Well … It’s been quite the couple of months since I last wrote here. Where do I begin? Perhaps with the obvious, I’m a Mum! I have my own tiny human buddy, who I’ve been feeding, changing and helping sleep, on repeat for the past six weeks.
Aurora Winter (named after the Northern Lights, not Sleeping Beauty. Something I’ve found myself muttering to many a stranger since she was born) arrived in late November at 6.16am, weighing 7lbs and 5oz.
She came early and quite literally nothing about my labour went to plan. I developed pre-eclampsia and she was back to back, amongst other issues. The birth preferences went out the window entirely (goodbye birthing pool and ambient lighting, hello scary consultant led room and monitors). And the whole thing was pretty traumatic. The situation was improved massively by an absolutely incredible midwife who delivered Aurora and didn’t leave my side. But made worse by the horrible hospital stay afterwards. I’m not wanting to add to the choir of people queuing up to tell pregnant women how awful it is. Every birth is different, but mine was not an experience I’d like to relive. Although I am aware it could have been a lot worse. It saddens me that that’s how a lot of us view childbirth, with such low expectations. But that’s another rant entirely.
The weeks which followed have been quite literally nothing like I imagined. I knew it would be tough but I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of hormones and just how upside down your life can be turned by sleep deprivation. When you have a baby every man and their dog seems to want to tell you to cherish those early days. To enjoy every moment, because you’ll never get them back and they go so fast. To which I’ve found myself thinking “GOOD!”.
At a humble six weeks in, I’m hardly in a position to impart any parenting wisdom. But what I can tell you, is that it’s absolutely ok to not enjoy the early days. Having a baby is a huge shock to the system and it’s utterly relentless. At a time when you’re recovering physically and mentally from labour. The newborn phase is really hard and people aren’t joking when they say those first 6 weeks are difficult. We’re coming out of that phase and can finally see the wood for the trees. But I feel no guilt when I say it’s not been the most enjoyable time.
I’ve struggled. Emotionally, physically and mentally. Breastfeeding didn’t work for us and was a source of much upset in those first few weeks. I’ve had two infections resulting in further treatment. And the list goes on.
Throughout it all I’ve found it so hard seeing other Mums who were pregnant at the same time as me, seemingly loving every second. But with that said, the instinctive need to put on a brave face and how easy it is to portray only the positive online, means that to someone, I possibly am that Mum. The one who is handling it all and enjoying every sleepless night. Not crying most days. And certainly not living on a diet of Quorn picnic eggs.
So if you happen to be a new or expecting Mum reading this, know that you’re far from alone. That more of us find it hard than probably don’t. And that it does get better!
Talk to your family and friends. Your health visitor and GP. And anyone you feel comfortable with. Talk to other Mums. Just keep talking.
I look at Aurora’s tiny feet and nose, or her little mullet (explains all the heartburn) and I can’t believe she’s here. She’s so special and I can’t wait to see her develop over the coming months. To get to know her personality and learn her likes and dislikes. I know that we’re embarking on the most amazing adventure and that everything we’ve been through will be worth it 100% times over.
Things are now settling into a nice new kind of normal and I’m really enjoying each day. I’ve missed my blog and have a ton of posts planned, but don’t feel like writing when I’m feeling stressed or distracted by real life. I wanted to start back by announcing Aurora -bit late I know- and thanking everyone for the lovely messages on my social media posts.
Whilst this post may seem a little negative, I think it’s important to talk about the good with the bad. I once heard the early weeks described as ‘the best and worst of times’, which is pretty apt. Now I’m feeling better it would have been lovely to post an update saying I had been too busy baking pies and singing lullabies to write. But I know from experience how much of a relief it is when another parent says they found it hard. But that they love every second now and that it really does get better.
I love being a Mum and am so proud of our new little family and how far we’ve come together already.
I’m excited to catch up with my favourite reads and get back to blogging regularly in 2018. Although I’m going to have to master the art of one handed typing and resist the urge to use the extra little arms and legs for swatching.