Maternity Leave - the long and short of it

One thing I have noticed since becoming pregnant and having my beautiful tiny human, is that everyone and their Uncle has hundreds of opinions about the choices you make. 

It still amazes me that people have time in their busy lives to actually care about the choices I (and my husband - sometimes) make about our family!! It is so thoughtful of you to provide these unrelenting opinions... you really didn’t need too! Seriously!!  

Amongst the MANY opinions I have received during my baby’s five months of living, the one that really winds me up and fills me with a rage akin to hell’s fire, are the comments about my maternity leave.  

Let me paint a picture for you, when I found out I was pregnant I was in the middle of taking on a new job. Now I felt it was only fair that I tell them I was pregnant, it was still early days but I wanted to be up front. I was super lucky everything worked out well for me, the new company ( people I had know for a while) made everything work for me, even went above and beyond for my maternity pay) My being pregnant hadn’t deterred them from continuing with the hiring process, if fact they reiterated how much they wanted me on board! Talk about hitting the boss jack pot or what! 

Now for my maternity leave, I didn’t take what many would consider to be the traditional route (use of air quotes is encouraged!) Instead I opted to take four months off, after that I would return to work, key point here is that I work from home, when not travelling. Now when people heard that I was taking “only” four months off the comments were, well, rather annoying! 

That’s not long enough” “It’s not fair on the baby” “Not going back part-time?”  

Now there’s nothing like being made to feel like a shitty mother, or a selfish parent that comments like that. I have never justified myself to these people, I just simply smile nod and walk away, never letting the tirade of profanities leave my mouth.   “It’ll do you and the baby no good” “It’s a little selfish of you, your baby needs you at home”

I think I will always be astounded my peoples comments and opinions regarding my parenting skills and just how freely they are forced upon you. I didn’t realise just how much my actions affected them, maybe that makes me stupid!  (can you hear my eyes rolling?!)

I see it as a good thing going back to work, I am very lucky that my employer is so good to me. And in turn why shouldn’t I be the best employer I can be! I mean within three weeks of having my baby, my two bosses came to visit, bought gifts, sent flowers and really put me at ease. Everything was my choice and they supported that! And why shouldn’t I return to work, I can’t show my daughter what I can do and do, do with my life.  

Being a working mum doesn’t make you a bad mum. Working full or part time doesn’t make you a bad parent. If you are lucky enough to being with your babies all the time, then that is just as good. My point is really let’s stop being so judgemental, everyone situation is different, no one is perfect, no one else gets it right all the time. As long as you parent to the best of your ability and you raise a good person, what does it matter if you went back to work after a day, week, month, year or decade??? Surely there are more important things to worry about, like how am I going to make it through the rest of lent without chocolate? Will I be able to get tickets to the spice girls reunion? And hoping to all hopes that greys anatomy never ends! 

Birth and after ... what worked for us

Everyone makes a pretty details birth plan; all the wants and preferences for your birthing experience. This is all written down in your maternity notes, so when you can’t answer for yourself your wants are still met. All the books and professionals encourage you to complete a birth plan, I was told to but my preference for each scenario in case, plan A was not an option.  

They are great, it really did give me peace of mind, that what I wanted was documented. What I was anxious about however, was what would happen after my baby was born. Now I will caveat this with, I am a planner, I like to know what is to happen at all times. My pregnancy books tended to all stop once baby was born. That’s great and all but what happens after, I have my baby and then what...??? 

Being a control freak (to the extreme) I wanted, no needed to know. Would I need to stop the night? Would I stay for just one night? Would/could my husband stay with me? All this and more raced through my mind as my pregnancy drew to a close. For my own sanity, I needed have my battle lines in order.  

So, as we discussed my birth plan, my husband and I also talked about what would happen during my time in the hospital 

 

Just husband and I during event - I didn’t want any one else in the room (except medical professionals of course!) the way I saw it was, my husband and I started this and we would finish it. 

Told to shower straight after and eat all the tea and toast given - I didn’t know this would happen but my midwife was great and I am so glad she took charge immediately after the birth, whilst my baby was being weighed etc. Surprisingly, I didn’t mind the lack of control here! 

No visitors in hospital - The last thing I would want to do after giving birth would be to entertain visitors. Immediately after giving birth was our time and I didn’t want to share that. There was a woman on the ward opposite me, who had a constant gathering of visitors, whilst they were quiet, I could tell she didn’t want to talk, she was exhausted, she had a c-section so what in a lot of pain and the last thing she wanted was 5/6 people coming in and out of her space. The best thing I did was keep it chill and just my husband. The last thing you want to do it share your hours old baby with other people. This is your time!

No visitors for 2 days - We also asked people to give us a couple of days, once home, to ourselves. We wanted time to bond with our baby, get used to being a 3 and I wanted some time to come to terms with my experience of giving birth and becoming a first time mother! People didn’t like this but we ensured lots of photos were sent instead.

Husband didn’t stay the night - Whilst he was allowed too, we decided that he would go home, for the night. This was purely for practical reasons because obviously both he and I wanted him to stay. At 9.30pm my husband went home, mainly because we would be coming home the next day and for safety we didn’t want a sleep deprived driver , driving our new precious cargo. He also sorted the house out, tidied bits away, popped to the shops to ensure we had what we needed, milk, tea, coffee and bread were the staples. He was back at 7am the next morning and let’s face it, no one would have wanted to sleep on the uncomfortable chair on a ward. It worked for us, because when we got home, the house was sorted and I could relax and sleep knowing my husband was solely focused on the baby and not dropping of too. 

 

Now these things really worked for my husband and I. They may not be favourable for everyone, this is why I think it’s important to think about these things, I’d only for practical and mind calming reasons. Every couple is different and as the mama to be you need to think about your piece of mind so you can concentrate happily on your new baby!  

Things I may have said during labour....*

*....things I ACTUALLY said during labour!! 

I was very lucky with my labour apparently, I say apparently, because it was my first labour and I didn’t have a frame of reference. But my midwife and health visitor (not to mention the other midwives on the ward) all said to me they were amazed at how quick it was, especially as a first time mama.  

However, long and short your labour is, every woman has a million things running through her mind both between and during contractions. I was too late for anything other than gas and air, so I puffed on that like no tomorrow. However, for as much as it helped, somewhat, I became as high as a kite! And during my pain filled moments some ‘brilliant’ - according to my husband - one liners left my mouth!  

 

I can’t do this - standard phrase uttered numerous times. 

Make it stop - again standard but never going to happen.

I’m not ready for this - fear finally showing though

Nope stop I’ve had enough - again standard but no more likely to happen

I’m not doing this anymore - I wasn’t overly sure who would have done it but alas...

Give me all the drugs - yep I said this a lot 

You did this - directed at the husband with murderous eyes

Stop saying that - to my husband’d encouraging remarks

I’m not doing this again - said once my legs were put into the stirrups 

If you keep holding the gas and air too far away,I will cut you - my midwife was in hysterics at this but I honestly can’t remember saying it. My husband filled me in on this later on, on the ward

I wish you were a seahorse - some insane reference to the fact that male seahorses carry the babies, swiftly followed by, I hate seahorses. I couldn’t remember this either but I guess that is the perk of gas and air! 

Is it too late for an epidural / c-section - said in between most contractions

 

So there you have it, a run down of the mental things I came out with during labour. What were your best one-liners?? 

Great Apps for parents

On some levels parenting in 2017 must be so much easier than when I was born (80s baby right here!) Now stay with me, what I mean by that sweeping statement is that with the inter web, social media and celebrity mothers and bloggers, we now have so much more available at our finger tips.  

With a few taps of a keyboard we can find the answer to any question about pregnancy, labour, birth, babies and children. There are all sorts of social medias to follow and apps to download, that we have a wealth of information at our finger tips. I downloaded no end of apps during my pregnancy and now I am with baby, they help me through my daily questions and that is soooo much easier than having to run to the library but I will admit, they definitely still play second fiddle to me asking my mum... I mean that’s a given! 

‭Here are some of the apps I used from pregnancy to now. 

IMG_1561.PNG

 Pregnancy + 

I downloaded this free app pretty much as soon as I found out I was pregnant. You fill in your information and it gives you an estimated due date. Obviously this isn’t going to be accurate or taken as the date you will have your baby. That will all get confirmed, or as close as can be, at the 12 week scan. My due date was actually pushed back but it gave me an idea of what I was working with. I liked this app because it provided daily information and links to blog posts about certain things during pregnancy. It was rather informative actually, geared more for the first timers like me I would say. But it also gave updates or baby’s progress, growth was compared to fruit and veg and weekly updates of what was happening inside and how baby was developing. I enjoyed this app, I liked the updates, especially the really big ones and I felt like I was learning more. My brothers would ask what fruit or veg the baby was when I would see them, not scientific in the slightest but I loved the thought of the journey from poppy seed to melon. Obviously all medical advise should be gained and checked with your midwife / GP. 

 

Contraction Timer: Labour timer 

Now I downloaded this app on a whim about half an hour after my waters broke because I knew that I wouldn’t be in the mood to write anything down or remember it. It worked pretty well and was super easy to use, which when in the midst of a contraction is great. You simply hit the button at the beginning of a contraction and then again at the end. The app then logs the length of the contraction as well as the time in between each contraction. It lists all information simply for you and mama only had two taps to make. Easy peasy! It was super useful in helping me decide when to call the hospital and great for my husband to relay my contraction info! Pretty much fool proof! And when I got to the hospital I could just give my phone to my midwife, let’s face it who can talk and think during a contraction??? 

 

MUSH 

I downloaded this free social networking app around a month after giving birth. It is an app for mums by mums. You basically put in a bit of information about you and your children and it connects you with local and similar mums. For me this was great as I live a long way from family and friends and it gave me chance to connect with other local mums in similar circumstances to me. It is a great place to meet with local mamas and find out more from them about what goes on for mothers and babies in your area. I found out about so many extra groups, classes and events through the app just my messaging other mums.  

The app is great because it really made me more confident in contacting other mums and arranging play dates and coffee dates. Mainly because it allows to you find people similar to you and how you parent and spend your time. A great app!  

 

HOOP

Whilst MUSH is all for the mamas, HOOP is about the kids.  It provides information all kids groups, acitivities and events in your area. Taylor the information to your child’s age and you will only see age appropriate information. I’m particularly liking all of the festive events in my area going on! You’ll never have an excuse for not knowing what to do with your time now. 

 

Baby Story 

Probably one of my favourite apps, mainly because it is a creative playful app to jazz up all your pictures from pregnancy to baby. You upload a picture to the app and pick from the many different ‘stickers’. From charting your pregnancy by week or month to documenting baby’s milestones, firsts and everything in between. You can add texts, pictures, colour and filters. Perfect when you want to text or message a picture of baby with a special message. The app is free but not all of the packs are free. I do love it, I send weekly and daily updates to my family of P so jazzing them up makes the picture a little more special. Altered pictures are then saved to your photos.  

 

PATPAT 

This is another app I am in love with. A clothing app, chocka full of baby clothes, clothes for mama and some homeware goods based in the US. But it is the baby clothes I am loving. I found this app through Instagram, via one of those sponsored things that come up in your feed. I fell in love with the clothes but more so the prices! Some really great and unique outfit on the site. Within 40 minutes of having the app, I had already made my first purchase. I will have a post coming up soon showing you what I have been buying, so stay tuned, you’ll want to seen!  

 

So there you have it, some of the apps I have used and am currently using, as I continue my baby journey. What apps are you using, let me know what is good, especially if it is to do with baby clothes.  This was the first little outfit I bought from PATPAT. Not an ad just anlitrle gem I think you might like! 

IMG_1234.JPG

Mama life - The three month review

I have been a mother for three months now. I can still barely believe it. I look at my beautiful daughter and think how the frilly heck did you get here ... obviously, I know how she got here, I was there for all of it and most definitely felt it. What I mean is, I still can’t quite believe I am responsible for a tiny human all of my own (well the husband helps too!)  

These first three months have been a whirlwind of emotions, happiness, sleep deprivation, poopy nappies, crying fits, cuddles and utter joy. Looking back these months have been the best of my existence, don’t get me wrong, it has been bloody hard and trying but it has been wonderful. I look at her everyday and realise just how lucky we are to have her and that she is perfect in every way. Motherhood has been a massive learning curve for me, I spent 32 years without a child, without the responsibility of another being completely dependent on me. I am by nature a control freak, I like organisation, order, tidiness. I cherished my freedom, to come and go as I pleased, answerable to no one, well except my parents (yes even at my age I do as I am told!) my husband occasionally but rarely. But now every minute of my life is centred upon my daughter, her needs, her wants and her happiness. Well it’s how it should be... I spent most of my pregnancy trying to ascertain how I was going to fit my new little creation into my life but I was so wrong, babies don’t fit in with you ... you fit in with them!!! Lesson one quickly learnt! 

I have learnt a great many things, since my new job title of mama came into effect most of which I was not expecting to learn.    

The biggest thing I’ve learnt in my motherhood journey this far, is that I can do anything. Giving birth is an experience like no other. All through it, I kept repeating in my head I can do this!  

And I could and did, (didn’t really have much choice once things reallly kicked off!) I realised my body was amazing, it knew exactly what it had to do, even when I didn’t. I learnt that nothing is impossible now. Also, women are incredible creatures, sorry chaps but women are magical. This knowledge certainly helps when faced with a screaming baby! 

 

When my daughter, newly born was handed to me by my wonderful midwife, I expected to cry. But I didn’t, my husband did but I didn’t. Now it is a long standing joke in my family that I am a bit of a robot when it comes to feelings and emotions so people weren’t surprised to learn I didn’t cry. Don’t get me wrong, I felt all the feels when my baby was handed too me, the main one being, what did I just do and *%\^# I am holding my baby! My mind was in total shock, I don’t think I could have cried if I wanted too. But it was ok not to cry, I was unbelievably happy but shocked, shocked at what my body bad just accomplished, shocked that I was holding my own tiny human and shocked that the second she entered the world, mine had instantly changed. Don’t worry my husband cried enough for the both of us! 

IMG_1744.JPG

 

Wow babies poop and pee don’t they...”it’s alright I’ll only have to change her a couple times a day” this comment (by me) was met with hearty laughter by my mum. We go through so many nappy changes a day, especially as my child is allergic to the slightest spot of wetness which results in a scream so loud and non stop until the nappy is changed. I have also learnt that nothing brings me more joy than when it’s a poopy nappy and my husband is holding her, get out of jail free card for mummy!! I am also so surprised to learn about the snobbery around nappies. I couldn’t believe at one of my baby groups that a mother (self righteous busy body none the less!) looked upon me so distastefully when I said I bought Lidl nappies. They’ve won awards and titles and really do the job wonderfully - get off your high horse woman it a great nappy! Ps their wipes are pretty good too - not an ad but being so good and cheap - saving your pennies to spend on the bambino or yourself - is not a bad thing at all! Yay Lidl! 

 

The main thing I’ve learnt is that it is ok, not to be ok. Honestly I dismissed all notions of the baby blues, I wasn’t expecting it to happen to me. But it did and that was ok. My body effectively went through a trauma, I was all over the place, coupled with a loss in my control freak abilities and a crying baby. Tearfulness and feelings of inadequacy were to be expected and normal. I realise that now!

I learnt that all my plans for my post baby life were futile, ha! Why even bother making plans, a lot of the things I had planned on or wanted had to be changed within days or weeks and it was ok to cry over that, thankfully, because I did! 

The main and most important thing I have learnt over these three months is just how incredibly lucky I am to have my daughter. I am so lucky where so many are not and I am grateful everyday for that and I make sure I appreciate everything I have because I am and have been lucky and I pray that I may be lucky again one day.

But pregnancy and motherhood has made me realise that they are both a blessing and privilege not something to be taken lightly or squandered and for my lot I am so thankful. It had made me appreciate and support causes such as, premature babies, fertility issues, postnatal health and specialised services like midwives, health visitors, children’s hospitals etc. 

So there you have it, three months in and I’m still surviving, still coping and still loving it. I am looking forward to seeing how life continues to change in the next three months!    

Hospital Bag Packing - What was in my bag

If you google hospital bag for giving birth you will be presented with a million different lists, each containing a million different things you should pack.  

I was massively overwhelmed with the never ending list of items I apparently required for my giving birth experience. The first list I wrote had almost 40 items that I absolutely had to have. And that didn’t even include items for the baby!! I showed my husband my first list and in fairness he was rather diplomatic about it, That’s a lot of stuff but if you’re sure you’ll need it then we’ll get it  

That was the hubby’s polite way of saying - are you crazy this is no end of stuff but as you’re pregnant I’ll keep the peace and have what you want. My mother however, was less diplomatic and told me that it was a ridiculous amount of things and that I should pack realistically. Annoyed and a little sulky I redrafted my list - several times.  

Eventually, with my list reduced I settled about getting everything together. My hospital bag actually consisted of two bags. The baby bag I bought as a nappy bag actually came with two bags, the larger i used for myself and the smaller was the baby’s bag.  

I packed based on the assumption I would be staying in the hospital for one night. I did however lay out extra clothing and essentials in case I needed to stay longer - this pile of extras was pointed out to the hubby in the event he’d have to come back for more, but luckily it wasn’t needed.  

 

So this is what I packed for my hospital bag:  

Towel - just a normal bath towel. I actually bought a new dark coloured one from Primark. My hospital actually provided towels  for my shower straight after giving birth but my own was used for the next day.

Dressing Gown - again another dark coloured one. It was a long dressing gown and light weight. Hospitals can get hot so I didn’t fancy something heavy.  

PJs - I took two pairs of light weight pjs one set with shorts and the other long trousers. Each with easy boob access

Nightie - I packed this nightie with the intention of wearing it during birth. However, everything for me happened so quickly I didn’t have chance to change and only managed to get off my dress before things kicked off!  

Slippers / Slipper socks - I took both. The slippers were those you get from a hotel so I threw them out once out of the hospital but I loved my slipper socks.  

Toiletries - I treated myself here, I got the usual, toothbrush, toothpaste, roll on deodrant, shampoo & conditioner, face cream and moisturiser. All my favourite brands and flavours. All travel size too. I did take a small selection of basic make up but I never used it. Face wipes (an absolute god send for me, so handy as they were great for a quick refresh throughout the day). Hair ties, and a few of them, as well as bobby pins too, keep the hair off your face. Hair brush too!

Maternity pads - Buy many of these, you’ll need them. I under estimated so had to send the hubby out when we got home for more.  

Nipple pads - stock up on these too.  

Adult nappies or disposable maternity pants - I will admit something as a first time mum I never thought of until I read all the lists! And yes they’re needed!

Maternity mats - Now my hospital provided these but you’ll want them for home too. My friend actually said she used the Dry nights for kids as these can be stuck to the bed so don’t move. 

Clothes for going home - Again I went for dark, loose fitting clothes. As it was still warm in September (2017) I opted for a black maternity dress. Maternity pants and nursing bra and some trainers that I could slip on without fussing. You won’t want anything tight that will rub you up the wrong way, remember you will be walking like John Wayne for a while! And if you have a C-section remember you won’t want clothing to rub against your wound so high waisted helps here. 

Drinks & snacks - I stuffed in a couple of bottles of Lucozade in my bag and a large bottle of water. As well as a handful of cereal bars. Just to keep me going in the hours after giving birth.  

Electronics - phone, phone charger, headphones and iPod. Phone for obvious reasons as well as being our camera. Music was good too for the night when my husband went home, baby was asleep and I could block out the other hospital noises.  

That was my maternity bag in a nutshell. It isn’t a vast amount of items but it got me through without breaking either the bank or my back. It all fit neatly into my hold all - I didn’t want to be that person pulling in a suitcase that could fit a family of four. 

 

My baby’s bag - a smaller version of my hold all, was filled it all the required elements for my baby girl.  

Nappies - Over pack these, you don’t want to be overpaying in the hospital gift shop. I packed 15 in total just in case.  

Baby wipes - just a packet of these.  

Cotton wool - a small bag of these, we left the larger one at home.  

Nappy bags - for when disposing of the used nappy, cotton wool and wipes.

Towel for the baby  

Muslin cloths - I packed two of these.  

Baby clothes - I went overboard here and took six complete outfits: vests and sleepsuits with the integrated scratch mits , a couple of separate scratch mittens and hats.  

Blanket - for when taking the baby home. Hospitals are so warm and they’ll usually provide a blanket.  

 

So that is everything I packed for my hospital stay. Obvious addition was the car seat but this was only bought in when we were leaving. I did also send the hubby down to the hospital shop for some coke and mint areos. I did deserve them after all. 

 

Baby sleeping hack: My Hummy

I discovered this gem of a sleeping aid via Facebook, not sure how it came about but I am oh so glad it did! 

My gorgeous baby, is a gift but her sleeping patterns were the stuff of nightmares. She would sleep for no more than 90minutes at a time at night and even less during the day. She had to be held to fall asleep and there could be absolutely NO.NOISE! Even a sneeze would wake her and we would be back to square one.  

On a whim, after reading the many positive reviews on Facebook, I decided to give it a go and buy one. I decided on the Snoozy in white and within three days it had arrived. Essentially, MyHummy is a white noise machine, five different white noises to choose from and volume adjustable. The device is inside the teddy and can be removed so the teddy can be cleaned. 

The teddy itself is super cute (well the snoozy is!) and comes in a variety of colours too. It is really soft and not overly big so sits nicely inside P’s snoozepod. Battery operated, the box goes inside the teddy and is zipped in.  

There are five noise options to choose from, rainfall, vaccum, waves, hairdryer and aminotic fluid with heart beat. When we first got the MyHummy, P was only about five weeks old and we thought the aminotic fluid with heartbeat would be the best. It took a few days for P to get used to it and for her it was around day four before we were seeing significant changes to her sleep. After about a week we had made only a little progress. I was actually devestated, after reading how it worked for everyone else, I really did feel let down, (sleep deprivation and a bit of the post baby heightened emotions accounted for my dramatic reaction to a teddy failing me!) Not one to be beaten and probably more to calm me down my husband suggested we try another sound, so we did. Now I don’t know which we have picked, I think it’s the vaccum but to us it sounds like a stationery car engine. And that first night, betcha-by-golly-wow it worked!!! Our little P slept from 9.30pm to 4.15am! I did not however as I kept waking wondering why she wasn’t making any noise, but me being silly aside... it worked. We were cautiously optimistic and prayed that the following night would be a repeat performance and it was!! And it has been great since and now she is three months and sleeps between 10 and 6!! Obviously we had some nights where not even bribing her with £100 will get her to sleep. But on the whole the MyHummy soothes her and really does help her sleep. 

 

IMG_0771.JPG

What I love most about the MyHummy is that the noise will taper off but when it senses movement or noise coming from P, then it kicks back into life; which is awesome and so very clever! It is a beautiful bear and for me, so worth the money. It was a little trial and error in the beginning but once we found what worked for P, we ran with it and have been for a while.  

I have recommended MyHummy to a lot of my friends who are new parents and a couple who have toddlers who are not sleeping; all with positive feedback to me. I would say don’t expect it to work on night one, like I did, just given it time and see what works for you and your baby.  

It kinda helps me sleep too, so it’s a winner all around.  

Baby = Changed me

Having a baby will change you, it’d be ridiculous not to think that it wouldn’t change you a little bit. But what I’ve realised since giving birth to my tiny human is that, not only have I changed but I have actually changed a lot! This change is actually really surprising to me, I was blasé about motherhood during my pregnancy but as soon as it happened ... BAM!! It hit me like a ton of bricks! Like all those Ryan Reynolds comments about parenthood and how he would use his wife as a human shield... comical absolutely but man does it resonate now. Before I became a mama, his comments and the hundreds of others out there were just comedic sentiments to me. But now; betcha-by-golly-wow would I sell my husbands soul and chew off his arm to fend off the zombies (hopefully it will never come to that, don’t really like the sight of blood see) but my view of the world has changed so much that I would destroy anyone or anything that took aim at my creation. 

Another way I have changed (this was probably for the better, the former makes me sound demented but I like to think of it as mothers protective instinct!) is that I have become a much more emotional person. For the past 32 years I have not been one with the feelings. Typically British, My feelings were not for the public arena. Now however, I get the feels about everything. Anything about children or the elderly has me welling up. Maybe it’s still the hormones but it’s three months down the line so I’m guessing my tiny human has probably made me more human in the process.  

 

I was never an overly maternal being grown up, In fact I was quite selfish during my 20s, and ones 20s is perfect for all that! But now I have a daughter, I am obsessed with her. I miss her when I take a shower and when she’s having time with her daddy on the sofa opposite. I am crazy, I constantly check her whilst she sleeps, which accounts for the huge bags under my eyes. I obsess about her temperature, her digestive rate (checking she is producing enough nappies you know what I mean!) I mean I’m a lunatic. I know this but maybe that is the first time mums lot- to be a lunatic - right??? 

I am already so over protective of her, I don’t want people I’m not keen on to hold her for too long and weird things like that - told you, lunatic!! But I figure I made that tiny human, every cell in that body I made for nine months, so if I’m a loon, then a loon I’ll be.  

One this that has happened, probably the most profound thing, is that I have so much more respect for my mother. I mean I obviously respected her before but being a mother, pregnancy and labour - I get it now. I now fully understand every decision she made, every time she said no, every telling off I had and every sacrifice. And she did it three times!!! I was always a daddy’s girl growing up but now all I want is to buy the house next door to my parents to be near my mum... I hope one day my daughter will feel like that about me... but at the moment she is heading straight for the daddy’s girl route!!