What Mums REALLY want for Mother’s Day…

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Mother’s Day – it’s bittersweet for some, and I count myself in that camp. So, if that’s you too, I feel you, mama. Hold it together, you’re doing great, whatever the reason is behind why Mother’s Day kinda sucks for you. 

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have always been difficult for me, having little to no family support from childhood and into my own journey of parenthood. So I get it, it can be a bunch of crap watching everyone else enjoy their loving family time that you’re missing out on for one reason or another. But now that I have had my own child, my outlook has changed because I’m more than just someone’s daughter now… I am the Mother on Mother’s Day, and my husband is the Father on Father’s Day – OUR little family is now the only thing I want or need to focus on all year round, including these days. Plus, I have an awesome Mother-in-law who is just always incredible and goes above and beyond for me like a mother should, so I love making her feel special, too. 

So, it’s creeping up on us now – just over a week to go! Maybe you’ll be leaving things until the last minute, or maybe you’re already organised… Maybe this post will inspire you, but it’s not the quick fix solution to your question of ‘what do I buy my mum for Mother’s Day?’… SORRY!

Mother’s Day, for me, isn’t about the gifts. Actually, my most treasured Mother’s Day sentiment was from my stepdaughter last year, who went out to the shop with her dad and her sister (my daughter) to find a Mother’s Day card, and SPECIFICALLY ASKED IF SHE COULD BUY ME A STEPMOTHER ONE. AND THEN SHE PICKED IT OUT AND WROTE IT OUT ALL BY HERSELF!!!!!

HOW EFFING CUTE IS THAT?

It brought more than a couple of tears to my eye, and I still have the card now. It made me feel loved and appreciated and acknowledged and, really, that’s all I would ask for.

Mums don’t want a Facebook post showing off in some silly online contest of ‘who has the best mum in 2019’. Yeah, it’s great if you want to brag about your mum, do it whenever you like, but it’s not going to mean as much as something far more thoughtful. Maybe I’m just cynical, but what is the point in putting it on Facebook? There isn’t any, except it’s a bit of a social norm now, almost like you have to prove that you’re a good child with an obligatory message to your Mum to say thanks. Say it in person! It’ll mean more.

Mums also don’t want to be showered in meaningless gifts – gifts are great, but we want something with some thought behind it, not just the first thing you saw on the shelf when you waltzed into Tesco. Something your little one actually picked out for their mummy – those are the sweetest kinds of gifts, though, granted, the presents themselves may be useless!

Mums want cards with nice messages inside, handmade or shop bought, but that you’ve taken the time out of your day to sit down and think about what you want to write, written it, sealed it with love and delivered in time for Mother’s Day so your Mum doesn’t feel forgotten about. Last year Olivia made me a card with handprints on it that made flowers – it was beautiful and that’s the kind of thing us mummies will treasure. Not every one of Olivia’s drawings (mostly of Rapunzel, not gonna lie) will make the cut of things I keep forever, but her little diddy handprints on a Mother’s Day card definitely will.

Mums want to spend Mother’s Day with their kids – it might not always be possible given the diversities of modern families, but a phone call or a video call if you can’t be there in person will go a long way.

And finally, Mums want to CHILL. It’s hard work being a parent; reward us, please. Give us a cup of tea and a chance to sit down somewhere other than the toilet. Dads, we promise we’ll do the same for you when it’s your turn. 

What have you got planned for Mother’s Day?

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I didn’t fall in love with my baby right away

Everyone knows the scenario. A woman is in labour (and absolutely exhausted), the midwife is shouting ‘one more push’, and finally, a baby is born. The cord is cut and the baby is handed to mum, who feels this overwhelming rush of love they’ve never felt for anything in their life, right?

Well, that didn’t happen for me.

While I was only in active labour for four hours, I’d had what some may call a nightmare of a pregnancy. Due to my EDS I had spent a good portion of it in a wheelchair, I was having hydrotherapy for the SPD and PGP that I developed (if you’re not sure on those, click here for more info), and I’d broken my foot because my EDS couldn’t keep up with the constantly increasing weight that comes with being pregnant. In the early weeks of pregnancy I contracted a viral infection which increased my risk of miscarriage, and baby developing foetal hydrops. And those were just my issues. Add in having scans for little one three times a week because she refused to be active, growth scans because my doctor thought that at full term she would weigh less than 5lb, steroid injections as I’m high risk for preterm labour, and a short inpatient stay towards the end of my pregnancy because my hips wouldn’t stop dislocating, we were essentially living in our hospital 5-6 days a week.
So it’s safe to say I was relieved when she was born, and she started breathing around 30 seconds afterwards.
I was so excited to be passed my new baby, and to feel this huge rush that every woman I know had been telling me about since I announced that I was pregnant that I pushed through two second degree tears, a dislocated hip, failed pain relief, a small haemorrhage and an incompetent midwife just to hold her. The midwife handed her over to me, and I was so amazed that this tiny (yet huge?) person had been with me for the last nine months.
But I didn’t feel that huge rush of love that everyone was talking about.
To be honest, I panicked a little bit, and I thought something was wrong with me. She felt more like a really cute stranger that I had a really strong urge to protect (and cry all over). I tried to breastfeed her twice, but as I’d been given diamorphine too close to delivery, my new bundle of joy was a little dopey, and kept crawling past the breast to suckle on my neck. Cute.
I continued to feel this way for the next few days. I had panic attacks whenever I was left alone with her because I was terrified I was going to break her, I couldn’t sleep if I was alone with her because I was terrified something was going to happen to her, and in the end, including the time I was awake and in labour, I didn’t sleep for three days. I got so worked up about that initial meeting with my daughter that I couldn’t think about anything else. I was convinced I was broken, and that it meant I was going to be a bad mother and this was all a very bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, I thought she was adorable; I was so proud that I had made her, and I wanted to take care of her, but I was just so disappointed that I didn’t get that first meeting that people claim to be the best moment of their lives.
Looking back on it now, I realise it’s totally normal. The birth and pregnancy I had with my daughter was far from normal, my body had been through a whole ordeal, and I was exhausted. I was hormonal, sleep deprived, very drugged from labour, and did I mention they handed me my baby for the first time while stitching me up with no pain relief?
Ouch.
How did you feel when you first met your baby?

Sarah’s Birth Story – How We Met

Dear Olivia,

It’s 4:30am on a Saturday and I’ve just woken up with pains in my abdomen. I had been having false labour contractions for about three weeks prior to that (you were exactly a week late) so I wasn’t too quick to wake up daddy and tell him that I thought it was for real this time. Instead I went downstairs, used the toilet, bounced on my birthing ball and put on the nightie that I wanted to go to the hospital in.

I was timing the contractions and seemed to be having them about every 7 minutes, and they weren’t too painful at that point.

At about 5:30am I ran a bath. In the run up to having you I was adamant that I desperately wanted a water birth, and thought that the warm water would soothe the pain from the contractions. I got in the bath for all of about 5 minutes before deciding that it was actually irritating me and I didn’t want to be in water at all!

It’s now 6am, contractions are speeding up a bit, once every 5 or 6 minutes and getting a bit more painful. I decided to go and wake Daddy up. Now Daddy is not a morning person, as you will learn, and we had a late night staying up and watching films with Kiera, so I had about 3 hours sleep and Daddy had about 5. Needless to say Daddy was a bit grumpy at first, but he got up quickly, made me a cup of tea and looked after me while I rang the midwife. He also put on the music channel, and for some unknown reason I was listening to Cotton-Eyed Joe and bouncing on my birthing ball at 6 in the morning.

At about 6:30am I started being sick and there was a bit of blood in it too, so Daddy rang the midwife again and they told us to come in as they weren’t that busy anyway. So Daddy went and woke Kiera up and got her dressed. We got into the car and Kiera was crying, you see, we’d booked tickets to watch the new Alice in Wonderland and she was upset that she couldn’t go! You were so inconvenient.

We dropped Kiera off at her mummy’s and by about 8am we made it to the hospital. Between about 8:30 and 9am the midwife came in and asked if I wanted to use the birthing pool, to which I responded with my bath story, and then checked me over and told me I was 3cm dilated, and then my waters broke all over her hand and the bed and everything! Oh great! We thought we would be in for a long while yet.

I got hooked up to the tens machine and Daddy was rubbing my back (though the wrong end, the blithering idiot) and all of a sudden it was too much and too painful and the midwife came in to tell me that as I had a long way to go I should get transferred upstairs to the labour ward for an epidural, and I gave in and agreed to have a bloody huge needle in my spine.

But here comes the twist…

The times become less accurate here because of gas and air (bloody good stuff btw) but roughly an hour later I had another examination upstairs and I was 8cm dilated!!!! Oh, and the anaesthetist was dealing with an emergency c section so no epidural for me! You were coming too quickly and about an hour later again I was being told to push.

Uh oh, there’s another twist…

You got stuck!

I was pushing for about an hour and a half, my legs flatteringly up in stirrups and about 6 people at the end of the bed, Daddy next to me with a straw and a cup of water and the room being like the tropics to everyone else as I shouted at a health worker not to turn the air con on!

I convinced the doctor that I needed help, and so more people came in wielding forceps before they changed their minds and used a kiwi cup instead. They asked Daddy if he wanted to watch but he said no as he knew I didn’t want him to see all the gross stuff. Then with 2 or 3 pushes you were out, and up on my tummy. I said “oh my god” and Daddy laughed. Then he cut the cord and you were moved further up my chest so we could have skin to skin.

It was perfect for a few seconds until I started being sick again and had to have someone put you in the crib as I was shaking so much from the adrenaline and the gas and air comedown!

Once the atmosphere had settled I cried, more out of guilt of having someone move you as I couldn’t hold you straight away after you came out, and I asked Daddy and the midwife if you were okay. You were fine, sleeping peacefully as if nothing had even happened.

I asked if I was just being a blind mother or if you really were that beautiful. And you are. You’re more beautiful than anyone on the planet and I love you so much.

So there you have it, that is how you arrived at 13:06 on your birthday weighing 3.9kg/8lbs 9.5oz.

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