Tuesday 12 June 2012

Great Expectations - Dashed

The Britmums blog prompts are back, huzzah, and this weeks could have been made for me. The prompt is "What You Never Expected When Expecting".

1. I expected pregnancy to last 8-9 months You do, don't you? Most pregnancies go to term so why would you think it would be any different for you? Even when I knew things were going pear shaped, I thought there would be something "they" could do, bed rest, medication, something. I never ever expected to have such an early baby.

2. I expected morning sickness to, well, be in the morning The man (has to be) who came up with "morning sickness" should be shot. At very close range. Without a blindfold. After having been forced to eat 7 packets of gingernuts. I felt sick from the moment I woke up til I went to bed, with a "window" between 11 and 3 where I felt reasonably. I lived on fish, salad, loads of veggies. I was concerned that I wanted to eat well and not waste time eating rubbish. Good call as it turns out.

3. I expected pregnancy to be a happy, healthy time complete with glowing I wanted to glow, dammit! I wanted to be proud of my body, to revel in my changing shape, to enjoy this growing life inside me. I didn't expect to feel like utter rubbish, to beat my 4 pregnant colleagues all due in May/June, and to have a premature baby. I never glowed!

4. I expected to be treated with respect and kindness One of the biggest let downs of pregnancy I had was to learn how patronising doctors and other health professionals can be. I had a couple of incidents where I thought to myself "is this for real? I am a mid 30s woman of reasonable intelligence how can you speak to me like this?"

5. I expected health professionals to all sing the same song from the same hymn sheet This is related to my last point, but I found health professionals all said different things, and had different backgrounds and opinions, and it made me feel really unsettled. I learnt that its ok to question, and ask for second opinions and I'm so glad I did that. Can you believe a doctor actually said it me "Mrs Hodges you won't get pre eclampsia". Hmmmmmmm

6. I expected to attend and enjoy antenatal classes I couldn't wait to attend my classes, and was really looking forward to attending with my husband, and I know he was looking forward to it too. I couldn't wait to make new mummy friends. No matter as I got a great bunch of friends from NICU and now social media so all's well that ends well.

7. I expected bump pics, bump painting, bump casts, the works I was so excited to be pregnant I started looking at casting kits and specialist photographers. I feel so sad I never got a single bump picture, much less a keepsake from that time.

8. I expected to be scared of labour I never had one of those, but I thought going into labour sounded really scary. I did think I'd end up with a section, and was very surprised at the happy memories I have of Joseph's delivery. I am really grateful that all the staff worked hard to make that delivery as happy as they could.

9. I expected pregnancy to be a time of learning and self development and I was not disappointed. Though at the time feeling sick and terrified every day was pretty horrible, I had a great counsellor during pregnancy who taught me to trust my body and my instincts. He also taught me self hypnosis and guided relaxation which I still use now.

10. I expected to come home with a baby and I did. My heart goes out to all the women I have met on this journey who have not taken their babies home. And as sad as I may be about my expectations being dashed, I can only learn from what happened to us, and work to help others. All of us who are pregnant expect to bring their babies home, lets work together to make that a reality.

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