Due date: 24th September 2018

Birth date: 1st October 2018

Weight: 7lb 3oz

Length of labour (if you can remember): 13 hours

Baby number: 1

How did you feel during pregnancy?

I had a relatively easy pregnancy thankfully! A little sickness at the beginning but nothing awful. Towards the end I did have SPD (an issue with my hips) which made it very uncomfortable but luckily that was only for the last 5 or 6 weeks.

What were you most looking forward to?

Finally meeting our baby but also, not having the pain in my hips and pelvis anymore… And a glass of wine 🙂

What did you do to prepare for the birth of your baby?

Not very much to be honest, I was quite relaxed about the labour, I just made sure I spoke to friends and family who had been through it to ask questions and advice!

Your labour story:

Not only did I seek advice from mothers I knew, I was also very physically fit so I naively thought I’d ‘sail through’ the whole experience in a way.. That of course was not the case!
I do believe all of the above helped but nothing could prepare me for the pure exhaustion and emotional tole the day had on me.
I was incredibly lucky that it was only a 13 hour labour (very much on the short side for a first time birth I’m told) and having an epidural was the best damn decision I’ve ever made! But I had to push for an hour an a half minus the pain killers and ended the experience with forceps.. Something I will be avoiding at all costs for future children!!
But then out came little Ava. One of the first things I said was, I’d do it all again for her. It’s almost impossible to find the words to describe the experience really. But the saying ‘it’s all completely worth it’, does sum it up very well.

How did you feel at the first sight of your baby?

Overwhelmed! I couldn’t believe she was finally there with us. I loved her immediately however, I must admit she did feel like somewhat of a stranger to me and it took a couple of weeks of bonding time before I felt like I really knew her.

What 3 pieces of advice would you give your pregnant self now?:

  1. Don’t try and get back to ‘normal’ too quickly after the birth- I was desperate to get dressed, do my hair and makeup, go for walks etc to try and feel normal again.. It was all too much too soon! Take the time to relax with the baby.
  2. It’s ok to cry- I held alot of emotion in during the first few weeks, for fear I’d look like I wasn’t coping or enjoying motherhood. I wish I’d been a bit more open with how low I felt at times.
  3. Do whatever you need to do to get through it!- my friend told me this piece of advice around the 3 month mark and I wish I’d have heard it sooner! I spent so much time trying to be the perfect ‘by the book’ mum, when really it didn’t matter if the baby was given a dummy to stop her crying, or if she watched too much TV one day because I didn’t have the energy to play. Babies happiness depends so much on their parents wellbeing.

How was that first week for you?

A blur!! My husband and I were in a daze of exhaustion and emotion. We felt like we were just about getting by and making it up as went along, almost not ‘real parents’ yet. But it of course does pass and get so much easier!