8 weeks ago I had a baby. Sometimes I have to say it to myself just so I know it’s true. It’s an odd feeling now, thinking back to the birth and how things have gone over the last 2 months.
In The Know
It is a strange thing to think that now I have done what my body is essentially designed for: Childbirth. It’s strange to think that I have now done this mysterious thing – that all the years I thought about it, and watched tv programmes about it and how I used to chat to my friends and sisters about having children, and what names they would have. That I now know what it feels like to give birth. That I am a Mum. It’s a bittersweet thing really as on one hand you have achieved something that you wanted to do; and on another it is somewhat anti-climatic now that I know the secret. To be on the other side. I know what the pain is like that no-one can describe. I have nurtured, and created a new life. I am in the ‘know’.
We all have certain expectations of life and certain watershed ages that we aim for and the things we can do when we reach that age. I am starting to think, are there many of these moments left? I am sure there are but you know what I mean. It feels as if another step has been made. Something else to cross off my bucket list. I suppose being a Mum you are supposed to feel like an adult. I don’t feel like an adult. I don’t feel that the 90’s were 20 years ago. I don’t feel like an old fuddy duddy. I guess I don’t have to feel that way at all. But it’s just odd to think you are a Mum, I am what my Mum was/is to me. I don’t want to be someone who is only a Mum, although I love being one. I want to make sure I don’t forget who I am as well.
This experiences changes you as a person. I know everyone says it but I have to concede that it’s true. You’re still yourself but you’ve an added layer of understanding. Watching One Born Every Minute is now a completely different experience. If you have had a slightly complicated birth (as I did) I think it takes time to de-brief and to reflect upon what happened, especially if it didn’t match your expectations. And we have to do all of this at the same time as looking after a completely dependent person. I sometimes think about these things at 3am in the morning. Sometimes I am so tired and I should sleep, but I write, or read, or think. As I just need a little time to be me again and to figure it all out in my jellified head.
For me, these feelings are intensified as I am turning 30 in September. So it is quite a momentous year for me. I doubt I will be able to fit in a trip to Australia or a bungy jump by then, so I am having to adjust my list of things I want to achieve slightly.
So,how do you get back, or even just find, yourself again after having a baby? You have to put the two back together again. I feel I have been myself these 8 weeks but not my whole self, if that makes sense. However, I am starting to feel like I can merge the two together. It can only be a good and healthy thing for both me and Nancy if I keep myself on track, as this will not only make me feel better but will enhance her experiences too.
So I started with something simple: I put my contact lenses back on after 4 months of abandoning them.
I ate the last of my chocolate/biscuit/scraping the tub of nutella supplies and am now going to start Slimming World again.
I bought some clothes that fit me and are not labelled as ‘maternity’ (in a fit of nesting I threw away nearly all my clothes! which has meant 8 weeks in tracky bottoms and t shirts. I also threw away most of my shoes and so only had Uggs to wear. I must have been one crazy pregnant lady – well I was 14 days overdue so I had a lot of time on my hands.)
I went out for dinner without the baby, for the first time. and I had a glass of wine.
Get my Hair cut – it’s never been this long before and/or as split ended or wild looking, due to about 8 weeks of not brushing it properly and abuse of batiste
I charged up my ipod again and started listening to music that is not a nursery rhyme.
I started reading again – I am currently reading Honour by Elif Shafak for BritMums Book Club (review of which I shall put up soon).
So it has begun. This journey back to (or should that be a new journey to?) Myself.