I am now in countdown to Jack’s first birthday and it’s brought so many emotions up. I’ve been feeling them for a while but now that it is officially less than a month until 18th November, I am feeling it more. I am mourning those lost experiences a little more, and I am a little more sensitive to various types of comments. I really do apologise for that but cannot stop it.
I saw a couple of “1 year ago” Timehops recently that just made me think, oh little do you know! My 20 week scan last September with the hashtag that said ‘halfway there’ when in actual fact it was less than 9 weeks left. Another about how wonderful Jack’s kicks were. I am feeling like I miss them because it feels like I wasn’t done. We weren’t finished being connected.
I missed out on having a baby shower, which I wasn’t even sure about having as I wasn’t sure it was my style. But I thought I had time to decide because my due date was still ages away. I wanted to see how big I got and take more bump pictures for all 9 months of my pregnancy journal for which now there are 2 blank photo pages. I wanted to say cheerio to my work colleagues properly, full of excitement, and have time to “nest” and get his cot ready and prepare my hospital bag. I would love to knew how it feels to realise that your water has broken “oh my god it’s happening” I would have shouted. I am curious as to how much it hurts to have contractions and do the pushing thing. I imagine that it feels wonderful for the medical staff to say that the baby you’ve just given birth to is just fine and healthy.
And yet, I have had some of the same experiences as other Mums. They were delayed that’s all. My bestie helped me realise that that feeling I had she they laid my naked baby on my bare chest for the first time is the same that other mums get. The hilarity of changing the first tar-like pooey nappy is the same. Choosing their first outfit holds the same excitement for everyone. Bringing him home, not taking my eyes off him in the car ride home because it feels so surreal that I get to keep him, is the same. All new parents arrive home and say the same thing – “now what? Shall we put the kettle on? when’s his next feed?”
This goes some way to reassure me that I didn’t miss out on all of the normal stuff you expect with a newborn. I took him to baby yoga and sensory play when I felt he was ready, just like other mums. Strangers coo over him in the supermarket, just like other mums get.
We may have had different experiences but we also had similar experiences. I don’t need to mourn the loss of everything I expected would happen. It’s ok. So even though insensitive comments sting a bit, and I’ll be feeling my feelings a little more strongly than normal for a while, this whole experience has changed me for the better I think. I got through an experience I didn’t know I could. People will no doubt think that I have changed and will feel uncomfortable with the new me. They will never understand that I now see my life as a ‘Before That Day’ and ‘After That Day’ or that my views of life/people/the world are forever different to how I used to be. That’s ok. Real ones will stick around even when I’m not in a good place. Like my hubby and family who comfort me when I’m down, my bestie who is always real with me, my Brummie cousin for making me feel like I’m not the only one who has had a birth trauma change their life and countless others who have got in touch just to offer kind words and encouragement to keep plodding on.
On a lighthearted note, I am very excited about Jack’s first birthday party. We’ve booked a hall and will be going to buy decorations and order the cake soon. I have a few pressie ideas and can’t wait to spoil my amazing boy. Far away family are coming to town specially to celebrate with us.
I really am a very blessed Mummy!