Musings of a Pregnant Illustrator

Nearing the last few weeks of my first pregnancy feels downright crazy. I still remember holding the pregnancy test in the bathroom, not even showing a belly until I was about 7 months along. Now I'm 37 weeks aka full term and starting the waiting game - yiiiiikes

Keeping in mind this is my first baby, first grandchild on my side of the family, and that I knew NOTHING at the beginning, here are some things I've observed in the last 37 weeks.. 

Let your Body do it's Thang
Weird things are happening to your body, but don't fret - everything is "normal" (and you 100% get sick of hearing it).
  - Craving stuff you never liked before? Tick.
  - Crying/Raging/Completely Irrational? Tick.
  - My favourite: Intermittently Leaky boobs? Tick.

From what I've read, 99% of the time it's the hormones. And in the first trimester when you're soooooo tired in the middle of the day? Nap, sister. I fought it and (my husband) paid for it with my grumpiness in the evenings. Then, when you've recovered and gotten a grip on reality, you have to wade through the guilt, apologise and blame the pregnancy. Unrelated advice: Experience your pregnancy with someone obligated to put up with you.

Babies are Kind of, Totally Useless
I knew babies needed you for the basics (feeding, changing, washing etc), but finding out you have to swaddle them because "they may be disturbed by her own startle reflex". Or that if something gets in their face, they don't have the motor skills to get it away and may suffocate. Same if they accidentally roll over. 
No wonder new parents are so stressed!! 

Take an Antenatal Class
Before we attended our class, my husband thought every birth took place in an operating theatre (aka Caesarian), and I thought every birth happened in stirrups. We both thought water births were reserved for the ultra hippies, at home in an inflatable kiddie pool (and also wonder, who does the cleaning up afterwards?)

Oh poor, naive, first time parents.

We went on a tour of the hospital and WOW, those birthing suites are a beaut (we're going to the Royal North Shore Hospital for those curious). While I've got a pretty flexible birth plan (aka go with the flow), the water bath actually looks like a pretty good option...

Keep Fit
All throughout my pregnancy, I was constantly told what a small bump I had. At my 36 week checkup, the midwife said "What a tidy little bump!" In the earlier stages, I was frustrated because I wanted people to know that "HEY EVERYBODY! I'M PREGNANT! NOW STAND UP FOR ME, FELLOW COMMUTERS!" (Interesting to relate, I have not had a single person stand up for me on public transport, even now that I'm VERY obviously preggers. Look up from your phones, people!)

But now, I'm SO grateful that my "tidy little bump" has meant basically no back pain, minimal swelling, no varicose veins or stretch marks (this may be a genetic thing as my mum didn't have any after 3 kids and believe me, I know how lucky I am). Hopefully, this also bodes well for an "easier" labour. I've had to give up my regular running + Reformer Pilates routine, and replaced it with walking and prenatal yoga, but happily if it means baby is safer!

Your Birth is Yours, not that Lady in the Elevator's
I asked a LOT of questions when I first fell pregnant (and I've forgotten most of the answers now) but my mum-in-law gave me some advice to "Listen to everyone, but do what makes you comfortable." Which really extends into life advice - thanks, Ma. 

I've been asking myself what to do with the business - do I completely shut down for a few months and enjoy the baby? (Probably). If I can't sit still, maybe I can start picking up bits and pieces when the baby settles into a routine? Or have someone look after the baby 1 day a week on my "work" day?! 

I'd love to hear your advice from other working mamas! Am I being too optimistic thinking I can tear myself away from the little munchkin?!

ps. If you've made it this far, did you know I'm having a Giveaway for a Mother's Day portrait on my Instagram page! All the details there :) 

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x Bel 

 

Belinda XiaComment