Let’s all be honest, lack of sleep is rubbish. Half in part to our delightful little babies wanting to be in your arms every minute of every day to begin with and the other half because you must know they are ok at all times which results in staring at them sleeping to watch their little chest rise and fall.
The first few weeks went in a blur of feeds, nappy changes and takeaway food. I pushed myself to much after getting home and suffered for it. I hadn’t planned to a) have her early and b) have a c section. I had no meals prepared in the freezer to make life easier (I had wanted a full freezer of easy to pop in the oven food) which meant that just eat became my new best friend. I struggled with actually needing help, I’ve always been too independent for my own good, so actually sitting and resting (which I really should have done) was a massive struggle. I hit a brick wall about 7 days after getting home and suddenly had to give in to the fact that actually I needed to rest and take all the help everyone was offering. I suppose hindsight is a wonderful thing and on reflection I should have just reated form day one. I’m lucky I didn’t do so much that it impeded my recovery but I so easily could have and that wouldn’t have been good for me or little P.
I think they’re may be too much focus these days in bouncing back from having a baby but why?!? I think that it’s important to give yourself a break because let’s be honest parenthood is no bed of roses. We all have different struggles and we have different circumstances. It’s about time it was acceptable to turn up looking like you’ve not slept because actually you haven’t and not be questioned or told ‘you look a bit off’. Really no shit I have a small child.
From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags
Just like that it’s 4am I’m aware that contractions have started. I ship myself off to the sofa so my other half can get his last night of sleep (well a few hours). At this point I thought, this isn’t too bad. Hahaha what a fool.
When my lovely other half trundled into the living room with a half dazed look upon his face at 6 I was in trouble. Apparently rather than letting him have a few extra hours in bed I should have woke him at the first sigh of a contraction. So back off to hospital we went, all ready and possibly prepared this time.
3 1/2 hours later I’m home….again. Dihydrocodeine on board the aim is sleep. Yes the contractions are happening but they aren’t anywhere near they need to be for peanut to make her arrival. I somehow manage so sleep. Thank the lord… There was no way I was going to get through labour on no sleep. The only thing I was feeling positive about that was the epidural I knew I had to get based on medical grounds.
The day passed in a blur of me rocking about the house …..quite literally. Rubbish TV and my other half seeking in a Chinese takeaway. As final days as a two actually not too bad. By 7pm that night my contractions had decided they were on the increase and after some phone calls to hospital we where on what seemed to be our final drive into hospital.
Finally, I wasn’t going home without a baby. Quick visit to triage and off to labour ward for me. (Oh sh*t!!!!!) Epidural on board. Now just relax…..who am I kidding. Hours passed in a daze….well a literal daze. Somehow we got to the morning and I was not well at all. Visit from the doctor and the news that indeed I was dreading – ”we need to do a c-section’.
After what seemed an eternity in theatre they had to knock me completely out to do the section… Less than ideal. My poor other half was put in a room by himself waiting to hear if both me and his baby girl were ok. I can’t imagine what he must have been thinking (although I’ve tried to get it out of him many times since to no avail), it just must been terrifying.
My bundle of joy was born at 9am sharp……always on time just like her mum. Neither me or her dad were technically present when she popped into the world and that is something that weighs heavy on my heart. I lost a fair amount of blood and was pumped full of more antibiotics than if had on my life up until that point but we were both ok.
My fist moments weren’t of skin to skin or crying because of done it. They were coming round to my handsome man holding our baby burrito and knowing that no matter what he had it covered.
The exhausted mummy and her eye bags
10 days to go til due date. Frankly that isn’t soon enough. Midwife appointment suggested that peanut isn’t engaged and seems happy. Me on the other hand – can’t remember the last time i had more than 45 minutes sleep at a time, I can’t turn over in bed, I get stuck on the couch…..basically I feel like a whale (Frankly I also at this point vaguely resemble a whale).
Finally get home after midwife and visiting in laws, devour KFC and shown partner how the sofa bed works because it’s getting to the point where I need the whole bed and he would most likely be happier on the sofa (I genuinely felt a little bad about this but also just needed to be able to starfish in the bed and not worry about waking or disturbing him). And then…..hmm… (In my head) have I pee’d? I better go check!
Visit the bathroom….hmm… If that is pee it’s not stopping. Suddenly realise that pee has a smell and this does not. Ok I’ve not pee’d, it’s my waters. But I don’t have contractions. WTF?!?!!
Hospital phoned. Sudden onset of realisation…..I’m gonna have a baby (like I’ve not had months to get my head round it, but that moment you suddenly think I’m gonna leave this house alone and then come back and pretty much never be alone again) quick panic phone call to my dad (voice of reason) then I’m happy to go get my baby out.
4 hours later I’m home. Indeed my waters had gone but the baby is fine. No need for me to be their until contractions start if not I’m getting induced the following night. So now I’m lying in my bed on a towel frankly uncomfortable and letting my brain go into overdrive about what is about to happen. Just let me sleep brain….I’m gonna need my energy!
The exhausted mummy and her eye bags
Bored!! So I’m resting, well basically I can’t do anything anyway. Frustration is boiling up inside me. My poor thing there half gets about 12 calls a day at work and my dad gets another 12. I dropped a sock…….well someone else is going to have to pick it up. I can’t get down to the washing maxhine, I can barely get up into the bed, I look about 90 trying to get in the shower. How did I get here?
There are still weeks to go……..
Luckily a few good friends have rallyed and I suddenly find I have afternoon teas sprouting out my ears. Thank god. I mean daytime telly has its limits and I can only nap for a few hours although these are so needed now due to the lack of sleep at night. I’m surprised I’ve not worn a hole in the hall carpet with the million trips to the loo in the night.
Turning over in bed is not only difficult due to my pelvis but it comes with the added – do I need a pee? I probably should pee? I do go now I might get a solid couple of hours so I go ……45 minutes later…. Do I need to pee? I should go just in case…….
The exhausted mummy and her eye bags
Plagued by the return of the sickness, I was begining to wish my pregnancy over. Food had lost its joy (I love food, all food, all the time, I never say no to food). My life had turned into a nauseated bag of shite! I had no joy, I felt like a whale and worst of all it was the hottest summer for like a million years. It was quite simply the epitome of hell (or may have been actual hell, by this point I want sure).
Nothing will quite shock you out of your wallowing pit of self loathing quite like a movement scare. After an argument with my other half that didn’t dispel any of my anxiety I drove myself straight to hospital from work. Like magic the long walk to the triage (the closest carpark most inconveniently was shut!!) triggered little miss to have a dance party. Sure enough when I got checked out all was fine but god, the worry. I had to go back the next day for a growth scan just to be sure but all was fine (actually she was growing very very well and was big, not helpful to know when your panicking about the impending process if birth). Safe in the knowledge that she was ok I was begining to ease up on my self loathing. The midwife at the hospital had seen I was struggling and had asked if I had thought about finishing up from work early.
That wasn’t the plan at all. The plan was to finish 3 weeks before, take the last of my annual leave and keep as much maternity as possible pre baby to have all the time post baby. True I was struggling but I only had a couple more weeks I’d be fine, surely. After a routine midwife appointment a few days later at my local surgery my midwife advised I saw the doctor and got signed off. It’s true my girdle pain had returned, sleep was non existent and as for general comfort…well it had long since left the building. The following day my gp signed me off, first for a week (I was in denial) then till my planned time to finish.
So all there was to do was rest.
From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags
A girl….whoopee. Let’s be honest I would have been happy with a boy too but for me just knowing put my mind at ease. Im ridculosly bad with surprises, frankly I just like to be organised and have a contingency plan for the contingency plan. Finally I felt like I could walk around on cloud nine and was begining to like this pregnancy malarky, then….PGP.
Pelvic girdle pain is basically any pain that surrounds the joints of the pelvis and hips (I’m no doctor but that’s the just). Safe to say it’s no fun. Sitting hurts, standing hurts, lying hurts, moving hurts, not moving hurts. Painkillers are a basic no go during pregnancy If you can help it so off to physio I popped. Physio consisted of a group of in pain women being advised to roll up towels and place them in various ‘positions’ to try and get comfy. Followed by advice on how to strengthen the pelvic floor.
Pelvic floor exercises…… Everyone talks about them, everyone has an option on your pelvic floor when your pregnant, when your heavily pregnant occasionally it feels like it doesn’t exist. Pelvic floor exercises are literally the weirdest and hardest thing ever because no one can check your form. Who knows if my attempts at drawing everting up and in are doing any good what so ever, I now know they must have been ok as I can run without fear of peeing.
Luckily for me my pain disappeared as miraculously as it had appeared, honestly never been so happy. Then when I thought everything was rosy the sickness returned.
My partner had read the symptoms (or as I now call it ‘what I’m going to have this week’ to me which kindly suggested sickness may return in the 3rd trimester. Luckily my body had got that memo and day one of third trimester me and the bathroom became friends again (closely followed by a good old b&q bucket as when you get to this point in pregnancy if you get down to the floor you most genuinely may not get back up without injury or wetting yourself).
The low point if trimester 3 was being sick on myself while driving to work. When you phone your boss to explain that you reakisr your dignity has left the building.
From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags 🙈
Like all (or most women – I am pro choice and all who sail inn her) I knew at some point I wanted to be a mum. I didn’t have a timeline or 5 year plan (frankly I couldn’t plan next week so 5 years was asking too much). Relationships came and went from my teens into my early 20’s and then suddenly I found myself standing in a white dress saying I do. Long story short a few years later I found myself back at home (it’s a struggle when you’ve had your own place and suddenly your dad tries to give your a curfew again 🙈), getting a divorce and the furthest away from having children I think I’d ever felt.
Fast forward a few months and i had decided to try online dating to get back on the market. And that’s when I met my partner. I’m not sure I believed in love at first sight before but it’s safe to say I do now. Our first date was quite literally the first date I think I’ve actually been on and I wouldn’t change a thing. So a year later I upped sticks and moved in with him. We had discussed children before this as I knew it was something I definitely wanted and whomever I was going to spend my life with needed to be on the same page. We decided to not, not try ( sounds very complex but it basically ment I wasn’t on the pill and he wasn’t buying durex anymore).
So as you can tell from me now being a mum it worked. To say it was quicker than expected would be correct. To say it came as a shock would also be correct. To take a pregnancy test on New year’s Eve and find out your pregnant is both joyful and well complicated because I had the sudden realisation that we had plans, that had involved me drinking copious amounts of alcohol and obviously that would no longer her be happening but how do I do that without everyone we were with noticing (idiot – surely you could have waited one more day, but apparently your lack of patience got the better of you).
So on the 1st of January like some weird and wonderful twist of fate I found myself getting well aquatinted with our bathroom toilet not thanks to the previously planned copious amounts of alcohol but due to my bodies realisation that I was indeed pregnant and that hormones were now surging me into the delight of morning sickness.
From one exhausted mummy and her eye bags 🙂
So where to start……
It’s true what they say nothing could possibly ever prepare you for motherhood. It is every cliche in the book. Well that’s what’s I’ve found so far. My bouncing bundle of joy is now a whopping 9 weeks old and it’s safe to say that life is very different to what I imagined. You read the books and create an image in your head of being a mum. You think that your going to bounce back after the birth and .come over all homely, baking for fun while your little cherub naps or getting out their in ‘active wear’ parading the buggy with joy and a of course the obligatoru Starbucks cup ( ok so my idea of motherhood was clearly something vaguely close to and exactly the opposite of the film Bad Mom’s – brilliant film and exactly what I want to be when I eventually grow up!!) So reality is not that at all! I felt like I’d test drove an Audi and left the garage with a Kia ( we are now the proud owners of a Kia which in hindsight we should have done prior to the arrival of our little one and not 3 weeks postpartum – would highly recommend the sensible Kia Cee’d sportswagon, spacious, comfortable and not at all what my previous and very wrong thoughts were about this particular car manufacturer – sorry Kia, I now love you if that’s any consolation)
So if you hadn’t already figured out, I had obviously based all my ideas of motherhood on films and not at all on reality. I some where along the beautiful (sarcasm – which we will come on to at some point in this journey together) adventure that is pregnancy decided I was going to be a stepford wife. Not something any one of my nearest and dearest would ever associate with me, at all, which frankly makes the whole thing that little more hilarious. My dad would literally roll of the couch at the thought of me in a pinny coming down all motherly (baking however would not surprise him as I did it for a job for a few years and occasional my quote unexpectedly for everyone and most certainly my little kitchen, I decide to make a cake or scones (always cheese) or my granny’s recipe for scotch pancakes)
It’s safe to say I’ve had a reality check and I suppose I’m now inviting you to join me on my adventure as a mum. I can’t promise anything earth shattering that’s going to change your life forever but what I can promise is I will definitely over share, I will be honest and there will be time when we both wonder why, how and WTF!
From one exhausted mummy and her eyes bags 🙂