This Time Last Year

I remember the way I felt this time last year. The way the air felt, the white noise of something mechanical humming at night (I still can’t figure out what it is), the way the lights across the city seemed crisper… It all reminds me, like the most wonderfully enchanting memory. There is no doubt in my mind that I’m remembering with rose-tinted glasses. But I know for a fact, also, that I remember that the person I was before Reuben was born felt a kind of excitement, naivety and apprehension that I’m scared I will never feel again.

The selfie I took before heading to the hospital to be induced.

I remember feeling dreadfully uncomfortable, completely DONE with being pregnant and massive. And moreover, I was done being told how massive I was. As if I couldn’t tell!? I was sick of the sickness, the acid reflux, the endless peeing, the pain I was feeling around my ribs, the ridiculous amounts of discharge and the sweating. You know, I was still trying my best to cherish my pregnancy but I think I spent more time trying to film baby kicks than I did actually appreciating the moments (something I will remember if I’m lucky enough to have a second). I would rest my hands on my bump, take endless photos, but by 37 weeks I was done. So when I was offered an induction days before my due date, I leapt at the chance.

I’d seen a lot of inductions on One Born Every Minute and I’d read the leaflet but nothing could have prepared me for the days that followed. I felt like I’d been in hospital for a week before I was actually induced – in a different hospital – on my due date.

But my mind seems to have fixated on the little details of the hospital I was supposed to give birth in, when I was waiting to be taken to delivery suite to have my waters broken. In all honesty, it was quite lovely but I was so impatient and being in a hospital bay all day waiting around was driving me a bit nuts. I wasn’t very well prepared, I hadn’t brought much to entertain myself – which is probably why I remember the space around me in vivid detail. From the way the light hit the blue flooring during the day, to the way the overhead lamp created a calming ambience at night. I remember bouncing on that big purple gym ball for hours hoping labour would come on spontaneously but I now realise, it was doing very little for me, and it was probably making me all the more impatient.

I was offered a transfer to the other hospital where I had a bed on delivery suite waiting for me on my due date, a few hours after my mucus plug went, and I jumped at the chance. I now wonder if my experience might have been different if I’d have stayed at the hospital that I wanted to give birth in. But nevermind, what good are what ifs? No good at all.

So there I was, in the delivery suite of this other hospital, taking a quick video of the room for my Instagram. I was telling people I’d no longer be replying. Although I did later on, at some point, I can’t remember when. And I had no idea what was coming as far as the syntocin drip was concerned.

I love that before they broke my waters and put me on that drip, I was blissfully unaware saying “whatever happens I’ll deal with it, as long as baby is okay”. I mean, that wasn’t a bad mindset to have but… Yeah… the girl on the ball in her nightie who just had her waters broken, and the girl on the bed who just got given the epidural were a couple of hours apart, and I can assure you the girl on the bed felt like she’s been through a kind of hell that she knew had changed her forever. The rest of it was a breeze though, if that’s any consolation – it was to me!

I gave birth to Reuben just over 12 hours after they’d broken my waters, and it was incredible. I felt the love instantly – it was euphoric! I felt the rush of love which I’d heard people say is indescribable and I was so relieved. I was so, so happy. When I had been waiting to push, I remember thinking “this is it, my dream is about to come true, I’m gonna meet my baby!” and that was an unforgettable moment too.

So is it any wonder that I feel this way now that Reuben’s 1st birthday is a day away? It’s so bittersweet. I feel happy and sad at the same time. I feel my heart aching so badly when I think back to it. I know this is common in mothers but I never really hear or read anyone talking about it.

Maybe it’s because I feel cheated out of enjoying those newborn days, maybe it’s because I had a vision of how I wanted things to be during pregnancy and it wasn’t like that. It’s not like my expectations were high but when you’re poor and feeling unsupported through both pregnancy and your newly made mother days, it’s very hard to feel like I got anything right at all back then… I don’t know. I guess I am overly critical but when I think back, I have regrets and I find myself saying “here’s what I’d do differently”.

Anyway, it’s hard to believe Reuben’s been on this earth for a year now. He’s turned into my little best friend & he makes me smile all the time. Even though we have been poorly recently, there’s still been smiles. And I’m far from perfect but I know I’m a good Mama.

I’m feeling very nostalgic and wistful about this time last year but don’t worry, I’m also concentrating on making this year’s memories count! Reuben’s presents are ready for Thursday, the flat is looking nicer than it ever has done (apart from the kitchen right now) & I’ve even put the Christmas tree up!

I love motherhood, it puts a kind of joy and resilience in my soul that nothing else can. I mean, there’s obviously sadness and mum guilt in there too BUT! Let’s focus on the good!

Thank you for reading,

With love, Rebecca ♡

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Calmer: My Day

I don’t know if this will be interesting to anyone but todays’ post is just going to be about the day itself.

A morning shower, whilst Reuben napped, meant that I went from lethargic-mother-in-nightie to feeling energised and motivated. I tried this new, beautiful Dove shampoo and it has changed my life (and the condition of my hair) and even though I just felt uncomfortable and weird in the shower when I got in, I emerged feeling like a Goddess. That feeling lasted until I got dressed and cracked on with housework but, funnily enough, I still felt calm.

I put my phone on charge and said I would not go back on my phone, or even check it, until I’d completed my checklist. I have been so annoyed with myself for wasting time scrolling when I could be productive or, idk, present in my life.

Luck was on my side, I got the vast majority of that list done during Reuben’s nap (including the shower!) and then on his afternoon nap, I could have cleaned the bathroom but I decided not to because of my hands… My hands are sore you guys, the cold vs hot water vs cleaning chemicals is not a good mix. I do moisturise my hands but they’re struggling to repair. If anyone has any recommendations please let me know?

I wanted to do some studying instead because that was overwhelming me more than the cleaning was. So I began active reading the chapter of the week and I stopped when I felt like my brain couldn’t handle anymore.

And then I got a nap!!! What a win that is!

I never nap like I did today; I was resting on the sofa after studying and suddenly I was fast asleep. This is super weird, I didn’t even have a blanket. I didn’t even feel that tired. But my brain, I was feeling so sad from what I’d studied. But how lucky was that? I got a good 20 minute nap after studying!

For tea, or dinner as it’s more commonly known, Reuben was also well behaved. I couldn’t believe it. In fact he’s been good all day.

I can’t help but think, has he been calm because I’ve been calm? Is this a knock on effect or is it coincidence?

The only time he rebelled was after his bath. He hates getting out of the bath, he detests the new nappy going on and he revolts entirely against being dressed. He was pretty tired whilst waiting for his milk, I felt bad that it was way too hot… For like five minutes… But those minutes last a long time when your baby is crying for their bottle!

He’s now asleep. And I decided to write this post, despite suspecting it’s actually a boring one, because today’s just been so nice.

I know that picture is out of focus, my phone camera is temperamental. Its either decent or complete poo (usually with long distance shots). But look: pretty!

We did have an accident today, whilst I was putting the fairy lights up – I was reaching up, trying to hook the lights onto the net curtain hooks – and I heard a cry. I looked down and quickly noticed something had hit Reuben in the process. On further inspection, I realised the plug had hit him and I felt horrible. I picked Reuben up and held him so tight, I wanted to cry, I was so busy trying not to fall to my death (which is how I feel standing on a chair with the insane feeling that I’ll fall out the window) that I forgot to check behind me. Reuben was okay, barely cried, but when I see the mark above his eyelid I want to cry. I know accidents happen but I felt so bad.

Cuddles helped!

Cuddles help everyone, but our cuddles just make me feel so happy.

I am sad that Reuben is no longer a baby, he is nothing like the 8lb 6oz baby he once was. But, he’s got this awesome personality and he laughs so much. Even his angry “arrr” and “dixhskgxjsbsush!!” complaints crack me up sometimes. So often I get those oh my I love you so much! moments.

I need to go tidy the living room, see to the mess in the kitchen (dishes and food spillages – made by yours truly!) and then it’s bedtime. I might go WILD and spray some cleaning shit on the bathroom before I go to bed. Exciting times, huh?

So, thank you for reading!

Let me know if this was a hit or not, I’m experimenting with my blog and the overall vibe.

With love, Rebecca ♡

Doesn’t It Make Your Heart Ache?

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Oh baby, who made it this way?

I knew you would grow but I thought time would pass a little slower, I thought I’d remember all of our memories. But I don’t.

Thank goodness I took a million photographs. Moments captured, often terribly, trigger the most precious memories.

I’m making a montage of your life so far, and my heart could burst, oh how it hurts.

I’m proud and my love is fierce and strong. You’re my tiny best friend and I had no idea what others meant when they spoke about this, but I get it now. Sure, you drive me nuts. We had a shouting match earlier; a lot of raa raas and growling sounds. But we also had cuddles and you smothered me in big sloppy kiss, wrapped your arms around my neck and I felt so happy! Lots of giggles, lots of clapping, lots of praise, as you learn continually, amazing me every single day.

Your first birthday is fast approaching and I could sob.

I didn’t see it going so fast when I was holding you in the postnatal ward, 11 months ago, having experienced the longest day of my life to date. I know I was only in for two days, but I swear it felt like a week. But, from the moment you came home, time started  to go by so fast.

I do my best to treasure you. I try to not feel frustrated when you feel frustrated and won’t seem to stop yelling. I try not to get mad at all the mess on the floor because yes, I’m fed up of cleaning the high chair and the food that surrounded it after a meal, but one day I won’t have to do it anymore ’cause you’ll have grown and that makes me sad.

You’re my first baby.

I’ve made mistakes, but I know I’ve done well so far. There are things I would go back and change, but I shrug and smile because maybe I’ll get a second chance. If I’m lucky.

But with you, this has been our journey together. You and I.

There’s been a lot of crying (mainly from me) but there’s been so much love, so many adventures, so many learning curves and endless memories that I will remember. The photos will remind me of the rest.

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I can no longer imagine you being so tiny. You were in my arms, with your soft little breaths and your ‘awooo’ coos after sneezing. Those days seem like a dream when I think sit and remember the younger you. Because you’re this amazing little boy now, starting to take his first steps, and whatever mood you wake up in, and no matter how tired I feel – you always make me smile.

To the boy who made my life worth living.

To the boy who I named 7 years before he was born.

To the boy who made me a mother.

I love you so much, little one.

I’ve got all your presents, I’ve bought some balloons, but am I ready for you to turn one in a month? No, darling, I’m not ready for you to not be a baby anymore… but I’m ready for all of our adventures together. ‘Cause I’m sure you won’t always like me, and I know you’re gonna drive me up the wall as you get older – but I’ll always love you, and I’ll always be here for you.

Love Mummy xo