Written By Wayua Mutisya for MumsVillage
I ALWAYS DREAMT ABOUT THE DAY I WOULD HOLD MY LITTLE ‘PENCIL’ IN MY ARMS. MORE SO WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT I WAS EXPECTING. IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO HER DELIVERY, I CONJURED UP HAPPY SCENARIOS IN WHICH WE WOULD RIDE INTO THE SUNSET, A HAPPY MOM AND DAUGHTER.
Fast forward to days after delivery and I got a very rude shock. This was completely not what I had expected!!! Yes, my heart was bursting with joy from feeling her soft skin pressed against mine but, this was not how my story was to be. Suddenly, even taking a shower seemed like a luxury reserved for the rich and famous! What just happened? Here are some birth truths, things that no-one told me would happen post pregnancy.
- The first of the birth truths is : Your time is no longer your own. The baby dictates your actions; when you sleep, eat, if you’ll even eat hot food or have to reheat it enough times. The birth truth is that you should be ready for the unexpected. The same applies to your needs which become secondary, like after you have put your baby to sleep then you can catch some sleep. I find myself in a supermarket ready to pick up some lipstick and suddenly that seems like a waste of money. I would rather look for baby clothes offers to get my daughter a new dress, or an extra pack of diapers.
- Every death or tragedy you read or hear about, will make your heart flinch a bit. As a mother you become super sensitive to negative events. Your thoughts will immediately switch to your child and it is highly likely that you will say a prayer for your child’s safety.
- Latching for the baby is not automatic. The baby needs some practice to get the hang of feeding on your breast. This frustrated me because I was really worried that my daughter would starve. Dinah Odoyo, the head nurse at Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK) Kisumu, advised me how to hold the baby while feeding to make the experience more relaxing for us.
- You will still look pregnant for another month or two. I thought that my body would immediately go back to its’ normal size after giving birth. However the birth truth is that this is not the case, and none of my old clothes even came close to fitting me. Even pregnancy exercises do not speed this up, your body needs time to heal and return to normal. I went to the supermarket one day and the female guard refused to frisk me with the security wand because she thought I was expecting. I wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed or not. So don’t throw away your maternity clothes just yet.