Aaah the stages of pregnancy. And I don’t mean the ones you will find in medical journals that help you follow the growth of a baby.
I mean the real stages of pregnancy.
Most women experience them, some may be lucky enough to skip one or two. We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt them. Here’s the #realmumtruth about the real stages of pregnancy…
This is the first stage, long before you’re ever pregnant and can hit a woman quite young. Your ovaries seemingly explode and you feel something foreign. You see a smiley, cute baby perfectly dressed, smelling wonderful with an apparently well-rested, “with it” mummy. You immediately want this too. As soon as possible. Male / daddy to make it happen (optional).
This is the second stage and can take months, even years to manifest. You’ve decided you’re going to have a baby. You and your partner are doing all you can to have one. You may already feel like you’ve had enough sex to last a lifetime. Maybe two lifetimes. Every baby bump you see makes you envious and you have a strong yearning to rub the swollen bellies of perfect strangers Budda style. Just in case some of their fertility may be magically transferred to you. Please, don’t rub stranger’s bellies.
Yes, you read that right. The moment you get so excited about what your pee on a stick has just shown. And in the age of social media – some of you are going to show that peed on stick to everyone. But you don’t see it as “urination on a hormone detecting strip of paper” to you it is a baby. The anonymous post to a large Facebook group to discuss the validity of the wee on stick lines may be inevitable. Resist if you can.
Can you keep a secret?
For those who don’t immediately rush to social media with their wee’d on bit of paper, you now become a Mossad-level, secret squirrel. For some it is out of tradition, for others out of superstition and for some, precaution. But we still tell our partner… and our parents. And our partner’s parents. And our siblings and best friends… and, well, sometimes you’re the only one who thinks you being up the duff is a secret.
Morning Sickness Warrior
You’re pregnant and proud so
morning sickness kicks in. For few, it is a little queasiness and vertigo. For others, it is a full-on prayer session – hourly – to the great porcelain God Ralph. Whichever category you are in you will, eventually, stand proud, wipe that chin clean and – despite wanting to die – demonstrate what a survivor you are. Heck, if you can handle this, giving birth and motherhood is going to be a piece of cake. Urgh, actually don’t mention cake… Or food, or eating…
This stage is the pure exhaustion. We just gave it a good name to make it seem attractive. The want for an afternoon nap is completely consuming and totally overwhelming. If this is not your first child, becoming sleeping beauty each afternoon is not ideal. This stage can result in a toddler being suddenly unsupervised. If you can, try and nap with them. If you can’t it’s amazing how previously hyper-vigilant mums now lock all doors, remove the knives, take to the couch and hope for the best. #beenthere #dontjudge
When did I get so vague? Otherwise known as Baby Brain
Oh what a wonderful stage! It tends to kick in near the end of the first trimester and can last up to the next, oh, twenty years or so. It comes in many forms and most of us are lucky enough to get a taste of them all.
Prime examples include mid-sentence forgetfulness where you’re talking about what you did on the weekend and suddenly… ummm, yep. That’s it.
Then there is the autopilot awkwardness. You may find dirty dishes in the fridge, the cereal container in the dishwasher and you swore you had a two-litre bottle of milk and now just can’t find it anywhere. Oh, you’ll find it. The next stage will ensure you do.
The word swap baby brain is always fun too. When, in your mind, the words are all mapped out correctly when you ask your husband to go buy a loaf of bread… And he comes home with a red loofa. You have to give him credit for finding it though – they aren’t easy to buy!
Research Boffin Aka Information Junkie or Informational Nesting
You will be suffering from baby brain, you can smell what your across-the-road-neighbor is having for dinner and you still can’t get over your Nanna seeing your wee-wet stick on Facebook. Now, on top of this all, will be an uncontrollable urge to research.
Whether it be baby names, nappy brands, maternity bras, cots, prams, schools. You name it, you will be feverishly researching and mapping. For those who painstakingly planned a wedding and felt you would ‘never do so much research again’ in your life – ha ha. You’re funny.
OCD Domestic Diva otherwise known as Nesting
Your house never looks better than when you’re nesting. Everything is cleaned, organized, the mountain of bags of “essential needs for the hospital” are packed, repacked, and organized daily.
Nesting will give you the passion to ensure your couch is cleaned thoroughly. And I do mean thoroughly. Cushions, under cushions, couch base, under couch… it is amazing the strength you can find in those last few days. My kitchen was so clean you could eat out of it! If you can, embrace the nesting stage, it is a very valuable and worthwhile stage. Take pictures, so you can have happy memories of a clean house later in your life. Your house will never look this good again.
Do I really have to get the baby out of this tiny hole stage
I won’t go into medical nitty gritty as, by now, you will have read several books about it and feel totally prepared (that’s a complete lie, by the way!) You may feel panicked and worried yet equally over pregnancy and ready to just #getthebabyOUT
Whatever birth you have just know it’s worth it, your brain will reward you by blanking out exactly how much it hurt (a shed-load), the nurses and midwives have seen it all before so don’t worry about exactly what bodily fluids you eject everywhere and look – you got a baby! Sooooo worth it in the long run, right?
Yes, they are. The smell, the feel, the cuddles, even those first aspiration chuck ups and those first poohs of that black stuff known to be the stickiest substance on earth. They are worth it. Enjoy the moment; hold your bubby close and let the nurses and midwives help you for as long as you can.
Because, when it’s all done… there is a new set of stages ahead. And these ones will last you the rest of your life. They are known as parenthood.