I’ve made it through my first year of motherhood, but not unscaved. Dark circles, bad back, headaches, fatigue – you name it, I’ve probably got it! The sleepless nights are brutal, especially to begin with. I remember thinking to myself, I can’t physically keep waking up every hour. Those early days all merged together in to one big blur. ‘Baby brain’ really kicked in after having Molly – my brain was pretty much none existent, I couldn’t even remember what day it was most of the time. It isn’t all bad, but it’s not easy at times. As a woman, I believed that it would all be quite straightforward for me and everything would happen organically. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The hardest part was getting to grips with breastfeeding – how can something so natural be so bloody hard! However, after around 4 weeks I soon got the hang of it, and so did Molly. It’s definitely a shared skill. It takes time and it takes a great deal of patience to stick with it. For me, there was no alternative, I was determined to breastfeed. I accepted it wasn’t going to be easy and just gone on with it.
Looking back, I wish I had cherished those early days. Those dreamy feeds are so special – the gentle touch of their fingers, softly grasping against your skin. It feels as though everything else just melts away and it’s just you and your baby. I’m still breastfeeding now. I will wean her as and when I think she’s ready. The World Health Organisation recommend breastfeeding until two. Infants still receive incredible benefits from breastmilk until this age. It also provides them with comfort, which I think is great. When Molly was poorly, all she wanted was milk. She kept well hydrated and nourished thanks to my magic milk!
Breastfeeding is something I feel very passionate about (in case you hadn’t gathered that already). I just think there’s so many fantastic benefits, for both mum and baby. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding then feel free to email me, I’m always happy to try and help in any way I can. It’s one of those things that won’t be easy, but with time you’ll be so glad you persevered. Just be prepared for sleepless nights! It seems most breastfed babies wake a lot. Having said that, I’ve got friends who’s babies sleep well – lucky them!
The lack of sleep over the last year has been tough, it can make you feel emotional, exhausted and just generally wiped out. However, all of that exhaustion seems so insignificant when I look at Molly’s little face. I tell myself that one day I’ll look back and miss these sleepy days where we lounge about in our pyjamas. I want to soak it all up now – dark circles and all.
It’s astonishing how quickly the time creeps past when you have a baby. I know it’s said a lot, but you really do need to make the most of every moment. Each month passes and you suddenly realise how big your baby is. It’s such an amazing process – to see a baby grow and develop in to their own character. They very quickly become mini people with attitude, sas and hilarious little quirks. I remember the moment Molly stood up against the sofa for the first time. She looked like a proper mini adult. They all of a sudden appear very grown up. It’s such a blessing and joy, but it’s also a little sad that they aren’t an ickle wickle baby anymore!
Molly will be one on the 23rd, it’s madness! I can’t believe that this time one year ago I was getting ready to give birth. I remember checking my hospital bag over and over – ensuring I had everything I needed. I spent hours bouncing on my pregnancy ball, listening to my hypnobirthing disk and enjoying long baths. The hypnobirthing went out of the window when I was in labour – almost literally. I’m sure it works in the right setting, but not in a hospital perhaps. Maybe I’ll try it again next time…
Anyway, I have learnt a lot over the last year. It’s been life-changing, character building, anxiety-inducing, but completely breathtaking. I feel so completely in love with my little Molly. I couldn’t have ever imagined how intense the love between a mother and her child is. Yes, they turn your world upside down, but I’m quite happy with my world being upside down and wouldn’t want it any other way.