Part 2 – 3 Things ALL Expectant Mums Should Know | The Arrival

The Arrival!

Amazing! You successfully got through the pregnancy without wetting yourself. Your husband managed to keep his life by learning to perfectly time when to nod and agree with you and you have survived childbirth, despite being incredibly tired, temporarily losing your dignity and getting through the pain.

Pain. Yes, childbirth does hurt. Do not believe anyone who tells you it doesn't; these people in your life are not trustworthy! Anyway, you have got through all of that so now you can get some much needed rest and enjoy your new arrival, right?

Wrong!

Following on from giving you 3 Things ALL expectant mothers should know | Pregnancy and Labour here are three more snippets of information you absolutely need to know about the arrival of your baby!

#1) Sleep Deprivation

Giving birth is a mission and you have worked damn hard for last few hours, so now that baby is here you just need to rest and restore your energy. Only, you CAN'T. Not for the next 10 years at least! I haven't slept properly since 2007 so I'm talking from experience here people!

Sleep deprivation is a killer. You thought you were getting the practise in when you were pregnant. When you were getting up at 5am for a wee, then couldn't get back to sleep because Baby had moved making you really uncomfortable...that was NOTHING my friends.

Now you will be required to feed on demand if you choose to breastfeed - oh and that is a choice of yours by the way, not the midwives or health visitors - or you will need to be semi-awake every four hours, round the clock, to bottle feed.

My advice here is to sleep when baby sleeps. Do not try to conquer the housework, cook a delicious home cooked meal or do the laundry. Nope, you must sleep, not just for your sanity but for your general wellbeing.

(NB - that piece of advice is USELESS because when baby sleeps you will be wide awake with your mind doing over time. You will be looking around thinking about how you should just get the washing up done quickly or you'll challenge yourself to get through the ironing pile before baby wakes - you wont be able to rest. However, it's what I was told and I really think that had I taken this on board I might not have felt like I was losing my mind).

#2) When Your Milk Comes In

You thought you were hormonal already!

Well I'm afraid to say that once again you thought wrong. Around day 3 or 4 of being mummy your milk comes in making your already swollen boobs like rock hard boulders!

With that your hormones hit. the. roof.

You cry tears of... well, you just cry tears. Who knows why you're crying - you certainly don't!

You laugh like you've never laughed before over something ridiculous like dropping a spoon on the floor.

And when you listen to the radio you cry at a song that isn't even a little bit sad. In fact the song probably has no meaning to you whatsoever!

The crux of it is, throughout your pregnancy there has been a lot of hype and excitement about this arrival, your hormones change to help the healthy growth and development of the baby then when the baby is born everything starts falling back into place. It's a rollercoaster of emotions. This is totally normal.

You don't need to doubt yourself as a mum; like I did and you don't need to think you are the only woman in the world to be so irrational; like I did but you do need accept this temporary change and understand that soon enough all will be back to normal; I wish I had! Don't dwell on the negative emotions you feel at this point. Accept them, brush them off, be grateful for your bundle of joy, hold your head high and carry on being the great mum you know are.

#3) Popping out to the shop

This just doesn't happen anymore! Simples!

Once upon a time you were able to grab your keys and purse and nip out to the shop. Now you have to pack up your entire house, or so it seems, just to get a pint of milk!

You need the pushchair; change bag filled with wipes, nappies, baby milk, muslin squares, calpol, teething gel and god only knows what else (because you always need to expect the unexpected with a baby around); your purse (which you are likely to forget once you have collected everything else) and your keys.

Once you have successfully got through this quick trip to the corner shop you realise baby has fallen asleep in the pram...but you didn't want them to because they won't sleep through the night! So now what? Wake them, listen to the screaming and tire yourself out trying to occupy them or enjoy the peace and pay for it later?

That one is down to you I'm afraid.

***

So that's it for Part 2. Next week is Part 3 - Having more than one child. If any of this rings true or if you are expecting soon I'd love to hear from you x

“I Find Pregnancy Fascinating…If I Could Do It Again I would”.

Not a day goes by where I don't look at my children and count my lucky stars. I completely acknowledge how blessed and how lucky I am that I have beautiful, healthy children. Never do I take this amazing gift of motherhood for granted. Being a mum was one of the biggest, if not the biggest dream I had as a child. I thoroughly enjoyed pregnancy and I thoroughly enjoy being a mum, but after being pregnant and caring for babies for 5 years how do you just stop? How do you just not do it anymore? How do you accept that your babies are grown and you wont be having anymore?

For those of you that follow me you will be aware that I have four children (9,7,5 and 4). Pregnancy was a joy for me, I have always said I could do it again and again. Of course I had to deal with feeling sick from time to time (thankfully I didn't suffer with morning sickness), occasional back pain, hips playing up, stretch marks, swollen ankles (my ankles were huge) and I had heart burn with my last baby but that was all. That's all pretty standard pregnancy stuff. I didn't have any complications.

I find pregnancy absolutely fascinating! Our body creates a whole human being in just 40 weeks...what is there not to marvel at? and if I could do it all again I would, but I can't.

After Baby No 4 came along my husband and I decided we weren't going to have anymore. The practicalities and logistics of having a 5th child doesn't bare thinking about; we would need a bigger house, bigger car, more money etc. And anyway after just having had a baby the thought of having yet another was far from my mind. The decision to have no more was 100% a joint decision and we had a lengthy discussion about just how final the change was that he would be making to his body. Only now I feel like we may have acted too hastily.

My writing of this post comes as I saw the UK's largest family, The Radford Family, announce the arrival of baby No 20. Yes I did get that right, 20!

I have been following The Radford Family on and off since they first made an appearance on a TV show called 16 Kids and Counting! and I absolutely love them. They work hard running their own bakery business to support their family. I am completely in awe.

Whilst 20 children is a bit excessive by anyone's standards it bought it all back to me how much I wanted a big family. To some that is exactly what I've got but to me I feel a bit empty like there is room for more.

Whilst I know my husband sometimes feels the same way I do I also believe it is easier for him to shrug it off. Whereas I find myself ruminating about how I didn't do beautiful pregnancy photos, or the cute baby photoshoots, or cake bashing on their first birthdays, or the framed hand and foot casts.

Then there's the knowing that I won't ever have a Moses basket at the side of my bed again, or skin to skin contact with a newborn during the wee hours of the morning, or will I smell the newborn baby smell again.

It seems to me that us mums spend our time in a catch 22 situation. We forever encourage our babies to develop and grow and succeed but the moment they move onto the next stage we find ourselves longing for our babies back. It seems we have to learn to let go of them much earlier than I anticipated.

It's almost as if it's grief I feel. Like I've lost a part of my life that I will never get back or experience again. Friends and family would joke calling me a baby making machine but I loved that! That was exactly what I was and I completely and utterly enjoyed it. That was all I knew from when I was 19 years old. Now I don't even have babies; they are children that don't even look back when they run through the school gates and my littlun waves happily good bye as I drop her at pre-school.

I blinked and they were grown! My youngest is the last one left in pre-school and I for one am most definitely NOT looking forward to her last day there. When the day does come round I would have been going to that nursery for almost 9 years. 9 years!! That's a huge chunk of your life over. Just like that. Done.

None of these emotions get discussed with you at any of your meetings during and after your pregnancy. No one warns you that you may feel this way.

However, it's no good dwelling on what I don't have. Now don't get me wrong I adore my children more than words can say and I am so incredibly grateful for what I have and I do feel a little selfish and greedy complaining about not having more. So with that in mind I'm going to continue watching with pride as my babies grow more and more independent, while I continue to learn to look at what I do have with gratitude and fully appreciate my children as opposed to being miserable about what I haven't got.

I’m curious to know how other mums feel, is it just me? I appear to be the odd one out amongst my family and friends; they look at me as if I’ve lost my mind when I talk of wanting more children. So if you do get me or if what I have said resonates, or if you would just like to get in touch or share your story, please do 🙂

GCSE Results Day – Exams Do Not Define You

This morning I notice my personal Facebook feed is full of well-wishing parents keeping everything crossed for their teenagers exam results today. Many of those teenagers are on edge while they wait, nervous for the outcome and desperate not to disappoint. So I have a message for all parents and teenagers who are anxiously waiting on said exam results.

My Story

I grew up with a vision that I would be a successful career women, I quite fancied the idea of working with children - maybe teaching - I wasn't really fussed if I worked for myself or for a huge corporate company, or as a teacher in a school but I was going to follow in the path of my grandparents. My career choice would earn me a mint, I would work up the ladder putting in all the hours god sent to have a good way of life.

I distinctly remember my dad telling me "I want you to do better than me", not getting to my 30's or 40's wondering where my life had gone and feeling like I've not achieved anything. My mum would tell me if you want to make it in this world, like really make it you need to get good exam results and go to university (although the idea of me leaving to live in halls she just didn't like) and my maternal grandparents would tell me the only way to make any real money is to work for yourself.

Despite my vision I wouldn't work hard at school, I was clever but lazy, and anyway I had a burning desire to meet 'the one', be married, settle down and have a family of my own. To be someone's wife and to be a mum was my only true dream.

So when it came to exam time why was I so pent up on the results?

Playing the cards you've been dealt

Having not put in the work I left school with only one GCSE, my parents were disappointed but loved me nonetheless. I wasn't gobsmacked nor was I jealous of class mates who had better results. I would just go to college to resit - simples!

I didn't let the results define me. It wasn't the end of said career. I played the cards I'd been dealt and found a Plan B.

I worked part time in a shop and went back to college.

At college I achieved the GCSEs I needed. Somehow! I'm not sure how, because once again I didn't work hard. I wasn't entirely interested in it all to be honest but nevertheless I went on to do a Childcare and Education Diploma. I was doing well, it was a subject that I loved but I didn't finish it.

I had met someone and knew he was 'the one'. I was just 17 but I loved him and college was a nightmare. I was having a hard time, socially and emotionally (which is a story for another day) so I left.

I quit.

Much to my families despair I called time.

I started work full-time and settled down with the guy I had met. Our relationship was frowned upon at the start but I knew he was the one so we fought and fought. It was a real struggle, a real test on our strength as individuals and as a couple but eventually we proved everyone wrong. I left home at 18, we started a family when I was 19, we became homeowners and got married when I was 24 and we had our fourth child when I was 25. All the while we were both working full-time, me in between maternity leave, to provide for our growing family.

Now I am a stay-at-home-mum, a housewife, who is financially supported fully by my husband and after 3 ish years of this lifestyle I am waiting for my certificate to arrive that will allow me to practice as a childminder.

My dream of working with children still very much in the pipeline. Only the path I took is just different to the one my parents and society had planned out for me.

My message

Remember at the beginning of this post I said I had a burning desire to be married, settle down and have a family of my own...

Well that's exactly what I achieved!

As well as a career in working with children which I cannot wait to get started on.

Now before parents reading this shoot me down, my point is NOT that you should quit your studies and run off with your teenage crush but instead IS if you truly want something, if you have that burning desire, deep down in the pit of your stomach, whatever it may be, you WILL find a way.

Your exam results DO NOT define you.

Find your Plan B and run with it, just as I have. Play the cards you've been dealt to the best of your ability and all will work out.

Whatever your dream is I wish you the best of luck and remember never give up on what it is YOU want.

Love to all xx

 

 

Feature Image - Source: Google Images.