I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a blogging rut lately, my creativity has been concentrated on my art and although I adore it, writing has taken a back seat the past couple of weeks. I’ve not done a tag in a while so I thought where better to start back at them than with The Mama Tag. I was tagged by the wonderful Charlotte. I won’t waffle on here too much because the post itself is pretty long and introductions are hard. Peace.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU HAD YOUR FIRST CHILD?
I was 18 when I fell pregnant with Eloise.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING PREGNANT FOR 9 MONTHS?
With Eloise, I think being young, on my own and totally clueless was probably the hardest part. That and the fact I am emetophobic and had morning sickness with her until well into the third trimester.
With Lily, I ended up with SPD, a high-risk pregnancy, bleeding, steroids, IUGR and a huge risk of delivering her prematurely. She is my rainbow baby and I had lost a baby a year before and pregnancy after a loss was terrifying anyway without all the complications along the way. I think with El I was still in that first-time mum naive bubble and although I was still worried and convinced something would go wrong, I was still very blind to the multitude of things that can go wrong.
Despite all that, though I absolutely loved being pregnant, all of it was hard at times but even with all the shit things I loved it and I can’t wait to do it all again.
CAN YOU THINK OF ANY GOOD THINGS YOU ENJOYED DURING THOSE 9 MONTHS?
Despite being single, young and having dropped out of college I think just the fact that my body was growing an entire other human was absolutely mesmerizing. I remember seeing her for the first time on the screen at my 12 weeks scan, it was totally unbelievable and amazing and just everything wonderful and terrifying all at once. I won’t ever forget how amazing the experience of seeing my baby for the first time. I don’t think I properly believed it until that point.
Aside from that, I have never been more body confident than I am when I’m pregnant, I feel so much better about my entire body with a bump. I loved it.
IN YOUR OPINION, WERE ALL THE THINGS YOU HEARD ABOUT CHILDBIRTH ACCURATE OR WAY OFF?
Way off. Pain wise I set myself up for something out of this world, can’t cope, bone breaking painful but actually, it wasn’t that bad with Eloise. I managed without pain relief and managed pretty well. The third stage onwards was a shit show but the labour part was much easier than I was lead to believe. This, however, set me up thinking Lily’s labour would be the same and fuck me, hers was next level painful I couldn’t believe it.
Saying that though I think I did have relatively fast labours with Els coming in at 12 hours and Lilys 8. I was induced both times which was successful straight away which is another thing that I was told wouldn’t happen. I think it’s easy to listen to other peoples birth stories and worry but really, what happened to Suzie down the road probably won’t happen to you because every single labour is different. Even subsequent pregnancies and births. Both my girls’ labours were miles apart in terms of similarities.
WOULD YOU HAVE HANDLED CHILDBIRTH DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD RE-DO IT?
I think both times I let anxiety ruin it. I convinced myself that the literal worst would happen and that took a lot away from the experience of giving birth. If I could go back and tell myself that even the complications would end up alright I would have been able to enjoy the experience.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY?
Don’t listen to other people’s advice, or their births because everyone is different. Don’t let horror stories scare you, don’t make yourself feel like you need to stick to a birth plan and just go with the flow.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A MUM?
Breastfeeding is right up there with the hardest things for sure, that and the fact that “the nights are long but the days are short”. I find myself wishing the nights away but time goes so fast and I end up feeling bad for wishing them away. Lily never fucking sleeps, she’s 2.5 and has never properly slept through and doesn’t go down before nearly midnight, like, ever. Sleep deprivation is probably the hardest thing.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MUM?
Although it took me a bit of time to bond with both of my girls because of D-MER and PND, nothing beats the feeling of complete, unconditional love for your kids. Watching them learn and discover new things, there is nothing better than that feeling of fullness.
WHAT WAS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU DISCOVERED ABOUT BEING A MUM?
How judgey other parents are. I honestly had no idea how much Mums rip each other apart for parenting differences, age differences, everything, and I’m not here for it to be honest.
WHAT IS THE BEST MEMORY YOU HAVE INVOLVING YOUR CHILD?
There are so, so many but I think the best has got to be seeing them for that very first time, the newborn squishyness and their first little blinks as they look up at you for that very first time. That and holding them for the first time and feeling the weight of that perfect, beautiful little human you just made. The anxiety shat on it a bit but it’s still my favourite.
WHAT WAS THE MOST EXCITING MILESTONE?
Talking has got to be my favourite I think, those little first words are the best.
WHAT IS THE WORST THING YOUR CHILD HAS EVER DONE?
I don’t think either of them have done anything particularly bad, umm….Lily projectile shat in Bens mouth when she was a newborn. That’s pretty bad.
WHAT HABIT DID YOU WISH YOUR CHILD DIDN’T HAVE?
I wish Lily didn’t suck her thumb because the skin around it gets so sore. That and her tantrums, damn that girl can throw a strop.
WHAT HABIT OF THEIRS MAKE YOU MOST PROUD?
Eloise is the kindest little soul I have ever had the pleasure to know, she will stick up for what’s right and always make sure that someone is ok. She is such a fantastic big sister and I’m so proud of her, I really am.
Lily is a fierce little flash of lightning, but like her sister, she is incredibly kind when she wants to be. She will give us all cuddles (Duggee hugs, if you know, you know) and kisses and I just love the little sibling relationship her and El have so much.
DO YOU SHARE ANY SIMILARITIES WITH YOUR CHILD? (BOTH PHYSICAL & PERSONALITY)
Lily is basically the spit of Ben, I carried her, I birthed her yet she comes out basically a mini Daddy. No fair.
Eloise is more me but they both definitely have my attitude.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR CHILD TO BE IN 10 YEARS?
10 years would put Eloise at 18 and really, I just want her to be doing whatever it is that makes her happy. Same goes for Lily who will be 10 in 8 years time. God that makes me feel old.
IS THERE SOMETHING THAT HAVING A CHILD HAS TAUGHT YOU?
I have become far less tolerant to bullshit since becoming a Mum. I’ve also become a lot more confident in myself because when you have kids, time suddenly speeds up and, well, life is too short.
That and you can have 2.5 years of no sleep and not die.
DID YOU IMAGINE YOU’D BE A MUM AT THE AGE YOU BECOME A MUM?
No. I did want to have children young but I didn’t plan on being a teenage Mum. I absolutely wouldn’t change it though, not for shit.
DESCRIBE YOUR CHILD IN ONE SENTENCE?
Eloise – “She’s more myself than I am, whatever our souls are made of, hers and mine are the same” – Emily Bronte
Lily – “And though she be little, she is fierce” – William Shakespeare
HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED AS A PERSON SINCE BECOMING A MUM?
A lot, I was a young Mum so grew up a heck of a lot real damn fast but I think the biggest change is in my confidence as a person…while questioning my confidence more than I ever had at the same time if that makes sense. I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin than I ever did before having children. Maybe that was just high school insecurities or maybe it was becoming a mother and although I don’t always like how I look, parenthood has changed me completely. I know my worth a little better than I did, I don’t lie down and take shit like I used to and I sure as shit don’t tolerate bullshit anymore. Wow that was a lot of shits. It’s made me realise how fleeting life is and to appreciate things more and although the anxious, self-conscious girl I’ve always been is still very much inside me, I’m far more confidence than I have ever been in my life.