Vicki Cockerill aka NICU Mum

WHO:Vicki Cockerill aka NICU Mum
WHAT: Blogger, writer, columnist exploring all things, parent, NICU, CHD/ maternal mental health with humour and a love for a gin whilst trying to raise awareness and improve the NICU/CHD experience for all. Currently writing my first ever book A year in the life of a NICU Mum.





The Pregnancy Diaries -The fanny edition

Casting my mind back to when I was first pregnant with Elijah nearly three years ago, and comparing it to my second pregnancy now; I realise how much I did not know about the changes my body, but mainly my poor lady garden would go through. They do not stop after 9 months but keep on coming even after the birth. On Elijah’s birthday, I like to cast my mind back to what my baby maker went through, to give thanks that she muddled through in one piece. Just.

There are many things that occur during pregnancy, growing belly, cravings, hormones, ‘the glow’, but most of all the changes to your foof are the ones that take some time getting used to and will stay with you for the rest of your life in a somewhat slightly traumatised way. Accept it now, pregnancy, birth and recovery are made up of the things of a Stephen King story, just get used to having your fanny out at most appointments and having the universe look up it, and what is coming out of it.I will put a warning in here if you are squeamish, do not like horror films, or have an aversion to vage talk I would perhaps stop reading now. Graphic talk of the VJJ will be prominent throughout.




Let’s take it back to the beginning, for the first 24 years me and my fufu had a mutual relationship. We respected one another, took care of one another we never really had a problem. Then I conceived Elijah and all manner of things began to change. Not sure she has quite forgiven me yet, and now there is another one in there. To begin with it was the size of my knickers that changed. Blimey, they resemble a hot water balloon when it is laid out on a field before being inflated. I was not feeling sexy at all, looked like Winne the Pooh from behind but those are damn comfy. Not the most alluring thing to initiate sex, that’s if you even want it. Pregnancy does some weird things to your libido, you want it all the time, or not at all. You may also face an obstacle, not just the size of your belly but a partner who may not want to do a pregnant chick. Here is where your figa may take a 9+ month rest bite from doing the deed, hay, swings and roundabouts and all that jazz.

With each month that passes, you skip jauntily down the tampon aisle in the supermarket with a smug look on your face gleefully thinking, ‘I have no need for you!’. However, something else also happens you begin to lose sight of your nether region quite literally you can no longer see a god damn thing. I haven’t seen mine now for about 4 months, I could have grown a penis for all I know.

Now, as a woman, ‘maintenance’ of the ol’ bearded clam is a chore at the best of times, when you have a bowling ball for a stomach and have lost visual, you are just hacking at it hoping it doesn’t resemble Mr T’s face. Or you could like me just think I cannot be bothered and rope and accomplice in to do it for you. Now, I have been with Greg for nearly 10 years now, and he has seen me give birth before (more on that later) so we are pretty much open with each other now. Even more so now, when you are on all fours with him shaving it from behind in the bath. You could just say I won’t bother for 9 months, but I was worried the midwife may think I had given birth to Hairy Jeremy before the baby even started crowning.

This takes me to the next stage the horrendous terms your midwife will begin to throw at you as you progress throughout the pregnancy. You will also be asked routinely about your fanny as if it was a separate entity to you; How is your discharge? Any pressure? Changes? How is your cervix today? (sore towards the end with a head normally rocking out to what feels like Slipknot down there, aka the fanny dagger). There is a degree of fear of the unknown when you are pregnant and I can guarantee that you will become a knicker checker. You and your panty liner will become fast friends, and when your waters break you are even encouraged to take it with you so the midwife can look at the colour! In the 9 months of being pregnant and giving birth you will need to get used to everyone having a look up there like it is the London Eye. Doctors, nurses, midwives and hay, you might as well invite the hospital porter in while they are all down there. One thing that has come from it, I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing is that after giving birth and passing out on the floor with no knickers on and waking up to 10+ people crowding around I have no shame. Which is worrying as I didn’t think I had that much to begin with.


Around the 7-month mark things will begin to get real. You realise that soon that kicking alien inside you that is keeping you up at night and making your pee yourself when you stand up, laugh or sneeze must come out. Now, generally it comes out the way it got in, but no, surely not? It won’t be able to fit? Not out of your delicate little flower, I better order a C Section now.  Then you attend an ante natal class to watch them push a creepy old baby doll out of a model pelvis and you begin to get a bit sweaty, and you will want to vom. There are talks of your beaver opening to the size of a doughnut when you are fully dilated that makes you want to weep. I am assured that a baby can fit out of there, and it does what is designed to do and stretch. Both of my babies have been predicted to be around the 8lb+ (Elijah was 8.12lbs at 38 weeks) so I now imagine my poor swollen bruised clam would resemble a pair of curtains after they had come out of the washing machine. Here is where I offer you hope ladies after birthing a whopper naturally I have been assured that yes, it did go back to normal! No wizard sleeve, or hot dog down a hallway sex for me! Although Greg did refer to my after birth downstairs state as looking like a Doberman with a pheasant in its mouth. Charming.

Giving birth freaked me out the first-time round, I had to stop watching One Born Every Minute as it scared me to my core. When it came to it, my body took over and this is where my moo-moo had my back. She did what she needed to do. Elijah was born after an 8-hour natural labour. Then came something you were not prepared for. I will only refer to this as the ‘aftermath’. After you have John Wayne waddled to the bathroom for the obligatory first wee you may feel like you can have a shower. Get dressed even, so as you open your hospital bag to find your maternity pads (glorified mini lilos) and disposable knickers you will most certainly feel like you have never been more attractive as the midwife comes around to ask you about your blood loss. If like me it was a lot you will even have to present them a clot. Which can I just say is harder than it sounds and resulted in me and Greg crammed in a hospital toilet trying to catch one in a jug. Poor Greg, he did experience some sights, but at least he is prepared this time round! As aforementioned, no shame now.

I guess for now I will need to make peace with the ol’ gal seeing as she is going to go through the mill again. Then the whole world and its friend will peer up there and tell me to remember my exercises. One thing I know for certain though I am not getting rid of the maternity kecks any time soon. They are there for a while, hell they may even delay Cockerill number three being made! I don’t think me or my Minnie is ready for that, depending on how this birth goes it may never be the same again!

Photo credit @ispyvagina


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