No one prepares you for it, yes they say your life will never be the same again but they miss out the key elements of why.
It is so incredibly tough on the mother physically from the moment you get pregnant. I was lucky to not suffer with morning sickness or anything physical throughout my entire pregnancy so in that respect, I avoided a lot of suffering scores of women have to go through. I did struggle with bump pain when exercising from quite early on though and had to stop sleeping on my front from quite early, and I love sleeping on my front.
Latterly, I also had to stop sleeping on my back and switch to sleeping on my left side. I weaned myself off sleeping on my left side many years ago after damaging my shoulder by doing just that. Damage that took 2 years to fully heal!
I was also lucky that my sleep wasn’t disrupted through pregnancy, a lot of women aren’t so lucky.
You then have childbirth, this obviously puts you through a lot of physical trauma and then you don’t even get to sleep it off!
Then comes the mental challenge of being taken away from the life you knew that existed as just you and your partner in a perfect little bubble to basically living relatively separate lives. Your sleep is broken, you’re in pain from labour, you have no idea what you are doing and you spend your entire time checking your little bundle is breathing when they are sleeping!
You still can’t sleep on your tummy as your boobs are so damned bug and painful that you would be in agony, you then can’t sleep comfortably on your side after forcing yourself to get used to it because you don’t want to damage your unnecessarily huge boobs.. So, back sleeping it is.. But hang on, your back is so utterly crucified from all the crazy positions you find yourself sitting in with your ever increasing mass of baby, that back sleeping is now uncomfortable and you can’t sleep anyway.
I am lying here, unable to be under the covers properly because my skin on my nipple is so sensitive to the slightest but of rough material, I can’t curl up on my side as I don’t want to kick off my mastitis, lying on my back is killing my shoulders as I desperately need to see the chiropractor and my lower back is done in from lifting and holding my little pudding for the last 8 weeks.
Tom and I get no us time and I haven’t had any me time for 8 weeks, not to even put a wash on and tidy in a none rushed, mad panic. I am incredibly lucky that Tom is an amazing man, totally devoted to his family and new life but I see now why so many men wander at this critical point as they are basically on the side lines in all of this for the majority of the time and have had their world turned upside down too..
This is all temporary and we just have to remember that this is a special time that won’t ever come back, regardless of the mild discomfort you feel on a daily basis, every time your little baby looks as you and smiles and giggles, none of that matters. By the time I have the luxury of sleeping normally, drinking again, loving time with my husband etc, I will be wishing I was living it all over again.
They truly are a gift that nothing can compare to, so why should it all be plain sailing? You wouldn’t appreciate the special moments in quite the same way if it were!
Although, lying here listening to my little steam train next to me, I do wish I could’ve got to sleep after his last feed as now I don’t stand a chance!