Following on from my last blog which was about my labour, that is where one chapter ended and another one began! 17/11/17 is where we began our journey as a family unit.
As much as I would love this post to be a fairytale fantasy about how easy being a mum is, in reality this is not how it went. I am not saying it hasn’t been amazing! Because it seriously has. But it wasn’t all colourful and shiny like I had hoped. Even though I have wanted a baby forever.. worked with children.. let me tell you it didn’t come as easily as I expected. I felt the pressure from people around me to as I know a lot about babies. I felt everyone expected me to be this perfect mum. I mean what even is one of those? I don’t feel there is such thing as a perfect mum.
This blog will be completely honest and truthful about how I found the first few weeks of being a mum. Not to scare anyone reading this who is a mum to be, but maybe to give you more of a truthful insight of what to expect! Some people do take off to motherhood and find it so so easy.. other people it takes a while to change and adapt. And please know if that is you, that is okay! It does not make you any less of a mother than anyone else.. EVER!
Becoming a mum is the most difficult job in the world, but without a doubt the best and most rewarding!
On 22nd November was the day we were FINALLY allowed to go home! I had a long hospital stay due to Freddie’s feeding. I was trying to breast feed and we tried everything to get him to latch, but it just wasn’t happening. Instead he just wanted to be on me all the time and used me as a dummy! If I even dared to put him down he would wake up screaming. After a very long traumatic labour I was exhausted! And I can honestly say I think my whole hospital stay I managed to get maybe 10 hours sleep tops in like a week! All I wanted was to be at home, in my own space.. rather than in a crazy warm stuffy ward with other babies also screaming. Obviously we were discharged from hospital because it seemed like Freddie had finally turned he corner and was feeding well!
I was so excited to get home but I was also terrified. I had suddenly gone from all this support and just pressing a buzzer for help.. to just me and my partner alone. Let’s just say the first night did NOT go as planned. We were back to square one! Freddie would not feed again and spent 90% if the night screaming at me! He must have been starving.. but he would just not feed. This is definitely when things for me took a turn onto the dark side.
That morning I became really unwell.. I couldn’t sleep/ eat and was being sick, I was shaking.. I just felt awful. I honestly think it was just because I was exhausted. I told sam he needed to take Freddie away from me. I told him I didn’t want to be around him or Freddie.. I know that may sound awful!! But I just wanted to shut myself away from the world. People wanted to come and see Freddie but I just said no! I had adjusting to do myself without other people popping in and out of the house. It also didn’t help that I just felt I was forever with no top on trying to give Freddie skin to skin to get him to feed.
That day I felt like the worlds worst mum! I could hear Freddie and Sam downstairs.. and my mum who brought us food.. but I just couldn’t bring myself to go down. I honestly wanted to shut out the whole world! Luckily the midwife came that afternoon. I thought it was luckily anyways.. Freddie was weighed and I was told he had lost almost 11% of his birth weight. According to guidelines she should have been sending us back to hospital. That was the last place I wanted to go! I got some support and decided to express and bottle feed. Sam had been doing that during the day anyways as I wasn’t up to feeding him. She said she would come back the next day to see us and possibly weigh Freddie.
The next 24 hours were a lot more relaxed. Freddie was feeding and was a lot more settled. We all managed to get some sleep! The midwife came and decided to weigh Freddie and he was beginning to gain weight. I was so happy. I felt like I was failing before that. I felt my most important job was to feed Freddie and I couldn’t even manage that in my eyes. I was just now upset because Sam was doing all the feeding whilst I was expressing ready for his next feed. We decided it was best for us to start slowly making the change to formula. As much as I know breast milk is amazing, and I wish I did manage it.. I do not regret my decision! It changed everything about being a mum for me. We were all able to sleep, relax and enjoy each other.
Adjusting to having a newborn is hard! My house was upside down, I didn’t have time to cook and I was suddenly being woken up every few hours during the night. So here’s my top tips!
1. Take support when it is offered to you. If anyone ever says do you want anything.. YES yes you do, whether that’s them bringing you food or quickly giving your house a little hoover. Take the help! Trust me it will help massively.
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps! Ever heard his before? Probably because it’s a MUST! Your suddenly getting this broken sleep so sleep during the day when the baby sleeps.. your body will thank you!
3. Do what is best for you and your baby. Don’t base your decisions on other people, or feeling you can’t do it because people are going to judge you. If it’s working for you and your baby.. go for it! (Obviously providing it’s not something dangerous). You will learn new things when your a mum, even if you have read every book under the sun! That doesn’t mean that’s going to work for you both.
4. Make the most of those snuggles! It might feel like a pain that you can’t get ANYTHING done because you can’t put your baby down. But trust me there will come a day where they no longer want as many cuddles.. and you really will miss them. Cherish every moment!
There will be nights you cry, when you think it is just too hard. That’s okay! Speak to someone, moan to someone, do whatever it takes! Trust me mama.. you’ve got this! Your doing an absolutely AMAZING job. And your baby appreciates it. When your feeling lost and hopeless just remember you are this baby’s world, and they wouldn’t be able to do it without you. Your the reason this beautiful baby has a life, you brought that life into the world!
And by the off chance that I have some dads reading this.. offer as much help and support as you can. It’s hard for both of you, but be understanding.. listen to her cry if she needs to cry, make her tea, bring her home some flowers, run her a nice relaxing bath and take the baby for a while. As a mum you no longer have that time to yourself. Remember she gave that up to care for another life. So show her lots of love and appreciation for that! It’s the little things!
To the world you are just one person, to your baby you are their world 🖤
You’ve started a new amazing journey! Try and enjoy it, get help and support, and do what works best for you. We all learn new things along the way.