in awe of your strength and determination to have the family you deserve.
G is for GRANDPARENTS – You are the parents, they are the grandparents. They have had their turn and that is why you are in this world and with your own baby on board. As much as grandparents are the most wonderful support, it is important for the parents of the baby/ies to feel superior in decisions when it comes to their children. To those grandparents that do this so beautifully and put faith in us, thank you on behalf of all the fellow mamas out there. And to those who can’t help but want to run the show, can you babysit next weekend? I’m going out. Thanks.
H is for HAEMORRHOIDS – The lumps and bumps no one talks about.
I is for INDIGESTION – If morning sickness isn’t bad enough, you may also experience indigestion. You may think sleeping in an upright position is only for geriatrics but try doing this when you’re experiencing heartburn and you may get little relief. Some people say indigestion is an indication that you will have a hairy baby but be assured, this doesn’t mean you will have a mini Chewbacca.
J is for JELLYBABIES – If you have low blood pressure or Gestational Diabetes during your pregnancy, these will be a lifesaver. And if you don’t, throw a packet in your bag anyway and enjoy!
K is for KICKING – The magical moment you can feel your baby/ies in utero kicking around. The flutters and kicks are a sign that your baby is thriving. So when you get kicked in the ribs or cervix and feel the discomfort associated with the cute, little kicks, know that you’re baby is doing well.
L is for LABOUR – Think birth plan, a homebirth, water birth, hypnotic birth, natural labour, and opinions about pain relief and then think reality. Our bodies are incredible, our minds are adamant but labour is reality. Plan the labour you would like but know that any midwife and/or obstetrician will be there on the day as director. They want what’s best for the stars of the show, you and baby/ies. It’s also good to know that what happens in the delivery room should stay in the delivery room unless someone would like to know.
M is for MILESTONES – This is where the obsession starts. You may have already bought an ovulation kit, a pregnancy test or downloaded a period-tracking app. Once you find out you are pregnant, it’s almost guaranteed you will download a pregnancy app, you will buy What To Expect When You’re Expecting or a baby sleep book. You will become obsessed. Week 13, you’ve made the first trimester. Week 18, your baby is 13cm long, the size of a chicken breast. If you’re having a girl, her reproductive system is formed. If you’re having a boy, his genitals are noticeable. Once you have given birth, the milestones then shift to the baby’s physical and cognitive development. The milestone obsession continues.
N is for NAUSEA – I still don’t understand why nausea gets such a fancy name as ‘morning sickness’ as soon as you become pregnant. No, it does not stop at 12pm, no is does not necessarily stop after the first trimester and yes, you will try all the remedies yet will still experience nausea.
O is for OVULATION – We are women, we are not demanding, we are not needy, we are independent women right? Wrong! While trying to fall pregnant, some of us will become the most needy, demanding and dependent women on the planet just to conceive within the ‘ovulation’ window.
P is for PELVIC FLOOR – Do you pelvic floor exercises! Walking on water will not be seen as a miracle, or heroic, post-baby.
Q is for QUESTIONS – There is never a silly question…well ok maybe there is. No, you will not hit the baby’s head during sex. Other than that, ask away. Ask questions to get to know your body and your baby before he/she enters the world. There’s nothing worse than not being able to sleep at night because you have this beautiful rounded perfection on the front of you but don’t allow unanswered questions to keep you awake too. It’s also good to know that if you don’t ask questions, people (everyone and anyone) will give you ‘advice’ (aka unsolicited opinions) anyway.
R is for RELAXATION – Now is the time! Pamper yourself. Treat yourself. Find time to do nothing but relax and wind down. Women are wonderful; you are growing a baby (or two or more). Treat yourself to some relaxation.
S is for SEX – That is what got most of you here. During the first trimester you may not want to be touched let alone have sex. But when you jump back on the saddle, be prepared to get adventurous. Missionary becomes somewhat difficult when working around your baby bump. Think Kama Sutra; the acrobatics of sex.
T is for TWINS, TRIPLETS (OR MORE) – When your plan to have a baby doubles, triples, quadruples and more. Some say lucky, some say unlucky, some say double trouble, some say twice as nice. One thing for sure, someone will always have something to say.
U is for ULTRASOUNDS – You will have an ultrasound at some point but did you know there are transvaginal ultrasounds too? ‘Transvaginal’ means ‘through the vagina’. Yep! The poking and prodding doesn’t just stop on the outside.
V is for VAGINA – also known as vajajay, front bum, pink bits, lady-flower, foo-foo, hoo-ha, twinkle, beaver, muff, poonani, slip ‘n’ slide, flossy, camel toe, the list goes on. Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll become very very familiar with your vagina.
W is for WARD – The shared space of labour, sleeping (or screaming babies), breastfeeding classes and lactation consultants, midwives, obstetricians and other hormonal women who have just started their journey of motherhood. The maternity ward will either be a place of happiness personified or your worst nightmare. But as soon as you leave the sacred security of the maternity ward, you’ll learn to appreciate it much more…the reality of returning home kicks in.
X is for XRAY – “If there is any possibility you are pregnant, please inform us before x-rays are taken”. The sign at a radiology surgery that makes you think ‘Did I get my period this month?’, ‘Could I be pregnant?’, ‘Do I say maybe because we’ve been trying but I don’t actually know if I am so may sound desperate?’
Y is for YOGA – While you may have to give up an evening wine, or certain sugary snacks that reward you at the end of a busy day, you don’t have to give up yoga. In fact, it is encouraged to continue with your practice for your mind, body and soul. And if you’re not familiar with downward dog, warrior, cobra, half moon and yogi squat, now is the perfect time to get bendy. At the very least, you’ll enjoy savasana.
Z is for ZZZ – Get as much sleep as you can. This won’t be the first time you hear it or the last. And if you’re preparing to sleep when your baby sleeps post-birth, think again.
Wishing you a peachy pregnancy!