As I sit here next to my beautiful 12 week old baby boy who now sleeps like a little angel and gives me the most beautiful gummy smiles on earth I am pained with a sense of guilt and regret.
I remember the moment my midwife brought him up to my chest as a red slimey little squishy thing and thinking to myself… who are you??? The expectation is for this overwhelming sense of love and familiarity to hit you, but in truth it was quite the opposite for me. He was a stranger who’d been habituating in my uterus for 9 months giving me daily kicks to my ribs. I expected to be hit by uncontrollable tears as shown on one born every minute, but instead I was hit with THANK GOD THATS OVER after four hours of pushing, exhaustion and bloody relief as well as stingy bits. And that pangs me with guilt because knowing what I know now, he IS the love of my life and a bond isn’t instant, it takes time to build, especially when you’ve just been through the most traumatic, painful and hardest thing of your life. (Also the best day of your life little did I know.)
The first few weeks are a blur, with a baby who wants feeding every two hours I can honestly say lack of sleep doesn’t come close – It’s practically no sleep, so next time I hear a non parent say “I’m so tired” I’ll be very tempted to give them a big left foot to the face. I don’t think you even know tired until you become a parent. I could not have got through those first few weeks without my partner Mylo and mum and dad giving me a hand and letting me get a few hours sleep every now and then to recharge myself.
One thing that I truly wasn’t expecting to be hit with was the dreaded baby blues. In fact to be quite honest with you, I didn’t exactly know what they were. Despite being 17 when I found out I was expecting and 18 when I had him, I’d wanted to have babies and lots of them for as long as I can remember. I remember going round telling people “I want 5 kids” and them responding smugly “wait till you’ve had one then say that” … I now know exactly what they meant. So at 5 days postpartum when my milk came in I was surprised to feel so shit about it all.
I remember everything seeming like the end of the world sobbing to my dad “I don’t think my partner finds me attractive anymore” and “what if I’m not good enough to be his mummy”. As well as being completely unable to face any visitors and hiding in my room wanting to disappear. One particular incident Mylo (my partner) burnt his finger on the toaster and swore – I burst into tears thinking it was all my fault. Thankfully they only lasted 2 weeks at most and I began to feel stronger and gradually like myself as each day went by.
Looking back it was one of the most emotional times of my life. But also the best and It’s time I’m never going to get back. Being a first time mummy is SO hard experiencing all these alien feelings of pain for the time. But equally, if I could turn the clock back to that day I welcomed Sullivan into the world and cuddled my tiny new born for them first few weeks I 100% would, ten times over!
3 months on and my new daily struggle is seeing all these beautiful new borns being announced on Facebook and trying to refrain myself from getting broody… then I remind myself of morning sickness, sore boobs, tiredness, baby blues, LABOUR PAINS and think to myself, hmm I think I’ll wait another 5 years …..