1 Year Round Up!
Coming up to Pearls 1st Birthday which has been the quickest year of my life, I’ve been reminiscing about the build up of having her, the roller-coaster of pregnancy & managing being left in control of a real life human with all the firsts ahead of us!
- First buggy ride out…
- First out in the world feed…
- First public toilet panic nappy change…
- First time left on our own…
- First car journey on our own…
- First plane flight…
There are so so many…
People already with kids talked to us about preparing for it all.
Lack of sleep, lack of social life, bogey suckers (yeah they are real!!!) exploding nappies all whilst having feelings of intense love. Yet until you’re living & breathing it, you never truly understand the feeling of having the responsibility of looking after a bambino 24/7 – equally how could you!?
I even find myself doing it now talking to preparing Mums & Dads & I never try & preach (I hope) but verbal diarrhoea kicks in & before I know it I’m saying all these parental mantras! A little voice pops in my head saying ‘do they really wanna hear this now Anna’ & ‘does any of it really matter to them until they’re in the thick of it with their own lushes bundle’
I found myself clamming up at certain points in conversations about bambino’s when I was pregnant, as I just wanted her to be here safe & sound & didn’t want to jinx anything by getting ahead of myself. I did of course let the excitement in now & again, but always in the back of my head I had a slight fear.
Don’t get me wrong, having lots of conversations about babies before & after Pearl arrived was great & overall peoples advice was very helpful, but it can be mind boggling. When you least expect it you’ll remember those chats with Bob & Barbara or Terry & Tina & be like oooooh that’s what the hell they meant, or maybe I’ll give those what I thought was pointless homeopathic teething granules a try, which Sally mentioned months ago when I could barely remember my own name, modelling eye bags down to my knees, let alone plan for pending nashers!
My favourite piece of pregnancy advice is…
…get as much sleep as you can before the baby arrives, which is totally true of course, you should! But for the last 2 months of my pregnancy I was a total insomniac & felt like I had a constant foot in my rib, let alone the trillion toilet visits a night…..
I do however think that lack of sleep & nerves pre Pearl put me in good stead ready for the daily parental challenge & night feeds to test the success of functioning as a responsible grown up zombie! I especially like to think I’m a pro at the lack of sleep thing, with Pearl still waking up looooooads (don’t get me started on this subject & recent articles popping up saying “as your Baby is likely to now be sleeping through”……) NOPE not YET thanks…
Now that matter however is left for another blog I’m sure!
I’ll also never forget the struggle in those initial newborn weeks of settling Pearl with sick reflux. My Bestie with 4 mini humans herself however just swooped her up with this special arm move lift thing & that was it, a firm favourite happy position of hers & still is to this day, just minus the sick problems now thank goodness, as that was not a fun faze in those early days!
I do feel very fortunate to be surrounded by strong, loving, all unique & fabulous Women & Mothers. To be able to laugh, blurt out my thoughts, frustrations or life woes, knowing I’ll get back honest advice, thoughts & ideas without judgement can feel like liquid gold when you need it the most. I can at times find it pretty tough to ask for help and hate to appear moany about being a Mum or talk negatively about Pearl. Overall I’ve generally felt really happy & positive, but the reality of being a new parent means it’s very hard to maintain that constant level of positivity.
I have tried to get better at reaching out when I need it…
… and I’ve realised more & more in this last year, that its ok to not be ok sometimes. Initially on occasions I would feel lonely & hit a brick wall on those night feeds, but I then discovered this can be a very useful time to get organised, internet shop, or that there is so much support out there online if you just pluck up the courage to ask for it.
Prime example, I was feeling rough in the dark of the night with a cold, Pearl being only a few weeks old & in the haze of still transitioning from me to Mummy me, I was at a blank to remember if I could take any medication??? In the early hours I decided to post on a members only group on Facebook for the first time – Bristol Breast Feeding & quick as a flash I had loads of replies from other ladies, even a text from a friend who had also spotted my post, all with experienced answers for me to take on board & that I discovered was just one of many online networks available.
I had many 1, 2, 3 or 4am conversations with new insta buddies, some being in the same boat as me using the squares to keep their eye lids open whilst feeding, unable to settle themselves after looking after their own mini human, or simply working their socks off running their independent businesses… I’ve also loved having random chats with mates unable to sleep or them retiring from a night out & me led in bed trying to get through the next few hours, both of you now with the same outcome of feeling rough the next day #?!%#
Becoming a Mama has meant I’ve felt like I’ve also discovered different sides to people.
Mainly softer sides, a few more vulnerable sides, kinder or tougher sides & I’m sure people will say they’ve seen different sides to me, good & bad. You can’t go through such a huge change without experiencing shifts in yourself & others around you. I know I’m bound to have changed because before I was footloose & fancy free, so could of course pop out to the latest bar or new restaurant as soon as I wanted, or book any weekend I desired away with the girls, but I actually don’t mind not having that freedom as much as I’d thought I would.
I’ve learnt to look forward to stuff more or cherish the plans I do make even more than before. I do miss frequent date nights with the Beau, but sure they’ll come back more the older Pearly gets. I have been getting slight festive outing envy or fenvy as I have named it, but I’m sure my halo isn’t quite fixed in place yet for my party heels to find their way back to my feet again!
However & wherever your parenting journey leads you, for me the key to it is humour! If you can keep humour through all of the craziness & randomness, then in my opinion you’re on the right track. Parenthood comes with good, bad, brilliant & bloody incredible things! It’s so far been the most amazing experience & most scary all bundled into one.
Anyway, to round off my rambling…
… I’d like to leave you with just a few of my random memories from the early days with Pearly.
- Get stuck & lost somehow in Ashton Court Estate in a very wet boggy grassland with a buggy & 11 day old Pearl, when meant to be going for a New Year first ever serene picturesque walk.
- Have a lady in a House of Fraser measure my exploding new boobs by me pulling my top tight on the shop floor & her handing me what looked like 2 sewn together hammocks, which to my horror i discover fitted!
- Get to our first ever family of 3 night away in the stunning The Pig – at Combe, to be dramatically never before seen as much sick come from a baby puked on, whilst sitting in the bar & happened in-between ordering & being served a very anticipated & waited for glass of bubbles. Loved the Beau even more for how quickly he cleaned us both up!
- Have you daughter whilst out socialising at the pub squirt your own breast milk in your face when rubbing her nose during feeding by somehow squashing your boob to produce the fountain!
- Get very explosively shat on in bed during enjoying a cuppa when recovering from the madness of the night feeds, to discover Pearl swimming in it on my lap & have to wrap her up like a fajita in the duvet in an attempt to rescue us & salvage what I could.