Natural birth vs c-section (part 2)

It’s 11.30am on Saturday morning. My husband has taken the children to the cinema for one of those bargain kids morning films. Right now, I am sitting in a cafe with a hot chocolate, a blueberry muffin and my laptop. I’m playing at being one of those people that I always stare longingly at whilst simultaneously wiping Sophie’s nose and telling George to eat his croissant rather than scatter it all over the floor. It’s bliss right now.

So, birth story number two. I was lucky again to have a pretty straight forward pregnancy. I might say that it was even more comfortable and manageable than the first, I think my body was just more prepared to be inhabited and stretched.


Sophie was due on 17th October and I really wasn’t surprised that this day came and went. I tried every old wives tale in the book but still found myself on a ward at 8am two weeks later being induced. I had heard so many horror stories about being induced and I was feeling pretty anxious about it. Friends had said that it makes your labour very quick and intense since they are giving you drugs to start your labour rather than your body doing it by itself. They gave me the drugs then told me to walk around for four hours and they’d check me again. I did start having contractions but I could tell it was still early days and this wasn’t going to be the quick and easy second labour I had been promised!

It got to 7pm and they said it was time for my husband to go home for the night. Um, excuse me? There was no way on earth I was letting him go and leave me there on my own. They said he could come back once I was in established labour as I would then be on the labour ward. It was news to me that I wasn’t in established labour but apparently I wasn’t. I needed to be at 3cm for them to send me to the labour ward and I wasn’t even there yet, sad times. I had this wonderful nurse examine me and she heard my heart felt petition and got me to 3cm, no more details required. I was so grateful  and happy that David and I could both go up to the labour ward.

On my way up there I started to get a real panic feeling because it was the same place where I had given birth to George and had such a horrible time. Thankfully, we were in a different room and to be honest it felt like a totally different hospital so I was happy. I was greeted by my midwife who had just begun her 12 hour shift. Her name was Frederica and she was Italian. The labour ward was pretty much empty so she really was able to give me lots of time and attention which was incredible, so different to the first time. She ran me a bath and got the room all nice and cosy. Once I was out, she told me they were going to brake my waters quite soon. I was tired and still having contractions so she offered me gas and air which I jumped at. It was amazing! I used it while she broke my waters and I didn’t feel a thing, so good.

Once my waters had broken, things really intensified. My husband was just amazing. I really zoned out and had my eyes closed most of the time to try and manage the pain. He helped me through every single contraction by telling me when I was at the peak that the pain would soon go and I would get a little rest again. So simple but it absolutely kept me going and helped me get through the contractions. I think it’s so interesting that you have little gaps between contractions. You wouldn’t think a few minutes or seconds would make much difference but I don’t think any of us could manage it otherwise.

The hours went on and I was exhausted. They recommended that I have an epidural so I did. As time went by, I began to notice more and more people in the room, including doctors. They each wanted to examine me but I didn’t really know why. By this point, I had started vomiting so I had to stop taking the gas and air. The epidural had not been completely effective because they said the baby was in a strange position. It was time to push and I could feel pain but that was ok, I would have my baby in my arms soon. The pushing went on, and on, and on. No baby. I felt like the same nightmare was unravelling all over again.

We are just going to take you through to theatre just in case we need to use any interventions. Off we went and they gave me one last chance to push. I don’t think I’ve ever exerted so much effort in my whole life. But it was useless, that baby wasn’t coming out. They said that they would need to perform an emergency c-section. At that moment, I was surprised that I actually felt relieved. I felt relieved that someone else would be taking over and I could just stop and be still.

The next thing I knew, I had a baby on my chest. My beautiful, perfect baby girl. They had to take her from me quite quickly because I was in and out of consciousness. I felt this strange, blissful feeling of drifting in and out of the room while everyone else was so busy and alert.


I spent two days on the recovery ward and then another couple on the normal new mum ward. It was hard, really hard. Usually they leave the epidural in place for a while as a method of pain relief but since mine hadn’t been effective they just took it out. I have a morphine allergy so pain management was complex. They ended up giving me my own clicker thing to administer some kind of drug whenever I felt I needed it.

Recovery at home was slow but steady and I didn’t have any complications from my operation thankfully. I remember thinking I just couldn’t believe how much I use my stomach muscles. Literally, every time we move it comes from our core so it really was hard to move around and do anything. I did, however, really enjoy that fact that I could sit down without that agony that I’d had with a natural birth.

Both of my births were not straight forward, at all. The second experience was better mainly because of the midwife. I think that can make such a huge difference, I felt so looked after. Recovery from both kinds of birth are hard in different ways. It was very painful to sit down etc with a natural birth. It took a long, long time to heal and feel anything like normal. I could still pick things up though, and drive and do way more normal stuff than I could after my section.

With the section I felt more comfortable in the sense of being able to sit down but it was so much harder in a lot of ways. I could barely even sit up in bed. I couldn’t lift my baby out of her cot to feed her in the night, my husband had to pass her to me. I wasn’t able to drive for six weeks and even then I felt scared that if I put the brakes on, my stomach would split open. I now also have a scar which isn’t really what you plan for. It’s not big but it’s a constant reminder of what happened. I guess you can also say it’s a constant reminder of the birth of my daughter which is actually a wonderful thing!


If I was to have a third child then my husband is adamant that he wants me to have a planned c-section. As I have had one before, I can choose to have one again if I want one. I think it’s good that you get the choice. My husband is worried that my labour would go just the same way and I’d end up having a c-section anyway. I think is pretty likely as well but I guess it’s hard for me to admit as I still want to believe I could have a totally natural birth one day. My pelvis apparently doesn’t open wide enough for a baby so maybe I need to accept that my body just isn’t good at birthing children.

I am unsure what I would do. I kind of want to give it another go the natural way but I feel like I wouldn’t want another emergency section. If it was planned, I would imagine it would be a lot less intense and a lot more calm since we’d all know the plan.

Don’t rush into deciding to have a c-section, weigh it all up and think carefully about what works best for you and your family.

When you’re in the thick of all of the giving birth and recovery, life can be pretty bleak and impossible. Things do get better though, you will feel better. Your body is amazing and it will recover and let you do the things you want to do, and you have some little people to do it with you which makes all totally worth it.



Natural birth vs C-section (part 1)

Last night I watched a programme on the BBC about women who have babies at the Portland Hospital in London. I say hospital, but it’s actually more like a hotel. It is unbelievably expensive but what attracts many women is the fact that they get to make their own choice about the kind of birth they have. They can choose right from the start of their pregnancy to schedule a cesarean section without any reason other than that’s what they want. There doesn’t need to be any medical need for a c-section, if they pay for it then they can have it.

I was also reading an article on the BBC news website this morning about the increasing risks associated with natural births on the NHS. This is apparently due to a reluctance to perform c-sections due to the cost which, compared to natural birth, is significantly higher.

With all of this on my mind, I have decided to write about each of my birth experiences. I have had a natural (ish) birth and a c section so I feel like I can comment from both sides. I hope it can give perspective parents a little insight into the realities of both of these life altering events.

George is my eldest child and is now four years old. I was elated when I found out I was pregnant with him whilst on holiday in Las Vegas. I had the usual sickness early on but nothing really too bad at all. I had sciatica which got progressively worse and is still with me now but that was the only real issue throughout the pregnancy.


George’s due date was 17th December but I found myself eating Christmas dinner with a baby still in my tummy rather than in my arms. It was around 10pm that evening that I began to have contractions. They were pretty close together and lasting a while so I phoned the maternity unit and gave them my details. They said I should stay at home a bit longer and keep them posted. After around three hours, I discovered some bleeding (TMI) so I called them and they told me to come straight inI wasn’t feeling too worried at this point, I was just pretty excited that things had got going without me having to be induced. I had been planning to go to the birth centre and this was no longer possible as it seemed like I might be having some complications. They strapped me up to a monitor to check that George was ok. At first, everything seemed fine. His heart was dipping occasionally but no one seemed overly concerned. Until. I just couldn’t hear his heart any more. The mid wife’s face immediately changed and she pressed some kind of emergency button. She calmly told me that the room was about to fill with people and I needed to try and stay calm. I had absolutely no idea what was about to happen to me, which is probably a good thing.

All of a sudden there were people everywhere. Multiple doctors and nurses all with their own role to play in caring for me. I have never felt so much panic and fear in my entire life. Even now, my heart is beating faster as I think about it. One of the doctors told me that my baby was ‘not recovering’ and that they needed to take me to theatre and perform a c-section to get the baby out. I had people taking blood and hooking me up to a drip, while someone else was taking off my underwear and examining me. It was absolutely horrific. I started to cry uncontrollably out of pure fear as they rushed me through to the operating room.

When I got in there, I realised my husband wasn’t with me as they had made him go and change into scrubs. I felt so alone and confused about everything. They told me that they would give me an epidural but if that didn’t work fast enough then they would just put me to sleep. I sat on the bed with my back arched, trying to keep still through the sobs while they administered the epidural. They kept asking me if I felt like the needle was in the middle of my back. I don’t know! I don’t know! I screamed.

They got the epidural in and I was lying down on the bed. My husband came back and sat beside me. I was just waiting for them to cut into me and praying so hard that everything would be ok. I just couldn’t even imagine that my baby might not make it, I just couldn’t believe that could be true.

Then, it was like a switch, and things just went quiet. We’ve got your baby’s heartbeat back now so we’re not going to do the c-section. Er, what the heck? They said they would monitor me closely but for now I would be taken back to the labour ward. They were saying that I was lucky really because now I had an epidural in place so I wouldn’t feel much pain. I wasn’t feeling particularly lucky right then, I can tell you that.

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I think David and I were both in shock. It had all happened so fast and now there was nothing. Silence, apart from the pounding of my baby’s heart on the monitor. This was how things were for the next 27 hours until my boy was born. I was pushing for a long time and they decided they needed to use the ventouse (vacuum) machine to help things along. The midwife I ended up with at the birth was just awful. She hardly spoke to me and just obviously did not want to be spending her Christmas delivering my baby. At one point, she told me off because I wasn’t pushing correctly. You’re doing it wrong! Sorry love, I haven’t actually done this before so please forgive me.

George came into the world at 12.20am, 27 hours after I had first started having contractions at home. He was healthy and perfect and there was no explanation as to why his heart had dropped so dangerously just a few hours earlier.

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I had to have a LOT of stitches and was waiting for the epidural to wear off so that I could get up and about a bit. The mean mid wife told me that my husband would have to leave soon as I would be taken down to the ward. She told me if I was quick that I could have a bath, then she left. No help, no nothing. It actually makes me so mad to think about it. Don’t worry, I made a complaint about her.

I went home at 7pm that evening, I just couldn’t wait to get out of there. My recovery was slow and painful. I was physically and emotionally traumatised by my experience and couldn’t properly speak about it for a long time. I think it was an unlucky first experience, not how it was going to be in my head at all.

Here comes the cliche, I have a healthy baby and I’m alive so who cares! It wasn’t how I wanted it to be, but that’s the same for so many women. My most valuable piece of advice to a first time mum would be don’t plan your birth. Sure, have a think about whether or not you’d like an epidural if you have the chance or if you’ll hop into the pool if there’s one available. But, don’t expect it to happen how you want it to. Be prepared for things to change and for you to not be in control. You need to be ok with not being in control and understanding that it’s about what’s best for your baby, not what beautiful birth experience you can tell your girlfirends in a week or two.

Sheesh, that was long, sorry. Birth story number two coming soon!


Heart wrenching moment

My four year old can read, like, fluently. I thought this was the most incredibly wonderful thing, until about five minutes ago.

My laptop was open and I was catching up on some blog stuff while cooking tea. I had my back turned and suddenly I heard George saying ‘I don’t enjoy playing with my children’ (see previous blog post title) ‘Who is writing that mummy?’ He enquired, as his little face looked so sad and concerned. ‘That’s not very kind!’

‘Don’t worry darling,’ I said, ‘it’s just something that mummy is reading.’

‘Phew. I thought you wrote it mummy, but you love playing with us don’t you!’

Oh. My. Gosh. My heart just broke. I feel insanely awful now and am desperate to make it clear to my children when they read this one day that I adore them so, so much.

Whenever George and Sophie have fallen asleep at night, I don’t tend to go into their bedroom because I feel like it would just disturb them. If they’re quiet then they’re settled and I’ll see them when they wake up in the morning. The past few nights, though, I’ve been sneaking in before I go to bed. It’s like I can’t help myself, I just need to see them and kiss them one more time before I go to sleep. They are so warm and peaceful, I feel like I want to just climb in with them and hold onto them all night.


I remember when I was pregnant with Sophie, I’d often feel emotional about George because I knew that it would never be just the two of us again. We had a rocking chair next to his bed and I would actually go and get him out of bed and cuddle him in the rocking chair for ages. I would tell him how much I loved him and how that wouldn’t change when his sister came along. I’d feel myself tearing up in these moments because they were just so perfect and intimate.

When I had George, I was struck so intensely with how strongly he felt like an extension of me. His skin and his smell just felt so familiar and I loved holding him as close to me as I could. That hasn’t changed and he’s now four years old! It’s the same with Sophie, there is something so unique, and yet familiar about her that just tells me she’s mine. People say she looks like me and I love that. I love that I have a daughter that I feel so connected to on so many levels.


I feel so lucky that I get to be a full time mother, I know so many women don’t have that choice. I love being at home with them and being the one to teach them and help them. I want to be the one to answer their questions and show them how to be kind and caring. I love being here when they wake up right until they fall asleep. I love that they shout for me when they need something. I just love hearing little voices shouting ‘mummy’ and sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am.

Yesterday and today we have been treated to a George and Sophie ‘show.’ We are instructed to clap at the beginning and the end and there is strictly no talking throughout the performance. They hold hands and jump and dance wildly. Sometimes we get the odd ‘Let it go’ thrown in there too. My face hurts from smiling once it’s over.

Right now, they are playing with their wooden dolls house from Great Granny. Sophie is carefully tucking one of the dollies into bed, while George is padlocking the furniture together. They are their own people and I’m just so glad I get to look after them for just a little while.



I don’t enjoy playing with my children!

Before I had children, I used to think I was pretty good with kids. I considered myself to be fun and imaginative and children used to warm to me quite easily. I enjoyed babysitting from a young age and even considered a career in child care at one point.

Being the oldest of four, I guess I naturally took on quite a nurturing role within my family. I have three younger brothers and so I was kind of a second mum in a lot of ways, and I enjoyed that. It was fun to take care of them and play games and boss them around a bit.

When it came to having my own children, I had it all planned out what kind of mother I would be. I felt like I had years of experience behind me (ha) and that I knew what I was doing. I would be quite structured with discipline, but would also make sure I was a good amount of ‘goofy’ with my kids too. I thought I had figured out the perfect balance of seriousness and fun and that my kids would just respond appropriately to whatever environment I surrounded them with.


Having my own children has been so different to how I could have imagined it would be. As all of us parents know, looking after other peoples children and looking after your own are worlds apart. It’s just so different. I’m not saying different in a bad way, it’s amazing. The love and the joy I feel is pretty much incomparable to anything else I have ever felt.

BUT. I am really rubbish at playing with my kids! I feel like such a terrible mum to even admit that I just find it hard to get real enjoyment from sitting and playing with them for long periods of time. I can start playing a game with them but then I just get bored really quickly. Ah, I can’t believe I’m writing about this.

I love seeing my children play together, especially when they are enjoying imaginary play. Today they have been ice cream shop owners and we have had lots of delicious ice cream at £2 a cone. I love to see them really engaging in what they are doing and taking it so seriously, it’s wonderful. I just can’t seem to let myself properly join in for any length of time. I try and encourage them to just play with each other rather than include me. I know! Awful isn’t it! It seems so often that I am more concerned with tidying the kitchen or getting ready to go out or checking my instagram.


This evening, my husband gave me a gentle reprimand for how I reacted to something during the bedtime routine. We went out for dinner to a friends house this afternoon, which was really nice. It meant that we got home a little later than the usual bedtime so it was straight upstairs and time for bed. I was trying to just get pyjamas on and teeth brushed so that I could kiss them good night and go and do everything I needed (wanted) to do. My kids listen to audio books at night time and there is a particular one with some funny music that George loves to dance to. He wanted to put it on and dance to it. Without thinking, I just told him no because it was already late. My husband said quietly that George really loves to dance and we could just do it quickly. So we did. All four of us held hands and jumped around the room and danced to the funny music. The children were absolutely thrilled and it was a really special moment.

Once we had gone out and closed the door, my husband started to talk to me about my reaction and it really hit me what he said. He said that in that moment, the children don’t care that it’s late. They’re not thinking about what they will be doing tomorrow. They are just thinking that right then, all they want to dance with their mummy and daddy. Nothing else mattered to them, and why should it? It doesn’t mean anything to them if I say that we have to get up early in the morning. Or if I tell them that it’s an hour past bedtime. I sometimes talk to them as if I expect them to just look at me and say;

‘We have to get up early tomorrow? Why didn’t you say that mum? We will get straight into bed, in that case, because we don’t want to be tired in the morning.’

It’s ridiculous!

It has really humbled me, actually, and made me want to try harder to engage with them in those moments when I would rather be doing something else. I am the one stopping myself from enjoying these times and so I am the one that needs to change.

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My Dad’s not here, and I miss him.

It’s my birthday this weekend. I’m going to be 34 years old. I’m feeling weird about it.

When I was little, I was so excited about my birthday. I remember going to bed the night before and just thinking that I couldn’t believe it would actually be my birthday in just a few hours. I had that lovely butterfly feeling in my tummy and it took me ages to get to sleep.

Birthdays were never really a huge deal in our house, which was fine. I had a surprise party for my 16th and things like that when it was more of a significant birthday, but otherwise it was pretty low key. It was a day when I just loved the feeling of having special attention. I was allowed to pick anything I wanted to have for dinner and I always chose spaghetti bolognese. Obviously.

Once the day was over, I just felt so sad that I would have to wait a whole year until the next one. I remember even crying about it as I fell asleep because it had just gone so fast and I wanted to do it all again.

How do I feel about birthdays now I’m a grown up? The same and different. I still love feeling special and being made a fuss of, but it’s tinged with a nagging fear in the back of my mind. This fear is just ticking away as the years go by and the tick gets just a tiny bit louder with every birthday that passes. I am really scared of getting old. I know, I know, 34 isn’t old. One day, though, I’ll have a 50th and a 60th and a 70th birthday and I just cannot handle the thought of it!

When I used to hear people say that even though they were in their 40s or something they still felt like they were in their 20s I used to be like ‘yeah, whatever, you’re old.’ I can now COMPLETELY relate to that feeling. I just can’t believe I am almost in my mid 30s (sob) because I still feel like a teenager in so many ways. Yes, I have had many life experiences that have made me learn things and mature in different ways but fundamentally I don’t feel my age. At all. I still look at my children and pinch myself that I’m a mother and that I am responsible for basically keeping them alive. How did that happen?

There is such a big part of me that longs to be little again. I have a bit of an issue with clinging on to the past and I think birthdays just emphasise that. I get sad when things end or change or move on. I daydream about going back in time to specific moments, which I know we all do to some degree, but it’s so intense for me. I feel this ache that I can’t ever get my childhood back. That I can’t ever be an innocent little girl again. That I can’t ever just have nothing to worry about ever again.

Gemma the model!

I’m feeling emotional while I’m writing this, which has really taken me by surprise. I think a lot of it has to do with losing my father very suddenly when I was six years old. I just want to cuddle him while he wears that knitted blue jumper. I just want to feel his thick, wiry hair. I want to hear him ask me to sing him a song. I want to be a Daddy’s girl again and I know that can never be. I want to go back and be there and be that same little girl again, and never grow up because I know that means he won’t be there. He’ll miss my school play and my wedding day and the birth of my children. And I’ll miss him, every day. I thought that by this age I would be ‘over it’ somehow but I don’t think that really ever happens. Every year that goes by I feel like I’m a little further away from him because it’s been one more year since I last saw him.

I’ll always make sure that my kids know that they have two grandfathers but that one of them just isn’t around any more. We’ll remember him and talk about him and I’ll tell them all my memories of him.


I am looking forward to my birthday, don’t get me wrong. Birthdays are wonderful occasions, I especially feel that now that I have children to make memories for. I just wish I could be a bit less, I don’t know, deep about it.

Happy Birthday in case I have a birthday twin out there!




No more posh dinners

A few weeks ago, I was out shopping in Waitrose with my kiddos. I never usually shop at Waitrose but I was in one of those moods where I fancied something posh for tea. I was juggling the double pushchair and a shopping basket, plus two very restless children.  I soon began to feel less hungry and regretted my decision but had come too far to give up now.

It was a busy time of the day and every corner I turned I seemed to narrowly miss causing death by Phil and Teds. The usual set up is Sophie (being the smallest) sits in the back with George in the front. Sophie decided she wanted to stand up within the back seat which sounds dangerous, and probably is. At that moment, though, I just needed to get around the shop and get out. She was happy and seemed surprisingly secure in her new stance.

Until…George decided to get out of the pushchair, without warning. Cue total carnage.

Sophie was tipped out of the back of the pushchair, basically falling on her head. On the way down, the pushchair took my basket with it and flung its contents within a pretty impressive radius, it has to be said.

My first reaction was obviously to see if Sophie was ok. She was screaming a LOT which I couldn’t blame her for at all. The poor little thing had just had a horrible shock and been hurt in the process. I was also very aware that I needed to gather my goods as quick as possible as there was a traffic jam of shoppers gathering around me. I could feel myself getting hot and red as I tried desperately to comfort my child and clear up all my mess.

Right in the midst of this increasingly stressful situation, a lady decided it would be helpful to scold this already guilt ridden mother.

” You need to be more careful. You do know she’s really hurt herself?”

Lets pause here for a moment. I know I need to be more careful. At that very minute, that fact was glaringly obvious and I wished I could turn back the clock. I felt absolutely awful that my baby was hurt and that basically it was all my fault. I didn’t need these feelings to be reinforced by a total stranger who thought she had a right to make me feel even worse.

I’m afraid I couldn’t just bite my tongue and take it.

“Do you think I did it on purpose? Do you really think I wanted to hurt my daughter?”

I wasn’t shouting but I’ll admit that I was quite, lets say, bold in how I spoke to her. I was just flabbergasted that anyone could speak to me like that in such an obviously upsetting situation. How dare she say that to me? How dare she stand there, without offering any help whatsoever, and cast judgement on me?

There were lots of people around me listening to this exchange, most of them quietly picking up items from my basket and silently passing them to me. One of these passers by was a young ish guy who had witnessed the event from start to finish. He quietly reprimanded the woman on my behalf.

“You know, you shouldn’t speak to someone like that. I’ve got children of my own and what you’re doing really doesn’t help in a situation like this.”

I was really, happily, surprised that someone had stood up for me. I felt so grateful that he had spoken up and made me feel a little less worthless than the woman had made me feel. I thanked him a lot, paid for my goods and took my screaming children home.

This was a really horrible experience. It wasn’t the end of the world or anything, just not very nice. It made me re evaluate how I look at people and judge them. It’s so easy to think something about someone and feel like we are better than they are. To look at someone who is struggling and feel like we could do better, rather than looking for a way to make things better.

Have you ever been in a situation like this? How did you react?

My daughter thankfully suffered no lasting injuries and doesn’t seem too traumatised by the experience. No more standing up in the back of the pushchair though, sorry Soph.




Postnatal depression is real

Before I start writing this post, I need to make clear that I am absolutely not an expert on postnatal depression. I am writing my own opinions from my own experience. I don’t want to generalise and imply that everyone’s experiences will be like mine, because I’m sure they won’t.

This isn’t an easy thing to write about, I guess because it’s a very personal experience. I just feel like it’s important that women who suffer with post natal depression don’t feel ashamed of it. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject, it’s nothing to feel embarassed about. It’s an illness. If we talk about it more then hopefully we can be better at supporting each other and helping each other get better.

I was utterly elated when I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. I just couldn’t believe I had a little human in my tummy that was going to come into my life and I would become a mother. I had a pretty good pregnancy and just couldn’t wait to meet my little boy.

My birth experience was horrendous (that’s for another day) but I can still remember the first time I touched my baby. His skin was the smoothest thing I’ve ever felt and he just looked straight into my eyes like he had known me forever. These precious, perfect few moments are what I had to hold onto when I found it hard to ‘feel’ pretty much anything.

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For me, post natal depression (I didn’t know what it was at the time of course) hit me almost immediately. It was, maybe, the day after I gave birth that I started feeling bad. This is totally normal after such a life changing experience as giving birth, but it got worse and worse. I just couldn’t face doing anything or seeing anyone. I didn’t get dressed for days on end and was just shut in my house watching tv.

What really hit me hard though, was how I felt about my baby. I didn’t feel in love with him like I wanted to, like I thought I would. It wasn’t even just an absence of affection, it was the presence of indifference that startled me. I enjoyed cuddling him but not really any more than I enjoyed cuddling someone else’s baby. In fact, I distinctly remember thinking that I had felt more love for other peoples babies in my life than I was feeling about my own. I just couldn’t understand it but was powerless to change it.

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It’s not easy to admit, even now, that I felt this way about my own child. That I didn’t feel connected to him, that I didn’t adore him. I kept it from everyone apart from my husband and a few close friends. I felt like no one else ever felt like this, like I was totally on my own. How could anyone ever feel so disconnected to their child? It wasn’t normal, I was a terrible person. I felt like my life was just black and I couldn’t see any light, however hard I looked for it. I remember seeing a pregnant woman on a rare walk to the corner shop and wanting to go and warn her about what was going to happen. I felt so sorry for her because I knew how bad it was and she didn’t.

This continued for the first four months of George’s life. Four months of darkness and despair, which sounds dramatic but it’s really true. Then, something changed. I spoke to a friend who is also a counsellor and something just clicked inside me. It wasn’t anything in particular that was said but suddenly I just saw a tiny sliver of light. That’s when motherhood really started for me. I started to love my little boy and want to be with him, enjoy being with him. I could see that he loved me and needed me and I needed him. I could face getting dressed and going out again and enjoyed it.

I love George so, so much. If he ever reads this, he will know that I love him and he won’t feel hurt by this, because I was ill.

Why am I writing about this? I don’t want other people to deal with it silently like I did. Please lets share our experiences more so that we don’t feel alone. Make yourself talk to someone, even though you don’t want to. Ask for help, even though it feels impossible. There is a light there, you just need to find it.

Trelissick Gardens 114


Cuddle Fairy

LBC (life before children)

I love my kids, everyone loves their kids. I would never be without them and I’m so glad I have them.

However…I do sometimes find myself lusting after my LBC (life before children). That precious time I had with my husband, just the two of us, when the world was our oyster. My first baby was born two days before our second wedding anniversary so we had some really special times together before the little ones came along.

We were both working and earning a decent amount of money that we could basically spend on whatever we wanted. We would take lots of spontaneous trips to Europe at the weekends and last minute dinners out in the evenings. It feels like such a treat to go on a date night now and be able to eat a meal without having to wolf it down because the kids aren’t behaving very nicely.

I remember that sometimes we would just stay up all night at the weekends, just because we could. We would eat and watch movies and talk, then just sleep in the next morning. Gosh, it was actual bliss.

We had some amazing European breaks and explored some really beautiful places. We hired bikes in Paris and cycled around the city like a couple of teenagers. I have a video of me recording myself and almost getting hit by a car and thinking it was really funny.

I have fond memories of our trip to Krakov where we had dinner in a traditional basement restaurant. It was so cosy and lovely, I could have stayed there forever.


Another time we went to Italy and wandered hand in hand around Venice, stopping at little cafes along the way to to sit and chat.



I MISS THESE TIMES! I have wonderful inlaws and have been lucky enough to get away a few times while they watch my children. It’s not the same though, I can’t properly relax. I’m always worrying about my kids in the back of my mind and wondering what they are up to. I get all of these irrational fears about my husband and I being killed in a plane crash and my children becoming orphans. It’s just impossible to switch off and enjoy things in quite the same way.

Some days are hard and I just really want my old life back. I do! Just for a little while. I wish I had appreciated it more and savoured the ‘me’ time. I never realised all of the emotional turmoil and worry that comes from having children. I’ll never relax again! Ha.



Mummy friends

As I talked about in an earlier post, we didn’t see much of my husband over Easter weekend due to his study commitments. That was fine but it was different from just normal, day to day life. All of my mummy friends were enjoying precious time with their husbands over the four day weekend. That’s exactly what I’d have been doing if I could so it’s not like I was surprised or upset that I didn’t have anyone to hang out with. 

What this time did for me, though, was made me realise just how much I need my female friends. I love being able to spend time with strong, amazing women who inspire and teach me so much. I love being able to talk about my struggles and worries about my children, or just my life in general. I love how we don’t judge each other, we just want to help. We just ‘get’ each other and know what to say or do that sometimes even husbands don’t. 

I love it that I have a friend that I can just say to ‘I need to get out, can we come over?’ That I can just text and say ‘I’m struggling today’ and they just know how to make me feel a bit better. I can’t imagine not having these friends. 

I know some people prefer their own company but I’m discovering that I actually need people. I need reassurance and advice, and I’m not ashamed of that. I don’t think that means I’m a weak person, I think I’m actually strong and tough in a lot of ways. Asking for help shouldn’t make us feel like we are failing, it should empower us and free us to become better. It also makes me feel great if I can help my friends in some way, even if that’s just a hug. 

I grew up with three brothers and was literally desperate for a sister. There is quite an age gap between my youngest brother and I so before he was born I was sure that finally, this was my chance for a sister. Nope, another boy (love you bro). I think this made it even more important to have girl friends because I was in a very male environment most of the time.

I always had such close friends at school but as I’ve got older, I have found it harder to foster those same kinds of close relationships. It can be difficult to open up and show who you really are and what you’re about. I want to just be myself and feel comfortable in who I am. I’m so thankful for friends that make me feel like I can be like that.

We’ve all had different life experiences, let’s share them and enrich each other.


Being burgled

A few months ago, we were burgled.

I had been out all day with the children and got home around 4pm. We unlocked the front door and came in as normal, with me telling the kids to take their shoes off and put them away. They were tired so we went into the lounge to have a sit down and some cbeebies. I just nipped upstairs to put something in my bedroom and noticed a big mess on my bed. There were clothes and jewellery strewn everywhere. I left the house just before my husband that morning and I remembered that he had been looking for something. I texted him to tell him off for leaving the place in such a mess! ‘What mess?’ Came the reply. I explained to him about the stuff all over the bed and he said it wasn’t him. It must have been you, I said, and even sent him a photo so he could confirm it. He didn’t confirm it though, he said he was coming straight home. That was the first moment that I started to panic and it dawned on me that someone had been in my house. I rushed straight down to the kids, terrified at the possibility that someone might be hiding somewhere. Our place is pretty small so it didn’t take long for me to establish that there wasn’t anyone else there.

I started to look around to see if I could notice anything missing, since other than my bedroom everywhere looked just as we’d left it. Our blue tooth music speaker was gone from the kitchen. Our SLR camera was missing from the drawers in the lounge. Where was my watch that I hadn’t been wearing that day? I didn’t want to touch anything in case it was evidence or something, think I’ve watched too many crime dramas.

My husband got home and immediately called the police who arrived really quickly. The biggest mystery to me was how they had got in. The door was in tact and closed just as I’d left it. The police explained how they could have got themselves in and I was just so shocked. These people are clever and really know what they’re doing.

The policeman took a statement and a fingerprint expert came round that evening and I thought that would be the end of it. BUT, you won’t believe this, they caught our burglar! AND within 24 hours of the burglary! Well done Police, I say. They had spotted a couple of guys, totally unrelated to our crime, acting suspiciously in a local shopping centre. The police approached them and found that they had all our stuff on them. They were arrested and taken into custody.

We just could not believe it. Have you ever heard of a burglary having a happy ending? I certainly haven’t. One of the guys fingerprints matched the ones taken from our house so he was charged and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. It was the third time he had been charged with burglary, that’s why he got such a harsh sentence.

We have since got all of our belongings back, which I am just so thankful for. I know that for most victims of burglary, they never see their things again and justice is rarely served. I feel so lucky that things worked out so well for us.

This doesn’t mean, though, that this experience has had no effect on me. I feel utterly violated by knowing that a stranger has been in my home and touched my things. My jewellery, my underwear, how dare they? I feel angry, I can’t help it. I just don’t understand how someone can have no thought for the people they are doing this to. I have had many disturbed nights sleep when I wake up and feel convinced that someone is in the house, it’s terrifying.

I found out that the person who committed the crime was a middle aged drug addict just looking for anything to sell and get more drugs. Strangely, this made things a little easier for me to deal with. I tried to feel some compassion for this man and wonder what kind of life he must have had to get to such a desperate state. I feel sorry for him and hope that he can turn his life around and use his time in prison as a positive experience. I hope that he never puts anyone else through what he has put us through.

I hope I never get burgled again! It’s horrid, but I know it could have been a lot worse.