I can’t quite believe that my little girl is six months old already, on the one hand, it feels like it’s flown by and on the other, it feels like she’s been in our lives an eternity. The last half a year has been a whirlwind of emotions and a total rollercoaster; an amazing rollercoaster of course, but so much more intense in more ways than one. This morning, whilst she naps, I thought I’d sit down whilst I got the chance to write down some things I’ve learnt over the last six months since becoming a Mum.
I feel like these posts are quite nice to look back on, so here goes ;
Post Birth Recovery Can Be Tough
I’m writing *can* because sure for some people, they’ll feel relatively okay after giving birth, but I was VERY naive in what post birth recovery would look like. I genuinely thought I’d feel a bit sore for a couple of days but would be out walking my dog Frank within a few days, and feeling back to normal but oh haha – bless me.
It did not work that way. If you read my birth story post, you’ll know that my labour didn’t go plan and got a bit stressy towards the end, and the use of the giant salad servers (can never look at them the same way again) to get my baby out meant that my god, it’s been a tough few months for my lower regions.
I remember seeing a celeb post on Instagram who gave birth a couple of weeks after me and spoke about great she felt post birth, which is wonderful for her, but I remember sitting still feeling like Buckeroo had given me a kick in the fanny thinking well ‘is this normal?’ and from talking to other Mum’s it seems, that post birth recovery can be different for everyone.
For some, like me, it takes months to feel normal again, and others, it’s days. But if like me, you struggle after birth physically and mentally, please know you’re not alone and please also know, you will feel like you again, even though right now, it feels like you won’t.
Also if you’re reading this and you’re pregnant and suddenly shitting yourself, please don’t worry, yes it may be tough, but you’ll find an inner strength you never knew you had and you’ll get through it. Also just make sure you keep on top of taking painkillers and anything else that will help recovery and if something doesn’t feel right – call your midwife/ GP!! I could go on about how shit postnatal care is but I’ll leave that for another day.
Oh and then once you’re over the birth- there’s ‘the new mum aches’ as I like to call them: where basically your whole body aches from being a mum I.e feeding your baby, carrying them – your back, shoulders, wrists, arms, etc… are all in bits all the time. Literally feel like I need a 4 hour massage 😂
Your body does weird stuff after giving birth
I mean sure, I wasn’t thrilled about wearing an adult nappy for a couple of weeks after giving birth but you know you kind of expect it, but what i didn’t expect was the crazy night sweats or the fact that your body odour takes on a new life of it’s own that cannot be masked by deodorant or how many showers you have a day – so it’s a really glam time. You’re basically going round looking like an adult Rugrat, stinking to high heaven and oh if you’re breastfeeding add the smell of crusty old toe to the list thanks to your boobs ever leaking. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever felt so glam. 😅
Breastfeeding is Wild
So kinda didn’t realise how hard breastfeeding would be, although I have been pretty lucky with breastfeeding, the first few weeks were SO tough and eye opening!! From my baby being like an angry little snapping turtle getting frustrated cause it took days for my milk to come in, to when it did come in, feeling like the Mum from Mean Girls with rock hard boobs, to the jet streams that come out your nipples when feeding!
A particular highlight was when we had to visit a lactation consultant due to Penelope having a tongue tie and the nice consultant was giving me some advice on hand expressing- I had a go at it and a stream of milk shot out from my right nip narrowly missing her eye.
Or what about when your baby jumps off your boob quickly and the streams are just shooting all over the place like a supersoaker, and it’s going all over your baby’s face who’s now screaming and it’s panic stations to ‘STOP THE STREAMS’
My nips are now probably a rival for a karcher pressure washer- got a patio that needs cleaning? I’ll probably be able to sort it out for you.
I felt like I was just constantly going to be leaking forever, but it did get better, just don’t do what I did in the first week of feeding of going to bed in just a pajama top, forgetting you now had boobs that were constantly leaking, and wake up a couple of hours to find yourself, your pajamas, and bedding all completely drenched in milk (I did not make that mistake again.)
That Mum Guilt is a very real thing
I didn’t really understand Mum Guilt before I had a baby, but then as soon as that baby is out, it starts. I remember being overwhelmed with guilt because I wanted to go have a bath. It comes on for the most strange things and then there’s the Mum worry. I remember one day sobbing to my Mum because I was just overwhelmed with anxiety for Penelope and asking her ‘does it go away? The worry?’ And My Mum looked at me and replied ‘no, but it does get easier.’
Sleep is never taken for granted
You lower your expectations for sleep very quickly ‘last night we got a solid three hours and I feel GREAT’
Google Will Be Your Best Friend (and enemy)
Hands up who else spent many a night feeding googling the shit (literally) out of everything?
‘What should my baby’s breathing sound like?’
‘What should my baby’s poo look like?’
‘Can you die of tiredness?’
You will constantly be doing laundry
Your washing basket will constantly overflow, and yes it’s wild how much laundry a little person creates but it’s also your washing too as you’re now constantly covered in some sort of body fluid – (usually milk or spit up) and you very quickly adapt and soon just shrug this off when it happens 😂
You Kinda Will Know What To Do
Before I gave birth, myself and Henry had a panicked moment of ‘how do we look after a baby?’
Henry cracked me up by turning to me all serious and said ‘ What do babies do? I think I’ve only ever looked after one for 12 minutes before?’
But it’s kinda weird as you just kinda get what to do, you get this mum instinct and sure I am NO expert, I’m completely winging stuff, and my family, google and YouTube, have all been huge helps but you realise you’re not as clueless as you think, and you and your baby are just winging it together.
I’m glad I didn’t read any parenting books because nothing can prepare you for having a baby, those books wouldn’t have helped, I’m sure. I feel like you have to experience it and everyone’s experience is different.
Also everyone will love to give you their opinion, but only YOU know what’s right for you and your baby.
You learn to do a lot one handed
Dinner choices are totally dictated by this. Fajitas were off the menu for those first few weeks.
I’m also hoping that I’m sure I’ll be able to master the one handed Smokey eye by the time she’s 10.
Time really just flies
Everyone says that when you have kids the time just flies, and it sounds a cliche but it does. I can’t believe my baby is six months old already. It’s been six months since she was a teeny tiny newborn who was squish up to us like a little koala and now she’s this little person who’s sitting up, rolling around, giggling and about to start eating food – it’s crazy!!
Motherhood is a whirlwind, because for every first milestone you hit, your heart grows, and you’re SO excited to see the little person they’re becoming, but at the same time, your heart breaks for the lasts and how they’re getting bigger.
And the last’s just pass you by without you even realising, and one day, you’ll suddenly realise that you missed the last time they fell asleep on you in a certain way, or the last time they fitted into that outfit, or the last time they had that delicious newborn scent and it’ll break your heart. But then your heart grows seeing them hit that next stage. It’s honestly a wild ride, but the best one.
I keep trying to remember to soak it all up, even the nights where it feels like we will never sleep again and keep reminding myself that one day she won’t need me like she needs me now, and to cherish every moment;
I remind myself to hold her a little tighter, sniff her hair and just take it all in, because one day this moment will pass and I’ll wish I could go back.
That Being A Mum Is The Best Thing
Being a Mum is absolutely everything to me and I’ve been overwhelmed with the intense surge of love that I have for my baby girl, she is my world and she’s given my life purpose and I adore being her Mum.
But of course, there are days where it’s tough, really, really tough.
There are the days where you feel like;
How are you supposed to function on such little sleep?
When the weight of worry for your little one is so overwhelming,
When you feel like you’re trapped in your own house yearning for your pre baby life where you could go out and be independent without thinking
And then: your baby will do something like smile at you, lock eyes with you when they’re feeding, grab your finger, or just something equally cute, and that all melts away; and you’ll look at your baby and you’ll think ‘being your person is easy, the easiest thing in the world’