Lying in the bath earlier today my mind started wandering around and I thought about all the stuff that made my life easier when I was pregnant and when I had my children. I am not trying to be Obi-Wan Kenobi, but I thought it might be useful – to jot down some of the tips that helped me survive pregnancy and babies.
Read it, don’t read it, agree, disagree, suggest others, what ever rocks your world.
My first and most prized tip for sanity is:-
Try not to take advise from idiots.
Unfortunately the two things you will realize when pregnant is that one, suddenly strangers are stopping you to give you advise.
The entire world will have advise for special you, regarding child bearing, child birth or child raising that they need to impart to you. Often in the elevator, while you are in the public toilet queue, while you are checking the firmness of mangos, or while you are buying a bra – the more obscure the location the more urgent the advise.
There may be a crazy lady at Woolworths (or Edgars in my case), or a person at your office (the elevator as I traversed nine floors with this same person nearly every day), it really does not matter where. They will sneak up and pounce on you, some times touching you while they start giving you advise.
The unwanted advise may even come from family members. Usually your mother or your mother in law, and do not leave out your gran or your gran-in-law who will perk up at the mention of a great grandchild in the making. They will start digging into archives for some gems of advise to dish out.
The second thing you will realize at about this point, is that the vast majority of the population – sometimes/often even your mother and your mother in law – are actually idiots when it comes to anything to do with child bearing, child birth or child raising.
The advise will astound and more often than not, deeply distress and worry you.
The reason you will be worried is often because you will not know any better – and what ever they are telling you, your brain starts absorbing as f.a.c.t.
These pearls of wisdom are presented to you when you are at your most vulnerable and in your most hormonal state.
I usually start to smell a problem when someone predicts the sex of my baby depending on the way I am carrying.
Or better yet, as I quaff down another liter of Gaviscon, they say “your baby is going to have a headful of hair, that is why you have heartburn.”
Usually at this point my heartburn turns to nausea as I smile and then try to get away from the person as quickly as possible. I really cannot abide idiots. But more so when I am hormonal and there is a hairy baby lodged in my uterus.
The advise is unrelenting.
It will come at you with so much good intentions that it will unfortunately be next to impossible so say “Just fuck off already.” You may be thinking it most of the time, but your Emily Post good manners will stop it rolling off your tongue.
You may need to learn a new trick – to smile sweetly and say “Thank you, that is great advise. ” Then make a quick exit – faking an overriding need to go to the toilet is usually appropriate and very convincing, and needs little in the way of an explanation.
A hand on your abdomen and saying something like “That does not feel right…” in a slightly distressed voice, is also a fantastic way to exit a conversation/uncomfortable moment. But you can’t use it too often.
It is a “Get out of Jail” free card, and can only be used in extreme situations.
I was going to offer consolation, but there isn’t much in the face of the amount of advise you will need to face during pregnancy.
The only shred of consolation I can muster, is that you almost need to appreciate it. Because it is sadly going to get much worse, this is just a taster for what awaits you.
On the expulsion of your child from your uterus – the advise will be stepped up to a whole new level. It is going to make you long for the days ofpregnancy advise.
My only suggestion (not advise) to survive this period is to purchase a great book.
I personally was a fan of What to Expect when you are Expecting. I also found a person who was bright, clever, knowledgeable, articulate and had two children born in the last five years.
Between my already-parent friend and my “What to Expect” book I was able to totally ignore any advise thrown at me. Suddenly all the crap advise rolled off me and I also found that my opinion of most people’s IQ also went on a bit of a downward spiral.
I did not lie in bed worrying because some old/young fart told me something that was creepy and disturbing and I was living in fear that it was true. Life definitely became easier for me.
Use it, or don’t, which ever works for you.