Below is a post written for my weekly guest slot on Babyhuddle.
Have a read and let me know if you agree or if I have missed anything out!
So that's it, D day, i.e delivery day, has finally arrived! You are prepared for this, as much as you can be. Your hospital bag has been packed for weeks, the carseat has been fitted, you've practised the journey to the hospital a thousand times, the nursery is ready and waiting for that special arrival. After the pain, tears, sweat..swearing? Your baby is here! Thank goodness that's over! I'm sorry ladies but it isn't over quite yet. Actually this is just the beginning.
I was the lady who watched One Born Every Minute religiously, I read all the books, I was on the websites and I went to all of my antenatal classes. I knew how to prepare a bottle, what to expect from labour and how to put a nappy on. I had it sussed right? Wrong. I quickly realised that after my baby was born there were a lot of things that a book or an antenatal class couldn't teach me. And that was how to be a mum! They don't come with a guidebook you know, unfortunately. The week after Ava's birth it hit me like a train! I was now someones mother and I would be someones mum until the day I die! That huge weight of responsibility was the first thing to smack me in the face. When you have no one to look after apart from yourself the fact that you now have this tiny person relying on you to love it, fed it and nurture it for the rest of it's life is pretty terrifying. Especially when you can barely look after yourself, i.e me.
The next thing, I was actually warned about by the midwife taking the antenatal classes but I honestly didn't think much of it. Oh how I wished that I had taken more notice. When your milk comes in it is absolutely horrible. When the midwife described it as "feeling like Pamela Anderson" she wasn't wrong. One day I had normal sized boobs the next it was as if I'd had a surgical procedure over night, oh and bashed with a baseball bat for good measure. The only thing left to do is breastfeed or pump. I chose to breast feed. It's extremely daunting at first, I really struggled trying to "latch" Ava and in all honesty didn't feel comfortable about breastfeeding in public. I only managed to breastfeed for 3 weeks. I ended up with mastitis in both breasts and just couldn't carry on. Mastitis is when you milk ducts get blocked. It's very painful and you also get flu-like symptoms. Fantastic! Due to this my nipples also bled which meant that Ava was swallowing small amounts of my blood-which I was told was perfectly safe. This is before she projectile vomited red sick everywhere. Cue me having a hysterical fit and ringing the midwife, once I was home I must have rung them every day for a week. If you successfully managed to breastfeed your baby I really take my hat of to you. I wanted to do so badly but I just couldn’t.
Then came the water works. I cried for about a week, everything set me off. It got to the point where it was getting slightly annoying. Having Ava was almost extra emotional for me after the death of my brother. I wished that he could have been there to see her. It was such a bittersweet time. But crying at everything was getting silly, I honestly still cry at most things now, X Factor, the adverts for mistreated donkeys, the lot! Having a baby has reduced me to a blubbering wreck.
I was also like a lioness, so protective over my baby. People were already talking about babysitting, taking her for walks etc. This made me ridiculously angry. She was MY baby! How dare they! Of course this passed within a few months and now she has sleepovers at her grandparents and is looked after by various family members and I love it that they all love and want her. Stupid hormones!
Of course now I look back and laugh about it. People always say that no one can tell you what it’s like to have a baby until you’ve had one yourself and it so true. Plus everyone is different so you might not cry for a week (it could be two...). Ava is almost 1 now, she has a routine and sleeps through the night. There is always going to be firsts for her and for me. It’s exciting and completely terrifying at the same time. It sometimes makes me sad that I’ll never be a first time mum again. But it’s so exciting watching her grow into a little person and honestly it’s not put me off having more babies. Being a mum is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.