This one is a biggie for me. I’m not sure about you but I had absolutely no idea about what to expect when I had my baby. The first few weeks hit me like a ton of bricks. I wished the days away and as soon as the days were gone I wanted them days back! This was the first sign for me that motherhood actually makes you slightly deranged.
So with that in mind it matters so much to me that you know this information about how you’re going to feel after you’ve had this little one. Or you may have already had your little one and had these feelings, well you can breathe a sigh of relief, you are amongst many others feeling the same.
I’ll start with the first week. At the time each day will feel like a week in itself. The days of the week will go out the window and each 24hr period seems to all just roll into one. You learn there’s two 4 o’clocks in a day. You’re sober for both of them, yet you feel like you’ve got a hangover all day everyday, despite not drinking for 41 weeks or more (not that you’re counting). You will wonder how you’re still surviving on 20 seconds sleep in the last 3 days but you’re a mum now though, you can do the impossible.
First 24 hrs
Wow! You did it. You’re in awe of your baby and you feel like a superhero, that’s because you are! You birthed a human, theres a new little life in the world all because of you, yeah men get involved but their part is much less awe inspiring in my opinion. If I could bottle that first days feeling, I would, I mean there really is nothing like it. Well done mama go you. You’re a bit sore but not really noticing that or the tiredness yet, you’re just high on life. I wish it stayed this way, hopefully for some of you it will.
Ok so you’re starting to notice that someone ran you over but you don’t remember when? You ache all over and wonder why it is that you need hoists to get out of bed (I mean the babies out now why don't my stomach muscles work yet?). You feel sore and swollen underneath, you’re told you can check it in the mirror but you couldn’t think of anything worse, apart from maybe sex thats much worse, never again you think. It stings when you have a wee and you’re absolutely terrified of having your first poo. Don’t worry, it's not as scary as you feel like it will be and no your insides won’t fall out. Top tip, get some lactulose from your GP towards the end of your pregnancy to make this easier. The baby wants to be attached to you at all times, but there’s nothing you can do to please them. You question for the first time if you’re a crap mum. You’re not! The kid is just trying bring your milk supply in whether you’re breastfeeding or not. Go with it mama it won’t last, no really...you'll look back on this soon.
You wonder if you’ll ever sleep again? You wont I'm sorry, but you’ll be totally used to this soon and you won’t need it anymore. Some kind soul gives you two minutes to yourself to get a shower for the first time in a few days and you sob uncontrollably at the kindness. You get that shower but catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror afterwards and cry uncontrollably again, it’s the start of baby blues as they call them. The tears can be triggered for happiness, sadness, anger or because you put your slippers on the wrong feet, it’s just your hormones balancing and this too shall pass. You’re still standing staring at your post birth body and you know how much of an amazing job it’s done but that doesn’t stop you from wondering if you’ll ever like it again (no matter what the positive posts on instagram say) it’s something you will consider. You will like it again, the respect for it will grow, as the months go on it will start to resemble something you remember and you will accept the new you. And no your partner does not care one bit if you have an extra lump or bump there, you are beautiful.
Ok so I hate everyone holding my baby, I’ve heard that could be post natal depression, is it? The answer is... probably not. It’s just the insane amount of people passing through your house like your baby is on display in some sort of museum. You just miss him or her and hate everyone’s germs on your precious new baby! When did they last wash their hands? Get the hand gel! How dare they breathe on him/her, we all did this you are normal.
I’m the baby’s mum why can’t I stop them from crying? Another time that you’ll question if you are a good mum. Whenever you ask yourself this one... remember ‘people who are bad parents do not care about being good ones’ and cut yourself some slack. Babies just cry, soooo much, much more than you ever thought they would and ironically so will you. The sooner you accept that crying is ok and realise that it’s just their only way of communicating the better. Accept that their crying is not a result of you not being a good mum and you’re good to go. Pro tip, the answer in the first week or two is usually to feed them, but that being said after that it’s a minefield of reasons they could be crying and you may feel like you haven't got a clue which reason this is! I felt the same you’re not alone, eventually you become confident enough to listen to your gut and you and the baby will have a little rhythm going on. If you’re unlucky enough to deal with colic, reflux or Cow's milk allergy hit me up at the time, that’s a whole other issue.
Feeling brave today, getting used to the new way of life and also getting stir crazy so you attempt to go out. You start getting ready at 9am and check the clock as you leave! What? how the hell is it 3pm already? Oh well you go anyway and get halfway there and realise you’ve forgotten something and turn back. First of many times this will happen. You question if it’s really that bad to stay in forever? I mean I’ve considered it myself, I struggle to see the downside most days.
How has a week passed already?! (Cry a little more) you think about the saying blink and you’ll miss it and wonder if this is why your baby is up all night? So you see as much of them as possible? You remember you’ve forgotten all about registering them and scramble around trying to get an appointment within the time frame, you do.. and you smile smugly… yes mama you’ve got this.
Some point that week
’Why did I want to do this?’ A very real question that you may wonder at some point post baby. When you feel like you’re struggling to keep your head above water and the pressure gets too much, you question why you ever decided this was a good idea. This is particularly hard on those of you here that tried very hard to get pregnant in the first place. This is your first experience of Mum guilt, isn’t it lovely? You might as well get used to this feeling, it’s around for a while for absolutely everything. You’ll look at the pile of washing and wonder did you have triplets and no one told you? How can one little person create a years worth of washing in a week? You consider hiring a cleaner, oh and a chef because when’s the last time you ate anything more substantial than toast? Then you remember you're on mat pay now and push the toaster down for 3rd time today (then forget you did that and find it hours later cold and dry). You pass your unmade bed as you put one of the numerous piles of washing away (or you settle for just out of the way if you're anything like me) and you let out a sigh at how little you appreciated It before you had the baby. As the first few weeks fade away you begin to get showers most days now and you kept yourself and the baby alive. You’re doing amazing. Being a mum is the hardest job in the world and sometimes it can feel like a lonely place that you don’t always enjoy. That’s ok because then the baby will grab your finger and start to smile at you and you feel love like you never imagined and luckier than you ever knew you could. So on the days when you feel the struggle, rest assured you can do it, better days are coming. You may not feel like the superhero that you did on day one anymore but your baby sure thinks you are one.
Take care of you
This Mum Liverpool