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?

Dear Mr…

So this post is inspiried by Caroline Flack’s article in this month’s ‘Cosmopolitan’… I felt I could relate so much to what she had posted, and although this post isn’t exactly parenting related I think it is something we can all relate to. I think if I could write to any of my past partners then this is what I would say:
Dear Mr First Crush,
I was merely 13 and you were a few years older, we had mutual friends so found ourselves spending time together at break and lunch though, of course, you were completely out of my league. I couldn’t help but notice how polite you were to everyone, how funny you were and how cute you were, gradually I noticed myself changing, trying to adapt and morph myself into the type of girl you would like and then the reality hit me that I was becoming someone I could never be, plus you got with one of my best friends and that was the end of that I guess.
Dear Mr First Love,
Well, I’m not sure where to begin on this, but I’ll keep it short. We were young and merely 16, at 19 we fell pregnant and had our baby boy…we had ups and downs and eventually got engaged, I made some of my best memories with you and though things ended rather sourly I will still always care, not in a romantic way as that chapter is over but ultimately you are my son’s father, so naturally I will always care about your wellbeing. Of course, it does upset me how things ended, our relationship died out and you felt that neglected by me that you sought comfort from other women while we were together and still to this day I blame myself for that.
Dear Mr Rebound,
Ah now this I feel truly awful about as you still have no idea thats all it was but the thing is I was fresh out of my previous relationship and just wanted some comfort after what happened and you were there, I do feel bad looking back at what happened but I just couldn’t bring myself to commit after what happened.
Dear Mr Too Good to Be True,
Oh this is my favourite, you seemed perfect. Tall, dark and handsome, and slightly older. You owned your own company and lived a completely different lifestyle to the one I had. I felt like Cinderella for a while as you took me to nice places for meals and nights away, but gradually the cracks started to show. You see, I always told you that I was a mum and that my boy came first yet I still saw you saying things like “can’t you palm him off to someone else”, which is wrong on so so many levels, and it was at that point I think I realised that it wasn’t going to work. One day you dropped the bombshell that you still had feelings for your ex, and I think you expected me to shrug it off but that was it for me, it was time to walk away.

Dear Mr Wrong,

Well, your name says it all. Wrong…so so wrong. You weren’t even the type of guy I normally go for, but I think I was attracted by your confidence, you were pretty good looking and would say all the things I wanted to hear, and right when you had my attention and had me right where you wanted me you would drop me at the click of your fingers, as if I was some toy you could pick up when you were bored, and eventually I realised that I am worth so much more than to be another girl for your collection.

Dear Mr Right Now,
Well, after all the above I think it’s safe to say I’m fragile, I’ll be the first to admit in light of everything that happened I’ve developed the biggest commitment issues and I feel truly sorry for you, you’ll learn over time I push people away, my temper is foul but I can be caring when I’m not a moody hormonal strop bag.  I have an incredible ability to self sabotage and ruin anything good I have going for me, if after discovering all of this you’re still prepared to try with me then the next step is a bit harder, in light of my history my best friend and her husband have developed a vetting process which you will be obliged to pass. Last but most important, I am a mother first and foremost, my son comes first and if you can’t accept that then please see yourself out of my life.

Dear Mr Bottom-Squish

Oh my darling Oliver, you’ll never understand the amount I love you, how many nights I sit and watch you sleep and wonder how I got so lucky, despite all the Mr’s you will always be the most important and will always come first. I will always protect you as long as I am breathing. I can’t wait to see you grow into the amazing young man I know you will become and every day you amaze me with your character, you truly are the best thing in my life, my darling boy, and I promise you we will have so much laughter, and so many memories… At times we may argue and there will be times in your life when you dislike me, but just know that I love you eternally and that I will always support you everything you do. Granted, some days you make me want to rip my hair out, but I am sure that when you’re older you will think the same about me. Thank you for being my son and being the most perfect thing in my life.

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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