close up of baby Freddy's feet

Experiencing parenthood for the first time

On Monday 2nd August, our beautiful baby boy, Freddy, was born. This will now be a special date for the rest of our lives. Danny is coming to the end of his paternity leave which makes me feel sad but I also think about how happy I’ll be once he gets home each night, giving me something to look forward to later in the day. Freddy knows when is dad is near so he will be excited too.

How are you finding the whole parenting experience?

Parenting for the first time can be hard but as soon as your newborn baby’s eyes look into yours, you realise that everything is and will be okay. There’s no love like looking into your baby’s eyes and saying, “I’m your mummy!” or “I’m your daddy!”

Before Freddy entered the outside world, I never knew how challenging it would be to adjust to a different sleeping pattern. I almost thought that because I had been up at 2am, 3am, 4am etc. in the night during pregnancy that my body was preparing me for what was to come. Oh, it was a completely different story once it hit. Due to the lack of sleep at first and the heightened hormone levels, I cried and then cried some more the next day. I also had to be reminded that my body was recovering and will be for the next 4 weeks or so. Unfortunately I got the results that I have an infection following a swab on my perineal tear. It didn’t help that that it took 5 days to get the results then the rest of that day to get some antibiotics but hopefully they will do their job and get me feeling better in at least one way or another. I have finally discovered the benefits of sleeping as much as I can when baby does. It has made a huge difference in how I feel along with eating a little more throughout the day.

Do you worry about your baby?

I mean, would we really be parents if we didn’t worry? Those mum and dad instincts kicked in right away. It’s all new and there are things we question but having the midwife attend for the first 5 days after giving birth was really helpful. She came each of those days to check on my blood pressure and to explain how important it is to rest. Rest? It wasn’t easy at first. The first few nights, if we did get any sleep, I’m pretty sure we slept with one eye open. We even took it in turns sleeping at each side of the bed.

We have got to know what his “I’m ready to be fed” cry is. He doesn’t cry heavily for long periods of time but he has his moments. And in those moments I have worried if I’ve done something wrong or if I am missing something. You really do learn something new every day – every day is a learning experience. I’m glad Danny has been able to spend 2 weeks at home with me. It’s helped us to pick up our own ways of doing things and we have both done our bit with changing, feeding, settling baby and most of all, giving him lots of love. If anything, Danny has probably worried more about me at times when I have felt low as he just wants us both to be happy. One thing we promised each other before Freddy was born was to never niggle at each other in front of our baby and always talk through things if something is on our mind. And that is working really well.

How do you feel now you are parents?

In one word? I’m not sure how to pick one but I will say that it is very surreal at first. You are holding a little human you have both brought into the world and you have to let it in sink in that the tiny little human is really yours. Freddy makes us smile multiple times a day and we know what people mean when they say, “There’s no love like it!” because there isn’t. It’s such a special bond the 3 of us share. It’s like we have fell in love all over again with our new addition beside us.

When we hold our baby boy, even if he is crying, it’s the most amazing feeling on earth. It’s only been 2 weeks and time is going so quick already which reminds us that we need to cherish every single moment. Those smiles might only be wind at the moment but they light up our day. When he holds our finger, looks into our eyes and looks contented, our hearts feel so full. There’s nothing more heartwarming than growing more and more love for our newborn each day.

Do you have advice for parents to be?

As one of the midwives said last week, “Go with the flow.” Honestly, she is right. Do things step by step and learn as you go along. If you need help, ask for it. As long as your baby is fed, changed, clean and loved, he or she will be very happy. Try not to be afraid to leave your baby with family, friend, or support network. It can do you the world of good even if it’s for only half an hour. Go outside for walks as much as you can with baby in their pram. They will most likely sleep and we have found it can settle Freddy for longer periods of time between his feeds. Another thing I would say is, no question is stupid. I’ve asked plenty and will no doubt continue to ask more.

Enjoy every moment. There are many firsts, even in the first couple of weeks e.g. first walk out in their pram, first time in their Moses basket/crib/cot, relaxing in their bouncer or on a play mat etc. You will have plenty of cuddles which are just are the sweetest. Your little one’s face will make you feel better no matter how your day is going.

teddy bear looking at window

Thoughts of a mum to be as due date approaches

Featured image from pexels.com

Becoming a mum for the first time, for me, has brought the most exciting and heartwarming journey but little bits of worry are starting to creep up now. After speaking to a couple of friends and of course my Danny, they know it’s most likely down to the closeness of baby’s due date approaching. Little things are building up in my mind – some of which won’t even be a thought when baby is on the outside world no doubt. Here are some pieces of advice that I am going to let soak in and remember the next time I start to feel a little panicked.

Not everything can be done in a day!

This one is from myself. As baby’s arrival gets closer, I keep looking at things that are lying around the house upstairs because we are in the middle of having some things sorted out e.g. shower and retiling, paint tins in the room, bits of clutter we are waiting to be collected etc. Danny has done an amazing job with the decorating around the house. The only other main room to do now is the living room and small touching up around the completed ones. Once bits of furniture we don’t need anymore are gone, I’m sure I’ll feel much happier to see less clutter.

You’ll laugh at me right now because as far as baby is concerned, everything in place so I shouldn’t be so bothered but hey, it’s me. Another thing that bugs me is the constant sight of spiders. Yes, I know that sounds random but they are everywhere at the minute. I am going to try some peppermint oil and hope that does the trick. It’s one fear I don’t think will ever completely go away. I’m going to have more things on my hands soon to worry about, so I’ll have to try my best to ignore those creepy crawlies! Typing these things makes me feel pretty daft but it’s the truth.

You’ve got food, nappies, warmth, and a whole lot of love!

A lovely friend said this to me just this morning and she’s absolutely right. All of these little stresses I have at the moment will disappear once our little one is here. He is going to be so loved and bring a whole new light and level of happiness into our lives. I’ve got to stay as happy as I can to make him happy – that goes for today and once he is born.

It amazes me every day that we are brining a new life into the world. A baby boy, a son to call our own. When I take this piece of advice on board, it gets me thinking about his little face, what his little fingers and toes are going to look like, and when we look into each other’s eyes for the first time. This is such a special time and I am going to remind myself to cherish these last few weeks because as excited as we are, I know I’ll miss having a baby bump, watching him grow and wriggle around.

You’ve got me, everything will be okay!

Time and time again, Danny will say, “Tasha, do you really think I’ll let anything happen to you.” He tells me that we’re in this together and no matter what challenges come our way, we will face them as a team. Even though he constantly tells me he is right – guess what, he is right again! Danny has things on his mind too but he knows that the both of us will work together and give our baby all of the love in the world and that’s the most important thing they need.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been chatting away to Danny to say, “What if I do this or that wrong?” or “What if I struggle in labour?” These are normal thoughts, right? If anything happens before I go into hospital, Danny will be here before I know it. Before the days we got together, he looked after me, and now he is there for me more than ever. Every bone in his body is full of love, support, and understanding (he has also picked up my foreign Tasha language really well!)

We’ve got this!

So, it goes without saying, I am bound to worry a little or a lot, just like any mum to be. But I can 100% say that I am looking forward to every moment to come. The cries, sleepless nights, and challenges with patience will hit for sure but it is going to be really worth it. For two people who have always wanted a child, there isn’t a single moment we will take for granted.