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
Little T got his 1st cold and a cough. (Think im now getting the cold too!!!)
Luckily my Mum was here to keep me calm and Calpol was administered, Little T was OK and nothing awful happened! We even managed a trip to the pub.
Today, as he is nearly 16 weeks, we put Little T down upstairs for the 1st time.
Id put the baby monitor stuff away believing there was no way i could let him sleep in a different room to us. But here he is in the crib in our room…
Im managing, just. Its hard, seeing him on a screen rather than peering into his moses basket but i think its for the best. We both have to get used to it. Ive managed not to put the sensor mat on too, but only because i can see him breathing on screen!!
And he is fine. He went to sleep after half an hour and a few pop ins from Mr Me and I. He is non the wiser, away in dreamland!
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.
He hasnt been taken off us, nothing bad has happened. Little T is still here. And it still hasnt sunk in!!
My breastfeeding guilt is fading fast now as my supply has gone. Its reassuring to know that when im in my lavender bath soothing my sore bits, and he stirs, Mr Me can take over.
There is more control with a bottle too, i know exactly how much he is taking which plays into my control freak personality perfectly.
Apparantly he is still a bit Jaundice meaning he has been referred to the prolonged jaundice clinic tomorrow. Mr Me and I then had a #badparentmoment where we questioned what we did wrong. 2 hours later the midwife came round and said the health visotor who referred him was being overly cautious. To me he looks whiter than ever and his eyes are less yellow today than yesterday too. Ill keep him in daylight as much as possible today but with plenty of wet and dirty nappies going on im really hoping we get discharged at his appointment tomorrow.
Im not the parent i thought id be. I thought id freak out the minute he squeaked but i dont, im calm even when hes really shouting and ive impressed myself.
My fear of SIDS is lessening. It never actually crippled me as much as i thought it would. The sensor pad is a massive reassurance and as im awake 22 hours of the day anyway….
I jest, im getting better with sleeping. I can crash in the afternoon when hes asleep in his moses basket sometimes and Mr Me and I are taking the nights in shifts so we both get a few hours of good sleep each.
The sleep deprivation is getting easier to manage now too. My pain is subsiding which is allowing me to relax more, and i can drive again!!!!! This really helps with my anxiety as i love to drive and it gives me a huge sense of control. Im a terrible passenger and i think Mr Me is secretly glad i can drive myself about again too.
We, as a 3, have been fairly busy. Little T had 3 photoshoots last week (meant to be 2 but was wide awake for one of them so had to go back) and weve also been out to the pub twice and to the Trafford Centre. Going to the TC was a massive thing for me. For years ive watched new Mums push their babies around in gleaming prams and wondered if itd ever be me. And then it was and it made me so proud.
I am very proud and very protective of Little T. I think hes amazing and i stare at him for hours without realising. When he fixes on me with his big eyes and i talk to him, its wonderful. But still no rush of love so to speak. Ive no doubt itll come though, the instincts are there, i just need to get over my fear that something will take him away from us. It is lessening day by day i think but after 8 years there is a lot to wade through before reaching the other side.
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.