I got pregnant with my 1st child when I was 30, I had a pretty good lifestyle, my own business, travelled extensively, enjoyed good restaurants, nice clothes, a spontaneous sex life and was overjoyed when I got pregnant, it was what I wanted, I felt strong and healthy, was in a loving and vibrant relationship so life was pretty much on point! The 1st big surprise I had with this pregnancy was that a condition I have (hypermobility) that had previously caused little concern suddenly became a major problem. At 12 weeks pregnant I found my pelvis basically gave up! So I spent the next 2 months strengthening, rebalancing and educating myself to how to manage my condition and continue functioning! So I get through that tricky bit, knocked my confidence a bit, suddenly felt slightly vulnerable, not an emotion I was overly comfortable with! But at 20 weeks pregnant things started to feel better, we went on holiday, continued to enjoy life, still in the nice clothes (1st pregnancy gave me the opportunity to discover a whole new look of beautiful dresses and flat shoes!) Still enjoying good food (all be it with a gaviscon chaser!) And things were still pretty spontaneous in the bedroom (if a little less adventurous!) We decided to get married before the baby arrived, on the quiet just us and bump! And now this is where the ‘1st baby mind-set’ comes in. The actual conversation went something like this “How romantic just the 2 of us, but seeing as I will be very pregnant by then and flying will be difficult, let’s have our honeymoon in the summer next year, maybe a beach holiday somewhere like Bali, I can hang out in a hammock between palm trees with baby, and swim in the ocean whilst he sleeps!” Those of you with kids will now be chuckling at the misguided nature of these thoughts, and probably remember thinking similar things, the point being you have no idea how life is going to be once you have a baby, and no matter how much you think you accept the monumental changes that come with having a baby, you really have no idea, how can you until it happens! So these are the words I wish somebody had said to me whilst pregnant with my 1st child: • Be spontaneous-once you have a baby spontaneity is out of the window, by the time you have managed to get yourself dressed, the baby dressed, the baby undressed to change nappy, baby redressed, sat down to feed baby, changed your top (baby sick!), got baby in carrier/buggy/car, searched for your keys, remembered the suitcase of baby stuff you have to take everywhere, you have just about forgotten where you were planning on going in the 1st place! • Go to fancy restaurants-This may not necessarily be your thing, but do it, just enjoy the ridiculousness of posh food, nice music, engaged company, over the top service the whole peaceful grown up ambience, because you will regret not doing it now, because once you have kids your 1st thought upon choosing a restaurant will be can I breastfeed there and do they have a kids menu, not how many Michelin stars does the restaurant have! • Be beautiful-I know you are pregnant and maybe not feeling your best and most beautiful, but honestly this is the time to revel in your new shape, feel sexy, rock that bump. Although you may not be feeling so great, I can guarantee you that there is a woman watching you somewhere envying your bump. This pregnancy will only happen once, and yes, I get it may not be perfect, but try and feel as great as you can, good clothes, clean blow-dried hair and makeup, because once you have a baby you realise that sometimes you just don’t have time! And while you are busy being ‘bumpelicious’ go get a photo shoot, or get your partner to take pics of you, it is such a shame not to be able to look back at pics of you pregnant, and it goes so quickly before you know it you have missed your chance! • Have sex-This one kind of follows on from the other tips, but really have sex, lots of sex, because once baby is here your sex life…poof…gone! Well maybe not gone, but between being knackered, breastfeeding, co sleeping/not co sleeping, general resentment of your partner (that’s a whole other blog!) hormones playing havoc with your moods, oh and did I mention being knackered! So enjoy this time as a couple, soon you will be 3, and that is wonderful, but being 2 is pretty special too, make the most of it now! • Go on holiday-Now this one ties back into my not having a honeymoon (still a little bitter about this!) Before you have children please take a holiday, one that is relaxing for you, one that is indulgent, one that is all about you, whatever really floats your boat, because although travelling with kids can be great fun it is never the break that you really want, it is still just as hard a work just in a different location. Until your kids are old enough for you to be away from them for any length of time you will not be getting a sunshine break, a lounging by the pool drinking cocktails kind of holiday, there will be no swimming in the ocean whilst baby takes his regular nap (it’s a myth, they don’t really do that, and if they do you will either fall asleep too or do something tragic like the washing!) My point being life is about to change in ways you never could imagine, some good, some not so good, some incredible and some scary, all of it a pretty wild adventure. You will need strength, courage, a bit of blind faith and a lot of coffee and cake! Parenthood is amazing, but please heed my words, be mindful of the special time before the arrival of your first born, grasp it with both hands. Honestly if somebody had told me this during my 1st pregnancy I probably would have laughed it off, but I hope that you will read these words and go book a table at that restaurant you have always fancied trying, put on your slap, your sexy knickers that probably got you here in the 1st place and enjoy yourself in a way that only a couple without kids can! Joyful birth coaching is about more than just positive birth, it is about true preparation for pregnancy, birth and beyond. It is all very well doing the antenatal classes, even having a ‘textbook perfect birth’ but if parenthood arrives like a slap in the face all that hard work can seem like a waste. Prepare yourself mind body and soul for birth and beyond by booking your sessions today
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