I am Some Things You Should Know Mum

Things that no one tells a soon to be Mamma.

Please be aware that this is a NHB (No holding back) post which may contain TMI for some readers! 😂😂

If you read this and wish you hadn’t, too bad really… But you can’t say you weren’t warned!

The Early Days

1. The first visitors to the hospital will be a blur. I was so out of it on adrenaline and whatever horse tranquilisers they’d given me that my first visitors still talk about how “great” I was… And yet I don’t remember a thing about the first day!

If you have other kids, manipulating the visitors so that your kids and then Grandparents are first in, is a military operation! Hopefully it will only be your nearest and dearest who come along initially.

Most people are good at knowing that it’s best to wait until Mamma is settled at home before they visit. There are no rules of course, but in my little rule book, only go to the hospital if it’s one of your closest friends or a close family member.

2. The interruptions: You’ll just have drifted off to snooze after finally getting your little one to nod off and the door of the ward shall swing open and in comes “The Beeper”.

The Beeper is the little Blood Pressure monitor and fancy trolley the lovely nurses push from ward to ward to make sure you and baby are doing OK. It looks like Johnny 5 and has a habit of appearing at the most inconvenient times.

Don’t get me wrong. The nurses have a schedule and have to do their rounds and it’s all in your best interest, but you will learn to loath the Beeper. But it’s only for a few days and it makes going home to your own bed all the sweeter.

3. Your first toilet trip: With Mini-Me, I read all the books. ALL of them! My Darling mother happily answered my questions with brutal honesty. When I found out I’d be having her by section, my amazing friend told me all about hers in her colourful language.

Having grown up on a farm and having helped out, hands on I might add, with MANY C-Sections on Cows, I felt quite prepared. I put my faith, my trust and my vulnerable self in the care of the surgeons and all was right with the world.

But NO ONE prepared me for the first toilet trip…when you go for your first pee, apparently it’s normal to feel like you’re being sliced open again without anaesthetic this time! I swear to God, I thought I was going to die right there on the loo. It was not pretty. The pain almost made me puke.

And as if that wasn’t terrifying enough, the first poo is fecking horrendous! I have it on good authority that it is the same for Mummies who deliver vaginally. Again, I thought my entire insides were falling out.

I roared so loudly that The Him actually called for a nurse and she had to come in to convince me that no, I hadn’t just passed my bowel and no, I wasn’t going to die. But don’t tell anyone. How undignified and ridiculous right?

4. The Boobs: Now, for me, this was a big deal. And I mean Big in every sense of the word. As a woman of the Fried egg club, to wake up on day three with two bald heads in my bra, was quite the trauma. I swear to God I looked like Jordan. I’ve always wondered if I’d like to have boobs… No. No I wouldn’t . Thank you. No. Give me my fried eggs any day.

 

5. The journey home: My memory of this one still makes me laugh. The walk from the ward to the car with your lovely car seat is one of the most surreal experiences of your life. I hadn’t stepped more than 6 foot to the bathroom in 4 days.

Suddenly I had to waddle my way down corridors, into lifts (oooooh that bump takes on a whole new level of weirdness after a section!), through a lobby (carrying balloons to boot!) and out into the car. It was like running 20feet and then thinking you’re ready for a marathon the next day.

Daddy is grinning like a Cheshire cat while you shall be torn between scolding him for swinging the seat too much when he walks, and holding your ladybits in because they feel like they are about to fall the hell out of you with every step!

Getting into the car is a challenge and then there’s the drive home. I dare say The Him didn’t go above 40mph the whole way out to the house, because of the precious cargo and of course because of my delicate state. We both give out about Dooters on the road, but Oh my did he dooter out the road that day!

6. The tears: Oh tears. You unpredictable little feckers… They come in waves. You have NO control over them. They’ll arrive at the worst times. And you’ll possibly laugh at the same time because you will have no idea why the hell you’re crying! But let them flow. It’s completely normal! I’m still crying over anything and my Baby is nearly 3!

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7. The Visitors: While you’ll want nothing more than to see people and introduce your new bundle to your loved ones, bear in mind that your first day or two at home will be exhausting, emotional and terrifying. If I had been able to pay the midwives to come home with me, I would have. I remember getting to the house with The Him and the Car seat and being soooooo frightened. There was no buzzer. There were no nurses down the hall. It was just us. But we were fine.

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8. Newborns aren’t overly interesting:  Ok, they are actually much more interesting than you ever thought they were. But here’s the key. YOUR newborn is interesting. To YOU and your partner . Don’t be offended if your visitors only start at the baby for a few minutes. Yes of course they’re interested and of course they’ll think your baby is gorgeous, but while you can watch this little person doing NOTHING for hours on end, to others, it is exactly that…a little person doing nothing!

They don’t see the miraculous progression from yesterday, or that the baby is holding your focus for a few moments longer… or that her grip seems more purposeful. So don’t get offended that your friends seem to politely stare at the baby for only a few minutes, declaring his cuteness or that she has your eyes, before moving promptly on to some other topic of conversation. It’s normal.

And be honest, you’ve probably done it yourself many times. Because other people’s babies are not that interesting are they?

lasagne

9. Lasagne can make you cry: The gifts and parcels and flowers will come and be hugely appreciated. But the most welcomed and remembered offering to the home of the newborn…is food! And the best kind of food is something that can be portioned, reheated, frozen or even eaten cold from the casserole dish. Think curry. Think chilli. Think lasagne. You never realised how good lasagne tastes. It’ll make you so happy that may cry tears of joy.

10. You suddenly won’t care who washes your knickers: Maybe this was just me. Before I had Mini-Me, the thought of someone else doing my washing would have driven me mad with shame. Not because there’s anything wrong with my smalls, No! But I could never have even entertained the thought of my Mum or Mother-in-Law washing them.

And then I got over that VERY quickly. Because the first time I realised that the washing machine was going without me having started it, my initial panic was so overwhelmed by total gratitude that I even surprised myself. Now, I still don’t like the idea of someone washing my knickers, but for the first few weeks after birth, you really shouldn’t give a damn.

So now you’re home. And you could probably add 10 more things to this list. Add away Supermums.

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I am Section Mum

“Are you hoping to do it properly this time?”

I kid you not.  This is what I was asked recently by another Soon-to-be Mum with whom I was having the “When are you due?”conversation.

She’d asked if this was my first.  I’d answered that it was number two.

“Me too” she smiled.  Then she asked if I’d had a tough time last time.  I replied that I’d had to have a planned section.  Her next line floored me.

“Aw, so are you planning to do it properly this time?”

 

Now in her defense, she was an absolute stranger, who probably didn’t intend any harm whatsoever.  I don’t think she even realised that she’d said it…but she had.

I smiled politely and said Goodbye.  As I walked away, my smile remained on my face, somewhat forced… I wasn’t quite sure whether I wanted to laugh or to cry.

Smug I-push-mine-out-Mum carried on, oblivious to the fact that she could have just offended or upset the other very pregnant lady.  I carried on about my day, and it was only when I was telling my friend about the conversation that evening that I realised that her comment was lingering in my mind.

The word “properly” has been bothering me since.

Because not only did it dismiss my first childbirth, it suggested that I did something wrong; that my first birth was improper.

childbirth

Did she automatically assume that I was “too posh to push”?  Did she think that I asked to have my stomach sliced open and my baby lifted out by surgeons? Did she really class a c-section as a sub standard, improper way of delivering a child?  If she’s told that she needs to have one this time, is she going to say No because it’s not the proper way to do it?

What is the proper way?  I listen to conversations all the time about childbirth and babies.  There seem to be so many proper ways to do things.

Without medication.  With just gas and air.  With classical music on in the background.  Without bright lights and alarm.  Mammas who breathe through the pain are fantastic.  Those who refuse drugs are wonderful.  Those who have 60 hour labours are phenomenal. But those who take as much pain relief as we can have are equally as brilliant.

I don’t know of any new Mother who had Andy Peters standing waiting at the bottom of the bed to pin a Blue Peter Badge onto their properly born child afterwards.

I applaud and congratulate these warrior women, in the exact same way as I applaud and congratulate the woman who, for whatever reason, may it be medical, personal or indeed emergency, has to undergo the trauma of childbirth on an operating table.

A caesarean section is not what any woman anticipates when thinking of how their baby will be born. It’s terrifying.  It’s painful.  Your body goes through all of the same physical and indeed hormonal reactions to having just given birth as the body of a woman who has been lucky enough to give birth naturally.

There are stitches.  There is afterbirth.  There is pain…by God is there pain.

There is recovery time.  There are hormones.

But most importantly, with the help of some higher power and whatever wonderful staff that are on hand in the hospital, there is a baby.

And that is what childbirth, in any form, is about.

It’s about getting your precious little darling out of your big swollen tummy as quickly and safely as possible.  It’s about causing as little trauma as possible to your newborn, regardless of what your own body must go through.  It’s about love.

And there is absolutely nothing proper about any of it.

Every woman dreams of a quick, pain free labour and uneventful delivery.  How many do you know that have achieved that?  I’d love to meet them.

Of course I’d love to have experienced childbirth like most women do.  But do I feel like I have missed out on anything?

Erm, no.

Do I feel that my darling daughter is any less born than her friends or cousins?  Nope.

If my next child is born by VBAC, will that be more proper than Mini-me’s birth?  Eh…no!?

But If I do manage proper childbirth this time, does that mean I’m finally a real mum and that I can finally be admitted into the proper mum club? Well I think you know where I’m going with this!

I’m already a real mum.   I’ve already had a proper baby.  I’ve already been through the horrors of childbirth, perhaps just a little differently to others.

In the same way as some women judge others for not breast feeding, or for taking whatever drugs are safely available to them from the doctors, or for giving their baby a dodo/soother/pacifier, that lady judged me for having to have a c-section to bring my baby to me safely.

And of course she didn’t intend to offend, but when we so flippantly share our own opinions on bump and baby matters, (and we do!), we sometimes dismiss experiences that we have never had ourselves.

And we should consider that before we speak.

My experiences of pregnancy, birth and of being a Mummy are very different to every other Mummy’s experiences.  My experience isn’t exclusive.  There is no such thing as properly when it comes to being a Mum..

So if this time round, my consultant advises me that I should have another section, I’ll listen to her, because guess what? That’s her job.  She knows best and I trust her.  And because it’s my job too…the only job a mother has when they go into hospital, is to get their little bundle out of their belly!I

And I will happily hang upside down from the rafters, singing Jingle Bells, buck naked and high on horse tranquilizers if that ‘s what it takes to get my little one here properly.

I am Section Mum

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I am Some Mother’s Day Feels Mum

From Mammy on Mother’s Day

 

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

I love you each second of every daymammy

And even when sometimes I grumble and scold

I hope that you know that even if you’re being bold,

I trust you, I get you, I love you so much

I’ve loved you since the minute I first felt your touch,

(Whether at birth or first meeting, It matters not how

I became your Mammy, I’m your Mammy now.)

My total existence revolves around you;

Your growth and your wellness, everything that you do.

I’m thinking about you, awake and asleep

And even if I’m not with you, please know that I keep

you so close in my heart and always on my mind.shoes

You’re my reason for living, the reason I find

to get up on the mornings where there’s been no sleeping

to keep smiling and going, when I just feel like weeping.

But always, no matter how much I may struggle

The world can be fixed with just one little “cuggle”.

When I look at you sleeping, so pure and calm,

I love you with everything that I am.

I’ll push you, protect you and help you to grow,

I’ll make sure you know all the things you should know.

I’ll keep you as safe as I possibly can

I’ll make sure you know just how proud that I am

To be raising a child who’s so brilliant and clever

and to be your wee Mammy, forever and ever.

So how do I love you, let me count the ways.

Every day Darling, not just on Mother’s Day.”

 

To Mammy on Mother’s Day

How to I love thee, well count I cannot,

But I don’t need my numbers to tell you a lot.

mygirlsI love you for reasons that do not need words,

For the fact that you’re mine since I came to this world.

Because you love me every day and each night,

When I’m being my best, or I’m giving you frights

I know that you sometimes are worried and scared

But you don’t let me see that, You’re too busy being there

When I need you for playtime or stories or songs,

When I call in the night, and you carry me long,

long into the hours where we should be asleep,

runjulia

When I hide from the monsters or cry or hurt deep.

When I eat all my dindins or throw it you

When I giggle and cry, when you’re covered in poo.

It really doesn’t matter what I do or I say,

You are my Mammy and I’ll simply love you always.

 

 

Much love to all the Mammies of any Babbies, all over the world.

The S-Mum xxxx

 

I am So Glad I Did

Mammy had a near birth experience on Friday.

Where did this happen? In the arms of Jim.

You see Mammy, being the turbotwat that she is, decided that yes indeed, of COURSE, she would take part in the current members’ challenge. Mammy is young and fit and as able as the other (actually) young and nimble Jim-goers she trains with.

Mammy is just as strong and hardy as the 20 somethings whose pelvises have yet to be battered by the joy of carrying their minions, and whose lady-bits don’t rebuke them for over exerting themselves with threats to pee, or you know, BURST, mid-burpee.

Yes. Of course Mammy could row 500 metres at great speed, for Mammy is a fucking legend. Mammy is also, a deluded twat.

And so Mammy sat her legging covered posterier onto the rowing machine beside one of her lovely training buddies. The crowd gathered around, most of them genuinely encouraging, some possibly hoping Mrs R would slide off the machine and land on her arse. Regardless, ALL were glad that the seats of both machines were inhabited by arses OTHER than their own.

And so began the row. “3,2,1 GO!” shouted Mr Fucking Motivator. We began our jaunt. “Go, go, go! Keep it steady. That’s good. You can do it. Pace yourself… “

In the midst of the calls and cheers from the onlookers, I can hear The Him in my ear. I can hear my comrade breathing beside me as she too realises after 100 metres that there is a very strong possibility that we are both going to require defibrillation after this. Peter, our lovely new other Mr Motivator is in her ear, muttering similar encouraging things to her…“You’ve got this. You can do it. That’s it. Good good good…”

“Pace yourself” mutters Him in my ear. (Him should know from experience that the words “Pace Yourself” might as well be “Here’s another bottle” to me.) Mammy does not know what these words mean.

And so Mammy tears on, partially determined to do this, mostly terrified of looking like a twat in front of all of these lovely peoples. “Shit” Mammy mumbles as the strap begins to loosen on her right foot. “Fix my right strap” Mammy gasps between rows. The Him begins to fix the left strap. “TheOTHERrightstrapyouTwat!” Mammy screams (in one breath!) Encouraging cheers now erupt in to laughter.

“Half way” announces Peter. He has to be joking obviously. We have by now, rowed the length of the fricken Irish Sea. We must have been going for 37 minutes.

“Faaaaaaack” I’m not sure if that was me or my lovely comerade beside me. We’re both struggling. I am now breathing like what I imagine a tortoise giving birth to an elephant would sound like.

I’m pretty sure that there are women who have given birth to triplets, each weighing 8lb+, without drugs, who have sworn less and breathed less than me. I sound like a foghorn. Like a Baby Walrus calling for his Mammy. Like a confused cow who’s just had its nipples clamped. It’s not good. My hands are so sweaty, I can’t hold the handle much longer.

“Nearly there!” calls The Him.

“I can’t do it. I’m done”  roars Mammy.

“No you’re not. keep rowing. Don’t you dare stop!” The crowd begin to roar and cheer as my buddy beside me glides across the 500 mark. I have about 50 metres to go apparently. I can’t feel my arms. My legs feel EXACTLY how they did those times I had epidurals. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are women giving birth in the nearby hospital with less sweat, swearing and tears than me right now. I can’t breathe. My chest is closing. My head is spinning. I may puke. I want to cry. The crowd are cheering and The Him is still whispering “Come on. You’re nearly there.” I want to kill him. I want him to shut the fuck up, and yet I hear only his voice as my body gives in to the last surges and I DO IT!

I hear myself let out a roar and I push through what can only be described as HELL to get that number to 0. I only know I’m finished because of the noise of my buddies. My body is numb. My head is spinning. I have just rowed for at least 94 minutes. I am a machine…

“Well done!” they chorus, laughing and clapping; energized by our race.

“Good woman” gasps my lovely rowing buddy, who is all her youthful glamour and beauty, is (I am glad to see) looking equally as fucked as I currently feel.

“That’s my girl” The Him whispers as I lie on the floor. (I will hurt him later, I think, when I regain control of my body.)

Turns out, my ordeal lasted 2 minutes 11 seconds. I’m pretty fecking proud of that!

Turns out, it’s really easy to give up and decide that I can’t do something.

Turns out that with the right voices in my ear and the right people around me, I can actually do anything I fecking put my mind to.

If he’d let me give up when I said I was done, I would have. I would have given up and thought that I just couldn’t do it. But I didn’t.

The human body is amazing, but the mind is so much more powerful. And stubbornness. Stubbornness and pride can help you across any finish line. 🙂

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I am Such a Royal No-No Mum

(Today’s Thoroughly Modern Mammy column
“When are you going again?”
The Royal NO NO!)

So the royal family are expecting another Baby.
Good for them.


I’m as happy for Kate as I would be to hear of ANY pregnancy, but Holy Gemima, if I see ONE more headline or comment about how she’s “completing her family” or she’s now got “the magic number”, I shall scream.

Now, of course as an international celebrity, she will have every moment of her pregnancy and birth and life scrutinized and spread over the interweb and newspapers. That’s part of the job she signed up to isn’t it? And I don’t mind the reports of her pregnancy. It IS a matter of interest to our neighbours in the UK, and I’ll bet the Fashion bloggers and maternity shops are rubbing their hands in glee at the guaranteed content for the foreseeable future.

But like all things Mammy related, people are far too quick to jump to assumptions and conclusions, assuming to know inside information and writing anything to gain clicks and sales. To the journalists who wrote such rubbish as “Her family will be complete” and “Three is the magic number”, I ask some questions.

Will it really? Will her family REALLY be complete with 3 kids? Says who? How do you know that she will only have one more child? How can you guarantee that this little child will even be born? How do you know that she isn’t carrying twins? How will you cash in on this theory is suddenly her magic number is 4!? How do you know that she planned this one? For all you know, little Prince/Princess was a little heart attack for poor Willy and Lovely Kate.

Such statements and assumptions beg other questions too.

Why do people insist on telling you that you should “be going again” or “getting a move on”?
Why do people think it’s OK to assume that everyone wants to have more Babies? Or actually, even A baby for that matter.
Why, oh WHY, do people think that it’s OK to ASK why a couple aren’t “going for number 3, or 4, or 8?

Here are 6 reasons to NOT comment on a couple’s NON pregnant state:
1. It’s none of your business.

2. You don’t know their situation. You don’t know if they’ve had a miscarriage recently. People don’t generally go around announcing that do they? In fact, we good Irish still fall into the trap of thinking that we aren’t allowed to tell anyone until the sacred 12 week mark, and so when things go wrong, couples often have no one to share their grief or help them through it.

3. 1 in 6 Irish couples currently struggle with fertility. How do you know if the person you are innocently teasing about “going for another one” or “getting a move on” isn’t one of those couples? You don’t know if they’re trying everything and being constantly heartbroken. You don’t know if she’s injecting herself to try to help matters. You don’t know if he’s struggling with the fact that his sperm count is low. You don’t know if they’ve put every penny they have (and don’t have) into rounds of treatment, over and over again. You don’t.

4. Not EVERY couple WANTS to have a baby, or another Baby. For their own reasons. That they don’t have to explain to you.

5. Maybe that couple are in the process of adoption, or surrogacy. Maybe that couple are at breaking point, physically and emotionally and maybe…

6. …it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

Of course people mean no harm when we joke about “filling that big house” or “getting them a wee brother”, but like all things Parent related, innocent comments and harmless questions can cut through people like a bolt of lightning. We shouldn’t comment. End of.

So when the headlines tell us that because the Princess, (or Duchess or whatever she is), is now perfect because she’s having another child, we should try not to let them convince us that what they think is perfect, is right.
Because it’s not. YOU know what is right for YOUR family.

I like Kate’s style and her hair and her shoes… but will I be following suit and having number 3 to make my family “perfect” or “complete”?
Eh, no.
We’re “practically perfect in every way” already thank you very much, not that it’s anyone’s business! 😂