Maternity Leave Is Not A Holiday – thank you very much. Before I left work at the beginning of May, I heard a few passing remarks such as, “It’ll be great to have so much time off”, “You can relax. You deserve it,” “You’ll have a great time,” and “I’d love a few months off like you.” Well, I’d love the hot coffee, the long toilet breaks, the lazy wander around Pennys on my lunch hour and the adult conversation but you don’t hear me saying how easy you have it at the office now do you! No, maternity leave is not a holiday.
First of all, have you had a baby recently? How are you doing? You? Not your baby, you, Momma Bear. I want to ask about you because I want you to know that you have not been forgotten. In fact, a beautiful woman who would often comment on my Facebook posts, Kathryn, had a baby around the same time as me and I often think about her and wonder how she is doing. You see, when A was born, the reason I missed being pregnant was because, in such a short space of time, everyone stopped asking how I was and focused on the baby. I felt, in a way, left behind as I tried to catch up to this world who graciously accepted and loved my baby into their arms. But it’s normal. Your bump is gone, the pain is no longer written on your face. But it’s still there, nestled in amongst the scars and quiet sighs. But still, we’re somewhat forgotten once the baby starts to hit their milestones and your pregnancy becomes a distant memory.
The nine months, the incessant worrying after a four week heavy bleed and clot, the intense morning sickness, the incredible pains, the lack of sleep – was all worth it. I’ve fallen in love for the third time in my life. The first time was with B, the second with A and now with Little Bean who will now be referred to as D. Hello Little Bean, welcome to the world and to our family. We love you so much already.
Finally, I can almost say that I’m ready to bring Little Bean into the world. I have finished up some DIY that needed doing in the house, thanks to my awesome Dad. Ok, so the DIY didn’t necessarily need doing, but my head and shoulders are a lot more relaxed knowing they are done. I have my hospital bag packed!! I did it, finally, with just two weeks to go. For some reason I kept putting this one off, probably because the reality of the looming and large bump only hit last week. I have Little Bean’s clothes all washed, iron and sorted in little Ikea drawer sorter thingys and I feel so accomplished knowing where all the nappies, wipes and scented bags are. I have five sets of clothes ready for A, for when I’m in the hospital so B doesn’t have to stress about what to throw on the cute three-year old. I have action plans in place if I go into labour, and plans are in motion if all goes to schedule and I get to walk into hospital for the elective C-section. You may have gathered that I’m a planner, an organiser, I like and need to keep control of my personal situations and that of my family. The same goes for the weeks after me and Little Bean get home. For myself, for B and A and of course our new Little Bean, to settle into our new lives together I have rules and plans. Read more
When I found out that I would be scheduled for a C Section for Little Bean’s special delivery, I was quite happy. The controversary and debates regarding Cesarean Sections are pointless to me, and I will gladly say that I am chuffed to already be scheduled on the theatre list for May. It’s not a personal choice. I’m not too posh to push. There have been complications to both my pregnancy and I will not take the risk with my life or my daughter’s life for the sake of ‘experiencing’ a natural birth. So, back in December I decided that this time around, I would be mentally prepared for this C Section. Well, can you guess just how prepared I actually am?
You may have noticed that I have been a little quiet on the blog front. I decided to take a week or so off from writing as I caught up on, well everything. I’ll admit at 30 weeks I’ve been pushing myself too hard and have felt exhausted to the point of willing myself into a coma. Not to repeat myself, but I’m not made for pregnancy and find that I’m really struggling this time round. On the flip side, its gone a lot quicker than last time and the final countdown has crept up on us. But because we’ve only single digit weeks to wait until Little Bean arrives, I can’t help but feel anxious over the fact that I haven’t bonded with bump and that I have nothing ready for her. Oh how different pregnancy number two really is.
I imagine by now most people have come across that C Section text on Facebook or Twitter or wherever you lay your social media hat. Frustrated, angry, shocked and saddened are the many reactions I’ve come across. For those of you who don’t know what the controversy is about, a text message to a soon-to-be mum has been doing the rounds and has infuriated a whole cohort of women. The text, to sum it up, says a C Section is surgery not birth. Of course, like many I have a few things to say about that.
I’m not sure if it’s a normal occurence or if many tapped into this phenomenon, but B and I have talked about this quite a lot over the years as we look back on our first few weeks and months… ok, years with A. We developed, almost instantaneously, a Siege Mentality as soon as we brought A home from the hospital. Whether it was because we were mentally unprepared for our new life with a baby or the shock factor of how difficult and drastic a change it was, we don’t know. Either way, it was our new life as we aimed to protect our newborn and ourselves from any, whether positive or negative, outside influences from the world.
One of my new blogger buds is Sinead who writes a brilliant blog at Shinners and the Brood. Sinead is such a lovely person who started her blog in September 2016. With three little ones, she has plenty to spur her on in this blogging journey. Sinead has taken on my questions and joined me for this weeks In Conversation With. Check out her nuggets of parenting wisdown and remember to check out her blog and follow her on facebook and twitter!
Pregnancy comes with quite a lot of misconceptions. Often there is an expectation of how you are supposed to feel and things you should do while a little dude or dudette takes up home in your uterus. You should be happy, excited and glowing. You should be mother earth and enjoy every minute of the experience. Well, no, not exactly. We’re not reproducing machines, all latched on to the same programme, downloading the same software and experiencing the same thing. We’re real women, with real emotions, issues and problems. Pregnancy is not a walk in the park. For some, it’s a dredge through quicksand. So here are my seven things you don’t have to do while pregnant.