It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on here. That’s because I had a baby 12 weeks ago! We welcomed out little baby boy on the 1st January 2020. A pretty fantastic way of ringing in the new decade.
I won’t go into the specifics (unless any one has any questions privately), but after a straight forward pregnancy, our little man decided he wasn’t in any rush to come out. I was a week over due and ended up spending over 72 hours in labour! He was clearly far too cosy in the womb.
Eventually, after lots of bouncing on birthing balls, walking up and down hospital stairs, debating an epidural and screaming for forceps (I was so tired by the end of it, I wanted the midwives to do anything to get him out), he finally made an appearance at 6.15pm on New Year’s Day.
12 Weeks Postpartum
Fast forward 12 weeks, and here I am, able to take 30 minutes to dedicate to my blog whilst he naps next to me.
The past few months have been a wild ride! There have been some very low points but also some of the most fulfilling moments of my life! But for this post, I want to touch on some of the lower moments for anyone feeling similar.
- Dealing With Emotions
I’ve cried endlessly on occasions. Sometimes because our baby is inconsolable, other times because I’m so exhausted I can’t function, and other times because of nothing at all! During every low point, I’ve found it incredibly difficult to see the bigger picture. In the moment I feel like it will never get better. That I will feel that way forever. Of course this isn’t the case, but it’s really difficult to see it at the time.
I’ve really struggled with the emotional side of things. I was never a particularly emotional person before falling pregnant, and throughout my pregnancy and now having a baby, my emotions continue to surprise me and sometimes scare me.
But the best medicine? Talking it through with others. Having a support network has been my greatest tool. Whilst it can be difficult at times to explain how I’ve felt, as I’m not quite sure myself, just opening up about that in itself has been incredibly powerful.
- Feeling Like ‘Me’ Again
I want to touch on this feeling of being ‘Mum’ and not feeling like ‘you’ anymore. This has been something I’ve really struggled with. Although I had the best part of 9 months to come to terms with becoming a Mum, and I knew my life would change beyond words, nothing can actually prepare you for motherhood until you go through it. Whilst I absolutely love our baby boy to bits, it’s been a challenge. I would go as far as saying the greatest challenge, and the greatest achievement of my life!
I haven’t felt like ‘me’ anymore. There I said it. At the beginning there was so much going on – adapting to our new life, receiving cards and gifts, being caught up in this wonderful bubble of excitement. But then Stew went back to work. The gifts and outpouring of love slowed. It was just me and a baby. The two of us suddenly on our own to navigate this new way of life. Of course I wasn’t actually alone – I’ve been able to meet up with friends and other Mum’s, and Stew has been an incredible support everyday. But it’s still been tough. (I really don’t know how single parents do it!!).
I’ve struggled not having time for myself. The days go by and I don’t know what I’ve done with them. At the beginning you’re in a constant cycle of – feeding, burping, changing, napping, feeding, burping… It’s relentless. This slowly gets easier as you build more of a routine and you start to learn when you can steal an opportunity for a shower, or to get dressed etc. But still, every part of my day is for him now. Even as I sit here writing this, I’m concious that he could wake at any second. I’m furiously typing to make the most of this quiet moment.
That’s why it’s SO important to still have some ‘me’ time if you can. To feel like ‘you’ again. Whether that’s the old you, the new you, or a combination of the two. We shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting a moment to ourselves. Luckily Stew has also been a great advocate of this. In fact, he’s been pushing me to do things for myself, more than I have! And that’s what I’ve done, and it’s been great.
It also helps Stew to form a greater bond with his son. He wants alone time with him too. ‘Boys time’. And it makes me miss my little boy! Which might sound odd, but whilst Stew is at work everyday, he misses him. He can’t wait to get home to see him each day. But I don’t get that feeling, because I’m always here. I’m always with our little boy. So on the few days that I’ve popped out for a morning or afternoon to do something for me, I’ve had this overwhelming feeling of missing him and longing to get back to see them both. Which has been fantastic for two reasons – one, it’s cemented what I already knew (but sometimes questioned on the low days), that I love my son, and we have a bond like no other. And two, I’ve felt like the old me, but a new and improved version. I still enjoy all the things I used to do, but now I have another part of my life that I love more.
Finding that balance is still on-going but I finally feel content with the ‘new and improved me’. There are still down days, but the good days far outweigh them.
- Focusing on the Positives
After saying all of this, we have a wonderful baby who sleeps well, eats well, burps well, cries little, and gives us the most beautiful smiles. We’re super lucky, and it’s only now that I’m able to look back and reflect on this time with a more positive mindset.
Around 6-8 weeks I finally felt like I was getting to grips with motherhood. We had begun to gather a good routine. I was able to brush my hair, put on makeup and get dressed (huge accomplishments with a newborn). We’ve been getting out and about – meeting friends for lunch, attending baby classes and meeting weekly with our Bump & Baby mamas.
It’s these little things that have made me feel human again. Even just fresh air has been the greatest cure to a dark day.
As you progress, so does your little one. Ticking off milestones like the first smile, the first time he held something and the first laugh, have been AMAZING! It’s wonderful watching him grow and wondering what each new day will bring.
In summary, motherhood doesn’t come instantly to everyone. For some it grows over time. And that’s okay. If you too are struggling with your emotions, feeling guilty for wanting some time to yourself or wondering when the down days will end, please reach out to me! I’ve tried to share more of my journey and my feelings on my Instagram too, and that’s been a wonderful place to talk to others. So feel free to slide into my DMs 😉