Child: Luca, 9 months
Expectations of Motherhood: I thought I would be a real ‘Gina Ford’ mother! Eg. Baby in his cot, in his own room on the first night at home! Breastfeeding on a routine. Letting the baby cry.
Reality of Motherhood: I don’t think I put him down for the first month. I fell in love with him as soon as he was born. He seemed so grateful to be fed and cuddled. I was reluctant to let his dad hold him. I would feel jealous and empty if I wasn’t holding him! I feel like I’ve always known him.
Taking your child home for the first time: I was desperate to take Luca home. We were kept in hospital for 5 days because he was jittery when he was born. They were injecting him with anti-biotics every 12 hours but couldn’t give me a straight answer as to why. We were on a ward with 3 other new mothers and their babies screamed all night. I didn’t sleep for the 5 days. I was so worried about Luca. By day 5 I was frantic for an explanation and we were discharged when they couldn’t provide one. When we got home I was worried sick. I thought I had made the wrong decision but the jittering soon stopped and I began to feel more confident.
The best/worst advice: The best advice I received was from the midwife re breastfeeding. I had read the Gina Ford book and had my head filled with routines etc. The midwives advice was to feed on demand. Me and Luca were both much happier when I started to do this. So I suppose the worst advice was to try to put a breast fed baby into a ‘routine’.
The hardest parts of being a mother: Tearing myself away from Luca and leaving him in the care of other people. I found it so hard to even leave him with his grandparents (and still do!). The worry never seems to go away. Now I am back at work and still breastfeeding, I find it a real struggle. I express milk whilst I am at work but it takes me nearly half an hour and that is all I get for lunch. I have to express in my classroom which locks but when kids are running past and banging on the door, it is nerve-wracking!
The best part of being a mother: Breastfeeding. I am so glad I tried it. Luca took to it straight away and we have become so close because of it. I think of us as our own little unit; it is so special between us. Another thing is the laughter and smiles. It is amazing. I love taking him places and showing him new things. I love dressing him up.
Hopes for your family: My only hope at the moment is that he stays healthy and lives a long and happy life.
Having a baby is the single, most important, life-changing and happiest thing I have ever achieved in my life.