Every woman enters pregnancy armed with some information and plenty of excitement. Still, there are so many things that their own mums, friends, books, and even doctors don’t alert them to. As a result, some of the surprises they encounter on their journey to parenthood fall into the “good” sort, while the others they’d gladly have done without.
So, we asked loyal readers if they could go back in time and give themselves a heads up on what to really expect when they were expecting, what would they say? The responses were intriguing to say the least…
“To enjoy my pregnancy more ― when people kept telling me that, I always protested. I mean how does one enjoy pregnancy waddling around and not being able to do much or lead a normal lifestyle? It was only after I had my baby did I know what that meant and how important it was to do so. If I had known, I would done a lot more, like taking a babymoon.”
May Wee, 40, stay-at-home-mum to Tolly, 1½.
THE DOWN SIDE
“Vaginal sonograms! Nobody told me during the first baby scan the doctor will put a dildo-ish looking contraption right up my vajayjay. It’s apparently easier to see the gestational sac, since it’s so small at that point ― but a little bit of warning would have helped!”
Rebecca Tan, 35, writer and mum to Alex, 3 .
FORGET ME NOT
“Pregnancy brain is not a myth - write down everything! You'll be glad you did when it's 4pm and you knew you had to be somewhere or doing something, but just can't remember where or what. True story!"
Chloe Lim, 26, a stay-at-home-mum to Jason, 6 months.
WHIFF GOOD REASON
An aversion to food is not the only thing to look out for. An aversion to smells can be equally annoying. I had to change the brand of my shower gel, floor detergent and hand soap. What makes it worse is that I can’t use those brands ― even after three years!”
Sindhu Rathakrishnan, 29, civil servant and mum to Eashta Ivania, 10 months, and Ishana Daenia, 3.
“How it alters your lifestyle forever. I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies, so I had to change my diet, which was a blessing in disguise. I also wish I had taken the time to think about life after delivery. So many things happen at that time ― your body is adapting to changes, as well as all the logistics that have to be made around the baby.”
Vim Krishnan, 37, an executive and mum to Jai, 5, and Diya, 7.
“That 10 months would end all too quickly and you’d be a slave for the rest of your life to what started off as a peanut in your belly [laughs]!”
Kumari Revi, 35, lecturer and mum to Dhilan, 2.
“That you can bid sleep adieu for a long, long time. When I was pregnant with the twins, I was awake every night from 1am to 5am because they were so active ― it continued when they came out as well! It was close to a year when they finally managed to sleep through the night. But even then, I haven’t been able to sleep past 6am till today. I don’t need an alarm clock anymore, I have my kids!”
Yogeswari Vijayan, 33, instructional designer and mum to 2-year-old twins Meghna Jai and Meghav Arryann, and Gaurav Arryann, 4.
Read on for eight more facts a pregnant woman needs to wise up to…
“Use the 10 months to not only prepare for baby’s arrival, but also for your postpartum recovery. Have in place your ‘village’ ― family and friends who are able to help carry baby while you take a break, cook meals for you and help you with household chores. You should also cook in bulk and freeze, so that you don’t always have to depend on others for meals.”
Diana Loh, 32, designer and mum to Eli, 4.
“Hyperemesis gravidarum, an intense and prolonged morning sickness, made my pregnancy much worse than I thought it would be. It can be an isolating time, especially when you should be excited to meet your new baby. Mostly people seemed to think I was being dramatic with morning sickness. I had to endure comments like, ‘If you accept you are pregnant you won’t feel this way,’ or ‘at least you don’t work. I had to work when I had morning sickness and it was bad, too.’ Thank goodness I had a fantastically supportive husband who knew the truth. He went above and beyond to ensure I got the care I needed.”
Corrinne Chan, 35, stay-at-home-mum to Dylan, 6 months.
“That having a miscarriage is more common than we think. It should be spoken about and taken seriously, not brushed off, then followed by comments like, ‘maybe it wasn’t meant to be’.”
Diana Nuriani, 28, stay-at-home-mum to Amira, 2.
TRY, TRY, TRY AGAIN
“That you don’t always fall pregnant the first cycle you try and it can take a while. It took nine months for me to conceive my first baby and I panicked when I got my period every month. But my second baby was conceived without us even trying!”
Celeste Tan, 37, writer and mum to Sophie, 2 months, and Suzie, 3.
“Every pregnancy is different, so don’t worry that yours doesn’t sound the same as your friend’s or you should be doing whatever it is she’s doing. In fact, your own first pregnancy will differ from your second and third, so don’t compare.”
Gillian Summers, 40, stay-at-home-mum to Joshua, 11 months, and Sienna, 4.
GLOW AND BEHOLD
“That my complexion would look so good throughout my pregnancy that I shouldn’t waste money on facials. And not to have bought an expensive pair of jeans right before I fell pregnant because I’ve never been able to get back into them ever again!”
Sharlene Tan, 40, advertising executive and mum to Kyle, 5, and Ashley, 7.
“All those ‘other pains’ that no one tells you about. Like how common it is to have pelvic pain and you will have piles in the later stages because of all the pressure from the baby and excessive blood flow throughout your body.”
Thilaga Linggam, 38, stay-at-home-mum to Jayshree, 19 months, and Yuvaraj, 6.
“That pregnancy is indeed a miracle. However hard your pregnancy might get, take a few days to feel sorry for yourself, but never stop feeling excited and in awe of what your body is doing, especially if you managed to conceive easily and without any issues. There are so many couples out there struggling to have a baby every day, paying through their noses and putting their bodies through so much just to be able to do so. So, never take your pregnancy for granted ― ever.”
Suzanne Simons, 35, media executive and mum to Liam, 3.
You may also like these reads…