Being a first time Mummy is always a time of mixed emotions; all consuming love, tiredness, bliss, inadequacy, mesmerising joy and so many more, all rolled into one. Kate Beddow, owner of Growing Spirits, looks back on her memories of early motherhood and compares her two births and her changing attitude as she learned from her mistakes and her confidence in motherhood grew.
There are four and a half years between my two children, life changed a lot during that time, attitudes changed, advice changed and more importantly my approach to parenting changed…dramatically!
I was 27 when Laura was born. I read every book, I joined online forums I knew how long she was and what she was doing every week of my pregnancy and I ate as perfectly as my morning sickness would allow. I was never worried about the birth, I knew she had to come out at some point one way or another. I was however terrified of being able bath her, dress her, carry her… I’m sure I’m not alone. Then her birth day arrived. It started the day before with a regular midwife appointment and ended with an emergency caesarean section. She was 6 weeks premature and very poorly. She was held briefly by my head then whisked away to the SCBU and I saw her for an hour before I was taken to the Maternity ward and I didn’t see her then until the following morning. It was the most upsetting night of my life. Certainly not the welcome to motherhood I had dreamed of all my life.
I then proceeded to make myself jump through hoops in order to give the illusion of the perfect mother. I had my “thank you” cards written within hours of us leaving the hospital, when she napped I cleaned, sewed and generally tired myself out even more. It was all a facade. Masking the fact that I was so tired I couldn’t feel my arms and legs, I didn’t know which way was up. She was a 4lb 3oz bundle of exhaustion who woke every 2 hrs to feed for half an hour, I put her in her moses basket, she screamed for half an hour and it took me half an hour to get back to sleep and half an hour later it started again! Everyone told me that I would be making a rod for my own back if I didn’t make her sleep in her own bed. The midwives told me co-sleeping wasn’t recommended. I spent months listening to her scream and being told I shouldn’t pick her out, she would soothe herself to sleep. There was nothing soothing about any of this but I didn’t know any different. In the end I would just fall asleep while feeding her and she would fall asleep next to me. I was so exhausted I couldn’t do anything else and she was happier, I was happier and we moved forward.
Four years passed. I was seriously ill, spent a lot of time looking into holistic therapies and rediscovering myself and then, against all the odds, I had Daniel. He was prized out by caerarean at 42 weeks, a healthy 7lb 15oz. He was laid on me the minute his cord was cut and barely left my arms from then until he was 7 weeks old. He slept next to me (on the midwifes advice, they had taken a U turn in the time between my babies) and despite this he went into his own room at 7 weeks and slept 7pm-7am from that day onwards. Not quite what I was lead to believe by all the advice givers.
I reveled in every second of my cuddles. I put no pressure on myself, when he napped I napped or I relaxed. I had learned many lessons from my illness (find out about my illness here) and also from reading my spiritual books and self help books about the importance of self care. I was relaxed and calm and so was my baby.
Of course all this makes perfect sense now, I wouldn’t expect the story to end any differently. The problem is that you don’t have the benefit of hindsight at the time. As a Mum to be you are bombarded with information and advice and the only advice I would give would be to listen to your heart. You always know what you should do.
If you are expecting your first child and you’re already feeling the pressure, or if you are a new Mum and struggling to keep your head above water. You are not alone. If you are feeling lost and want some friendly advice and a gentle nudge in the right direction take a look at the New Mama Pack. I was blessed to be asked to contribute, along with many other heart centred mummies. We will hold your hand through the first few months and show you that everything will be ok because we survived and you will too.
Being a first-time mama is an amazing experience. The New Mama Welcome Pack blog hop is a celebration of this life changing event! Follow the links to discover more unmissable advice, stories and essential tips. And if you’re a new mama who wants to rock motherhood without guilt, overwhelm or losing yourself, check out the New Mama Welcome Pack here.
New Mama Welcome Pack / Lotte Lane / Dreaming Aloud / Zhendria / Birthing in Conscious Choice / Natalie Garay / Eli Trier / Knecht Ruprecht / Lise Meijer / Naomi Goodlet / A Lifestyle By Design / Story of Mum / Like a Bird / Holistic Mama / Birth Geek / Joyful Parenting / Stroller Packing / My Healthy Beginning / Mums and More / Kate Beddow – Growing Spirits / Ellen Nightingale / Stacie Whitney / Maternity Leavers / Photography for Busy Parents / Close Enough To Kiss / Atelier Susana Tavares / Offbeat Family / Katie m. Berggren ~ Painting Motherhood / Winship Wellness Blog / Liberate From Weight / Jessica Cary / Art + Craft / Raising Playful Tots / Peaceful Mothering / Play Activities / Lauren Nenna / Nurture You / The Adventure Mama / Be Wise Be Healthy / b.a.d.momGoodmom / Doula in Your Pocket / Making Mom Strong / Adrienn Csoknyay / Joyful Parents / Alison Hummel / Simple Solutions for Photos / Lynne Newman / Euphoric Birth / Mumpreneur Mentor / A Walk in the Clouds / Parenting on the Fence / MiaMily