Jodie and Darcy

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Name: Jodie

Child: Darcy, 9 months

Location: Chorlton

Expectations of Motherhood: I never thought I’d get to be one – I figured my ship had sailed! I lost my partner at the age of thirty five, 5 months before our wedding.

3 years later I met John; now I have a husband and a daughter and a very blessed outlook on life.

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Reality of Motherhood: Wow, so much love and poo and bodily fluids and giggles and fun. So little sleep, so little me time….. so much washing!

Initially I challenged all of my decisions and thoughts, John was amazing and made decisions when my head spun off in a random direction. Hormones, and little sleep, wasn’t a great combination for me!

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No one told me about the night sweats that arrived after delivery as your body sets your hormones back to normal, and I cried at everything: a beautiful thoughtful card that arrived in the post, Darcy’s tiny toes, overwhelming love for my husband as I watched him become a dad.

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Taking your child home for the first time: I had pre-eclampsia and was sent straight to hospital at my 34 week check up! That was unexpected. I then delivered at 36 weeks. Darcy was dinky but perfect and proved to be a fighter from the word go! 4lb 6oz….. We were in HDU for the first 48 hours then moved onto a ward in the middle of the night as our room was needed for an emergency. That was a shocker….. suddenly there was just the two of us. I’d never felt so alone in my life!

I cried when we were told we could go home. The safety net of the hospital had been bigger than I’d thought. On the way home we realised we had no bottles, and my milk was yet to arrive, so at 11pm we took our little bundle in her car seat around the supermarket for the first time! Staring at everything in the baby section, trying to work out if we needed it??

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The best/worst advice: Do what feels right. There isn’t a manual when you become a mum, but your gut is a good start.

Friends who already have kids are great sounding boards. A friend told me to find my tribe. People I could question and learn from but equally teach and share too, we are all constantly learning.

Take time out to be a couple. You’re in this together and time out is so important, and Nanny (aka my mum) loves time on her own with Darcy.

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The hardest parts of being a mother:
Losing a bit of yourself and the feeling of guilt that comes with thinking about your old life.

The tiredness.

The big pants!

The constant questioning yourself and finding the balance in your new world.

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The best parts of being a mother: Too many! Snuggles during the night-time feed when it feels like there’s just the two of you in the world awake.

Watching others with your little one, there’s a lot of love being shared. She brings so much joy to not only us as her parents but to friends and family too, I guess it wasn’t just me that had waited an eternity for her.

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Has becoming a mother changed you:
I’m adopted so have never had someone who looked like me. You know the conversation when meeting a family; “oh she’s got your nose” etc? Well, I was super-excited to meet my mini me. She arrived looking like daddy! We now have similarities that I love.

I’m a more patient person now I think, hopefully more thoughtful, a little bit more fun and more excited to share exploring the world with my family.

Hopes for your family:
For us to hopefully add to our tribe (fingers crossed), create great memories, to be present and not wish days away. To be brave and explore the world.

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What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums:
Ask questions. No question is a silly one – someone else will have asked it before.
Take help when it’s offered.

A homemade dinner in those early days is the best thing ever – you can only live on toast, biscuits and luke warm tea for so long.

Let a trusted other take your little one out for a walk, and put your head down. Sleep when baby is out is very different to when they are at home; one ear is always listening out.

Congratulate yourself. Every day is a new adventure and a new challenge and you’re doing great!

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