Batten down the hatches. You're in for a bumpy ride pet. Try and get your sleep in now because you will never sleep again. And you think you're exhausted now and walking around like John Wayne - but wait until you've pushed a 8Ib 1oz baby boy out of your vagina who decided to come out with his fists on his face. Yes it does feel like you're vagina is on fire. And yes you will shit yourself but the midwife will keep saying you haven't, yet you can see your husband looking at you with a slightly traumatised look as if to say: "I've just seen my wife shit herself". But he will be amazing and you wouldn't have got through it all without him. It won't be the hypnobirthing experience you wanted - in fact it will be quite traumatic. It will be the natural birth you wanted though - but trust me, you wanted all the drugs at one point. But it will be okay. And when she hands you your baby - the baby you always knew deep down was a boy, you will be in shock. You won't feel the overwhelming feeling of love straight away. But God that will come. You'll look into his eyes and hold his tiny hand in yours and you have never felt love quite like it.
The first six weeks your eyes will bleed with exhaustion. You will pass more blood than you ever thought possible and you pretty much wear a nappy. You will manage to have your first poo post-birth without needing an epidural. You will cry every day. You will mourn your old life. You will feel so lonely - especially during the night feeds in the darkness while tying to get him to latch on. You will hate breastfeeding to start with. You will struggle. You will be up day and night feeding your little one and it will be exhausting. Cluster feeding will almost end you. But you will be so glad you persevered. You will hate your husband while he sleeps next to you. Your nipples will hurt. You will really struggle for weeks and people will tell you it gets easier - and it will. So much so you actually start to love breastfeeding. And you're still doing it now. Though you really need a night off. Just you and tequila and dancing, lots and lots of dancing. Oh. And sleep.
You'll go through a really tough time early on when your little boy is in hospital and you find out he has a poorly heart. But he will be okay. He's a fighter.
The loneliness in the early days are hard. The days turn into nights and it's just days of feeding and changing, feeding and changing. The monotony is mind-numbing. And once the cards and the flowers have dried up, people will forget about you. Everyone else can get on with their lives as they always have - but you can't. Things are very different for you. But when he smiles for the first time - all will be right in the world.
Hate to say it love - but you ain't no yummy mummy. You will look like the bird lady from Home Alone 2 most days and you don't brush your hair much. Or shave your legs. Or wear make-up. Your maternity leggings are your best friend and your statement: "I'm going to be so healthy", couldn't be further from the truth. You will live in the biscuit tin.
Just when you think things are getting easier - you will discover wonder weeks. And the four month sleep regression will HAVE YOUR LIFE. It's emotional. It's soul destroying. You will find yourself crying at 4am again. But like everything - it doesn't last forever. Though it feels like it at the time.
You will stress the fuck out about routine - and naps. Naps are your kryptonite. But just calm down. If the routine goes out the window - just take a deep breath and get another biscuit. And naps - well you're still figuring that one out. You'll download sleep programmes. You'll be the google queen. You will 100% be making a rod for your own back by walking miles everyday to get him to sleep. You'll get rage at wheelie bins. Cars parked on the kerb. Your dog who keeps walking into the pram. Other people in general.
You will get rage at your husband. For no reason, sometimes simply because he decides to eat a banana on the kitchen table. And when he snores. Oh when he snores. And although you said: "let's not let a baby change our relationship." It will. You'll be so consumed with your baby - sometimes you will forget about your husband, and others - and yourself. But be kind to him. It's not his fault he hasn't got milk in his nipples or hormones that make you go from 0-100 from being so happy, to so sad, to rage - to laughing hysterically. Go on that date night. Even if it's just for an hour. You both need it.
It's okay not to be okay somedays.
Don't be scared to ask for help.
We are all winging it.
Your son's first laugh will fill you with so much joy that your heart will stop. You will watch him grow in amazement. Even though people will tell you to treasure him when he's so small - you won't do it as much as you wish you'd had as those early days are a daze. In fact you can't remember much from those early days. But you still treasure those nighttime cuddles when he's not trying to pull your hair. When he simply lies on your chest. Just you and him. Nobody else.
Look after yourself. Pluck those bloody eyebrows. Laugh a bit more. Your son loves it when you laugh. So does your husband. Just stress less. You're doing okay. Your little boy thinks you're a legend. You're his world. You're his mum.
Treasure every moment because you will blink and he won't want to hold his mum's hand anymore. So hold him tight. Even when it's 3am and you physically don't think you can get through another sleepless night. When you can't lift your head off the pillow. You can. One day you'll miss those nights.
Sign up to some baby classes but not too early on - just when you're ready. But don't compare yourself to other mum's. Just because Fiona can do a lotus pose while breastfeeding and looks like a goddess, doesn't make you a bad mum. Don't be so bloody hard on yourself.
It's fucking hard pet. But it's worth it. Just need to put your big girl pants on (metophorically and physically), get the coffee stocked, fill up the biscuit tin and take each day as it comes.
At least you'll be prepared for the next one. HAHAHAHAHAHA.
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.