So, when people talk about mum guilt they are normally talking about the guilt they feel surrounding their children. But I’m not going to talk about that type of ‘Mum Guilt’. The type of mum guilt I have been feeling is in fact, for other mums!
Since Aria has been born, in all honesty? I have found it pretty straight forward. That might be to do with the fact that I am currently living with my parents, so I have a few extra pairs of hands around if I need them, or it could just be because I am one of the lucky ones!
So many people ask me the same question time and time again “Are you getting a lot of sleepless nights?” and my answer is “No. She’s a really good sleeper actually!”. There are so many things I read up about on before I had Aria, ready to face an obstacle that might come my way:
- Struggling to breastfeed: For a lot of mums, when it comes to breastfeeding the struggle is real. The baby has a poor latch, the baby is tongue-tied, they get mastitis, they get thrush therefore the baby has oral thrush, the baby is fussy at the breast, they aren’t gaining weight properly, the poor mother has cracked and bleeding nipples, the mother has a slow let down, the list goes on! I have been so lucky on my breastfeeding journey so far and the fact that it has come so naturally that I feel so guilty knowing there are so many other mothers struggling out there!
- The baby won’t take a bottle: For a lot of breastfeeding mums, from time to time they want to have a break, or they want their partner to be able to feed the baby, so they look to introduce a bottle. Whether that be formula or expressed milk. Again, Aria was great at the breast, and is also really good at taking a bottle. I have read on so many forums about women trying every teat and bottle under the sun, and still their baby won’t feed from it, therefore, never giving the tired mother a break!
- Sleepless nights: Again, I have been so lucky with the way Aria sleeps. She very rarely will sleep for less than 2 hours at night. At 4 weeks old she was sleeping for 4 hours at a time, and she has also done a few stints of 6/7 hours. Now for a breastfed baby that young, it’s pretty much unheard of!
- Cluster feeding: Cluster feeding is when your baby is pretty much hanging off your boob all day! Yes, Aria has days where she is having a growth spurt and she feeds more frequently, but I haven’t had a day, so far, where I have been chained to the couch/ bed, not being able to shower, or even wee or eat. I have been so lucky that she will feed, and sleep for nearly an hour before round 2 starts.
- Breastfeeding in public: Again, I have read on forums where poor women have been given dirty looks, or even had some rude comments said to them for breastfeeding their little one in public, and I myself am yet to experience that, if I ever do that is!
- Cold dinners: Okay yes. I have experienced this, but this was only in the first 3 weeks. it’s pretty much expected that the first 2 weeks are the hardest, but for some women, this literally goes on for weeks and weeks!
- Being housebound: Since Aria was 4 days old I have been out and about with her. I wanted to get out as soon as possible to try and get a bit of normality, and also to build my confidence with going out with a brand new baby. We actually went out for a family meal when she was just 6 days old!
- Colic: Some babies get really bad trapped wind, and it is awful! So far Aria has only had this twice which I am so happy about, because there really is nothing worse than seeing your baby scream in pain, and whatever you do doesn’t seem to work.
- Content baby: Everyone that meets Aria always comments on how content she is, and how happy she is to be out and about whilst I’m being a lady that lunches!
I haven’t written this post to brag about how great I have it compared to others. I am writing this post to say to all you mums out there, I am so sorry if you are having a tough time, I do truly feel guilty that so far ‘touch wood’ that motherhood has come to be like a duck to water. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t feel guilty that I’m having it easy. But hey, I’m only 10 weeks in so something is bound to happen to me eventually!
So Aria is 6 weeks old now, and let me tell you. I have learnt quite a bit in the last few weeks! The biggest thing I have learnt though, is that I have literally no idea what I am doing!
Okay, that’s a bit of an over exaggeration. I know the basics. Make sure she’s fed, make sure she has a clean nappy on, make sure to clean her and bathe her, make sure she is happy, and make sure she is stimulated. But with all of that there come so many questions! In the last few weeks I have googled more than I have ever googled before- and I am a massive google lover so you can imagine how much data I must be using on my phone!
The problem with google though, is that there are so many different answers to the same question, and that poses a big problem… which answer is the right one? As a first time mum I am literally going in blind. Yes we went to our antenatal classes and learnt a fair bit, but there is so much that isn’t covered in those classes that I really think their should be!
So many people always say to ‘check with your midwife’ or ‘Ask the health visitor next time you see her’. Well I’ve done that, but what do I do when I’ve asked the same question but been given 2 very different answers?
So many people say how good it is that there is so much available online now, but in all honesty, I think that makes it so much harder, because there is so much conflicting information on there! However, like I’ve been told time and time again, for a lot of things its just finding out what works best for you and your baby. What works for one may not work for another. What I’m learning, is that there is no hard and fast rule to solve any qualms a baby may have. Some days Aria likes being sat up to be winded, some days she likes to be laying down. It’s all trial and error!
Slowly but surely I do feel like I am getting the hang of this motherhood malarkey, but lets see if i’m still saying that when I face the next lot of obstacles!
Here is the first post for my new ‘baby related series’ titled ‘#MumLife’. I hope you enjoy this post, and the many more I am sure to write, as I embark on this crazy journey that they call motherhood!
So Aria is 3 weeks old, and let me tell you… it has been an adjustment! Don’t get me wrong, she is such a good baby in comparison to the horror stories I’ve heard about but it really is exhausting being responsible for someone who is so small and needs so much care and attention!
As a newborn babies are pretty easy to look after in the grand scheme of things. You just have to make sure they are fed, have a clean nappy, wind them once they’ve been fed and give them lots of kisses and cuddles. Simple. But who would know how draining it actually is?
There are so many things that come with being a mother to a newborn, and these are just a few to mention.
- I am on constant Aria watch. As soon as I wake up I check that she’s in her crib which is attached to my bed. One morning I woke up and she wasn’t there. I quickly turned over and saw she wasn’t in Ryan’s arms either. PANIC! She was actually laying in between Ryan’s legs but I couldn’t see because I was laying down, but in that moment I was terrified! Once I realised where she was an instant wave of calm flooded my body. Phew.
- Whenever she’s asleep I’m constantly looking at her making sure she’s breathing, sometimes her breaths are so shallow I have to poke her, in hope that she’ll flinch and I’ll know she’s still alive!
- The overwhelming tiredness that hits you when you’re awake for the 3am feed, and you’re looking at your husband who you seems to be blissfully unaware that you are awake and is enjoying his sleep (which of course is not his fault as he is unable to produce ‘Milkies’ from his manly nipples) can really get to you and you can feel so lonely, and also terrified that you might fall asleep mid feed and end up unlatching your child and spraying them in the face with milk, or worse, dropping them!
- The days when all your baby wants is you, no one else will suffice for more than 5 minutes. So far we have only had 2 days like this, but these are the days where I have felt the most drained and emotional.
- The days when they are having a growth spurt. You literally feel like a dairy cow where you child is constantly suckling at your bosom, whilst you, once again, stare at your own meal going icily cold (I’m sure they know when it’s your meal times, it’s like as soon as they smell food they’re awake, regardless to the fact that you have just finished nursing them 10 minutes ago, in the hope of getting ahead of the game so you can have a hot dinner for once).
- The days when it feels like all your baby is doing is constantly filling their nappy, normally before you’ve managed to button up their baby grow after just changing their previous poo explosion.
- But even with all of that constant caring and tending to your child, there really is nothing like holding your precious child. That child you have grown in your body for 9 months. The child that is half yours and half your husbands.
- Those little eyes that look up at you when you’re nursing them, with their little noises of enjoyment and satisfaction of being fed their mother’s milk.
- Those little faces they pull when they are milk drunk, and look so content with their now full belly (which will be ’empty’ in approximately 10 minutes once they have either A) Burped/sicked up their milk. B) Done an almighty blow off that has caused their bowels to now open and fill that clean nappy that was put on them just 20 minutes previously. Or C) Forgotten that they have just been fed for 25 minutes on the left side after their 5 minute power nap, and start shrieking as if they have been starved for a week so you now offer them the right side).
- The constant worrying that your child is okay, and wondering if those noises are normal for a baby to make (Aria started making a squeaking noise on her third day of life, and because I hadn’t heard it before I was convinced I had broken one of her bones and she was now squeaking in pain).
- You get so much joy when they smile for the first time (not all smiles are ‘wind’ no matter what people tell you) and get so excited when they start achieving their milestones.
Being a mum to a newborn is draining, but so rewarding. I feel so blessed to have Aria as my daughter, and I can’t wait to see what funny things she’ll start doing next!
Finally, the wait was over! Our little bundle of joy Aria Lily Legg was born on Monday 6th March 2017 at 18:12 pm. After a very speedy labour of only 2hrs25 minutes including 32 minutes worth of pushing, our darling daughter flew out and down the bed!
I’m planning to film a labour and birth story video, as it will be easier for me to explain verbally then write it all down, but for me, labour and birth was such a positive experience (although there was a few complications afterwards, but nothing sinister or anything I couldn’t deal with) and I would definitely go through it all again. It is very true what they say, all the pain is totally worth it once you hold that little human in your hands. I would say that giving birth is my proudest achievement, and giving birth is the most amazing experience I have ever been through!
So far Aria has been such a joy to be around. She has such a funny little character already and I love her more and more each day. Whoever says newborns are boring are off their rocker. I could watch Aria sleep all day, she pulls so many funny little faces, and loves sticking her tongue out, normally when she’s on the hunt for milk!