Finding out I was pregnant again after baby loss filled me with an almost ‘forbidden excitement’ – as if I shouldn’t get my hopes up, you know, just in case it happens again. The first time around it was quite a traumatic experience and even considering trying again took me a few months. However, fast forward 12 months to the day I found out I’d lost my baby, my beautiful boy, Jude, was born – on my birthday! You couldn’t write that could you?
Going through the loss of a baby also made me feel like I should be grateful for every moment and that I shouldn’t complain because I’m so lucky to have this baby. And whilst the latter is absolutely true – it’s okay to talk about how god damn hard it is at times – because it is, right?
Jude is now 9 months old and he is the loveliest little boy I could imagine – if you don’t follow me already, come say Hi @Journeywithjude and you’ll see my obsession in photo form! But it hasn’t always been, and still isn’t always smooth sailing. Whenever I talk to other Mum’s, I’m often taken aback by responses like “Oh thank god it’s not just me” and “No one ever tells you that, do they?”
NOT THE MOTHER I THOUGHT I WOULD BE
In a world where we’re so open and willing to stand up for the things that matter, who’s standing up for the struggles of Motherhood?
You’ll feel this immediate rush of love when your baby is born…
So this just didn’t happen for me. I’m not sure if it was the fact Jude came almost 4 weeks early or that the labour was less than 2 hours but I can only describe the feeling as completely overwhelming. It was such a daunting experience and to have my husband leave me after 4 hours (covid and all that) just added to my fear I think. It wasn’t until the next day I actually started to adjust to the idea I’d had a baby and he was all mine to take care of – not that I had any idea what I was doing!
Of course it didn’t take long for me to fall head over heels but I just want to reassure you that if you didn’t get that instant feeling – you’re not alone and it is okay.
I’ll definitely be happy to leave my baby after a couple of months…
Erm, hell no! I always thought I’d be more than happy to hand Jude over when he was a few months old so we could ‘have some time to ourselves’ – notwithstanding the fact we couldn’t actually go anywhere or do anything – I couldn’t have wanted anything less. I’m still adjusting now but I’m starting to relax and let go – I probably need to consider whether I’ll be back at work later this year.
Everyone talks about the issue of separation anxiety for babies but what about the parents?
I’d never let my baby sleep in my bed…
So, Jude has never been a good sleeper. I put a lot of the early months down to the fact he has reflux and that he spent so much of that time in pain or discomfort – what adult could sleep through that, let alone a baby?
But just as we got that under control with the right medication, the 4 month sleep regression hit and my god, I was not expecting to find it as hard as I did. Looking back now, I’m not sure how I made it through – the nights were so long, dark and lonely – and even with the amazing support of my husband, I still really struggled. I remember thinking about just walking out the door and driving away – I never actually did by the way – but those thoughts would creep in regularly.
We really hit rock bottom when we were sleeping on a mattress on the floor of Jude’s nursery and he’d end up on the mattress too, by 4am every morning, just so we could get some sleep. It was at this point we knew something had to give and we started the course from @Justchillmama. It wasn’t a miracle worker and we’re working on Jude’s night time sleep even now but his day naps are amazing and he’s learnt how to settle himself to sleep. And for any Mum struggling with sleep, you’ll hear me when I say, it changed my life!
These are just a few of the things I told myself before having Jude and I’m sure there are many more for you too. But just know, you’re not alone. We all imagine the Mother we’ll be and it’s okay to think ahead about how you want to do things but it’s also okay to change your mind or to ‘do what you need to do’ when all hell breaks loose.
We’re often our own biggest critics and if I’ve learnt one thing from reaching out to this amazing community, it’s that there is so much support out there, so make sure you use it! I’m always around for a little ‘pick me up’ too if you need it.
So from me to you – You got this, Mama! I am not the mother I thought I would be, and that is okay. I am still exactly what my baby needs.