A few weeks ago Gemma, who’s blog you can read here, replied to a tweet and we then asked her if she would like to write a guest post for us here at pocketnannies. Here is her post. Thank you Gemma!
When the lovely Pocketnannies asked me to write about ten honest things I’ve learnt since having Ella, I’m not sure they were prepared for just how honest I’m about to be…
I never cease to be amazed by the amount of poop that comes out of such a small human.
Like today for instance.
I write this blog post not long since changing my fourth dirty nappy and it’s not even 2pm. Fourth! And they’re not delicate little portions either, they have all been overflowing explosions!
Maybes she’s teething – as that’s what they say happens. Or is she sick? See – the endless worry of a mother. But I know she’s not sick, that maternal instinct they tell you about it – I know she’s OK. She’s ‘fine in herself’.
Maybe it’s because I’m (attempting) to wean her. Which leads nicely onto …
2. The Woes of Weaning
Weaning is hard. I mean, some people don’t find it hard and probably think what the hell am I waffling on about it.
But I have.
You think you’ve just mastered one stage and then bam! It’s time for another. I’ve dabbled in baby porridge and baby rice which is actually going well.
But last Monday I tried to puree my own veg and attempt baby-led weaning.
Not so well.
The short story is that she choked and vomited.
I panicked and cried. (You can read all about it here
Who knew teaching another human how to eat could be so frustrating?
3. That Old Cliche …
That said, number three is that old cliché: I’ve learnt the love that I feel for this small human, who I’ve grown in my own body (can you believe it?) is like no other love.
The unconditional-I-would-jump-in-front-of-a-bus-for-you love that’s incredibly powerful. I remember as a non-mum hearing people talk about this and it all sounded blah to me.
Well now I’m one of those people.
Ella may exhaust me throughout the day but as soon as she’s asleep, I miss her. I watch her sleep. And sneak a kiss, holding my breath when she stirs panicking that she might wake.
I put my hand instinctively to my chest as it feels like it could burst.
I whisper ‘My baby’.
4. Can I Have a Constant Please ??
It’s a constant job.
How naive I was prior to maternity leave; planning to sit around and read books, drink cups of tea while getting back into writing – tending to the baby every now and then.
Granted I can do all of these, just in really slow-time.
And they are always interrupted. As I’m tending to the baby all the time.
There’s the constant feeding, changing, entertaining, shoving-the-dummy-back-in, helping her when she rolls over and gets stuck. Then yippee – it’s nap time; let’s get a cuppa – argh there are bottles to be cleaned and dirty baby clothes to wash.
Before you know it, your cuppa’s gone cold and it’s time to make another bottle …
But motherhood has made me realise I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be.
I had to have a section as Ella was breech. I knew about this from about 32 weeks that if she didn’t turn, it would be an elective section.
I was devastated. I really wanted to give birth naturally and felt such a failure.
I was given the option of having an ECG, an external procedure to try to turn her.
I went so far as to book it but then freaked out and cancelled it. It took me a good couple of weeks to come to terms with the fact that an elective section was more than likely.
I was terrified of the recovery.
But do you know what? With the help of Pregnancy Yoga and doing my research, I came to terms with it.
I actually went into natural labour a week early, so I had to have what was classed as an emergency section. I couldn’t believe how calm I was. Throughout them prepping me for theatre and the spinal going in to lying on that operating table, I just went into a zone.
I was proud of myself for how I handled everything, physically and mentally.
And my recovery wasn’t as bad as I thought. Painkillers, a twelve week plan and some exercises from a physio helped with this. Alongside lovely family and friends.
The human body truly is amazing
6. Who Needs Sleep?
I’ve learnt that I can survive on little sleep.
I used to work shifts a couple of years ago. I remember the feeling after a night shift when I’d only had four hours sleep. The zombie feeling; where you’re present in body but your mind is barely functioning and you walk around in a fuzzy haze.
I thought this experience was good prep work for a baby. Turns out in those early baby days, four hours is actually classed as a decent night’s sleep.
Night feeds every hour and a half to two hours.
No-one can prepare you for that.
But you power through and manage to function somehow – on adrenaline and black coffee.
Feeding the baby whilst checking your phone and talking to your partner.
Holding and balancing a screaming baby while trying to make a bottle.
Feeding the baby with one hand and managing to eat your cake with the other.
You master the art of using one hand to get things done.
8 . The Baby Olympics
And I’m not talking the bedroom sort (well, not in that sense anyway).
It changes your relationship with your partner.
I’d sworn I wouldn’t be one of those people.
The whose had the most sleep/worst day/most nights out of the house escaping the baby .
Those Baby Olympics. The über competitive kind with your significant other.
No matter how hard I tried to avoid it, we fell right into that trap.
Don’t get me wrong, we have become a good team: We’ve sang ‘We’re the three best friends that anyone ever had’ from The Hangover film since our first night in hospital together.
And family days out are utterly delightful.
But my god we’ve had some battles. And we’ve been together sixteen years.
It did however make me fall in love with my husband all over again when Ella was born. I adored how he instantly became this protector, this caveman – and how good he was (and still is) with her.
It’s just easy to forget that bit when you’ve had the baby all day and they decide to go to football after work. Hmmph!
That leads onto compromise.
I’ve learnt to compromise like I never have before.
And luckily we do try to make sure each other gets time out of the house. We don’t tend to go out as a couple as much these days, we take it in turns to go out on a weekend.
But that means we both still get a break from our role as mammy and daddy and get to be ourselves for a few hours.
10. Who Run The World? Girls
I have felt the most overwhelming sense of empowerment.
Growing and giving birth to another human being – it does make you feel like you could run the world. Beyonce is definately onto something.
Not all people feel like this but I never felt as feminine and as sexy as I did when I was pregnant.
Since having Ella, it’s given me the confidence to do what I love in life.
I want her to be a strong independant woman. I want to show her that she can do anything aslong as she’s healthy and happy.
And by doing that I want to set an example to her.
I exercise regularly in Buggy Bootcamps and I read books and write my blog to keep my mind active.
Because a healthy and happy mama equals a healthy and happy baba.