Anna’s pregnancy diary: Week 17

goodtoknow’s Food and Diets Editor Anna is pregnant, so we’ve asked her to keep a diary of her pregnancy, telling you all the good bits and bad bits and asking for your help and comments.

This week Anna is wondering how to deal with all the advice she’s getting from other parents.

‘Ooh you wait. The sleepless nights are horrendous. It’s utterly exhausting. You won’t know what’s hit you…’

Thanks! Well, that’s one way to put a dampener on things. Now I know people will say that they’re just preparing me for the reality of having a newborn, but do I really NEED to hear this over and over again?

Anna and her bumpI mean, when someone dies you don’t say to their relative, ‘well, you’re in for at least a year of crying every day and feeling terrible’, do you? And when someone’s got to go into hospital for treatment you don’t say to them, ‘ooh it’s going to hurt like hell’.

And if someone’s paid a fortune to go on holiday and you’ve been to that resort and it was terrible, you try and focus on the things that were good there, not be the voice of doom and gloom when it’s too late for them to get a refund. And yet, when you’re pregnant, it’s like a truth free-for-all!

Now, I’m all for a bit of honesty and a heads-up about what’s going to happen to me but, at 17 weeks pregnant, what exactly am I going to be able to do now about sleep deprivation except worry about it and dread it?

And not one of the people who have uttered those words have said, but don’t worry, here are five ways we coped that made it easier for us. It’s like they’re sitting there smugly thinking, we’ve been through all that and survived and now you’ve got to do it and we’re not going to make it any easier for you…

Most people know that having kids isn’t easy… that sometimes you’re so tired that you can’t even remember your own name. I looked after my twin 8-week-old nephews overnight and believe me when I tell you that pair were strapped in their car seats by the front door by half past eight the following morning, waiting for their parents to arrive so I could get some kip – and that was just one night!

I know that I’ll be beyond tired, that my nipples will crack that I won’t be able to sit down for a week, that I’ll have stretch marks, my body will turn to rack and ruin… but unless you’re going to offer me nipple cream, rubber rings, stretch mark oil that works and tips to get your baby sleeping through the night, please keep it to yourself!

Coming up: Watch Anna’s first video blog
Previously: Migraines and headaches
Read Anna’s pregnancy diary from the beginning
More about week 17 of pregnancy

More pregnancy help and advice

Our week-by-week pregnancy guide
Sleep solutions for babies and toddlers
The insiders guide to labour, birth and recovery
Help and info on fertility problems