A letter to the pregnant me

Dear Rachel,

Ok,don’t freak out,but this is you writing this letter, but two years on ’96 as the mother of slightly crazy toddler!

For you, it’s almost your first Mother’s Day.

You’re about 7 months pregnant and I know you’re not feeling much like a mum at the moment ’96 despite your hugely expanding abdomen! The whole “having a baby” thing feels a bit surreal; you’ve imagined for years what it would be like but it’s hard to see beyond the birth and the newborn period ’96 I totally understand that. But you’ve already started to make so many changes already with your baby’s best interests at heart ’96 like your diet and lifestyle ’96 so your “inner mother” is definitely there!

You’ve been sat on the fence for some time now about doing a hypnobirthing course. I know you’re worried that you’d be investing your time, energy, money and hopes into something and you’re concerned that “it won’t work”. But you have to trust me on this, it will “work”. Your baby’s birth is going to be the most wonderful and empowering day of your life. You’re worried you won’t stay calm and that you won’t cope with the contractions and the birth ’96 trust me, YOU WILL. You are stronger and more capable than you can possibly imagine. There will be some difficult parts, yes, but they don’t last, and you will cope way better than you will possibly imagine (you will joke afterwards that you wish you’d have filmed your baby’s birth to show people!!!).

You will (eventually) book a hypnobirthing course and then question why you didn’t do this sooner as you start to relax almost immediately. You will be so proud of yourself after the birth. Phil will be your absolute rock and your baby’s birth will bring you even closer together,so just bloody book the course!

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but things will get really tough once baby is here. And you’re going to have a good few months where you feel like you’re losing your mind. I’m not telling you this to scare you, but to reassure you that things will get better and your world will come back together with time.

You need to trust your instincts huni; you know there is something not “right” with your baby (not giving you any clues to the gender!). Your baby will have a condition where they cry almost constantly for the first few months. Once baby is on the right medication and with the right monitoring, he/she will start to settle. Your confidence is going to be knocked hugely. It’s very hard to feel like a “good” mum when nothing you do settles your baby. It will flourish though Rachel, with time.

You already know that moving from your oh-so-independent life to being a mother is going to take time. Letting go of your current pattern of “do as you please” to having a completely dependent (and very demanding!) human rely on you for everything is going to be hard; you already know this. You are used to doing exactly what you please and not relying on anyone, but you will need to be patient with yourself as you step into this role and ask for help from others.

You are imagining your newborn period as very quiet and intimate, and I know you want to cherish this and enjoy this. But it isn’t going to be like this. It’s going to be very hectic, messy and frenzied. You will do your best during the situation, and this difficult time will end I promise you.

You presume that you will be a “natural mother”; you’ve been surrounded by babies your whole working life and have a loving and affectionate nature. You are going to feel overwhelmed by how out of your depth you really feel. Clueless, exhausted and missing your old, more “carefree” life. Disappointed with yourself. Some days, you will look at your baby and have literally no idea what to do. Give yourself time’85lots of time’85things will come together. In the meantime, watch your mum and mother in law, sister in law and “mum friends” with your baby and their own ’96 you will learn so much from watching them.

More than anything, your baby needs you to look after yourself much better than I did during this time. You will be up all night scrolling the internet frantically for things that will help; but you need to sleep, rest and eat more than anything.

Your unsettled baby will grow and develop into the most beautiful and funny toddler who will have you laughing so much. Yes, there will be difficult days’85I’m not going to lie’85but the joy will hugely outweigh these temporary bumps in the road. You will become closer to your family more than you can possibly imagine. Your career is going to change so much too (book the hypnobirthing course!) and you will flourish in your new role as mum. A delayed start yes, but a worthwhile one.

Have a first wonderful Mother’s Day Rachel,

Love from Me xxx

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