Maternity's biggest taboo - and why we feel we can't talk about it!
It was officially four days before our baby was due and, my goodness, my emotions were all over the place.
It started on a Friday morning. My parents had come to visit and stay the previous day, and at 11am they left our house - all of us thinking exactly the same thing: "The next time we see eachother I will be a mother and there will be a baby."
I think it literally took me two minutes from waving them off and closing the front door to rushing upstairs to the bedroom and becoming a sobbing, heaving mess. This really was it: I was growing up and would no longer be their little baby - because another little baby was soon to make an appearance. I was going to become a "mother" with a family of my own.
It's amazing when those panic stricken moments hit, just how selfish you can feel. When Patrick found me (and I had put mascara stains, mingled with my tears, all the way down his white shirt) he asked me what exactly I was worried about. I answered the following:
- The c section - would it hurt? How bad would the scar be? How will I cope with a baby whilst in pain?
- The lack of sleep - everyone is vey quick to tell you how YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. I'm awful at functioning on a lack of sleep so how the hell was I going to cope? How could I possibly look after a baby (and do a good job) if I couldn't get enough sleep?
- Our relationship - Again, everyone wants to tell you that your relationship with your husband will change because you suddenly have a little person who is much more important to think about. But I didn't want that. I suddenly felt fiercely overprotective of my time with Patrick. I didn't want us not to be able to spend time just the two of us. I wasn't sure I wanted a new little person to ruin that.
See what I mean? SELFISH. Everything I was worried about with having a baby was all to do with how it would effect ME.
Later that day, after pulling myself together slightly, a friend who had recently had a baby popped by to see how I was doing. I explained my meltdown.
"I felt exactly the same and every one of my friends who have had babies have too. It's just no one likes to admit it."
So... being honest about how you feel really is maternity's biggest taboo. Although the likelihood is that EVERY OTHER PARENT-TO-BE out there is bound to be ascared/petrified/wondering if they have done the right thing by getting pregnant, NO ONE WILL ADMIT IT.
So, here's where I challenge everyone reading this blog. If you are pregnant, or have had babies already, start by being honest. Tell your friends about that time you looked peed on your pregnancy test and a slight unease washed over you. Admit that, although you're excited about being pregnant, lugging a baby around in your body is also pretty shit. Shout from the rooftop that, yes, your baby has been screaming non stop for two hours and you've just had a double gin and tonic to ease the pain!
After all, we are all just human. And humans - believe it or not - are not Superheroes.