Child: MaryJane, 2
Expectations of Motherhood:I was really excited by it and loved being pregnant. I knew it would change my life and everyone tells you it will. But you just cannot put into words how it changes you. You just don’t get it until you’ve done it. Despite reading a variety of books nothing fully prepared me.
Reality of Motherhood:Having to carve out time for yourself and your partner is one of the hardest things. You have to make it a priority otherwise it just doesn’t happen! You have to remember who you both were before you were parents – that person you fell in love with is still there! My husband and I decided before becoming pregnant that we didnt want to have a child, just to put her in nursery. And we are in the fortunate postion that we can afford for me to stay at home, its quite and old fashioned way of life but I wouldnt swap it for the world.
Taking your child home for the first time:Well that was in a two seater sports car (which had a small seat in the back)! Anxious, excited and exhausted as she’d breastfed most of the night in the hospital. I remember just going to bed straight away and then feeding her whilst my fantastic husband fed me a chippy tea! Hurrah!
The best/worst advice:Stick to your guns about what you think is right for you and your child. For us it was a routine – a mixture of the Baby Whisperer and Gina Ford; she thrived on it and I knew what I was supposed to be doing and when (which helps when your structured and organized life is turned upside down!)
The hardest parts of being a mother:Being on call 24/7. And breastfeeding is difficult, I managed six months but my body didn’t feel like mine until about ten months after the birth.
The best parts of being a mother:
The hugs and the kisses, the unconditional love, seeing her do something/hearing her say something for the first time- usually followed by “I did it!” and the happy and proud look on her face. I love the enhanced “team” feeling that being parents has brought between my husband and I and the whole loved-up thing of being a family. And the fact that MaryJane is the first Grandchild in the family. My parents are fantastic with her, she loves going to their house for sleepovers. Its a really special relationship between them.
Hopes for your family: I’ve now reached the point where I feel ready for another child and I know how much it would benefit MaryJane to have a brother or sister. I hope we can be as happy as we are now, always.
What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums: Buy a Belly Bandit!! http://www.bellybandit.co.uk/ they really work!! Rub olive oil on your expanding body parts daily, hips, thighs, bum and obviously stomach!
And see your friends a lot, go to the cinema and out for dinner with your partner as often as you can, as you probably wont have the energy to watch a film all in one sitting for a while!
As for antenatal classes- I really didn’t like them! I went to the ones the hospital provided and ended up getting really upset at the “one size fits all” approach – we only went to one in the end. And dont try to do everything yourself – people want to help so let them, especially your husband or partner. Don’t forget they are a new parent as well.Finally, don’t cling to your birth-plan like it is some sort of holy scripture, it’s just an ideal. My experience was nothing like my birth-plan!! At one point I had the midwife in a headlock, not part of my dream scenario obviously!