I can’t believe it’s nearly been a whole month since Thomas Oliver entered the world 5 weeks early, much to our surprise. Life has been a whirlwind since then – you can read how the first 2 weeks went down here – and we can’t imagine not having him around. Things have definitely changed and being in a reflective mood, I thought I’d share what I’ve quickly learnt since becoming a Mum.
You appreciate your body on a whole new level
Having had a complicated and turbulent relationship with food and exercise during my teenage years, throughout my twenties I’ve gained a newfound respect for my body and confidence. Fuelling a super active lifestyle in a healthy, balanced way and enjoying the feeling of being strong and fit rather than skinny and weak, having a baby has really emphasised just how incredible the human body is.
I didn’t weigh myself through pregnancy but I know that I gained very little weight anywhere other than my bump as I kept really active up until the point of giving birth. Carrying a human and watching my tummy grow week by week was fascinating in itself but actually going into labour took this up a notch.
Allowing our baby to come into the world (while all dignity went out the window), holding him for the first time and watching him grow since still amazes me when I think about it. Although my body is still recovering and I still have a little bump on my tummy hanging around, who gives a sh*t about abs or a six-pack when I have a beautiful little boy to show for it.
I can’t wait to get back into working out properly – mainly to feel strong and toned again – but in the meantime I’ve been doing plenty of walking with the pushchair (covering 5 miles with some of it up an incline is a workout in itself). At the end of the day, I feel incredibly proud that as a woman I went through the process of childbirth and lucky that my body enabled that to happen.
Uninterrupted sleep – what’s that?
I’ve never really been the biggest sleeper – 5 or 6 hours usually works for me – but it’s been erm, interesting, having broken sleeping patterns since Thomas arrived. It’s a luxury to get 4 hours without being woken up by him crying out or my alarm going off once every 3 hours for feeding time; I usually drift off again to be woken up an hour or two later and at that point it’s morning anyway. I don’t nap but go to bed super early – around 9pm while James does the midnight shift – so late nights are a thing of the past. The next time I go to an event or gig I think I’ll need a strong coffee beforehand to keep me going…
The concept of time goes out the window
I’ve always been super organised, punctual and arranged timings with military precision – but when a baby comes into the equation, that can go out the window. Although my days start at 5am and feel like I’ve got the WHOLE day ahead of me to fit in housework, work, blogging, recipe developing, walking, shopping and seeing friends/having meetings…
When it comes down to it, many hours of the day actually involve changing nappies, feeding, expressing milk, boob feeding, steralising bottles, cuddling Thomas (best thing ever), packing his changing bag and making a brew and forgetting about it (hot drinks are a thing of the past). I wouldn’t change this for the world now but it’s easy to underestimate how long these new elements to my routine can take; I say to myself I’ll be ready in 30 minutes when really it’s an hour and a half later. I just need to factor these in and hope for the best I’m on time!
Friends and family are everything
As I mentioned in my blog post about how Tom came into the world, the first couple of weeks were pretty tough being in and out of hospital. I can’t thank our close friends and family enough for their support, coming to see us, checking in on us and keeping James and I going when at the time it seemed like we’d never get home with our baby. Since then it’s been wonderful to have more visits, invites out (with or without Tom – we’re still our own person not just a parent!), help with things like housework and shopping – little things that mean the world when you’re still adjusting to life with a newborn.
The overwhelming feeling of love
There are a lot of things and people I love dearly – my husband, my family, close friends, music, festivals, sunshine, fitness and peanut butter – but when you hold your baby, a whole new feeling of extraordinary happiness hits you in a way you’ve never experienced. How can you feel so much love for someone you’ve just met? This little creature has been growing inside you for 8-9 months and now it’s looking up at you like you’re the most important person in the world… I just can’t describe it 🙂