Almost four months deep into motherhood I am wondering where the time has gone it feels like two minutes ago I was heavily pregnant day dreaming about meeting my baby, how painful labour would be and also what she would look like.?
Well the hormones are FINALLY settled and I am out of the newborn fog….after having a social media/blogging break and devoting my full attention (life and soul) to bonding with my new little human, I am ready to share some of the journey so far… and what an adventure this whole new chapter has been #ParentHood #MummyDiaries
The first three weeks are pretty much one big baby blur, I didn’t know what day, time or even year it was for that matter (no joke I kept writing 2017). There was no structure or routine apart from tending to what baby needs…eat, sleep, nappy repeat with lots of cuddles and staring obsessively at her perfect little face in between. The smell of a new baby, seriously is there anything better?…I want to bottle it up forever! Anyway I decided to breast feed (which I will be sharing a separate blog post about) it was very demanding and challenging at the start, I was feeding pretty much 24/7 and of course there was only myself that could do this (which meant no help with the night shift – GREAT). I was practically housebound and topless with Bridget jones knickers on for the first few weeks, getting milked like a cow…not glam but didn’t give a damn and I did not want many visitors as you can imagine? I needed space and time to bond and catch up with myself and what my body had just been through so I could look after my baby. One piece of advise I would give is do not feel pressured into having friends and family round until you are feeling up to it. It is very important to think about yourself after your body has been through such a big ordeal. After all you have just created a human.
The hardest part for me personally was recovering from an emergency C-section, the sleep deprivation and hormonal breakdowns that hit you when your least expecting it – but that was just the beginning, it gets easier. I put my pants on the wrong way round one day and broke down in tears thinking that they didn’t fit me, I spent six hours in the bathroom constipated because it had been over a week since I had been for a number two (sorry not sorry) and thought I was about to give birth again having to breastfeed while I was sat on the loo…that’s just the tip of the iceberg. One day in particular when my partner went back to work, I thought I had everything under control, well it turns out I thought wrong. It was just “one of those days” and I cried my little eyes out for almost a full day. I felt guilty for crying when I had this perfect little angel in my arms, everything I had ever wished for – and that made me cry even more. I can totally understand how some people get post natal depression, you need your support system to pick you up on those early hormonal days for sure so take the help when it’s offered even if that means you getting a couple of hours to have a nap, somebody cooking you a batch of food or cleaning your house from top to bottom, my lovely friend Roxy kindly did this for me and I will always be grateful it made such a difference.
I started to feel human around six weeks postpartum and left Cleá for a few hours whilst I went for a birthday meal, It did me the world of good to get out of the house and I promised myself that I would not worry about her – she was in her Fathers capable hands with everything she could need. And surprisingly I had a lovely time with no “mum guilt” apart from the last hour where I was eager to get home. Before I was pregnant I was so used to having freedom, travelling the world care free and I was scared of losing that, I had already lined up the baby sitters, but the truth is I don’t want to leave her, not whilst she is so young anyway.
By week ten I practically felt like me again, mentally and emotionally that is not quite physically. Around this time I started a routine and a Baby sensory class to get her used to socialising and stimulation. I started really getting into the swing, I felt like I knew my baby and could handle any situation confidently.
Of course my body has changed I have a scar and stretch marks on my tummy but strangely enough I feel more confident than I did before, because my body created the gift of life and made me realise the most important thing is having a healthy baby and a happy family not a washboard stomach. To be honest breastfeeding has helped the weight drop off quite quickly anyway without having to worry about it. I went on the scales out of curiosity for the first time a few weeks ago and began eating healthy and joined a class to get me in better shape for my holiday. I will carry on with a healthy diet and exercise when possible but there will be no crash diet going on!
I still find it funny that I am “Mummy” and that will be my name now forever. You can read a million books and blogs, watch a trillion Youtube videos, which I probably did but NOTHING can really prepare you until your thrown in the deep end and responsible of keeping a tiny human alive. Yes as a new Mum you will face a few challenges along the way there is no doubt about it but somehow you get an inner strength and the feeling of pure love towards your baby gets you through anything – I think mums have superpowers. The sleepless nights and tears are just a phase so don’t worry you got this! Trust your instinct because everybody has their own way of parenting and also every baby is different. There is no wrong or right way, only your way as a Mother. Don’t get pressured by society – do what you feel is best for you and your baby, because a happy Mummy means a happy baby.
Before I move on let me just rewind and touch base with the LABOUR. Why do you make a birth plan for something that is completely out of your control that is the question? They make it sound like your planning your wedding. The only “plan” you need is to do what ever the hell it takes to get your baby out as quickly and safely as possible when the time comes. I set my heart on a natural water birth with lots of deep breathing and visualisation techniques (Hypnobirthing), with snacks and tranquil music maybe a dip in and out of the pool, this isn’t a joke by the way ask my partner. What I got was a complete shock and the opposite to what I had hoped. I was 6 days overdue, two very uncomfortable stretch and sweeps to then be induced (which is what I didn’t want). The extremely painful and un natural contractions went on for around 17 hours where I only dilated 6cm, during this time I had my waters burst again, my bladder emptied and 3 scrapes internally of my babies scalp to check her oxygen levels. Obviously she just wasn’t ready to enter the world. With every nurse, midwife and doctor in and out of my room I lost all dignity whatever that is? Finally they decided to rush me in for an emergency C-section and although I didn’t want surgery I felt a relief that it would all be over. And let me just say there isn’t a feeling in the entire world like holding your first born in your arms – all the trauma is a distant memory. Nothing worth having comes easy right?? I would also like to say a MASSIVE thank you to all of the staff at the Halifax and Calderdale Hospital, thank you for making me feel so comfortable and giving me and Cleá the best care possible, we are very lucky to have the NHS and I admire how hard you all work. If your reading this – THANK YOU.
Cleá Aura Cannon. 17th May 2018. 7.06pm – 8.8 of perfection stole our hearts and changed our world…Our little Scandinavian princess was born on the national Norwegian independence day which we believe is not just a coincidence (her Dad is half Norwegian) she must have held out past her due date especially of course!
What I have learnt since becoming a parent……
- There is no love like the love you feel for your baby. If you think you love your partner imagine that times a million.
- The things you once took for granted will become a luxury like taking a relaxing bath or even going to the loo. I now value alone time (but also miss her too, you just can’t win).
- No matter what your baby looks like you think they are the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. You will become biased that is a fact.
- You will need extra memory on your phone to store the millions of photos that you take of your baby on a daily and you won’t want to delete any because they are all just too cute.
- You would rather have a full nights sleep over a night out.
- Google will become your new best friend.
- You become obsessed with your babies sleep because if they miss the “nap window” that means nightmare ahead and more effort to get to sleep.
- You will realise material things and egotistical nonsense are completely irrelevant and the only thing that matters is your baby.
- You will take any stress or tiredness out on your partner…Sorry hun!
- It’s not just a cliche when people say “they grow up too fast” it’s so bloody true. Cherish every single second, even the tears and dirty nappies because one day you will miss them all.
- How to do everything one handed. Yep I can now pick things up with my toes.
- Leaving the house is like a military operation.
- Everyone will have an opinion, take it all with a pinch of salt and do what you feel is best for your child.
- You will panic at first when your baby cries in public…but don’t sweat and try remain calm because the tears will eventually stop and most people have been in your shoes.
- Motherhood is the best hood. And the most amazing and rewarding job in the world. A love story that will never end.
I have SO much to share but I can’t possibly fit everything into one blog post, so here is what’s to come in a separate blog post and please let me know if there is anything else I have missed or you would like me to write about…
Breastfeeding – Yes I am still feeding her now and it works for us both. It is breastfeeding awareness month and I wanted to discuss how I persisted and didn’t stop trying and it paid off.
Night time routine – I never expected that my baby would sleep through the night at such a young age, and I don’t want to jinx myself but Cleá has slept through from about 6 weeks old and I believe it’s due to the routine I started.
Newborn baby Essentials to make life easier – Obviously as a new mum you want to buy everything in sight and of course you don’t always use it all because you have no idea what will work for your baby. I will be putting together my top picks of what I couldn’t live without.
Travelling with a baby – We have so far been away on two UK mini breaks with Cleá and will be travelling to the Greek Island of Santorini in a few weeks so I will have lots of tips, do-s and don’ts.
Every week brings a different stage and part of development for your baby, before you know it they will be grown up, so embrace and enjoy every second.
Lots of love Melissa and Cleá