Grazia Middle East - - FASHION FEATURE -

THE MO­MENT I dis­cov­ered I was up the duff, I to­tally em­braced my preg­nancy, tak­ing on the chal­lenge of grow­ing a baby as if I was an Olympic ath­lete. I or­dered books (I highly rec­om­mend The Gen­tle Birth Method by Doc­tor Gowri Motha), cut out gluten and sugar (it ap­par­ently helps elim­i­nate any swelling), ex­er­cised, had my hus­band – much to his de­light – give me thrice-weekly olive-oil belly mas­sages and at­tended a four-week hypno-birthing course.

All ef­forts were made to grow a beau­ti­ful, healthy baby while keep­ing my body in tip-top con­di­tion and, most im­por­tantly, have a smooth, nat­u­ral birth. And it paid off. Ten months later my daugh­ter ar­rived into the world via a dimly lit wa­ter-birth pool at a bounc­ing 7lb 7oz, with no drugs in sight and a body that re­cu­per­ated quickly. That’s 10 months of train­ing for the birth com­pared to zero months pre­par­ing for what is pos­si­bly the most life-chang­ing role I will ever take on. So, here’s my per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of what be­com­ing a mother is all about…

You will feel like you’ve been smacked in the face with love the mo­ment you see your baby’s lit­tle face. What you thought was love doesn’t come close to the all-en­com­pass­ing, dizzy­ing, bel­lyflip­ping, heart-burst­ing emo­tions you will now ex­pe­ri­ence.

It’s hard to ad­mit, but you will love your baby more than your hus­band.

You will stare at your baby’s face for hours ev­ery day. For­get about In­sta­gram – look at my baby’s Cupid’s bow!

One tiny smile from your lit­tle cherub will erase the worst of days/ sleep­less nights/ pro­jec­tile vomit on your silk Chloé blouse.

You heard the ru­mours about post-natal hor­mones but you didn’t re­alise that for the first week post­birth you would cry ev­ery day on the dot at 7pm.

You now see your own mother in an en­tirely new light. She re­ally did all this? For me?

Ev­ery mother you now see is su­per­woman and ev­ery mum of twins is su­per­hu­man.

• Last night’s pizza con­sti­tutes break­fast and five choco­late Hob­nobs equals lunch. Gluten-free what?

Twenty min­utes late is the new early.

For 32 years you’ve mas­sively un­der­es­ti­mated what you could achieve in a two-hour pe­riod. But at the same time it can take three at­tempts and four hours to leave the house.

When you leave the hos­pi­tal af­ter giv­ing birth you will look five-months preg­nant and you won’t care one iota. If there’s one time you can al­low your­self to em­brace a wob­bly bum and flabby tummy hang­ing over your PJ bot­toms it’s now.

The myr­iad preg­nancy symp­toms don’t stop at birth. Your body as­sumes a whole host of new ail­ments, from bumpy skin on arms and legs to night sweats and more.

You’re cling­ing on for dear life to your pre-moth­er­hood iden­tity while try­ing to nav­i­gate a whole new per­sona.

You’ll be sur­prised how quickly your mama in­stincts kick in – who knew you could soothe a pur­ple-faced cry­ing baby in 20 sec­onds flat?

If there was one word to de­scribe a day look­ing af­ter a baby, it would be re­lent­less. But it’s also joy­ous.

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