Monday, February 11, 2013

My deaf ears

I can't help it. For months I was absorbent as a sponge, I really was. Because I'm constantly blogging or tweeting about pregnancy, I invite more than my fair share of pearls of experience from others. Until very recently I was eager to hear about others' experience, and keen to learn from those who've been through it before.

But as of now any advice that comes my way falls on deaf ears. I think I'm just so stuffed full with it all that I can't take in anymore. TLOML says it's my fault for banging on, tweeting and blogging about my pregnancy so much: no wonder I get a lot of feedback.  And as I said, until just now, I've been gobbling it all up eagerly. So no wonder I'm a little overwhelmed with it all.

Or maybe what's putting me off the barrage of advice is the fact that a fair chunk of it is just kinda doom-laden. By well-meaning friends who've been through it before, I am told I might as well book my epidural now. And that rarely will we have the time or energy to cook a nice dinner. Our hopes to travel, or occasionally go out on a date, or even read a magazine once in a while are gently scoffed at. Meanwhile TLOML is told he willl be feeling left out (as he won't be involved in babycare). And that we will argue a lot and I must be placated at all costs.

It sounds miserable. Will our baby really be such a tyrant? Will I? And are our lives over? Yikes! I'm pretty sure it's too late to take this baby back.

Fortunately, I'm optimistic naive enough to believe that, while it will be very painful, giving birth will ultimately be very rewarding. And that although we will of course, be tired beyond all reason, we will also be happy. And in it together. I want to go into this whole thing feeling upbeat, positive and excited - rather than tensed and expecting the worst.

I've stopped reading the weekly 'your pregnancy' emails from NHS, Bounty, Babycentre, Babycenter, HiPP, Aptamil and Cow & Gate. (On reflection, perhaps I signed up for too many.) I've even stopped watching One Born Every Minute, the ultimate source of birth horror stories.

The only kind of birth stories I now want to hear are positive, 'I didn't even notice I was in labour & then the baby slipped out like a bar of soap' stories. The excellent Tell Me a Good Birth Story site has plenty of good ones and I've read them all many times over. Similarly, I only really want to hear from friends who say things like 'Yes, it's tiring but motherhood is wonderful', or 'The sleep deprivation is tough but my goodness it's worth it'.

So if you've offered me any advice in the past few days, and I seem to be glazing over, forgive me. I'm choosing blissful ignorance, or vague positivity. Life as an optimist is really much more pleasant.


  1. Isadora, the day I had my first little boy was easily the best day of my life, and that was after being in labour, drug-free, in pain but very calm, for nearly 60 hours. Life will never be the same for you and TLOYL again...but it will be even more wonderful than you could ever imagine. The sleep deprivation - a killer. The loss of personal time and space - a total shock. But, oh, the unquantifiable delights you have ahead of you as a mum will more than make up for any loss of cosy nights in or intimate nights out. And when you do get chance to head out for supper a deux, it feels so much more decadent. And btw, my bet is that your sudden onset of deaf ears means your labour is imminent - closing yourself down a bit to the outside world is a sure sign! Get thee to bed!

  2. Ooooh thank you - that's what I like to hear!

  3. I am about to have my second, and the first was the most lovely, amazing, fulfilling experience ever. And the feeling when you're awake in the middle of the night with your newborn, and you feel like you're the only people on earth, is the most special feeling in the world. Enjoy every precious minute. Ignore the doom-ridden bitter ones, they are just jealous! x

  4. Lovely! I look forward to it all. Thanks for the positive vibes Ms Anonymous! x