Two months ago, I welcomed into my life my beautiful baby boy Elliot. He is my everything and it feels like he’s been with us for so much longer than just eight weeks. And while yes, he has, my pregnancy was a fairly full on thirty eight and a bit weeks, now it’s really real. I’m not just pregnant, I’m Mummy.
The Changes to our lives and mine in particular are many, but definitely welcome.
Firstly and most obviously are the changes to my sleep pattern. It’s gone to hell. Just when I think we’re getting into some sort of pattern, it’s out the window and Elliot is awake all night with ten minute naps every hour or so and constant feeding and screaming if I put him down. So through my exhaustion I’m trying to keep my cool (always a trouble area of mine) and not always winning. I’ve found that at three AM after a day of a baby not sleeping, constant crying and being attached to me for hours on end, I’m not as strong as I thought. I cry – a lot. And as unproductive as I know it is, I beg and plead with my newborn to just sleep, or at least calm down so I can finally go pee. Thank goodness when I get to this point my husband usually wakes up and takes Elliot so I can have a short break to get my shit together before giving him a big feed (which generally consists of both boobs for as long as I can then a bottle as well, a full tummy seems to help once he’s calmed down enough to feed properly) because the next point is me shutting down for a while. Just letting him scream because I can’t actually do anything to make it better and at least by turning off for a bit I can watch him and know he’s alright but have a little emotional break for a bit and get a second wind. I don’t like getting to this point, so I’m glad it’s only happened once and was right before Hubby got home. And I’m so grateful these sleepless nights don’t come around too often.
I’m Often asked “Is he a good baby?” and that’s an easy answer. Of course he is, he’s a baby, I don’t believe that babies can be “bad” babies. Easy baby, sure. Challenging, of course. Really though I believe it comes down to the individual parents approach and attitude towards their baby rather than the babies actions. Especially in the first few weeks. While sure, I don’t get as much sleep as I’d like, I do get more than a lot of other mums I know, possibly because I’m happy to stay in bed and cuddle for as long as Bubs will allow, which often means I’m just getting up at ten AM. If I only got four hours sleep all day I could still forgive him anything for just one face lighting smile. The shittiest day I’ve had was forgotten in the instant he looked up into my eyes and smiled. I’m convinced his most challenging behaviours are immediately followed by a cheeky grin on purpose because a certain clever little boy knows Mummy will just smile back and kiss him all over his face and cuddle him not matter how frustrating only minutes beforehand were.
The Physical changes of becoming Mummy have been interesting for me. I do not love being a milk cow. I miss being able to go to bed bra-less and not wake up on wet sheets covered in breast milk. Not so much a fan of feeding in public with a baby who tends to detach and throw his head around randomly then get upset as soon as I put boobie away to keep a bit of modesty. However, I know all about the benefits of breastfeeding for bubs and myself so I’m sticking to it for as long as I can. Although I’m not bothered by expressing and bottle feeding as well, and after a particularly long couple of days with my refluxy boy snack feeding constantly and running dry, I have no issue with supplementing formula as well, and he tends to get a formula bottle before night-time bed, on top of boobie to keep him sleeping longer.
On a more unusual note, I am in such better shape since having a baby I feel fantastic. My baby weight fell off in the first two weeks and I’m now fifteen kilos lighter than my pre-pregnancy self. I feel fantastic! I have energy (on days Elliot only wakes once at night and goes back down easily), I don’t get half the back and hip pain I did a year ago and I’m oddly less self-conscious about my body even with the jelly belly and boobs that tend to be either ginormous or saggy depending on where we are with feeds at the time. And all post C-section! The other mums in my mother’s group who also had c-sections had harder recoveries and I keep hearing horror stories from mums about their c-section recoveries. It honestly seems hard to believe for me considering I came home from hospital (the next day) with an infection in the wound and still felt great, hardly used pain killers and really only had trouble transitioning positions if I’d been still for too long. Like I had to get up slowly if I’d been sitting or lying down and vice versa.
With these physical changes I’m becoming much fitter, and Elliot and I enjoy having long walks and just being out and about in general.
People’s attitudes towards me have changed, particularly in the early days. I was treated like an invalid by some and found that incredible stifling and ended up just hiding in my room with the baby much more often than I wanted just to escape the coddling. People stop me just for a chat now, and to see the baby, which I have always found odd, but I’m being patient, I figure it’ll slow down as he gets bigger. Though I must have a “don’t touch my baby without asking” vibe about me because that hasn’t been an issue yet and I hear it can be. I have always been very protective of those I love but now I defiantly have the Mumma bear mentality.
Now instead of going to work every day, hanging out with friends, date nights with my hubby and going to see a movie, my life has taken a different turn. I still hang out with friends, just most often ones with babies too. My work is now laundry, a lot of laundry, and general housework which I am admittedly failing at most days) And date nights are far less often and tends to be watching a movie on the couch rather than the cinema. But I wouldn’t change a thing. This is what I was made for. To Be Elliot’s Mummy is my true life calling. While the other parts of me won’t disappear, and new interests and activities are developing, Elliot is the most important. It’s a big change when instinctively you go from being number one to number two and you’re now putting a new precious life before your own without even thinking about it. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.