For 8 months I counted down to that magical date. The app on my phone told me how long I had to wait – and oh, I believed it! And whilst I read online that only 4-5% of babies arrived on their due date and tried to remind myself regularly as the day ticked closer, I simply couldn’t get the date out of my mind. So when it came, went, and my app started counted backwards, I felt totally cheated. Not only was I mega uncomfortable and absolutely ready to meet my baby, but I would have to forget a date that was etched so deeply in my mind I may as well have tattooed it across my forehead.
2. Eating a ridiculously hot curry to try and induce him
So then I had the bright idea to head to a curry house and ask for an extra hot version of my usual curry. Of all the silly things I did in pregnancy, this has to come out top. Not only was my tongue tingling for days, but I spend pretty much the entire next day in the bathroom thanking my lucky stars that it hadn’t induced labour – as my god, it wouldn’t have been pretty.
3. Saving a novel to read after the baby arrived
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. That is all.
4. Drinking gallons of Raspberry Leaf Tea
This takes me back to another pregnancy brainwave, where I read online that drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea was a marvelous way to speed up labour. And oh, I drank it. In fact, in the last few weeks of pregnancy, it’s all I really drank. It tastes like pond water, leaves your tongue furry, and (in my experience) makes no difference to a birthing experience whatsoever. In fact, I don’t even care if it does speed up labour – I’d rather be in labour than drink another cup of that stuff.
5. Writing a birth plan
I was told in my antenatal class that I didn’t necessarily need to write a birth plan, but I went ahead and wrote it anyway. I had grand plans for staying at home for as long as possible, enjoying long baths until I needed to head to hospital, and then having him quickly and easily in a drug-free birth. As it happened, he decided he didn’t really fancy the real world and I was in the hospital, ready to be induced and strapped up to an epidural from the start. I don’t regret a second of the birth, which was perfect for me, but I do regret wasting time writing that plan when I could’ve been reclined on the sofa popping maltesers in my mouth or reading that entire novel without being interrupted by wails (oh, those were the days).
6. Buying too many Newborn clothes
I was very excited about buying outfits for my little boy and I spent far too long browsing malls, bidding on eBay, and shopping online for the cutest things I could find to dress him in. I’d soon amassed the most perfect stash, which I took a lot of pleasure in washing, hanging up, and folding up in the nursery so that everything was ready for his arrival. My mistake, however, was that everything was tiny. So for the first few weeks I had the best-dressed baby in Dubai – but as soon as he grew out of them (just a few weeks later, thanks to an insatiable appetite for milk), he looked like he’d been dressed in a jumble sale, thanks to a mixture of gifts, family hand-me-downs, and items purchased hastily on sprints to the mall in between feeds.
7. And too many newborn sized nappies
And on that note, I also thought babies absolutely, definitely needed Size 1 nappies for at least the first 4 or so months. I thought I was so clever adding a packet to the trolley throughout my pregnancy, until I’d amassed an almighty stash. He wore them for about 5 nights, before they leaked and I was advised to move him to Size 2 – so I stashed them away for baby number two, who only wore a few before he did exactly the same (babies; never trust them for a second).
8. Spending so much money on maternity clothes
Another thing I splurged on was maternity clothes. After all, 9 months is a long time and I wanted to rock that bump stylishly! And I did wear a lot of them (albeit not all of them, as I realised a few made me look like a walking tent when I got them home) but it wasn’t for 9 months. It was for about 4 months – and then I shut them away in a wardrobe for a few years, before they got another 4-month outing a few years later. If I worked it out cost-per-wear, they are almost certainly the most expensive things I’ve ever worn. I probably should’ve raided the husband’s wardrobe and saved my money for a new set of clothes in a size or two bigger after the birth. I’d still be wearing them now.
9. And on breastfeeding clothes
I read somewhere that I needed clothes that made it easy to feed my baby. So I raided stores for a stash of vests, covers, and tops and dresses with various flaps and holes in the right places. When he went on strike and I stopped feeding him at 5 days old, these things were never worn (good job, as I couldn’t work out how the bras worked when deprived with sleep anyway). And when my second baby was born and I did feed him for the first 6 months, I realised that you didn’t need special clothes anyway – you just needed to lift something up or pull something down. You live and you learn.
10. Watching real life births on YouTube
Yep, don’t do that.