Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Well now, that was a big surprise

18 Nov

My gorgeous children

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was of course over the moon . That was five years ago now and I can’t believe how much has changed since then.  I used to be a career woman, I loved my own space, loved to read and relax, liked to buy nice things. My priorities have become rather different since then.

I had an idea of the type of mummy I would be and I have to say that it was nothing like the mummy that I am.  I never thought for a minute that I would use cloth nappies on my children (let alone end up starting a business around them!), I didn’t really think I would breastfeed and I didn’t imagine for one minute that I would resign from my  job at a local hospice in order to be a stay at home mum.

When my baby arrived my grand plan went out the window.  She looked up at me for the first time, our eyes met and everything else just faded into insignificance.  I have become a different person.  Some things I think have changed for the better.  I have changed my outlook on life, I have broadened my horizons, learnt new things, met new people.   I have learnt how to love unconditionally even when exhausted through lack of sleep and sore nipples.

Some things have changed for the worse.  I have very little relaxation time, we have no money, I have less patience…  I’m not the perfect mummy that I wanted to be but then, who is? My relationships have changed. Visits with old friends are few and far between and I have made new friends through my children. I now have to share my parents with two demanding children who will always be centre of attention and that’s just as it should be.  My husband and I have very rare nights out and if we do we are usually home before 10pm.

So if anyone tells you that becoming a parent won’t change you, don’t believe a word of it.  If you do, you’ll be in for a big surprise. How has becoming a parent changed you? Or do you feel that you have not changed at all?

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Life with a newborn, what I wish I’d known then

31 Mar
Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Image via Wikipedia

I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the shock of bringing home a new-born baby for the first time. They don’t come with a manual; there are no written instructions on how to care for them.  Maybe I’m the only one but I felt totally petrified for the first few days that we were at home. I must have phoned my mum a million times to ask her questions.  Of course you somehow get through those early days and get into some kind of routine but life with a new-born is still a tremendous life changing experience.

When we brought home our second baby things were different, we felt like we knew what we were doing and everything was so much easier and less fraught with anxiety.

So having been there, I thought I’d offer my top tips on life with a new-born.

1. Babies cry! Ok, some people may have a pretty perfect baby who sleeps, feeds, sleeps and feeds but neither of mine were programmed this way.  But what else can a baby do except cry when they need something, it’s just their way of telling you they need something.  Ok it might take us a while to work out what their cries mean but you will soon get to know whether it is a hungry cry or a tired cry, or a ‘I need a new nappy’ cry.

2. Breastfeeding hurts. Yep, it’s true, I’m sorry to say.  Baby doesn’t just latch on and away you go although this is certainly true for a lot of people.  It can be very, very painful in the early days.  I likened it to having a crocodile clip attached to your nipple. BUT the good news is, it gets easier and easier as the days go by and it is so worth sticking with it. If you need help or just want to talk to other mums who are going through the same situation then ask your midwife if there is a local latch on group.

3. Just accept that your house will be a mess for a few days, weeks, months (or in my case years) after your baby is born.  You will have far more important things to worry about than dusting and ironing.

4. Looking after a new-born baby is draining, both emotionally and physically.  You need to rest when you can and make sure you eat healthy, regular meals.

5. Babies are not as fragile as you think. Don’t worry if everyone wants to cuddle them and older children want to hold them.  As long as it is all supervised baby will be fine.  You don’t need to avoid everyone who has a cold or a sniffle.  This is especially true if you are breastfeeding as your baby will have immunity from all sorts of things via your breast milk.

6. Crying babies are stressful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

7. Most of all, try to RELAX and enjoy these early days.  They really don’t last long, before you know it you will be waving your little one-off at the school gate for his/her first day at school.

What about you?  What do wish you had known before your baby arrived?

Babies remember sounds from the womb

14 Mar

Pregnant mums – here’s some interesting news about how much your baby hears in the womb. According to a study undertaken by Descartes University in Paris, babies can remember short melodies they heard whilst in the womb.

50 heavily pregnant women were asked to play a descending piano melody twice daily. One month after the babies were born, they were played the same melody and a 9 note ascending melody during sleep and their heart rates monitored. On average, the heart rates of the sleeping babies briefly slowed by 12 beats a minute with the familiar descending melody, compared to five or six beats with the unfamiliar melody.

This research adds to what is understood about what sounds are heard in the womb and about how babies learn to perceive speech. Psychobiologist Carolyn Granier-Deferre, wrote in the online journal, PLUS ONE that the results suggest that ‘newborns pay more attention to what may be their mother’s melodic sounds than they will to those of other women’.

Happy listening to music

Ms Granier-Deferre said that women should not play music to their unborn babies as normal maternal sounds are enough. It is better to encourage music appreciation after the child is born, when its reaction can be gauged and your response can be appropriate to their tastes. She also noted that devices that are placed on the skin which play music can be dangerous. ‘This kind of stimulation can be harmful to the foetal ear if it is too loud or left on too long or applied too early during the inner ear development’ she said.  Human hearing develops during the last three months of pregnancy. By five weeks before birth, the cochlea – the spiral-shaped part of the inner ear responsible for hearing – is usually mature and means the foetus can hear all the sounds going on around them.