This is a guest post by Jenni who is a first time mummy to Lucas, born in February 2015. She lives with her partner in Lancashire and enjoys writing about their time together over at Chilling with Lucas.
1) Strangers touch your bump, some before asking. After this, they go to stroke your baby's head like they are a pet or doll.
2) Make the most of sleep before you get to six months pregnant because after that the sleepless nights begin. Between being uncomfortable, Lucas moving about and pregnancy insomnia, I think I slept less in the last trimester than when Lucas was a new born.
3) He may be sick. Lucas was born at 5.40 pm, healthy with no complications. At 3am he woke up, vomitting a brown, red like blood substance that covered him. Needless to say, I panicked and pressed the alarm. The support worker looked equally worried and took Lucas to the midwife who said it was common and nothing to worry about. Would have been nice to know that was a possibility.
4) Take advice with a pinch of salt, midwives and health visitors have contradicted themselves and each other when visiting us. Family and friends have great advice but follow your instinct on what is best for you and your family. I have been told the old myths that letting a baby cry is good for developing their lungs and picking them up when they cry is spoiling them and I don't agree with either.
5) Breastfeeding hurts, all the books and even the lactation specialists say that if you are breastfeeding correctly it doesn't hurt. Lucas latched on and fed well and it still hurt, perseverance and lansinoh did the trick until it stopped hurting and was well worth breaking through the pain barrier. Find your nearest breastfeeding network before the baby arrives, they are amazing for reassurance and support. We had a volunteer visit the first week when I was worried and my friend found the meeting groups very useful.
6) You feel like shit when you expect to be feeling over the moon. I think it was 4 days after having Lucas the baby blues set in, they didn't last long, I was just an emotional wreck for a couple of days. My friend who had her baby 6 months previous actually text me in the morning saying something like its day 4, baby blues will hit you today, don't worry and keep cuddling Lucas and D (it was actually a lot more heartfelt but I'm struggling to remember now). That really helped me knowing it was normal and reassured me that it wouldn't last.
7) Don't compare your baby to others, don't become obsessed with when milestones should be happening. Enjoy the moments and not be wishing yourselves to the next stage.
What I am glad I stuck to...
I went to aquanatal and pregnancy yoga, I can't recommend them enough. They really helped with the pregnancy aches, kept me fit and relaxed me. I truly believe that going to both classes helped during labour with the exercises and breathing techniques I had learned. It was also great to meet other mums to be for support, both whilst you are pregnant and once you have had your baby's.
We decided on only immediate family visiting the first week we got home with Lucas. We then gradually had other family and friends visiting after that. I'm glad we had discussed that before Lucas arrived as seeing more people would have completely overwhelmed me. I wanted the first couple of weeks to be us three settling in and cementing our bond as a family, not to be passing our baby round or entertaining people. Everyone seems to want to see baby's straight away, come into your house, faff with your routine then leave and after a couple of months you go back to only seeing them on special occasions.
Taking lots of photos, time goes too quick and in six short months my baby boy has transformed from a scrunched up, dark spiky haired baby to a blonde fluffy haired little fella.