As a first time mum, I had many thoughts and expectations about conceiving, pregnancy, labour and bringing up my baby, I thought I had it all sussed and knew exactly what I did and didn’t want to happen. I set off on this crazy roller coaster in 2011, my husband and I decided we would try for a baby.
I was on the pill so we decided I would stop taking it, give me a month to have a period and then get down to business. I said I was going to be relaxed, it didn’t matter how long it took… Well that’s when my first expectation got blown out of the water, I turned into a crazy woman. I constantly worked out dates, checked cervical mucus and took countless pregnancy tests. I researched positions, ovulation symptoms and don’t even ask me what happened to me during the dreaded two week wait, crazy was not the word.
This continued for 9 months until the 2nd January 2012 when we found out I was pregnant. I spent my pregnancy researching, going to NCT classes, planning and being excited.
My birth plan was straightforward, natural birth, gas and air in the Midwife led unit at my local hospital, preferably in the water pool.
Yeah right! My labour started 3 weeks early. My waters broke without me having any contractions, I was sent home to see if I would go into labour on my own. I did and ended up in the midwife led unit. I constantly threw up and was transferred to the delivery suite as I was so dehydrated and needed a drip.Twenty seven hours of labour down and I was stuck at 5cm dilated (I really thought I would kill my midwife if she said 5cm dilated one more time!) I was given a hormone drip to increase the contractions and advised to have an epidural. ‘No way’ was my response; I was not having an epidural.
The hormone drip made my contractions so strong and after 28 hours of labour there was no chance I could go on without an epidural, so I gave in. It was bliss.
After 35 hours and 14 minutes of labour Evelyn Grace arrived. What a beauty!
She is just perfect but how my expectations have changed, when planning during those 9 months that she grew in me I said I would never give her formula, nor a dummy, I would be in a strict routine by 4 weeks and there was no chance I would ever be hippy enough to use a sling or cloth nappies (dealing with all that poo, no thanks!)
Needless to say just like all my other plans these have changed. After being admitted to NICU at 5 days old with jaundice, we were advised to top up with formula, this broke my heart, but at the time was the best for her, we did this for 5 weeks and then after getting checked out decided we could just breastfeed, but I wasn’t adverse to Chris feeding Evelyn a bottle of formula every now and again so I could get some kip.
The routine idea went completely out the window, I’m just pleased to get dressed and out the house for a bit each day. We introduced a dummy to help occasionally settle Evelyn so my nipples didn’t get used as a gobstopper. We own both a stretchy wrap (which E is now too big for) and a full buckle carrier and after realising just how expensive disposable nappies are, I’ve invested in a stash of cloth and am absolutely addicted already, cute girly patterns on nappies, YES PLEASE!
So it seems that with all the best planning and researching in the world, motherhood really will take you by surprise, turn your world upside down and yet still be the most amazing thing you will ever experience.