#Mama Moments: Daddy’s singing

E singing a strangely familiar song with gusto in German to A, to stop her from crying

Me: Are you singing a football chant?

E: How did you know?

#mamamoments

#Mama Moments: A’s first injections

So recently A had her first injections. Being a curious little munchkin, she was just simply really happy to be in the nurses office and contentedly

close up of white syringe
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

sat lapping up her new nurse-related stimuli.

As the needle went in her chunky, little thigh there was silence. She had dealt with it amazingly well. Suddenly she let out the biggest wail I have ever heard from her tiny lungs and her face went a worrying shade of red. As the second needle went into her thigh, she wailed even louder. The entire time she cried, she looked at me as though I had betrayed her.

#mamamoments

Becoming a mother without a mother

So today is my first ever mother’s day. I feel more emotional than I ever imagined I would be. Motherhood is turning out to be amazing. I feel so grateful and lucky that despite the horror stories, I survived pregnancy and birth. I managed to grow a healthy little girl who is incredible. I am lucky that I do not have to rush off to some job and get to choose if/when I go back to work.

But despite all this awesomeness, today has a tinge of sadness. My mother is not quite here.She has not passed away, thankfully. She is not ill but despite this she is still not here being my mother.

It’s complicated so I do not even know where to begin. She is not a one dimensional villain as she is caring in her way. She is intelligent. Her influence is the source of my fundamental fun- loving, book reading, forever- learning nature.

However, despite all of these niceties, she is markedly flawed. Although I am firmly an adult she is desperately controlling. She is dishonest. She is competitive. She is abusive. I feel upset that as I was pregnant, I could not ring her for advice or to share my experiences as I journeyed to motherhood. Instead I had to set up boundaries and distance so that I did not start to believe that some of the issues that occurred in this pregnancy were due to some fundamental, disgusting manifestation of my essence, like she continuously told me.

I have made progress in my expectations and have learned that there is a stereotypical god-like, angelic, flawless idea of mothers which is grossly unachievable.

However, having A has made me even more angry about the way she treats me. When I look at my gorgeous girl I could not imagine going out of my way to harm her or abuse her or make her feel small. I love her so much that all I want to do is love her and nourish her and let her know just how special she is.

I am starting to accept that my mother is not who I want her to be.

I am starting to realise that as well as being my mother, she is also a person with her own issues, struggles and flaws.

It was and still is, difficult at times being a mother without a mother. However this adversity has highlighted my resilience, strength and built my determination to be a reflective, thinking mother who does not take my own issues out on my children.

I have found opportunities to learn about how to be a mother in surprising places. I have realised that lots of people in my life, some who aren’t even women, show me qualities that I would like to emulate. I would love my friend Emma’s enthusiasm and positivity as a mother. When I’m with my granddad I always get the sense that he savours the moments we spend together and I would like to conjure that with A.

I want to capture and pass on my grandma’s luminous pride in my mere existence.

Unfortunately I am becoming a mother without the guidance of my actual mother but this experience has helped me to realise that there are lots of people who show me qualities that I would like to radiate as a mother regardless.

No Panicking: How I kept calm in the days before giving birth

Just before giving birth I have to admit that I was a bit of a mess. Somehow all of the scary stories I had ever heard about the big boogey man of labour were right at the fore of my mind. My friends who had never given birth were especially skilled at brewing my fear . They were forever hinting at scary details about labour that they swore were a certainty.

It’s not surprising really that as my due date came and went, that I went into a form of hibernation.

I turned off my phone; no more annoying excited ‘so has it happened?’ calls. I tried to avoid meeting anyone I know; no more talk about how I looked as I though I was about to ‘pop’ which I translated as’die’. Instead, I created a kind of Pre-labour, Anti -Panic Attack Retreat. As my husband woke up for work, so did I. I ate well, trying to avoid anything too sugary as I swear it is not good for my anxiety. I started my day with nothing but utter positivity in the morning; Buddhist talks, Joyce Meyer sermons all courtesy of Youtube. I took positive, cheerleader- esque notes and wrote my favourite quotes in a book which I took with me into labour. After well and truly slavering myself in utter positivity, me and my bump would bumble through Humpty Dumpty style yoga, focusing on poses that were said to be the antidote to anxiety.

 

I offended a few people who wanted to talk about the impending day by telling them that I was not talking but instead hibernating, but frankly, I didn’t care.

phone pic blog

I did not want to go into labour needing  tranquillisers because I had let fear take over.When the time came for me to go into hospital, I was 100x calmer than I ever thought I would be.

Incredibly, giving birth turned out to be one of the best experience I have ever had and thankfully not as scary as I had built it up to be. Staying calm before labour definitely helped.

My top tips for staying calm before labour:

  • Do not talk to people. Ha! Only joking. Talking to people can not be avoided unfortunately. But make sure you stay away from people who make you feel anxious about labour, they’ll survive if you do not speak to them for a bit.

  • Make a soothing bag full of things that will keep you calm if you go into labour. My bag included lavender oil, a tens machine, my book of positive quotes and a yoga birthing position guide.
  • Exercise. When you can just about breathe because your organs are being squeezed by your bundle of joy, exercise may feel like it’s impossible but just knowing I attempted exercising helped to make me feel good. Listen to your body but I think it’s worth doing something, even if it is just walking around your kitchen a couple of times.

  • Do things that make you feel positive– I wrote quotes and listened to positive talks. That also means avoiding negative stuff-I could not even watch some adverts or shows that I used to enjoy pre-pregnancy like Orange is the new black because they just made me too emotional.

  • Try to make sure you have a way of releasing any overwhelming emotions– talking to my super positive friend whose mum happened to be a midwife helped me lots.I also re-discovered my diary.

    © Filter Free Mama 2016

Caught up in Hurricane Motherhood

Hey lovelies,

I have been gone for a hot minute (or couple of months).

I have given birth(!?!!) and now have a gorgeous, incredible, actual, real seven week old daughter.I have missed blogging and finally feel that I can get back on it.

In the next couple of blogs I will give you the 411 about what how the birth went. Once you’re all caught up, I’ll let you know about what mummy adventures and discoveries my days now hold.

Honestly guys, becoming a mother has been incredible. It was something I was so so scared about but it is turning out to be the best, full stop. Looking forward to sharing this all with you and hopefully getting your comments/advice/general musings.

Lots of love

Nat

My husband’s sick, I’m pregnant and acting like a bit of a psycho…

So E is unwell, nothing serious just the flu but today as he lay in bed in a drowsy, snot filled haze I lay next to him, staring. As I patted his head and listened to his fluey breathing I began to tear up.

I had an office to sort out, food shopping to do and cooking on the fire but for some reason unbeknown to me I was crying because my husband had his annual dose of the flu.

After about ten minutes of intense staring, patting and crying I pulled myself together and popped off to Sainsburys to get some immune boosting food.

The walk helped me clear up my mind and get over my moment of intense madness attachment.I think that my primal evolutionary instincts are kicking in, alerting me that I need to look after my ‘mate’ to successfully get the resources to provide for my young or maybe it’s just the hormones.

I dont know but I hope that this isn’t a sign of my behaviour to come with our bubba. I need to woman up.

Pregnancy Progress

Currently: 35 weeks

Craving: Ice cold smoothies ( I drink about a litre of the homemade stuff every day!) and cold drinks.

Feeling: Relaxed, excited and in awe of those who give birth. My friend gave birth yesterday and was busy whatsapping today! #goals

12 week Blood Test Drama

After my amazing first scan I ended up being one of those people who get a call to say that something was wrong with their 12 week blood test. Just as I thought I had learnt to harness the power of  positive thinking, it was tested resulting in my old friend Mr  Anxiety showing me that I wasn’t quite the Positivity Guru that I thought I was.

My Papp A levels were low, this shows how well the placenta is functioning. My HCG levels were also high as though I had twins or something. Overall both blood tests indicated that we had a 1 in 65 chance of having a baby with Downs Syndrome.

I know that lots of people cope fine and love life with their child who has this condition but this scared me. I chose to see specialists at Kings to get a CVS test. It was quite overwhelming when I saw how many specialists there were in the room (about 6 I think) but I felt quite relaxed, happy that I would be more informed.

The test involved the doctors putting a long needle in my belly to get some placenta to test the cells to be able to know conclusively if our bubba had downs or another condition like cerebral palsy.

When they injected me with the anaesthetic before collecting samples of placenta that hurt but apart from that I just felt slight internal pulling.

I was impressed with how well I handled the test but waiting for the results was horrible.

I found myself googling and looking into forums about those who had the tests and what they found. I now know that you should never ever google when you are worried about something that you can not control as this just made my anxiety worse. On the day the results were due I was in full panic attack mode but managed to call E to press the hospital for the test results. They called me back immediately and told me all seemed fine. Our baby did not have any of the conditions they tested for. I was relieved but also felt a bit guilty as I realised that whilst I had been waiting for the results I hadn’t been looking after myself very well and thought less about my baby as my child but as a problem. As low Papp A levels can result in growth problems and pre-eclampsia I was immediately put on a daily dose of aspirin.

I think I’ve been avoiding writing about this as it was a scary, overwhelming time for me. However, this experience makes me so so grateful now when I hear good news about the progress of our bubba’s growth.