It’s been two weeks since our second son was born and I became a mother of three.
In some ways it has flown by, in others it feels like it has been the longest two weeks of my life.
The ups and downs have been pretty tough and despite looking like I’m holding it together on the outside, there have been times where I have felt like I am unravelling through tiredness and not being as mobile as I would like.
So, to mark our son’s arrival I thought I’d write about what I have learned during the past two weeks.
- I never want to give birth again
It may sound like a negative thing to say but it isn’t. Three was always my magic number and I have no desire to go through what I went through the weekend before last, or to put my body through something so traumatic for a fourth time.
- I am sad that my body wasn’t able to birth naturally
I sometimes wonder if I had been given the chance to do it properly the first time round with Arlo whether I would’ve had so much difficulty with the other two.
I know that I am so lucky to have three beautiful, healthy children, but part of me will always think of the what ifs.
I gave myself the best chance I could to birth the other two in the way that I wanted but my body had other ideas and no amount of movement or pushing could’ve changed the outcome.
- Sleep deprivation and night feeds do not get any easier
In fact, it gets worse the more children you have. I forgot how relentless it can be. Sore nipples, cluster feeding, falling asleep sitting up in bed with a baby in your arms, and silently (sometimes not so silently) cursing your husband as he gets under the duvet next to you and snores for hours while you desperately try not to punch him through sheer jealousy that he is getting the sleep you desire more than anything else in the world.
Just when you think you couldn’t possibly love another tiny human being as much as you love their siblings you realise that your heart has already made the space for the person you’ve been growing and waiting to meet for the past 40 plus weeks.
Recovering from a caesarean section for the third time is harder than before and you should give yourself more time to rest, especially when you’ve become severely anaemic.
Things you should not do post c-section:
*Do not walk a mile into town pushing your son around in a buggy when you gave birth less than a week ago.
*Do not try lifting your toddler daughter out of her highchair when you’re less than a week post-partum.
*Do not embark on a frenzied cleaning spree of the house, including wading through mounting piles of washing (the never ending piles of washing). All of these things will make you feel a bit weird if you overdo it. I should know.
Things you should do:
*Do listen to your midwife (and your husband) when they tell you to slow down.
*Do allow people to do things for you. Yes, it is intensely frustrating not doing what you normally would but you need the time to rest and recover (I should really take my own advice).
*Do tell people how you feel. It is ok to cry, it is ok to feel overwhelmed, and it is ok to admit that you are not ok, that things are getting on top of you and that you might need some help. Having a baby and the aftermath is hard, whether it’s your first, second, third or seventh time.
- My husband is an incredible person
Don’t worry, I’m not about to get all nauseatingly sentimental but I couldn’t write this post without mentioning him.
Throughout pregnancy, labour, and since our son was born 14 days ago he has seen me at my worst and my best and he has not faltered once.
I am so lucky to have someone who picks me up when I am on the floor, who stayed with me through every contraction, and held my hand and stroked my head as our children were being born.
Who reassures me when I am riddled with self-doubt at my ability to parent three children, and who tells me he loves me and that I am beautiful every day, even when I resemble something which looks like it’s just dragged its way out of the nearest swamp.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that if you have just had a baby then make sure you give yourself a break.
You’ll be a raging ball of hormones, don’t under-estimate what having a baby can do to you both physically and emotionally.