I honestly never thought I’d be a Mum to a live baby. I thought i was destined to watch from afar, not feeling that love between Mother and Child.
And then Little T came along and its harder and more beautiful and more rewarding than i ever thought possible.
And I’m so very grateful, everyday, but especially today.
However, i remember. I remember being the Mum in waiting, the bereaved Mum, the pregnant Mum hoping this time it’d be different, so to all of you who are still waiting, still hoping, still grieving, i salute you. Today will be hard but you are stronger than you know and you’ll get through today, one way or another, whatever is easiest, that’s right for you.
Little T (and Mr Me) made me feel very special, with a lovely card, a book with 10 reasons Little T loves me, and wooden picture blocks. Ill keep these things forever, and remember how grateful and lucky i am when i see them.
Today means the world to me, I’m an actual Mummy to an actual little boy who is the most wonderful human
I have the feels. All the feels. Im besotted, hes amazing, i cant remember life without him
But it took 8 weeks. 8 weeks to admit i loved him, 8 weeks to allow myself those feelings. To be honest im still cautious but my heart swells with his first smile of the day, regardless of my fear.
Infertility sucks on many levels. The months (years) of trying and failing. The agony of a period. The hoops to jump through en route to IVF, the hundreds of injections, watching all your friends have babies. People getting bored of your journey, the agony of IVF failures, of cancelled cycles, of feeling you are worth nothing as a woman. I could go on.
Basically its shit. And you know what, it continues to be shit even though i now have my very own mini human. Why? Because it hindered the love…it took so long for Little T to feel like mine, rather than me looking after someone elses baby. I was waiting for the bubble to burst. A small part of me still is and always will be, i guess.
Im still jealous of the fertile people, they decide to get pregnant and within months, are. No military planning, no saving thousands of pounds. Just happens or a little cycle observation and bam, preggers.
I still envy a bump. Stare in awe. Wish i could do it without investing time and money. Its silly, but true.
Baby loss literally built a wall around my heart. A wall im still chipping away at. Losing 2 children, 2 (IVF) babies, is soul destroying. It messes you up in so many ways. Ways i thought id dealt with. Then Little T came along and i realised i was messed up in ways i didnt imagine.
For weeks i thought i would lose him. That he would die. Thats what my babies did, they died. I was beyond terrified to love this tiny human in case he left me. I couldnt contemplate another loss. I just knew it would break me. So i kept Little T at arms length. Worried that loving him would mean losing him.
That fear consumed me. For so many weeks. Until the fear of seeing my baby, my offspring, in pain. The 8 week immunisations. Thank god for them, not only for the protection they offer but for opening my heart.
Feeling guarded, not loving my child. Shameful? Not at all. Just the way things are after the hand id been dealt. I will always admit to these feelings, ill never regret what ive been through. I truly am a better person for it. Never did i think itd extend this far into my life though…
Ive sounded very doom and gloom since Little T was born. Honestly i am enjoying motherhood, its just very different to what i expected and has literally changed everything. People tell you it changes everything but you dont really understand until it happens!!
But its all worth it…
When he fixes on me with his massive eyes, im transfixed, i cant look away, i can see him studying my face, know he knows that hes safe and wanted with me. My Mum says it his ‘look of love’
When he grabs my finger, my top, my skin, even with his razor sharp nails. Its like he holds onto me for security. I make him feel safe. So does a muslin mind you, but you know. I like to see him grab anything, i have a proud parent moment
When he burps/farts/poos im reassured that his little body is working properly and i marvel at the fact that Mr Me and I (and Team Miracle) made this perfect little human
When he smiles, i melt. I know its only wind at this point but hes got an amazing smile.
When he pouts, i melt. I dunno who taught him to pout but its perfect!!
When he makes random happy sounds, its like hes telling me something, like how the side of his pram really is super interesting. Without fail ill make up a conversation between him and i and often outloud, much to the amusement of onlookers
When i look at his face and see my mouth and eyes, his Daddys hands and forehead and chin, it reminds me of how much Mr Me and I love each other and how hard we worked to make this amazing little human
When people stop me and tell me what a gorgeous boy he is and how much they like his name, im so proud that hes mine.
Our lives have totally changed in those 4 weeks. Absolutely for the better. 8 years of graft, hope, hurt and tears have come to fruition and we have created a beautiful little person. Who, as i type, is screaming and has done, on and off, for 3 hours after being a dream in front of people all day.
He is worth the sleep deprivation, the pain, the piles 🤢, and i wouldnt change him for the world.
But today i realised something. Im struggling with jealousy.
There have been a couple of pregnancy announcements in the last few days, and despite having a 4 week old, im jealous. Its the same old story, i cant just make a baby, need to plan a trip abroad blah blah. And its not that im not happy with my baby, it just reminds me of what i cant do and that i may never give Little T a sibling.
Im also jealous of Mr Me. He is totally 100% in love with Little T. He told me how he aches for him when hes at work. Im not there yet, yeah ok, im with him 19+ hrs a day so dont really have chance to miss him yet (although i did today, despite being in his presence, Mr Me or our friends had hold of Little T all day and i did miss cuddles, of course as soon as i get chance for cuddles, he gets grouchy. Go figure) but i feel inadequate. Despite knowing its pretty normal, i feel like im failing as a Mum/Parent. Id do anything for the little guy, id protect him to the end of time and he only has to squeal and im there, but im not IN love. Not yet. And i feel like i should be. I do love him. Especially when he looks like this…
The other thing ive realised is that im jealous that Mr Me loves Little T, so much
Dont get me wrong, its exactly as it should be, but he now looks at the baby the way he used to look at me. His focus is split between us, again, as it should be, but i miss the attention
Mr Me is my best friend, its been him and me against the world for 13 years. We have been through the WORST of times together and always come out the other side stronger. Now here we are going through the BEST of times and i feel like hes slipping away. I think most of these feelings can be blamed on sleep deprivation, everything is magnified when you are tired. In the past 4 weeks, Mr Me and I have gone to bed at the same time, twice. One of those times was last night. He didnt kiss me as we settled down. Simply due to being exhausted, nothing was meant by it. But it broke my heart. I couldnt sleep. I felt a massive sense of forboding. I cant explain why.
We have talked about this briefly. Mr Me has assured me he loves me just as much as he did 4 weeks ago, and that we both have enough love for each other to love another person. We both agree we have no idea how to deal with this but that we will. I feel pathetic. Jealous of my husband loving our son, i mean, really? Isnt this typically how the partner feels? Not the mother?
As i say its partly about how in love with Little T he is, and im just not, yet and partly because i feel him slipping away. Whatever it is its making me teary. The ice queen is melting. Mr Me worries its the start of PND which i think scares him a lot. I think its maybe delayed baby blues? Ill mention it to a health professional at my next appointment but perhaps i just need to draft in a Grandma so we can go out for a few hours as a couple and not as parents. I just didnt think id be feeling this way 4 weeks in
I sound so bitter and ungrateful. Im truly not. Im just adjusting to no sleep, less food, Mr Me and I being ships that pass in the night and caring for a newborn
Little T is officially a person!! We registered him on Thursday. It was a fairly momentous day. I never thought id have a legal tiny human with a birth certificate and everything. An actual real birth certificate. A legally recognised child. Wow.
The same day that it was made legal, the day i officially became a Mummy, was also the same day as my 1st #mummyfail
After registering him, we had lunch, including little T, we then laid flowers at the Manchester memorial. Very sobering at the best of times but with a newborn it was something else. I had goosebumps. The whole city is grieving as one. The pain was palpable but so was the sense of community and determination that we will not be beaten
As we made our way back to the car, Little T was getting hungry, and i hadnt packed another bottle!!!!!! We had to go straight to the Prolonged Jaundice Clinic so the poor guy screamed for about an hour. I have never felt so awful. What a shit parent. Ive learnt from it and ill never leave the house with 1 bottle again but my word! It was just the worst feeling.
Not only that but i cut his little finger when clipping his nails the other day!!! The boy has really sharp nails and scratches himself, and me, a lot but from now on ill only be filing them down.
The smallest of things can really knock you. Being referred to the Jaundice Clinic made me feel i wasnt capable of looking after him properly. Even though he is still Jaundice, the Nurse Practitinor was happy that it would resolve on its own, still though, i couldnt get it cleared in the 2 weeks specified so #mummyfail
I couldnt breastfeed #mummyfail
I cut his finger #mummyfail
I didnt pack enough food #mummyfail
Not only am i making rookie mistakes but im also missing being pregnant which i feel guilty about. I waited so long to be a Mummy and now i am, i miss being pregnant.
However, the NCT girls who have also given birth, miss their bumps too, so im not alone or weird.
Even though it was tough at the end and my anxiety was up throughout, i miss feeling him move, i miss the way i looked, i miss the feeling that i was doing something amazing. Now im just flabby, with no clothes that fit!!!! But my belly button bar did go back in with ease the other day which pleased me no end!!
Despite all my #mummyfails, yesterday Little T and i flew solo as Mr Me went back to work. We survived. And with smiles on our faces. We didnt get out but i did organise a drawer
I applied for child benefit and kept the boy alive so im classing it as a #mummywin
I missed Mr Me terribly but i was proud that we got on well without him. I managed a shower, getting dressed and made up, lunch, sterilising and making up bottles. Ok so everything took an hour and a half longer than normal (when Mr Me is around and since Little T’s birth) but it got done and that is a #mummywin
The feelings are coming. I stare at him and marvel that i made him, i study every part of his face, admire every expression and movement. I would do anything to protect him. I miss him when he sleeps.
Its not the ‘rush’ i expected, was told about, instead its a slow creep of emotion that in time will consume my very being. Its not what i was expecting but its more than i ever dreamed it would be.
Its HARD. No other way of putting it. And its a rollercoaster.
The Bond….everyone talks about the overwhelming feeling of love you feel when you meet your baby. When i met my baby it was a blur. We’d been through a traumatic birth. I didnt get skin to skin as he didnt cry. I thought he would die. I was convinced. Then they handed him to me and took me to the ward. And left me with him. My job to take care of this tiny new human. So i did. But for someone else. He wasnt mine.
Baby T is spectacular. I know this because everyone tells me so. For the first few days i only held him to feed. I didnt just cuddle him. I put him down and looked at him. I wondered when he would be taken away. Now i hold him more. Just because. But im still not in love. When he looks at me i realise what a beautiful baby he is. Id do anything to protect him, to care for him, but am i in love? No. Im scared to let go. What if he leaves me? I worry the midwives will take him away or that he will stop breathing. I cant deal with the pain. So i protect myself and in doing so, deny myself. I force myself to hold him now, to kiss him (took me 4 days) and when he looks at me, its getting more ‘Wow’ but its slow going.
Breastfeeding….i SO wanted to do it. I did it in hospital. It was agony. I thought it was normal. On Wednesday the midwife mentioned blood blisters from a bad latch. I checked. Over 20 blood blisters. I had never ever heard of this until then. Honestly every suck made my toes curl. On Wednesday afternoon, I sent Mr Me for formula and i hated myself. On Thursday i felt OK about formula feeding (ff). I wasnt as anxious. Baby T was happy on the bottle. Content. On Thursday night i hated myself. I didnt give it a chance, id failed my child, i was missing out and so was he. He wasnt going to need me because anyone could feed him. On Friday i got the blisters off in the bath and hand expressed. My milk was in. On Friday night we tried breastfeeding again. It hurt. He screamed. My anxiety was through the roof. I ordered the Perfect Prep machine (makes up bottles in 2 minutes at right temperature) for next day delivery. Ive tried not to look back. Its hard. I feel guilty. I feel i have to explain. FF is working for us. Hes happy. My boobs dont hurt. I still feel like a bad mum.
The trauma continues….New Mums are never told about the feeling of their asses being blown out after birth. Its like a secret you cant know until you are part of the club. And you can see the other mums laughing as the new mums waddle about holding onto their asses. You always hear about how you forget about the pain of childbirth. But a week later when your stitches make you cry out in agony when peeing, you are still in that delivery room, still being cut, still experiencing every ounce of pain.
How can you bond with the person who did that to you?
You question everything. Every decision. You worry you are not worried enough. You worry you worry too much. You wonder if everyone feels so overwhelmed at the beginning? You wonder if having some sleep means you dont care enough about whether baby is breathing or not. Despite having less than 20 hours of sleep in a week.
You hope the love will come. That the past wont ruin the future and you wonder if youll ever be good enough.