I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for three and a half years and somehow never shared this. (Actually, I think it’s more than likely taken me three and a half years to be brave enough.) Don’t worry, new mum-to-be, you won’t look this bad, I promise you.
This, above, is a picture of me two minutes after giving birth.
When we were sharing birth pictures and I first showed this to my NCT crew, they literally couldn’t breathe for laughing. And yes, it’s a funny picture. Because I look HORRENDOUS. My top birth tip remains, ‘Don’t get your first ever fringe cut one month before giving birth.‘ I think you can see why.
But, in truth, I’d just spent 15 hours pushing a watermelon out. (She did actually turn out to be a baby, thankfully, but you know what I mean.) How else was I going to look? Groomed? Composed? Awake? I actually couldn’t keep my eyes open. Haha. These aren’t usually the pictures that get shared. Of course they aren’t. Unless, of course, you’re my friend’s husband who sent a post-birth picture to his WHOLE family of my friend looking a lot like me, except she also had poo on her hand. Nice.
No, the pictures we look at are of mums possibly a few hours, even days, post birth having showered and brushed their hair, gazing at their baby in pure wonderment (or shock). And these pictures are beautiful. I mean, you’re hardly going to put the picture above on your mantlepiece, are you? (Not least because it’s of me and that would be a bit weird.) But, I do think it’s important to shed the layers of myth surrounding having babies and being a new mum and keep reminding ourselves of the reality (there are some fab instagrammers who have been doing this for a while, thankfully). It’s especially needed in a world where we’re surrounded with glossy mags and social media that might tell a more photoshopped/filtered ‘new mum’ story.
It’s stuff we all know deep down as our rational selves but it’s stuff we forget when we’re ‘new’ and vulnerable and downright knackered. For example, we forget, or actually don’t even know first time round, that it’s perfectly normal to still look nine months pregnant for a good while after birth. ‘And when are you having your baby?‘ a girl on the maternity ward asked me the day after I’d had mine. Erm…
So, mums-to-be, new mums and the rest of us still feeling a bit ‘new’ two (five) years on (ahem), this is me saying focus on the important stuff. Take care of yourself inside, not necessarily out (well, not right now anyway). Feast your eyes on that gorgeous baby. And some equally delicious cake.
Brushing your hair can totally wait, right?
(Just don’t do birth with a fringe when you have naturally curly hair. That’s all I’m saying.)