Not So Smug Cat’s Guest List: Dear First Time Pregnant Self…

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Look at that amazing bump! (The shade of lipstick is pretty excellent too).

I’m very pleased to call Cat my buddy. She says it how it is, but is also kind and thoughtful. It’s a winning combo. We have previously bonded over our shared experience of mental health, I also think we could have bonded over booze – but then Cat went and got up the duff with her second kid.

Cat writes the brilliant Not So Smug Now and is one half of Hustle and Fox.  Here’s a few home truth she wishes she  tell her first time pregnant self.

** Ridiculously, in the time it’s taken me to get this list up, Cat has not only grown a baby, she’s pushed it out too – at Home!! Welcome gorgeous little Bo! **


I’m thirty something weeks pregnant with my second Small and, let me tell you, it’s made me face a very harsh reality. Quite simply, when I was pregnant with my first, I’ve come to accept that I was nothing short of an insufferable scratbag. Oh god, how I wish I could go back in time and punch my first-time pregnant self in the ace. No one is promoting violence of any kind though so instead, I’ve compiled a list of things I would say to my first-time pregnant self if I got the chance.

  • Stop it. Just stop it. Whatever you were going to say about wooden toys and organic nappies and muslins hand spun by Buddhist monks living in a magic garden, just stop it.

  • The same goes for your opinions on dummies (Mine will never have a dummy), TV and screens in general, co-sleeping, organic food, baby-led weaning and all the other rubbish you’re certain you know everything about. I say this asa friend who doesn’t want you to be the most hated pregnant person on the planet: you know nothing.

  • Yes you’re pregnant. No, you’re not yet a mama. Don’t imply to mamas that you know better.

  • No. Looking after other people’s children doesn’t make you a mama.

  • You won’t listen to me but it’s really not worth spending £1000 on a buggy. Yes it’s shiny and new and oh so pretty, but it’s heavy as hell and doesn’t hold two kids so you’ll have to sell it when you’re pregnant with the next one.

  • The only things you REALLY need at first are something for it to sleep in, push it around in (note above point) and wear.

  •  Don’t buy outfits or shoes for your baby. It’ll be like trying to feed spaghetti covered in vomit and poo through a needle.  Stock up on babygrows…hundreds of them.

  • If you’ve got loads of spare cash you can spend £18 a packet on the Pregnacare Plus. Or, you can spend £4.99 on the regular Pregnacare. It does the same job.

  • Use oil on your tummy every single day. I’m still not sure whether it does anything but you don’t want to take the risk.

  • Wear compression stockings. You’re really prone to varicose veins and if you look after your legs a little better in the first pregnancy, chances are they won’t resemble a topographical map of the Himalayas in your second pregnancy.

  • Listen. Really listen. Actually make sure you hear what people who have done this small-having thing are telling you.

  • Your life will change. You will change. Whatever you think right now, your reality as you know it is about to be turned on its head and while it’s a bit unsettling at first (sometimes, a LOT unsettling) you’ll emerge from the other side a mama-shaped butterfly.

  • Love other mamas. Don’t judge them at all on their approaches to parenting. If they are alive and their Smalls are alive they are doing a damn good job.

  • And they’ll be the one there with a glass of wine and a take away when it’s all too much and your crying real tears with Weetabix in your hair and a breast pad stuck to your bum.

  • Do your pelvic floor exercises. You’ll regret not doing them when you try to take your Small trampolining. Or when you cough. Or sneeze. Or laugh out loud*sigh*

  • Be gentle on yourself. I know you want to be very best at this mothering thing but don’t risk your sanity, your health, your soul. Take time out.

  • When the baby comes, don’t run to Mothercare on Day 3 and break down in tears because the beep of the scanner is too damn loud. Stay in bed. Watch movies. Snuggle. Be naked.

  •  Breastfeeding is amazing but you’ll find it really, really hard. I know this, because I am you and it really hurt and even put you in hospital a couple of times.

  • Don’t beat yourself up over the breastfeeding thing. Your baby will grow to be an amazing human being, formula or not.

  • You’re labour is going to be hard and long because the control freak in you is going to go into overdrive. Try, try, try to relax. Breathe. It’s all normal and you’re built to do it. Give into it. Don’t fight it.

  • You’re going to spend most of your labour vomiting. You’re pretty unlucky with that I’m afraid, but it’ normal.

  • Don’t buy a house and renovate it in the last four weeks of your pregnancy. It’s not your smartest move and it will stress you out.

  • Ooops. Too late on that last point.

  • Try not to resent the shit out of your husband. He’s really doing everything he can to make you happy. Remind him to look after himself too otherwise he’ll run himself into the ground.

  • Make sure any guests you have bring food. If they don’t, don’t let them in.

  • Even if they do bring food, ask them politely to leave after 45 minutes.

  • Don’t feel you have to get out of bed, or shower, or dressed. They can deal with you chilling out after shoving a human through your love tunnel.

  • Have sex. Wait till you and your vagina are ready, but have sex. It’s a really cool way of reconnecting after all the crazy.

  •  Know this: you are about to be inducted into the coolest club on the planet: the motherhood. It’s stuffed full of supportive, inspiring, creative, strong women and you’ll discover parts of yourself that you never knew existed. Maybe they didn’t exist until you became a mother but you will be blown away by what you are now capable of.

  • Smile at your baby.

  • Enjoy it.

  • Sleep every damn chance you get.

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     Tiny toes!!! 



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