Almost as soon as I found out that I was pregnant I went into hyper-speed. I was researching, reading and trying to get my hands on everything preggy related (whilst maintaining an air of 'I've got this!'). How do you emotionally prepare for something that you've got no idea about?! 

It's only recently, after almost 5 months that I've started to realise just how much doesn't get talked about, written about or even spoken about. About conceiving, being pregnant, the birth and the first few months. The EPIC highs and the dramatic lows that can happen. 

Would I have believed it if someone else told me that it would take 4 hours planning for 20 minute excursions in the first few weeks, probably not. But becoming a mum has been full of surprises and I know there will be many, many more. Here are 5 things that I would tell my preggy self if I could go back in time! 

1. Enjoy the week before and revel in the weirdness 

Those days before baby I became hyper aware of this impending huge, life changing event but tried to play it cool. You know that change is coming but may not have a clue as to what that actually looks like. Walk, talk to each other, go to your favourite spots. Go for dinner or brunch. See a movie. Stay up late talking about the possibilities. Just spend that time connecting before the crazy hits! 

2. You can't completely plan the birth - no matter what your plan is

If like me you are a planner, you'll have planned every aspect of your birth from the night before. I still stand by the planning and the hospital bag prep because I think I saved our lives on more than one occasion - helllllooooo Pringles and face mist! 

You won't be able to account for everything though and things will be out of your control. Pick your support team carefully and speak to as many people as possible. Get their experiences and what worked for them. We would have prioritised things differently. Also, stay strong and speak up when you get those gut niggles. Ask questions. Be brave. 

3.  Love was only a word before - it engulfs everything after

I had never known what love was until I saw that squished little face. It engulfed me and those that were around me. It changed my outlook in so many ways and it's lasted, perhaps built even stronger. It's a crazy rollercoaster and there are so many changes but at the centre of it all there is this little being that you can't even begin to describe. Heck, you can even see why people keep having babies! 

4. Find your tribe. 

Surround yourself with people that are like minded. You'll need support. Whether that's going to pre-baby classes in your burb, catching up with friends with babies, joining mum groups that you all have something in common with. The female spirit seems to want to connect with others like it. When the nights are long and the days are short, you will need your girlfriends and family. So don't stay silent. Reach out. It takes a village after all.  Figure out what's important to you and find others that feel the same. There is so much information and opinions out there, getting the right tribe can be like a salve on a hard day. 

5. Close the drawbridge. 

The first few weeks are crazy. You are wrapped in a little bubble of love, nerves and overwhelming tiredness. You've no idea if you're doing the right things or doing it the right way. You spend hours gazing at your new addition and looooong nights as you start to get to grips with the new pace of life. Close your little family away as you start to get to know each other and jus sleep, eat, breath, love and enjoy. You'll look back on the new-ness and crave it's return, so enjoy the crazy whilst you're in it. It's ok to say no to visitors until you're ready and they will understand. Figure out what you want and know it's ok to change your mind.