My First Year of Motherhood

First Year of Motherhood
My First Year of Motherhood

I’m not sure there is one way I could describe my first year of motherhood. It’s been a total whirlwind of joy, pride and love. Of course this is a fuzzy cocktail mixed with exhaustion, exasperation, guilt and a sense of loneliness at times.

I must admit however I have come to learn about how naive I was pre-motherhood to this Mumma hustle. Myself and Brad would speak about “bashing them out” in close proximity once we had our first. Erm, how naive of us when we feel like we are barely surviving some days. Its a beautiful muddle, as we figure it all out as we go. But holy shit we will not be “bashing them out” any time soon. I can see how the term “bashing them out” actually underestimates the process of childbirth and parenting. Athough I know some people are well able for it!

We now have nothing but admiration for parents, including my own who had four of us! We have been blessed with the most amazing, funny, cheeky little boy Arthur. He is absolutely thriving and such a little monkey.

My First Year of Motherhood

Newborn Bliss

The newborn bubble was total bliss. We would call Arthur our “buddha babe” as he was so chill. He would literally feed, snuggle, and lay around like a newborn spud. We made a conscious effort to have our home as serene as possible. Lovely, relaxing playlists. Early on we even had You Tube videos of “womb noises” that would mimic what Arthur heard in the womb. We wanted him to have a smooth transition into this funny old world. We were really aware of all the changes he had experienced being born. Also he had a bit of a rough time during birth needing the ventouse – so he was kind of rustled out.

Following the birth which didn’t go exactly to plan – I had a groin injury and stitches. I was keen to chill as much as possible and soak up all of that oxytocin. I was so lucky with breastfeeding, we both took to it really well – albeit a couple of chapped nipples initially. There was lots of head sniffing and skin to skin. Arthur was a summer baby so it was lush not needing to wear much clothes. I feel I handled the waking nights fairly well until a certain point, being a night shift nurse probably prepped me for it. But also probably running on adrenaline. I tried to do the whole sleep when baby sleeps. There were some terrifying moments where I woke up delirious thinking I’d lost or squashed Arthur. I even woke up frantic one evening thinking I’d lost his twin in the bed. It was scary!

Fast forward a few months and I was loving becoming more confident with breastfeeding in public and baby wearing in our soft sling. The winter months included hibernation, some weekend trips to Wales, Oxford and home to Ireland, lots of coffee and cake with our mummy and baby friends, baby massage classes and baby sensory.

My First Year of Motherhood

The Sleep Situation

Around 5 months we discovered Arthur had eczema which we have been trying to care for since. This has one of our biggest challenges since becoming parents. That and the dreaded broken sleep. There have been pockets of severe sleep deprivation which completely knocked myself and Brad for six. We never hyped ourselves up for having a baby sleep through the night, sort of knowing that babies don’t always do this. However we also didn’t realise the impact consistent sleep deprivation can have. The lack of sleep was compounded by having an extremely itchy baby at night. Arthur often wakes to scratch and tear at his skin. This has been so difficult to see our little babe so distressed. Weaning has been another nightmare because of allergies, but we are working through it and at least have some answers as we create a plan to keep him safe and healthy.

Cliff Hangers

Arthur was always an independent sleeper and happy to stay in his crib when he was little – however more recently he wont have a bar of it. He knows exactly when we put him back in his crib at night and screams until we take him in with us. So co-sleeping has just become a thing. The baby snuggles are great and definitely makes life easier as he helps himself to milk in the night, meaning I get a better rest also. Now that Arthur is taller and more wriggly, he often nearly does 360 degree turns in the bed, belting his Brad in the face. Although us parents are left like dangling cliff-hangers on the edge of the bed as Arthur star fishes – I must admit I love waking up next to him. We are at a point now where he doesn’t necessarily “need” night feeds at 16 months, so we soon may be embarking on a night weaning process.

My First Year of Motherhood

Sixteen Months Later

My first year of motherhood has been amazing. Watching him grow and sustained on Mamma’s milk has been mind blowing.  He’s no longer our chubby little spud. He’s so active, constantly keeping us on our toes. He climbs everything, often making his way around the house with a chair so he can scale what he pleases. I’ll often find him perched on the window sill making bird noises, but occasionally in more random places like literally in the kitchen sink. His array of animal noises are quite impressive and his acquisition of words is great fun to witness.

We are coming up to his second Christmas now so looking forward to some family time and getting Arthur out to see some lights.

I’d love to know what your highs or lows of that first parenting year were? 

Leave a comment.

Gill x

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