If you are pregnant, or have been pregnant, I can assure you that you have done a lot of things wrong. Indeed, you’ve probably damaged that precious, innocent child permanently.
NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT. These are the things you have done wrong and can change from this moment.
1) Drinking alcohol during pregnancy
You should NEVER drink alcohol during pregnancy. Not even a drop. You’re almost certainly going to give your baby foetal alcohol syndrome and give birth to an alcoholic baby. How hard is it to give up booze for 9 months? How selfish are you? What matters more, that vodka shot or your baby who has no say? Get your prioritese straight and just give it up.
2) Not drinking alcohol during pregnancy
You are being a complete martyr, what will one sip of wine hurt? People drank alcohol during pregnancy for years and everyone is growing up just fine. To cut it out completely is just being dramatic and making mothers who do have the occasional sip feel guilty. To give it up completely is just giving in to the latest trend that will probably change tomorrow.
*JUDE NOTE – THERE IS EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT A LITTLE ALCOHOL DOES NO HARM. If you choose to have little now and then, that’s your choice. If you choose to cut it out, that’s your choice. These are choices we make for ourselves and are not in any way designed to make the person who does it differently feel guilty. If you abuse alcohol, drink to excess, drink constantly, then you are putting both yourself and your baby at risk. But these are rare cases and generally you’re okay if you choose to have a drop now and then, but you’re absolutely fine if you’re going to abstain too.
3) Exercising during pregnancy
Pushing your body during pregnancy by going to the gym or running is ridiculous, your energy should be focussed on growing your baby and resting, not trying to make sure you don’t put on too much weight and get your body back quickly. What a selfish thing to exert that energy on when pregnancy is so draining and hard.
4) Not exercising during pregnancy
Lying about all day eating cake is unhealthy, lazy, and sets a bad example. Keep your body and mind healthy by doing regular exercise or you’ll be a fat, lazy slob of a mother who sits around all day wallowing her own lard and probably raise fat, lazy slob children.
*JUDE NOTE – PREGNANCY IS EXHAUSTING. If you have the energy to do light, pregnancy appropriate exercise then kudos to you. If you’re so exhausted that just swinging your legs out of bed in the morning makes you want to cry, then I sympathise. Everyone has different pregnancies and different levels of energy, so you can’t assume that just because you can cope with something that everyone can. Just do your best, stay healthy as you can, and get through it.
5) Finding out the sex
You’re ruining the surprise by finding out the sex. It shouldn’t matter what sex the child is, you should love it anyway. You’ll have nothing to announce to the world when the baby is born if you find it all out in advance. You’re only finding out so you can paint the nursery in pink or blue and thus begin the gender stereotyping patriarchal nonsense that pigeon holes children from the day they’re born.
6) Not finding out the sex
You’re giving up a good opportunity to bond with the child you’re creating. If you think there is nothing to announce other than the gender then the birth of your child itself is obviously not big enough news to you. You’re going to have a boring beige nursery and boring beige clothes so your baby will have no personality because everything is gender neutral.
*JUDE NOTE – IT’S NOBODY’S BUSINESS. If someone tells you that you’re ruining the birth announcement for them by finding out they obviously don’t care enough, your child’s birth is the biggest news ever and that is enough by itself. If you want to wait, then wait. If you want to find out, then find out. Some people find it helps bonding, others want to wait for the final surprise at the end. Does it matter? No. Do we all end up with a baby coming out of us? Yes.
7) Choosing a name
Firstly, whatever name you choose is obviously wrong. It’s ugly, it’s old fashioned, it’s modern, it’s boring, it’s chavvy, it’s unoriginal, it’s too weird. So, once we’ve got over the fact you’ve chosen a bad name, let’s move on to the fact you’re naming a child you’ve never met, how can you know if it suits? And if you announce the name you’re again stealing something special to announce when the unforunately named child gets here.
8) Not choosing a name
Your poor child is going to come into the world without an identity. How can you not give the thing a name? When they’re born baby’s don’t look like any names, they’re weird looking slimey monkey like creatures who all bare a strange resemblence to Winston Churchill. Children grow to suit the names they have.
*JUDE NOTE – NAMES ARE TRICKY. We went through so many names trying to settle on Rose Elizabeth. We argued, we stayed up late, we tried to picture her. We settled on Rose and, baring in mind it’s not even a slightly controversial or unusual choice, we still had criticisms. But it’s her name, it suits her, and I wouldn’t change it. Naming your child is a huge responsibility as it’s they who have to carry it, not you, so you’re choosing something significant that will be with another person they’re entire life. If you have chosen and chosen with care and respect for that responsibility, then that should be the end of it and everyone should just accept it.
9) Planning an epidural
Lazy. Why would you want to push drugs into your body when you could do it completely naturally, the way nature intended? This modern crazy for pain relief breeds lazy mother’s who can’t face the reality of child birth in all it’s rewarding and natural beauty. You’re RUINING the experience.
10) Planning no pain relief
You’re a hippy, obviously, and have no idea what you’re signing up for. Three contractions in you’ll be BEGGING for pain relief. In fact two. Maybe before the labour even starts. There’s no way you’ll get through it.
*JUDE NOTE – LABOUR HURTS. If you want to get through it with no pain relief, try. If you decide you can’t take pain relief. If you want to set out with pain relief, take it. That’s your choice. At the end of the day you’re doing something amazing, painful, exhausting and magic. It hurts like hell. If you don’t want the pain, we live in the amazing world of modern medicine and you can do something about it. As long as you feel in control, you’ll feel able to cope, whichever method of taking control you choose. Nobody is doing this for you, just you. Your body, your baby, your choice.
There is the amazing reality we are faced with from the moment we get pregnant that other people think they have rights over your body. They can touch it whenever they want. They can tell you what you should do. They can tell you why their choices were the right ones. They can tell you why your choices are the wrong ones.
You’re growing this kid, not them. You’re in charge of your body, nobody else.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and get through this time which is both beautiful and hideous. At the end of if you’re presented with a little person who will turn your world upside down and make the long drawn out process of pregnancy feel like a lifetime ago and that it was over in a heart beat.
Judging people for making different choices to you is ridiculous.
Women have been told what to do with their minds and their bodies for generations so don’t add to that problem.
You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!