Family & Life

Becoming a Mum for the First Time

Posted January 21, 2014 by Bethanie Lunn

Our little family


I was never the kind of woman who went gooey over children.  I never felt broody or longed to start a family; I just knew I wanted to create one someday.  So when hubbie and I started trying for children and in a relatively short time, we became pregnant – I truly knew how lucky we were.
Now, my son is eight months old and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t feel lucky to have him but of course, you’re never sure how your’e going to feel as a Mum, how you’ll ‘take’ to it or if you’ll even like it at all.
When I asked other women what being a Mum was like in a bid to pre-empt what to expect, they would say, ‘it’s hard, the lack of sleep is a killer but it’s worth it’, or words to that effect. I always used to sit there and think, ‘Really?  Are you just saying that because you think you should / to keep yourself sane’?  For a girl who has a shoe collection she once called her babies, would I be so fulfilled?
I had a fairly good pregnancy as they go.  Comparing myself to the poor women who suffer from morning sickness and have painful pregnancies, the occasional bout of nausea and tiredness made me feel blessed.  Don’t get me wrong, pregnancy is definitely not easy, not in my opinion, but I’d say I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing.  My husband may not agree!
So how did I feel when my little boy arrived?  I surprised myself. All of those natural, instinctive feelings took over.  I cried tears of joy when I first saw him.  When I first held him, I felt complete; like I had fulfilled my purpose almost; that nothing else mattered in the world but Frankie and I in that very moment.  The feeling of love you have for your children is overwhelming.  I never believed in love at first sight – love is something you have to build and which grows over time but when it comes to this kind of love, the love a parent has for their child, love at first sight is definitely real.
After being released from hospital, we came home as a family of three (or four including our mad little dog), and reality kicked in.  As my Tom Ford products got pushed to the back of the bathroom shelf and replaced with a bumper pack of maternity pads, I cried again.  This time, out of total fear that I may lose myself.
What if I never get my figure back?  Is it all nappies and vomit from now on?  Will I ever sleep again?  I didn’t realise at the time and wished someone had been honest with me, but the recovery period from giving birth can be quite a tough one.  There seemed to be a dressing for every part of me – breast pads to mop up leaking boobs and maternity pads for the bleeding you get post birth.  I felt mummified.
I looked in the mirror and still looked six months pregnant with a web of red stretch marks spanning my midriff.  Around day three, my ‘milk came in’ – that was the hardest night. My breasts ached and were swollen like ripe fruit ready to burst and I felt raw, exhausted, lonely and afraid. ‘I can’t do this’, I thought.  This is all with a wonderfully supportive husband who is 100% involved.
But then…
It passed.
I read that when your milk arrives, feeling tearful and questioning everything is completely natural.  I knew that my stretch marks would fade and I thought to myself, if you don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get back into shape, it will happen soon enough.  Nine months up, nine months down so for now, enjoy your baby bubble.
The sleepless nights aren’t easy and in the newborn stages, I look back and it all seems a blur.  I remember feeling as though I had a hangover with the same hazy vision and bad temper.  But IT DOES GET EASIER.
I was given the good advice by so many parents, that time flies so quickly – enjoy the special moments and cherish the days when they’re tiny since, before you know it, they won’t be any longer.  So that I did.
I remember his first smile which melted me to tears of pride.  It made every sleepless night or challenging cry fade away.  Truly!  I love it when he lies on my chest and puts his head on my shoulder for a cuddle.  His first giggles made me feel enlivened and blessed.  They fill the entire house with utter joy.  He’s talking now – at eight months none of it makes sense of course- but in his world, he is telling me a story, relating to me, showing me he’s happy.
I’ve learned that the sooner you understand that you are there to serve, the better.  I’ve learned that you will always find a way.  I’ve learned that I, I who never really did feel broody is so very blessed to have the most wonderful, charming, contented and happy little baby who has put everything into perspective.  Sure, it’s all made easier with a bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine but being a parent is magical.
I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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