|You will think your baby is cuter than this no matter how many chins it has|
It's a little over 13 years since I sat there all fat and fed up waiting for IT to happen. I remember how it felt - a little bit exciting and a lot terrifying. And that was in the days before social networks really took hold.
Back then I only got scary your-life-is-over-now stories from the folk I actually met in the flesh.
Now though, poor JS only has to mention her gestation on facebook and dozens of people offer advice, suggestions and anecdotes. It must be bewildering - what to listen to and what to ignore?
So I thought the most helpful thing I could do was to add to it. I would write a post for JS offering some top tips... some of the nuggets I'd wished I known when I first sat there wondering if it was a Braxton Hicks or the Real Thing.
- It will pass. However grim, painful, tiring, overwhelming it is, it will pass and get better if you just hang on.
- Breastfeeding is hard, don't worry if you can't do it, your baby will be fine. Your happiness is more important in the mix than the statistically tiny benefits your well-fed, middle-class baby will get from breastfeeding.
- If someone offers you help, accept and have a list (mental or otherwise) of things they can do for you.
- Ignore any advice that you don't like - there are hundreds of ways of most things none of them are wrong.
- Your baby will not care how expensive its clothes and equipment are.
- It's perfectly normal to occasionally feel rubbish and wonder what the hell you've done.
- However, if you consistently feel rubbish and wonder what the hell you've done, ask for help. There is no shame.
- In fact, if you are considering whether or not to ask for help, you must ask for help.
- There will be poo in the delivery room - yours.
- It took nine months for your body to do the miraculous job of making another human being, it will take at least this long for it to recover.
Thanks to @cabowick, @PJ, @Creesidelife, @violetposy, @mummylimited, @manaiasmama, @vwallop, @thepottydiaries, @Iainpope73, @caroljs and @pureartifice for their excellent suggestions and advice.