I have wanted to write this blog post for so long, I just haven’t felt ready or brave enough to. I finally feel the time is right, so here goes…
During my pregnancy I was either deluded, or just had no idea about what would happen once our baby lady arrived (probably a bit of both). I thought that I would be able to run my business at the same pace, and she would work around me. I thought I would sleep. I thought my tummy would be flat the moment she came out. I thought I would feel like I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t have been more wrong…
I remember asking my wonderful midwife in the later stages of labour, “can I sleep once she’s out?” What a daft question looking back. My body was incredible during labour, and endured so much. It was however utterly exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep to recover. The moment our little lady was out and placed on me skin to skin, she was 100% dependent on me. I was overwhelmed by the instant responsibility, how could I take care of someone SO tiny and precious?
I don’t think I slept for over 72 hours straight during and after labour (which for someone who lived for sleep was torture). I remember two days in with my little lady it was 3am, and I was sat on the toilet sobbing because I was desperate for sleep. I hated feeling this way, I was worried that there was something wrong with me. It made me think I was a terrible mum, and couldn’t do it. The lack of sleep made me an emotional mess, as well as the change in hormones.
Feeling so emotional and overwhelmed scared me. I genuinely thought there was something wrong me with me. I thought I was meant to feel elated, but I didn’t. Worrying about feeling this way, made me feel 100 times worse. I started to feed the anxiety. After sobbing on the toilet I didn’t let myself cry again for nearly 3 months (despite needing to). I didn’t want anyone to think I wasn’t coping.
It took me about 5 months after she was born to realise that the emotions I felt were perfectly normal, and it was OK to cry. I joined a wonderful mummy and baby group, and listened to lots of labour stories. I could relate to so many of the mums. I wish there was more out there for new mums, I feel we need to be educated more on the reality of the early days of motherhood. My expectations were so different to the reality.
What I have learnt is that IT IS OK NOT TO FEEL OK. If you are a new mum, or feel full of emotions when your little bundle of joy arrives that is OK. Let it all out, look after you, and don’t worry what anyone else thinks. Talk about how you feel to your other half, or the midwives. Get as much support as you can.
If we were to ever have another baby, I hope I would be more accepting of my emotions, and kinder to myself. I am a great mum, and my baby lady is my entire world. If I had shared my feelings, and not been so afraid of them, I think I would have been so much more relaxed during early motherhood.
This was hard for me to write, but I hope it helps someone. Thanks for reading Kx
I now get why it is called labour! It doesn’t matter how many books you read or how many antenatal classes you attend, no one can prepare you for the reality of it !
I have to say my labour was pretty good! After hearing other people's labour stories I am eternally grateful for mine! I didn’t have a birth plan, I just knew I didn’t want to have any drugs (because I am a complete control freak!) I kept telling myself they didn’t have pethidine in the Tudor times, so why should I?
My early stages of labour started at 3am on a Wednesday morning! I woke up in a panic as I thought I was having a miscarriage (even though I was full term). After calling the midwife at a more respectable hour they told me I had, had ‘a show’, and labour could be a week away. This calmed me down a bit! Luckily the hubby had the day off as he had planned to play a new PlayStation game (one he had been waiting 10 years for!) He had joked I would no doubt go into labour, and low and behold I did!
As the day progressed the twinges got worse. The only way I can describe these, are like period pains that would come and go at random times. We decided to go for a walk to the beach, to enjoy some final “us” time, which was nice despite feeling like Mrs Blobby! It got to about 5pm and the pains intensified, I tried to distract myself by watching Mary Poppins, but this did nothing! By 10pm I was freaking out so the hubby packed the car and we drove the 40 minutes to the hospital. Much to my horror at 12am we were discharged as I was only 1cm dilated. I couldn’t believe it! I was certain I was ready to push!
We got back home at 1am and they had said “try and get some sleep”. What a joke! How can you sleep in such discomfort! I just sat on the loo rocking back and forth as the hubby shut his eyes! By 3am I told him to take me back. The 40 minute journey back to the hospital felt more like 4 hours! The pain felt too much, which made me panic and tense up. I quickly worked out that the more you tensed the worse the pain felt. Back in the hospital I was told I was 4cm dilated so I could stay (hooray). I started to relax, which enabled me to cope with the pain.
The midwives kept offering me pain relief but I truly believed I didn’t need it. I know it is a bit of a cliché but I just wanted to breathe through every contraction and focus my mind. I sort of went into a trance like state for the rest of my labour, focusing on nothing but breathing.
In the early hours of Thursday morning (now in the birthing pool) the best thing ever happened to me! A friend of mine is a midwife and as the shifts changed she came in to take over! I was so happy! This made me feel even more relaxed and in control of my labour. I loved the pool, however is made me want to push every time I had a contraction. They kept telling me not to, and I kept apologising (why I don’t know).
I was now in active labour and exhaustion kicked in. My body told me I needed to get out of the pool and lie down to recoup. An hour or so later the midwife told me to go to the toilet, and that’s when my waters broke! It felt like a massive fish eye popping, and I honestly thought I was going to have my baby on the loo! I was taken back to my room where I was told to start pushing! My response “ I am not ready” well I didn’t have a choice! What felt like 5 minutes later (but was apparently 40) the head started to appear. Oh my gosh the burning sensation…apparently it’s called the ring of fire! I have never felt anything like it! Once this stopped I gave one last push and the next thing I knew my beautiful baby girl was put onto my chest...SHE WAS HERE!!. I couldn’t believe we had made every part of her!
My entire labour lasted about 23 hours. This was how I wanted my labour to go, and I will be forever grateful that it did. Everyone’s labour is different, and no labour will be the same. I am still not sure I want to go through it again as it is the most emotionally and physically draining thing I have ever endured. I would however go through it again to have my little lady in our lives, she is SO worth it! Kxx
Falling pregnant was the biggest shock and miracle for me. When I was 18 I was misdiagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, (not something I speak about really) but I would like to highlight the misdiagnosed bit, I was VERY lucky. This did however leave me without a thyroid gland. A few months later a consultant in London told me I may struggle to conceive. When you are 18 years old this is still hard to take, however at that age I could take it or leave it as I wasn’t ready to have children.
As the years went by I did carry these words around with me subconsciously. I told my now husband when we first met that I may not be able to have children, and he supported me 100%.
When I was in my mid 20's I was diagnosed with Endometriosis which is very common. (Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the womb (endometrium) is found outside the womb, such as in the ovaries and fallopian tubes.) I did undergo an operation to remove most of it, however this put extra worry and pressure on me, as I was told it could affect my ability to conceive. To be honest after this I didn't think I would have a hope in hell conceiving.
Sure enough when my hubby and I decided we wanted to try for a baby, my expectations were pretty low, but you don’t know until you try! I kept a positive attitude and an open mind. Much to my amazement after 6 months we fell pregnant! I couldn’t believe it! After the shock settled down, I became a nervous wreck. I thought this was my one and only chance of having a baby so I had to make it work. Sadly all the worrying in the world and eating all the “right” things couldn’t have stopped us having a miscarriage at 6.5 weeks. I was absolutely devastated as I thought that was our only chance. At this point I felt pretty low and angry, I needed some time out and we stopped “trying”.
Several months later we moved into our first home. We were so preoccupied with moving that making a baby was no longer our priority…and that’s when is happened! A few days of being in our new home we fell pregnant! Again I was super shocked, I called my husband straight away to tell him the news (on reflection this wasn’t the best idea as he had to ride a push bike home from work in shock, sorry!).
This time round I was on edge for about the first 24 weeks of my pregnancy. What I had learnt from having a miscarriage previously is that there wasn’t anything I could have done, it wasn’t my fault. After the 24 week mark I started to relax and embrace being pregnant. I had lots of scans throughout because I don’t have a thyroid so I was constantly reassured. I loved feeling her movements, and knowing that my amazing body was creating a little life! I had to trust my body and my mind.
Our little lady was born 4 days before her due date, she was healthy and is just perfect! Every single day I have to pinch myself as I can’t believe she’s my reality.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story K X
Hi! I am Katie... a new mum trying to balance life, work and a beautiful baby girl! I love to take photos, travel, write, make art, and spend time with my family! xx