Laurie and Oscar

Name: Laurie 

Child: Oscar 15 months

Location: Ramsbottom

Expectations of Motherhood: I expected hard work. We used to lie in bed and talk about how much fun it would be to have a little one snuggled between us – a full and noisy house. I probably didn’t think much further than being on maternity leave with a baby, but thought it’d be a jolly old time!

Reality of Motherhood: A million times harder work! A shock to the system even though it was all planned and expected. 

Taking your child home for the first time: Terrifying, and not because I didn’t know what to do (I felt very confident in myself as a mother), but I just felt very vulnerable in the world and like I was the only one who could protect my baby. Unfortunately it was the day post-natal depression set in (which was fortunately very fleeting), but my house felt wrong (like the weird feeling you have when you get when you come home from a 2 week holiday, only magnified a thousand times); the world felt wrong. I didn’t feel sad or upset, I just felt nothing (then that made me feel guilty!). What was always evident was that it was a given that I would do everything within my power to look after this little person. It was also a big relief to finally have him at home with us after all those months of waiting. 

The best/worst advice:
 The best advice came from a brilliant midwife who told me, “You’re his mother, you can do anything you want!” – I’d only asked if I could use baby wipes instead of cotton wool on his bottom, but by saying that I realised I had permission to take control and just do it. 

Worst advice: from the breast feeding support worker (or peer support worker) at hospital. I’d fed Oscar successfully twice, but then she turned up, said was doing it wrong, made him cry – he didn’t even cry when he was born – then said I couldn’t go home because she hadn’t seen me feed him. 

Now I think back, I was vulnerable and she basically threatened me by saying, “What will you do when your baby won’t feed in the middle of the night?” and, “if he’s re-admitted to hospital you won’t be allowed to come with him”. 

It really angers me. Especially when I went on to breast feed until Oscar was about 10 months. 

The hardest parts of being a mother: The night time in the very early stages: a killer! Realising that you will never really relax or be just yourself anymore…. Or at least not for a few decades! Worrying about doing it right! 

The best parts of being a mother: Having the most wonderful little creature that’s ever existed!

Knowing that all his healthy weight gain was purely down to my milk. And now, as he’s getting older, those little arms around my neck and his kisses. 

Has becoming a mother changed you?: Yes, I’m more sensitive in a lot if ways, like hearing sad stories, but I’m also very strong and feel like I have my priorities a bit more straight. 

Hopes for your family:
 More babies! 2 or 3 maybe. I just hope for me and my husband to do the best to raise our children with confidence, determination and to be kind. To be happy.

What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums?: Hide away for 6 weeks, be just a mummy, recover, eat, drink and sleep. Snuggle and kiss your baby. Don’t have too many visitors unless they run around after you. Don’t put too much pressure on your yourself. It’s hard and if anyone says they found if easy, they’re lying. Trust yourself and do it how you want to.

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