So my baby sister ( I know you hate it when I call you that!) your having a baby.
I think I’m supposed to be able to give you amazing and useful advice on how to raise the perfect, yet ever so cool and quirky, child. I think I am supposed to be able to give you advise about how to regain that perfect body and banish any hint of baby blues. I think I am also supposed to be able to advise you on how to make perfectly pureed niblets of weaning food that your baby will savour with every taste of his being.
The truth is I can’t. And to be quite honest I don’t want to. I want to tell you some things I have learnt. Then there might be something in my warbling’s that helps you along the way.
The first thing I have learnt after becoming a mother two and a half years ago, is that your poo is never gonna be private any more. Let me explain, you give birth, and in the hospital they want to know when you’ve been and how it was , then the powers that be will let you home. You get home, and you’re too scared to leave the baby ,so you take them in the toilet in a Moses basket, lovingly knowing you can watch them whilst trying to go (because maybe you might not be experiencing the same free flow as you once did). But because you have the baby in there, anyone who is in the house assumes it is fair game to open the door and have a full-blown conversation with you or take said baby away to give you a minute! Then your little bundle of joy will start to walk and then you will need to be able to position yourself on the throne so you can see them at all times, or maybe restrain them whilst doing your business depending on their exploratory nature. Oh and the final incident in poo gate- is when the little loves start to talk. ‘mummy what is that poo, why is it runny’ ‘Mummy your poo smells’ and my ultimate favourite, whilst I was standing in line in Morrison’s ‘ Mummy do you need a poo? you haven’t been today!’
The other major life change I would say is the absolute abomination of your emotions as you know it. I am not taking about a few little weeps about your leaky boobs. Everything you ever thought you knew is thrown into one of those fancy Nurti- Bullet blenders and spat out alike a disregarded pair of split Primark leggings. I have never been so anxious, so scared, so happy, so alive and so confused all at the same time. It’s like, once the after birth comes out so does your former self, and a whole new persona is placed in you and poof your off on your new journey as a mom. I am not sure yet if this is a good or a bad thing, I’ll maybe let you know in 18 years. But however your feeling, good or bad I can assure you it is all ok and natural, just keep talking and letting people know how your feeling. Nothing is ever too big to face and you definitely do not have to do it alone.
The only piece of real sound advice I can actually give you , is to do it your own way. Everyone will have a bloody opinion. Mores the point everyone will want to give it to you, be respectful but never forget if your child is safe, healthy and loved then you are doing it right. There will always be someone on some social media site who appears to be doing it much better, there will be someone who seems to always have everything together. Let me tell you now they are lying. They are eating takeaways for third night in a row, in their maternity pants because they haven’t slept for 72 hours. It is just a shame they feel the need to fabricate instead of educate.
I’m not going to dwell on the changes your body goes through. Yes it does change and no it wont ever be the same again. But that body gave you the best thing you will ever hold in your arms. My wish for you is that might just remember that when you cant find anything to wear and feel like putting your pyjamas back on and skipping the baby group again because it’s easier than going ten rounds with your wardrobe.
But let me tell you something I do know. Having your baby gives you a reason, a reason to keep going after 17 sleepless nights straight, a reason to keep going when post-natal depression might try to drag you down by your ankles. A reason to keep going when you are fighting with your partner again about who is doing the most. A reason to keep going when you look in the mirror and you look at yourself and see someone you don’t recognise.
I know that you will be an amazing mom, and I know that because you are an amazing sister and a bloody cool aunt to my baby girl. You have been my rock and my best friend for many many years, and if I’m honest I am a little sad that I might not get as much of your time any more.
So for now , in your swollen ankled and heartburn state, go have a poo. In private while you can.
Love you baby A. x