My Motherhood Journey

Dear First Time Mum Me

[caption id="attachment_328" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Newborn Maisie Photo by MKR Photography[/caption] I've been thinking a lot recently about the differences I've found being a mum the second time around and what I wish I could tell myself if I could go back in time to those first overwhelming few weeks when you become a parent for the first time.  I have a few regrets from my first time around and I wish I had known some of what I know now, back then, but at the same time it taught me a lot about what to expect the second time around. If you are going to become a parent, are a new parent or think back to those days I hope this helps in some ways. Everyone has a different birth experience, breastfeeding journey, and parent/baby journey which is what makes us unique but if you have struggled with any of the below, know you are/were not alone. I've also asked some fellow bloggers what advice they would give themselves too!  [caption id="attachment_321" align="alignnone" width="300"] Rocking the Jelly Belly, leaving the hospital 1 day after Maisie was born.[/caption]

Your Body 

I knew after having a baby my body wouldn't ping straight back to how it was (although I hoped) but I wasn't quite prepared for how big my belly would be for a few weeks after, the first few days after I really hated because not only was my belly massive but it was just like jelly, and it really freaked me out how much it wobbled, how sunken my belly button was and I feared I would look pregnant forever.  I remember when Luna was 4 months old I saw someone from my school days and she went "ooooh are you expecting?!" I found that stung a little bit, but I was consuming a lot of cake at the time, and I realised I had grown two humans less than 2 years apart, that will take a toll on your body, but it also did something amazing. I still have a mum tum now, 9 months since giving birth BUT I'm pretty sure that's more chocolate than anything, and you know what, I'm cool with that, I have shapely womanly curves, and if I want to be slimmer I will exercise more and cut back on the chocolate but for now chasing a toddler and crawling baby is enough for me. 

Sleep 

You will sleep again, one day, when Maisie was first born John and I took shifts to hold her while she slept so the other could sleep, but with Luna we didn't have that luxury, we had a toddler to chase and we soon found our new rhythm which really helped our sleep. Yes I'm still tired and at 9 months Luna doesn't often sleep through BUT I am getting a lot more sleep these days , I'm mainly tired from chasing the terrors.  
"Follow the baby. Don’t try and put in a schedule too early. Just follow their lead and remember that they’ve never been in the world before and you’re their safe space." Laura from Mama, Eden and Me 
[caption id="attachment_322" align="alignnone" width="169"] Coping with the sleep deprivation better second time around![/caption]

Breastfeeding 

Before I gave birth, I envisioned myself as a bit of an earth mama, I would breastfeed my child, wean them on the best food, I would babywear, we would be a bit hippy-ish. In reality, I had a lot of issues breastfeeding, I got mastitis early on which led to sepsis, yet still, I beat myself up for giving up breastfeeding. When Luna came along I wanted to try again, and we lasted ever so slightly longer but I kept getting the beginnings of mastitis in the same breast , this time when I stopped, I didn't beat myself up, Maisie is happy and healthy  as is Luna. If you can breastfeed then fantastic, if you bottle feed for whatever reason then well done you, your baby is fed and well.  
"Nap when the baby is napping, the cleaning can wait" Lisa from  Less Stuff   
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By Nikki, ago