Things not to ask someone, who is pregnant and uses a wheelchair, in the street.

- Will the baby have your condition?
First of all, it’s not a genetic condition - and secondly, yeah that’s going to help us relax about an already terrifying situation.

- So you can have sex?
I’m not a biology teacher but I can’t think of many other ways this happened!

- Was the baby planned?
Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t - how does that affect you and why would you ever need to know that?

- That must be so tough for you, how will you cope?
Yeah, it will be different - but why do you think you have the right to assume I’m going to struggle purely on the basis that I use a wheelchair?

- You’re so brave/inspirational
It’s 2017 - is it not about time we dispel the myth that disabled people getting on with having a life is brave or inspirational now please?

- “I’ll pray for you”
This is usually well meaning enough older women from a whole different generation, but it’s not as if that’s going to help me through the next few months.

Heqet Aesthetic

To the Egyptians, the frog was a symbol of life and fertility, since millions of them were born after the annual inundation of the Nile, which brought fertility to the otherwise barren lands. Consequently, in Egyptian mythology, there began to be a frog-goddess, who represented fertility, referred to by Egyptologists as Heqet. She was often referred to as the wife of Khnum. As a fertility goddess, associated explicitly with the last stages of the flooding of the Nile, and so with the germination of corn, she was associated with the final stages of childbirth. This association, which appears to have arisen during the Middle Kingdom, gained her the title ‘She who hastens the birth’. Some say that—even though no ancient Egyptian term for “midwife” is known for certain—midwives often called themselves the Servants of Heqet, and that her priestesses were trained in midwifery. Women often wore amulets of her during childbirth, which depicted Heqet as a frog, sitting in a lotus.

Seasoned Mom to New Mom

As a new parent there are things you won’t think of, this is what this list is for. The seasoned mother helping a new mom.

1. When your due date is near wash your sheets and blankets in Dreft. This way if you lie your baby on your bed they won’t get a rash from your detergent

2. Purchase a body pillow. The larger you become the more difficult it will become to sleep. Body pillows are great for propping up the belly.

3. Purchase overnight or large maxi pads. After birth for about a week or two you will bleed heavily. The hospital will provide you with pads but you will need more. Also during this time you are not allowed to use tampons.

4. Purchase a small container of baby formula. I support breast feeding 100% but some mothers have trouble (I did). If you find yourself in this position making the baby wait will only make you feel worse. Having a small container on hand is much easier for baby and mom.  

5. Pacifiers are very controversial. In the hospital your baby will be given a pacifier to soothe them. Don’t purchase 1 type of pacifier. Purchase a few different types because your baby may prefer one over the other.

6. When your due date is near go grocery shopping. There’s nothing worse than arriving home from the hospital and your fridge is empty. You will also have to eat a tremendous amount of food to maintain your breastmilk.

7. When researching breast pumps don’t forget to research breastmilk storage. The breast pump you select will typically have a storage system. I suggest purchasing that one, if you trust the pump why not the storage right?!

8. When purchasing baby wipes go for the sensitive wipes. You never know if baby will have sensitive skin. Better safe than sorry.

9. Do not purchase newborn clothing. Your baby will continue to grow but they will not get smaller. Instruct people to purchase bigger sized items to ensure baby will have clothing in the future. You can buy the smaller clothing that way you can make sure all those clothes are washed and put away before baby arrives.

10. Do NOT microwave baby bottles, baby formula/breast milk or anything to do with baby. Most labels will tell you the same thing. Go old school and boil water in a pot and warm baby’s bottle that way.

11. In the nursery you should have a comfy place for you. You will spend lots of time in that room, being comfortable is important after childbirth.

12. Don’t save projects for after baby arrives. You have no idea how your body will respond to childbirth and you will be extremely sleep deprived. Trust me it won’t get done.

13. Plan for baby’s first outing which will be the first shots. That happens after baby is a few days old. If you happen to have a c-section you won’t be able to drive so plan for someone to drive you to the baby’s doctor. Even if you have a vaginal birth having someone with you is a good idea.

14. Make time to pump. Pumping along with baby’s normal mealtime will allow you to prepare for returning to work. I suggest an electronic pump, your time is so valuable who wants to spend it pumping?!

15. If you have a difficult delivery or a c-section you may want to consider moving the crib into your room. That way you won’t have far to travel to get baby.

This is just a few of the things I didn’t think of prior to my first child. I will be adding to this list soon. If you have any suggestions or additions please feel free!!