dark cup with hot drink inside

Sharing Those Postpartum Feelings

The postpartum life brings a new love and happiness but let’s not forget about the exhaustion and everything else. Some people might question why someone like me opted to be a mum when there’s a lot of new challenges and a drop in energy levels some days. I’ll tell you why, it’s something I’ve always wanted. I’m not saying that to sound like anyone else because it’s true. I’ve always dreamed of bringing a new little life into the world and I count my lucky stars that it all came true.

It goes without saying that parenting is hard. And that’s probably putting it lightly. Though, the moments of joy and pure heartfelt memories stay with you forever. They overpower those ‘days’ where you don’t don’t feel like yourself and wonder if there’s anything you could do better. Even when the sleep deprivation hits, all it takes in one smile for it all to melt into the air and you smile as your heart gets fuller.

The last couple of weeks, I’ll be honest, I haven’t felt right. I don’t mean I haven’t been feeling well with this super cold that going around or a bug – I just haven’t been the usual ‘me’. What is the usual ‘me’? Well, in a nutshell, I’m usually smiley, random, and like to see the positive in everything.

In those last weeks, it all changed. Now, I wouldn’t say it was sudden but there was a big difference. Here’s why…

A sense of hopelessness

I felt like I had lost myself. I never forget I’m a mum and a human being like everyone else but I felt disinterested in so many things. There were days I spent in a daze – nothing going on around me other than staring into space while Freddy napped. I would try putting upbeat music on or a good film but it didn’t have the usual effect. I was so quiet but so busy and loud with thoughts in my mind. I wondered how I would get out of this pit. As always, a good chat with Danny channeled me back through after a couple of days. It doesn’t mean to say those days won’t come back. I just need to remember that I can get through them.

Being self critical

Sometimes I think I’m harsh on myself and other days I don’t. I’ve found myself looking in the mirror most days and not liking what I see. There are things I can do – eat well, exercise etc. But I think, I’ll always find something regardless. My legs are covered in stretch marks that weren’t there before. I’m reminded that they are ‘love marks’ that carried the weight of our beautiful boy. I think the body changes that are still happening combined with what I see physically really play on my mind, a little too much. I might not ever love my body but I will find a way to like it again.

Is it the hormones or just me?

Ever cry and wonder why you cried? Sometimes you have good reason, don’t you? Other times you think, why am I so damn emotional right now? The thing is, I need to remind myself that there’s no rush for my body to reach a new kind of normal. I used to hate when someone would look at a woman and say “Ooo she’s a bit hormonal isn’t she” or whatever. But wow, I’ve never truly felt more hormonal days than postpartum ones. Maybe I’m pressuring myself as each week goes by as I think it’s another week I could feel ‘better’. None of these thoughts take away how much love I have for my baby. He (and his dad) are my everything. And the three of us have so much to look forward to – they are what I need to hold onto when my mind does play a battle with me.

Speak to someone

To finish this post, I just want to say, up and down days are completely normal. Sometimes we need to pick ourselves back up but remember you don’t have to do it on your own. It doesn’t take for a number of people to understand how you feel. It takes a good person or two to listen, maybe empathise too. Postpartum life especially, can drag you down in ways you can’t even understand yourself.

Someone can look in from the outside and see nothing but happiness. However, they haven’t got a mirror to see what’s going on in your mind. You can be your own demon sometimes. Remember though, you can’t control everything. So, when things get tough, try to find a couple of things that bring you back to a level of the real you.

Links for support

Image source: John Mark Smith on pexels.com

three hanging teddy bears soft toys

20 Thoughts of a Mum with a Baby

I don’t think it took for me to be a first time mum, for my mind to work overdrive. I’ve always had a little mental check list for things that need to be done (or a long one as Danny would probably say). Here are some of the common thoughts I have on a daily basis since being a mum to our baby boy. When you read some, you might think I’m crazy but I know there’s at least one other person out there who can relate… here’s hoping anyway!

I also just want to say, dads, you are amazing too. There’s not enough credit out there towards you. I notice Danny’s love and support every day. He’s a parent too and that should never go unnoticed.

1. Oh no, how many bottles are left? Do I need to wash them and put them into the steriliser?

2. Whoa, baby’s washing basket is high again, I best do another wash.

3. Am I going to bother getting dressed today? Do I fancy a walk? Hmm… we’ll see.

4. Oh, you want another bottle? Can mama have another cup of tea in a minute or…?

5. Did I empty the dryer and maidens and put the washing away?

6. What’s for tea? Oh I dunno, we’ll figure it out later.

7. Do I need a cuddle? Food? Sleep?

8. I need a shower or a nice long bath with a bath bomb, salts, the whole lot!

9. I need to descale the steriliser again and change the filter in the prep machine.

10. Wow, this look I have going on today is… not attractive in the slightest.

11. I need to top up the toilet rolls on the shelf in the downstairs toilet.

12. I need to change our bedding this weekend.

13. How many Moses/crib sheets do we actually go through?!

14. Are we stocked up on formula, nappies, and wipes. For some reason we have hundreds of nappy bags.

15. Why don’t your (baby) clothes fit you anymore? You’re not allowed to grow just yet!

16. You are so precious. I love you more and more every day.

17. Do you really need to wee and poo so much in one day?

18. Daddy thinks any time is play time (and grandad for that matter).

19. I’m gonna keep wondering how long it’ll be until you will say dada and mama!

20. How did we make such a beautiful human being?

Mamas – how many of these can you relate to? What things continuously play on your mind? Or maybe there are some funny thoughts that go on in your head? Tell me in the comments below.

freddy's legs with socks

Things I Never Knew about Newborn Babies Until I Had One

Before I had a newborn baby of my now, there were things I kinda knew about and other things I imagined. Until it hits though, you don’t actually know what you are in for. I never thought I would find myself saying, “Awww, look!” several times a day. Each and every day brings something new. You grow as a parent as your baby grows and reaches new milestones. So, in this post, I mention a few things which I never knew about newborn babies until we were blessed with our first, our baby boy. Remember, this is based on my experience, every mum and dad will have their own points to share.

So many noises

They make a lot of noises – not just cries – I’m talking grunts, whimpers, coos, oos, and giggly sounds when they smile in their sleep. And the same goes for parents too. You find yourself making funny noises, anything to make your baby smile once they reach that stage. The other day, Freddy found it hilarious when I was dancing around the living room in the middle of the day so you know, I’ve gotta keep that up.

There really are lots of wees and poos

Yes, you hear it all of the time but it’s true. There are times when we’re changing Freddy’s nappy and he does another wee or poo. At first, lots of patience was needed. But now, we know what to expect.

The love is unconditional

When I was pregnant, I knew I had a lot of love for our little one and I imagined what our lives would be like once Freddy arrived. It’s so much more than I thought. There are hard times but he holds so much love between the three of us, it’s incredible, he is incredible!

A new tiredness hits you for real

Those first few weeks are a big shock to the system. Even though we were warned, well kinda, we didn’t get just HOW it would feel. That was until we arrived home and everything came at once in those 24 hours and following weeks. Wow, it’s tough but you do get through and as much as people say it and you might wonder, it really does get better.

How many times will they ask, “Is he in a routine yet?”

Over half of the people who meet your little one will ask this question. I remember at one point thinking, “Hang on, it’s the third week in, let’s give us all time to adjust eh!” There’s no magical dust you can sprinkle. Our baby boy is learning about a whole new life outside the womb and we are facing each day as it comes. By the way, he sleeps 8 hours at night now (at 9 weeks old), woohoo. And last night he went 9 hours+. I don’t want to say too much in case I jinx it.

Muslin cloths are my best friend

“Quick, grab that muslin cloth!” Ahh, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, muslin cloths are so handy. Earlier this morning, I was putting baby’s washing away and there were over 6 that I had in that wash alone so you get how many we go through. They replace bibs a lot of the time though and they are just so good for little spills and dribbles.

A different perspective

The other week I had my first night out in a year. I drank, I danced, a sang, laughed etc. it was so much fun but when I came home and seen Freddy’s face, I remembered that my happiness has a whole different meaning now. If I am ever referred to as the ‘boring friend’ or hear “You’ve changed.” it honestly wouldn’t matter because I have everything that I need. Since being a parent, I have also held back on a lot of worries and try my best to ignore any negativity. There’s more to life than dragging out feelings that don’t need to be there.

What did you learn when you became a parent? Did you look at things differently in any way?

sheep soft toy

Things I have learnt during my first month as a mum

Our baby boy is 1 month old and oh my, it has flown by. We have experienced many things that no one tells you about when having a baby, especially when it’s your first. You know it’s going to be hard but many people don’t explain exactly why. Before you know it, your newborn baby is home with you and you’re there to figure parenthood out. It’s amazing how much you learn in your first month of parenting. You go from, “Am I doing this right?” to figuring each day out at a time and remembering that, you’re always learning.

One minute I’m giving birth and the next, I am taking a shower getting ready to go onto the postnatal ward. From the moment I left the delivery ward, I kept wondering, “What am I going to do now…?” When I arrived, I was greeted by a lovely midwife then our baby boy was placed into a cot beside my bed and that’s when it became very real. I obviously wasn’t alone because I was on hospital grounds but I was in the sense that, I became a mum for the first time and it was just me and our baby behind the curtain. I gave birth at 6.17pm and when the next morning arrived all I wanted to do was go home as a family. Luckily I could be discharged but it took a long while for my notes to be done which meant we didn’t leave until 10.30pm – 11pm. The first night at home was surreal.

Your baby has their own cues

When our baby cries, we now have a better idea if he is hungry, his nappy needs changing, if it’s wind, or if he just wants a little cuddle. Who doesn’t love a newborn cuddle?! At first, to me, baby’s cry was daunting if it lasted more than a minute. I felt the pressure of making his bottles in the night or if I couldn’t quite figure what he needed. However, now, between the two of us, we have a much better idea. A baby that is fed, clean, and loved, is happy unless there’s a sign that something else is wrong. We haven’t experienced anything as such on this side other than when Freddy has struggled to to bring up wind.

We also know the he is having a poo face. You might think, “Oh lovely!” but it’s actually good to know so we can prepare for what kind of nappy we are in for!

Babies wee and poo a lot

Everyone says it but until you have a baby of your own, you don’t realise just how much your baby needs their nappy changing. We don’t like to leave Freddy in a wet or poo nappy so we always check regularly. Nowadays, most nappies have the yellow line which turns blue to indicate that your baby has done a wee or poo. Any mums or dads to be reading this post, be prepared for your baby to wee on you (or like a fountain over your baby’s head if they are a boy). Also, don’t be surprised if your baby does their business again while you are changing them!

In the second week, Freddy was leaking through his nappies. We took all the advice onboard from midwives and the health visitor such as making sure the nappy is fitted properly – not too loose, up at the back, frills out to absorb more wee/poo, and ‘pointing it down’ etc. We tried several brands and learnt that more expensive nappies do not equal better quality/less leaks, at this stage anyway. We upped to Mamia newborn size 2 and it has been much better since. It’s so much easier now that we don’t have to clean multiple Moses basket sheets on repeat or change baby more so than you already do with a newborn as it is.

It’s okay to cuddle your baby

If you want to cuddle your baby a little longer sometimes, that’s absolutely fine. We all need love. When we hold Freddy close to us – his favourite place being on our chest – he gets to moderate his body temperature, feel our heartbeat against his and be comforted by his mummy and daddy. Cuddling our baby boy reminds us of all the love we have to give and we constantly stare at him to admire his ever-changing features, his growing legs, arms, hands, feet, and those cute little cheeks. After Danny has been to work, football or to the gym, or just nipped out to the shops, he comes home and wants to cuddle Freddy because he has missed him.

You don’t need to be the perfect parent

There are no points or rewards for being the ‘perfect’ parent. To be honest, does the ‘perfect’ parent exist? Aren’t all of us first-time parents in this together, finding our own ways? You learn that you eventually pick up ways of getting into the swing of things like prepping bottles, changing nappies, settling baby, changing their outfits and so on. Your baby needs warmth, nutrition, cleanliness and happiness. We have learnt that Freddy enjoys time to explore his senses too with shapes, noises, sounds, recognising mummy and daddy, tummy time etc.

To all of the parents to be or first-time parents currently wondering how they are going to survive the first month, you’ve got this! Don’t think there’s anything wrong to ask for help or a little company sometimes.