The reality of parenting: The first few days after birth

When I became a mother for the first time, I had no idea what to expect.

I had read what to expect when you’re expecting, watched the film what to expect when you’re expecting. Yet still, I had no idea.

You see, the thing is with films and books is that they are sugar coated, they are often filtered to fit the theme of the story line (a little bit like Instagram). They often do tell you the troubles/problems you may encounter but they do not give you a real perspective of the reality. The actual reality of parenting is much different.

I have always shared on my personal blog and social media the side of parenting which sometimes is not shown because after all, we are all human and need a reality check every now and again. Do you agree?

When I think about my naïve self five years ago, having ‘the’ conversation with my husband about starting a family it makes me cringe. The conversation went a little like this:

“I know we’ve said that there will never be a right time, but shall we try? I mean, it would be lovely to have a little version of us to love and look after?” “Yes, I think we are ready. We have a two bedroom house and a garden, oh it would be lovely in the summer playing in the garden” “Yeah and it might not happen, so we will just see”

1 month later: Positive pregnancy test result.

Now, as a young couple we clearly underestimated our fertility and there, at a ripe age of 24 I was with child.

Fast forward to after the birth (I will leave that one for another day) and we are on day 2 of being a family of three. The wonderment of childbirth was well and truly still fresh in my memory but felt an overwhelming urge to go for a walk with my new baby. Well, I will tell you this much. I made it to the bottom of the street before turning back, exhausted and blinded by the daylight.

I had after all become very quickly acquainted with the night time being when people are awake thanks to the little version of myself who had made herself very comfortable with cluster feeding all night long.

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The sleep deprivation is real.

No one can prepare you.

Now I realise when people said when I was pregnant ‘sleep while you can’ they literally meant it.

You see, in the first few hours after birth you are exhausted but filled with endorphins. Then as the days go by the sleep exhaustion hits and this is when you need to take the time to recharge your batteries. Make sure that you are taking full advantage of any help offered. Mums and partners are usually the best bet, because usually they will listen to your requests.

I know it is hard to leave your baby, I didn’t leave my first born with anyone for months. Until I realised that dry shampoo was now my go to product and I smelt of baby sick 100% of the time.

Shower when you can, and invest in some headscarfs because greasy hair is a nightmare but once the post-partum hair loss kicks in you will thank me for that tip.

Eat and drink all of the time. Even when you don’t feel hungry you need to eat and don’t let anyone tell you what you should be eating. Just eat. If you are anything like me, then I lived of tea, toast and biscuits for days after because it was easy quick and gave me comfort. If you are super organised then prepare and freeze meals before the birth, I have heard that is super helpful especially if you are a single parent. If not, then stock up on hobnobs and Tetley’s tea.

Although you may not be pregnant any more, you still need to take your pregnancy multivitamins. You are recovering from the birth and your body needs the extra iron and vitamins to help recover.

This time will feel like it is lasting forever and you might even be wishing for the time when they seep through or you can easily just grab your bag and get out without a military operation but it will come.

You are a new mum, and although you get a lot of advice, trust your instincts they are very strong and you know what is best for your baby. Above all be you, this is a new chapter of your life and be open to changes because being a parent is the biggest change you will ever experience.

Much love,

Mother Freckle xx

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