What NOT to expect when you’re expecting a baby

What not to expect when you're expecting

You’ve just peed on the stick and found it positive. You’re elated, and so are all the people around you. And from weird prenatal theories which predict the gender of your baby to scary postpartum mood disorder beliefs, prepare yourself for truckload of advice and warnings that will pour once you announce that the stork has decided to pay a visit. What are they?

1. Morning sickness will visit only in the morning 

Morning sickness doesn’t happen only in the morning; it can surprise you during the day or night and even in your dreams. For me, it lasted well into my second trimester but the good news is, it settles down by the 14th week. 

According to a popular theory, if you have morning sickness (daytime, nighttime, pretty much all the time), you are pregnant with a girl. If you are just queasy at border-line, then a boy is on his way. Not queasy at all? (Then in all probability you are pregnant with an alien). It doesn’t mean anything is wrong, it just means that you got very lucky.  

Good news : By the end of the first trimester, morning sickness is usually a ghost from the past.

Warning :  With a fuzzy head and queasy stomach, first trimester can be a difficult time to get those leafy greens and protein down but make sure you follow your practitioners advise on prenatal vitamins. 

2. Eating for two

Eating for two doesn’t translate to eating twice as much food.Pregnancy is definitely not the donor pass to gulp the ‘hot fudge smothered, ice cream covered dark chocolate brownies down. 

It is about having a well balanced diet that provides the essential nutrients that your baby needs for its growth and development. According to experts, a pregnant woman needs no more than 300 extra calories per day. However it is very important you plan on a balanced diet depending on your metabolic rate and energy levels.

Good news :  Pregnancy is the only phase of life where you are expected to expand like a balloon.

Warning : Remember this golden era lasts only for 40 weeks so there is no excuse for staying inflated beyond the season. 

PS :300 extra calories = just one slice of pepperoni pizza / 2 Idlis without the yummy Vadai 

3. Don’t expect the miracle word “Bed rest through Pregnancy” 

Bed rest isn’t the miracle pill for preventing complications related to pregnancy. In most high risk pregnancies, it is advised as a precautionary measure. 

In my case, I wasn’t prescribed the comforts of day-dreaming in my bed. I had to be active to keep my blood sugar levels under control. To keep both mind and body positive and energised, I stayed active throughout my pregnancy. 

Good news : “Sleep” is literally prescribed during pregnancy. So sleep in heavenly peace while you can because you will join the “walking weary new parents” club very soon. 

Warning : Listen to the experts.  Life may get “slow” with your inability to keep in pace with the busy world but there is a lot that’s happening inside of you. Embrace the bed rest phase as a freedom from all physical activities.  After all, you wouldn’t want to put your precious baby to risk. 

4. Don’t expect world peace to be declared across the planet in honour of your pregnancy.

Some of the weird comments that people said while I was pregnant,

Q: Your tummy hasn’t popped out. Is everything normal? 

Ah, think so! I am carrying a human baby, weighing less than 500 grams and not a baby dinosaur. 

Expectations Pregnancy = Beach Ball Bellies

 Q: OMG you are so big? You look like beached whale.

Excuse me? Did someone actually call me a whale? By the way, I got this and the previous comment on the same day.

That’s when I realised most of these comments are meaningless and vague. People think when you bump into pregnant women you need to comment on how big/small her belly is – reassuring cheerleaders!

The most common question “Do you have a birth plan in place?

BIRTH PLAN – BIG WORDS

 How do I plan to control the birth of my baby? No idea. I just plan to give birth to the baby eventually. 

Good news : Once you start showing, you will realise what a friendly planet we live in. From overly kind strangers to not waiting at the queues, countless happy hours are guaranteed.

Warning : As a mother to be, while you are busy shopping for baby clothes, diapers, feeding nighties and nursing pads, it is also our responsibility to educate ourselves about the labour process and birthing options. I am sure you will feel at ease discussing your needs, fears and expectations with your practitioner – that’s having a birth plan in place. In simple words, a birth plan entitles your preferences for the birth of your baby.

5. Husbands feel your pain

Don’t expect your husband to react the same way like you do towards the pregnancy. Remember both physically and emotionally you are the one experiencing nausea, heart burns, haemorrhoids, first baby kick, and the painful contractions. 

However, most husbands are very anxious even if they don’t tell you. It’s not just about baby clothes and ribbons, they think beyond. It’s an emotional phase for the daddy to be but more territorial, transitioning into this new zone of responsibility. I personally felt men are more obsessed with the logistics – safer car, car seats, baby stroller, high chair etc. They know they are the ultimate caretakers, the providers and they take up this new ‘daddy’ role with so much pride. 

While most of us will be pretty focused on our blossoming bellies don’t miss the miracle of cricket obsessed high circuitry man brains transitioning into tender, intense, protective daddy brains. 

Good news :

Numerous foot & head massages.

Family motto for the next 40 weeks will be happy mama, happy baby. You get to have the last word on anything and everything

You can use the pregnancy brain as an excuse for losing the house key.

Your clumsy fingers for cracking your iPhone screen – yes totally.

Don’t forget the ever so forlorn pregnancy face. It totally works. 

He smiles at you all the time (this one, kind of freaked me out after a while).

Warning : Like everything else on the list, enjoy it while it lasts. 

6. Craving 

Craving for salty food means you are having a boy and sweet treats means you are having a girl. Those seemingly weird midnight cravings never happened to me. I suffered from sniff dog syndrome (heightened sense of smell) that made me detest my favourite plate of biryani. 

Good news : If you are craving for chicken biryani and mango mousse go for it, just watch your portion sizes. After all, no one will dare to comment on a pregnant woman’s craving.

Warning : Make sure you take your prescribed pregnancy multivitamin so your body is getting all the goodness it needs even if you aren’t fancying any food at all – that was the story of my life for 9 months. 

7. Lustrous hair and glowing skin – pregnancy is the time to glow 

I did have those glossy rosy glow moments with the increased blood flow. With the glow, along came skin tags, acne and dark pigmentation.

Good news : Those silly childlike “I am pregnant and glowing” conversations with your mirror are totally priceless. 

Warning : Why moan over a few less pleasant side effects when we could focus the positives? You are part of nature’s most amazing journey. 

8. Pregnancy is the start of happily ever after

Pregnancy sure does come with its share of ups and downs. During the entire course of your pregnancy, you will experience new emotions everyday either joy in full brim or pain in full throttle. 

Remember! Your life is just about to change. As you step into this “happily ever after phase” be prepared for the “happily never after days” as well. Yes, you might need to say bye-bye to me-time, late movie nights, holding hands, random long drives and say “hello” to feeding and nappy schedule. Don’t panic – babies do sleep and they do grow up eventually. Trust me, it’s all worth it.

The most beautiful part of pregnancy is now you are part of the miracle of life – God decided your womb as the safest place to nurture a new life – a cocoon for the little baby to grow in flesh from the time of conception.

It could be the toughest job but it is also the most enriching and rewarding one with a lifetime supply of warm hugs, wet mushy kisses and heart melting moments.

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