Archive for June, 2014

A letter to my son

Posted: June 20, 2014 in Motherhood
Tags: , , ,

Dear Harrison,

This mothering business tears you apart. The sheer emotion of it. And you never know if you’re doing anything right. Anything. It’s like the one thing you’ll never get training in, parenting. You just have to bumble through it.

But first thing’s first: let me tell you the story of your birth. What that involved was an 18 hour labour (11 hours ‘active’ labour). I had gas for the first 5 hours, which worked pretty well, and your Daddy went great guns in the shower department, using the hot water to relieve the pains of the contractions. But then they got SO much worse, so I asked for a shot of morphine. Turns out I’m one of the people who does not respond to morphine – it did nothing. So then I got an epidural, which the midwife said was the best decision I’d ever made, as you were in a posterior position which is the most painful for giving birth. An obstetrician came in and manually rotated you (yes, that is as bad as it sounds) 5 times with 5 contractions. Then you finally came out, after 50 minutes of pushing, and miraculously no stitches!

You were perfect, you weren’t blue or anything, and you were breathing brilliantly when they popped you on my tummy for skin-to-skin contact. You were born with so much hair, and little eyes that even then were so inquisitive, looking around. You didn’t cry much (that came later haha!) and you were honestly the best looking thing I had ever seen in my life.

Your Daddy was amazing, helping out as much as he could. I’m afraid I drew blood when I clutched his hand so tight with my fingernails. But I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive him for the moment when the song ‘Sexual Healing’ by Marvin Gaye came on his iPod Chill Out mix that we were listening to during your birth šŸ™‚ I wish either of us could remember what song was playing as you were born, but we were focused on other things besides the music.

We hated the hospital. Thank god we only had to spend 48 hours there before we got to take you home. We were SO clueless as to what to do with you and how you should be behaving. Now we understand there is no ‘right’ way for a baby to be. Breastfeeding was hard, and in the end I managed to do it for 3 weeks so now you’re on formula, but you are putting on weight like crazy and thriving, so screw those militant breastfeeders.

Motherhood is both much more and much less than I expected. Much more sitting around in your pajamas because your baby won’t fall asleep anywhere but on you and you haven’t managed to eat breakfast or leave the house in days. And much less feeling fulfilled and like a zen Mother figure. Maybe that comes with time?Ā Thank god for your Nanny and Poppa – they have helped so much. Especially your Nanny. She is a lifesaver and I have never loved and appreciated her more in my life than now.

It is so hard to be your child’s main source of comfort, food and company. It is the loneliest job in the world. You want to be awake all the time during the day, but at the same time this makes you grizzly and you get overtired and then you cry. A lot. Thankfully you sleep 4 or so hours at a time at night. I’m just documenting this so I don’t forget. You know, for when I’m next contemplating having a baby, so I can remember how no one REALLY tells you how it is.

I’m making it all sound terribly hard, which it is, but there are also these moments: the first time you smiled at me (at approx. 3 weeks old, which is early, but it definitely wasn’t wind, it was a proper and true smile); the times where you are just staring at me so intently, like I’m the most fascinating thing in the world; when you are sleeping and I could look at that face forever – the perfect little features in the most divine heart-shaped face; the hilarious moments including when poo literally shot out of your bum, narrowly missing your Daddy who then fell about on the floor laughing so hard.

I wish your Daddy could experience what I experience every day. He loves you so much, and is just the best Daddy I have ever seen. But he doesn’t get to see you for 12+ hours every day (a blessing and a curse).

At 4 weeks of age, these are the things I know about you so far:

  • You have several different looks – the ‘what the hell are you doing Mum?’ look, the ‘I am fascinated by you’ look, the cranky/hungry look, andĀ very recently the smile.
  • You like baths, but you HATEĀ getting out of them. So. Much. Screaming.
  • You make a LOT of noises – snorts, grunts, squeaks, you name it. I never realised babies made so many noises, especially in their sleep.
  • You love movement – the stroller and the baby bjorn are my best friends! You will fall asleep in them when you won’t anywhere else.
  • You fart like a full-grown man. And you love burping in Daddy’s face šŸ˜€
  • You smell like heaven.
  • You are beautiful, and perfect, so perfect you make me cry.

There is so much more to learn about you, and I am so looking forward to seeing your personality develop in the coming weeks, months and years. For now, I’m still finding my feet as a Mummy, but I’ll get there. We’ll all get there. That’s life. And this is our family. Loving each other forever.

Love always,

Your Mummy xxx

I gave birth 2 weeks ago. I gave birth – it still seems strange to say that. It was simultaneously the most amazing and intense experience of my life, and the most painful. After an 18 hour labour I am VERY glad it’s now over, and we have our gorgeous baby boy, Harrison.

I still can't believe we created something so perfect...

I still can’t believe we created something so perfect…

The number one thing people who have already had kids say to you when you’re in these early days is “It gets better”. Which is some comfort when you’ve been up for hours with an unsettled baby, you’ve changed his nappy, you’ve fed him, you’ve made sure he’s warm enough but not too warm, and he’s still crying. But not much.

Sleep deprivation, hormones, issues with breastfeeding, and really not knowing at all what you’re doing all contribute to the first few weeks being an emotional rollercoaster, It’s worth it to see his content, perfect little face but boy is it hard. I can’t believe that this government only allows 2 weeks paternity leave – I feel like I need Rob for at least a couple of months to help out. He has been amazing. I can see I won’t get a chance to shower, leave the house or even feed myself some days. And I already have so much new-found respect for single parents – how they do it alone and don’t go out of their mind I will never know!

In terms of my physical recovery, it is going well. I didn’t have to have any stitches, so it’s all pretty straightforward. I do have abdominal wall separation, which isn’t painful but sounds it. It just means I can’t do any sit ups for a while. I’ll be documenting my return to the gym and exercise once I get the go-ahead in 4 weeks time. The weight has come off quickly, I think due to breastfeeding, but it’s muscle tone I will need to work on. And, you know, cardio fitness.

For now, we’re still getting our bearings. But every day we know our son more and more, and I can’t tell you how amazing it is to stare into his eyes and know that you are his world. The word love doesn’t go anywhere near describing it.

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x