What were we thinking! promote confidence and reduce distress in parents with a first baby

The waiting game...

By Alice M

The waiting game...

 I am now in my third week of maternity leave and I am not quite sure what to do with myself as my baby has been threatening to arrive since the second trimester. 

Our journey towards parenthood has been an interesting one and our baby hasn't even arrived yet! Following an endometriosis diagnosis via laparoscopic surgery we were delighted when we fell pregnant after two years of trying. I experienced pretty rotten nausea and general unwellness in the first trimester but didn't mind at all as I knew it was because something was growing inside of me.  From 14 weeks it disappeared and I started to feel well again and my only symptom was an expanding waistline!

Unfortunately my luck didn't last and at 23 weeks I was admitted to hospital with an incompetent cervix and had an emergency procedure to keep my baby cooking which was followed by two months of bed rest (thankfully I was able to work from home during this period) . Now at 37 ½ weeks I am delighted to still be pregnant and out and about thanks to excellent medical care and lots of support from family, friends an work colleagues. I feel quite organised as most of my baby preparation and research was done online from bed with my husband even attending the childbirth and parenting classes without me and bringing home detailed notes.

So now I am just trying to rest (not something I am terribly good at) and enjoy being pregnant before life really changes!!!

Expert response from What Were We Thinking! expert, Jan O'Connell

Becoming parents is a major life event. From the time your pregnancy is confirmed, your life shifts onto a new and exciting path. Expectations begin to emerge about how the future will unfold; things like your pregnancy, the birth, what will your baby be like, what kind of parents you’ll both be, how your lives will be, and much more. If any of the plans and hopes diverge from your expectations it can bring about a myriad of emotions such as anxiety, confusion, distress, relief; to be followed by a readjustment of how your life continues. 

What a series of stressful times you’ve been through and yet you’ve shown great resourcefulness and resilience, well done! And you and your husband are working together so well as a team. Great work. Your relationship is one of the things that changes and evolves once you become parents. Keeping the communication open, talking and listening to each other about how you are feeling, your expectations and experiences is so important. Its good to remember that some things do change forever, as your baby’s needs are now a priority, however, other things in your life can continue though in a modified way. And there are things that parenting opens up for you that you never knew about and adds a new depth of experiences that will be fun and exciting to discover and enjoy. Things like meeting other parents and babies in your area, long walks pushing a pram, going to Rhyme Time at the local library, joining into the community activities.

You don’t have much longer to wait now to meet your baby. Don’t forget to look after each other and above all, be kind to yourself when, on occasions, things get tough. Happily accept offers of assistance and any meals that may come your way! Best wishes the beginning of a new chapter in your lives as you move from being a couple to being a family.

Posted in:  Late pregnancy