A (very) Candid Letter to my Pregnant Self

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Client: Obiageli Vera Anunobi / Maternity Date: July 2014 Photographer: Bryan James Brophy© 1PORTRAIT Studio© FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY +353 1 493 9947 studio@1portrait.ie www.1portrait.ie

I’m going to be perfectly honest here and say that I didn’t really enjoy the third trimester of my pregnancy. I hadn’t properly prepared for the fatigue that came with carrying a (NOW VERY) huge bump, and I was terrified of what was awaiting me at the finishing line a.k.a Labor / Delivery (LD) room.

hugest bump EVER!!!
hugest bump EVER!!!

My bump was so huge it was uncomfortable, inconvenient and frustrating. I don’t think admitting this makes me a bad mother, it just means pelvic girdle pain REALLY sucks.

If I could go back in time, here’s a few of the things I’ll tell myself (in the form of a letter, because that’s so much more fun than a list lol):

My darling pre-baby Oby,

Right now, you are hyper focusing on a lot of insignificant stuff. I wish you knew that very few of what you are worrying about actually matters. As much as you worry about being a mother at a young age, there will be no regrets. You would not lose your freedom, or long after your younger days. You will in fact be the happiest and most content you have ever been.

The aches and pains of pregnancy would go and you may actually miss being pregnant one day; you would miss the feeling a baby moving inside you, you would miss those first little flutters, the hiccups and rib jabs, and the excitement that came with those movements.

Try not to spend so many hours worrying about the sort of mother you would be; being a workaholic. Stop worrying that your career would suffer or stop altogether. Because from the moment you become a mother, you would love your son with every ounce of your being. You would kiss him endlessly, and carry him with you everywhere – even on your several work trips and you would feel so proud of yourself as a mom that you would spread so much love and positivity.

Sometimes just forget all the advice, all the rules, all the parenting websites. Most of the time, your instincts and your own values are your best guide to doing the right thing to do for your LO.

What you need to do is go to bed now and sleep until the baby comes. It could be your last chance to sleep for a few uninterrupted hours for the rest of your life. I know it isn’t easy right now, with your weak bladder and the millions of thoughts going through your mind, but try to sleep as much as possible. Take naps. Soon enough, you will experience a type of sleep deprivation you never knew existed. So get those extra hours of sleep in at every opportunity.  

a few walks here and there but not as much as i should have :(
a few walks here and there but not as much as i should have :(

Exercise as much as you can Oby, but without overdoing it. Check with your doctor and make sure you are fit for this. Staying fit and strong throughout your pregnancy will help you so much with “pushing” during delivery – especially with your 9lbs 12 oz. bundle of joy. Labor is hard, and being as strong and in as good of shape as possible will go a long way. It will also make your post-labor body easier to get back into shape. 

You should also know that you literally have no control over your labor story. I mean it’s great that you have your own birth plan right now, so you can envision everything you want in your labor room, but when it comes down to “it”- the actual thing – you have absolutely no control over what happens. Only God does. Keep that in mind, and just enjoy the experience, whatever it is. Read up and plan for it, of course, but also understand that there are OTHER options which you may have to adopt / settle for, so spend some time finding out about and appreciating those too.

Oh, and that book you’re reading on natural birth? Maybe you should know, dear Oby, that in your case once you got into actual labor, you chicken out at three centimeters and literally BEGGED for the epidural. So don’t be so focused on having the ‘perfect’ birth that an intervention would feel totally devastating. As long as “the boy” comes out healthy, it’s all fine.

Your baby doesn’t need all that STUFF. Love cannot be purchased at Mothercare, and that’s wayyyyyy too many soft blankies and feeding bottles!!!

And since we are talking about useless sh*t (pun intended) that you shouldn’t be worrying over, please take the stool softeners when you are given!! TAKE. THEM!! lol

On another note, you seem to have a lot of opinions on parenting right now, but you will quickly realize that there’s no hard and fast rule to these things. Some days “the boy” would cooperate and some other days, you’ll be forced to cave in. So, stop being a judgmental little woman and start supporting other moms and their parenting choices and techniques. Don’t be obnoxious and self-righteous with other moms or future moms about where to birth/how to birth/how to feed/etc. A woman’s worth as a mother and a person has VIRTUALLY NOTHING to do with those choices.

I know this may be shocking, but breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally *gasps* yeah so don’t assume that because you have breasts mean that they would make milk or that every baby figures out latching. Sadly, the initial process can be very difficult. But remember that even if you go for breast or bottle, the best thing for your baby is often what’s best for you. 

my poor little "colicky" baby...so much crying the first few weeks!
my poor little “colicky” baby…so much crying the first few weeks!

It’s okay not to “enjoy” the first few months after your Little One (LO) arrives. You may be overwhelmed for the first few weeks, but afterwards you would forget what that felt like and you wouldn’t be able to imagine a life before him.

Being pregnant is not an excuse for a bad attitude. Make a conscious effort to choose your attitude and every word that comes out of your mouth. Don’t hurt others around you because you’re being immature with handling your emotions. Yes, your feelings may no longer be within your control but your actions are.

I felt so huge lol big nose gang!!
I felt so huge lol big nose gang!! swollen face, swollen feet!

You are not ugly, you are not a whale, you are BEAUTIFUL – every part of you is beautiful. Take more pictures, even with your swollen face and feet!!!

Take advantage of being pregnant and use it to your benefit whenever possible. Buy that bucket of KFC chicken. Ask The Hubs for back and foot rubs. You’re not going to be pregnant forever, and you deserve some splurges while you are.

After the baby is born, between caring for him and your new found realization of your post-partum hormones, you will be so overwhelmed that you may forget to eat all day. So, have that extra cup of ice cream now while you can still claim to be eating for two (but knowing that it’s all YOU). Don’t worry, turns out you would be able to shed all of that 40lbs of extra weight – that’s what 4 hours of sleep would do to you. But mentally prepare for the possibility that your appetite from nursing might eventually conspire against your desire to keep off the baby weight. 

There is only one thing that will get you through everything, and that is the unconditional love that, right now, you don’t even know exists. But keep in mind that Love takes time. Those feelings of concern, happiness and care you feel for your growing unborn baby is actually love. After he’s born, you may not know how you feel about him immediately – but you’ll build the deepest bond you’ve ever felt. You’ll love him endlessly, but you may have to know him first.

Be a little selfish now, while you can. Take time for yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself. No one else is doing it perfectly; no matter what appearances might lead you to believe. Some days you’ll be so tired you won’t want to get out of bed at all. And that’s OK. Listen to your body and allow yourself to take rest days and just relax.

Love, Post-baby Oby

Now, with a 17 month old, I’m still not much clearer on the crazy, amazing journey that is motherhood. But I do know this: a lot of things i bothered about, i really shouldn’t have.

If you are a new mom like me, what would you have told your pregnant self? Or if you haven’t had a baby yet, what would you tell your self before this?

Love and Light,

Mrs O.

 

 

 

 

19 COMMENTS

  1. Wow…… everytime I read a post from you, I get anxious!!! I so want to have a baby now, but I want the ring first… lol… I’m happy you are very candid about what you experienced during pregnancy, it’s a little guide for awaiting mothers.. I do hope you also write a candid post about your delivery story.. I’m sure someone can learn a thing or two from it.. much love.

  2. I may not know u oby ..bit every bit of your life is amazing, the honesty, impeccable. Much love all the way from a 23 year old law student in Uganda. Keep inspiring. Martha

  3. I’m pregnant and I cried. Particularly on your last paragraph… This is inexpressibly beautiful. Thanks for the perspective!

  4. Amazing anytime I read your posts I get excited… and I also learn…Ehn ehn*jaw drops* so d bumb is heavy and uncomfortable @ d later part of d pregnancy. Can u pls write a post about your delivery and how you got your pre baby body back….

  5. Comment: Oby, you inspire me above and beyond.Not yet a mum but getting there real soon and when that time comes, i will be very grateful for everything i read in your blog.I see a lot of myself in you, and i absolutely cant wait to be a mum.
    love from Kenya
    xo

  6. Comment:Oby, you inspire me above and beyond.Not yet a mom but getting there real soon.I see more of myself in you everytime i read your blog.I can tell you’re an amazing woman who works extremely hard and takes the absolute best care of your family.Beauty and brains wrapped up in humility.Keep doing what you do.When my time comes to be a mommy, i will be absolutely thrilled that i read your blog.

    libe from kenya
    xo

  7. Omg this is so good. I am currently expecting my first baby and I am due in May. I can honestly say society romanticizes pregnancy way too much. For me it has been the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, I have been sick an uncomfortable from day one. I have the most supportive hubby but I want it over ASAP. I am not so worried about being a good mom I know I will get it right , I am however scared that I will become those mothers whose life revolves around baby.

  8. Comment nice write up!!! Wish I had not deprived my self of some selfies due to swollen nose (dey were just so big),nd thank God I slept all I could during pregnancy cuz d sleep deprivation after delivery is over d roof.thanks for sharing

  9. I loved your post, it speaks volumes to me even though I am not a mother yet. As a woman I’m soothed by the wisdom you shared.
    I’m actually reading you from Spain. Somehow I ended here when watching your sister’s in law YouTube channel. I must say it’s pretty amazing you have each other as family. What a blessing, a family of truly beautiful, courageous and wise women.

  10. U re so right, I couldn’t have written it in a different way. I have a 10 months old baby boy and like u said u don’t always have your way. I just love him to pieces. Well written article. Thumps up.

  11. Oh well,
    For every word you have written I could follow through like its me in the picture. . Has a young 26 year old lady, I have seen women react to pregnancy differently through the years plus my moms experience. When I was 6 years old, I grew up seeing my mom battle with post part-partum depression for years after her third child, my cute sister. I must say your posts is helping future moms like me lol. Just knowing you wont be the first woman nor last to go through this stage and actually reading true life experiences like yours is heartwarming.

    Warm regards from Prague, Czech Republic

  12. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Cheers

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