The things I didn’t know then

12508852_1859404327619330_2168696790317340345_nThis time exactly 10 months ago, I was dipping my toe into the birthing pool, about to spend an incredible 8 hours breathing, swearing, laughing, pushing, grunting, and finally catching my darling little Fred in my arms. This is the last photo of the bump, taken prior to the filling of the pool. You’ll note I have a sandwich on the bed; even labour doesn’t stop me from eating! 10 months on, I’m sitting in bed as I often am when blogging … Fred is fast asleep beside me, and I’m reminiscing; unable to fully comprehend that it was LAST YEAR. My baby was born LAST YEAR. I look at this photo, at the Verity sitting on the birthing ball in her huge maternity night shirt, and realise there was a lot I didn’t know then …. as my cervix dilated, I was about to begin a huge learning curve into motherhood.

Funny thing is, I thought I was tired when this photo was taken; I’d been in slow labour for two days, and at this point I considered 4 hours sleep in a row very meagre and disappointing indeed. Today I would bite my right arm off for 4 hours sleep in a row!!! I genuinely think it’s amazing how the human body adapts to sleepless nights …

When this photo was taken I had a vague notion that I wanted a natural birth and wanted to breastfeed. I hadn’t written a birth plan because I didn’t think it possible to plan for something which I’d never experienced. I got my drug free birth, and I’m still breastfeeding! I never imagined I’d still be breastfeeding at 10 months [I thought 6 months was a big goal at the time!], and I’m so proud that I’ve¬†managed to continue despite initial setbacks. I never imagined how painful it would be at the beginning, nor how rewarding and fulfilling. My boobs have a purpose, and I think it’s pretty frigging amazing that my body is making milk to feed Fred. He looks good on it too.

You can’t see my nails in this photo but they were immaculately painted because I wanted them to look nice in the first photo. I have probably painted my nails twice since then, once for a wedding and once for christmas … because it’s impossible to let them dry without being disturbed. I’m also now well adept at showering in under 4 minutes. A friend and I joked that applying moisturiser after a shower is now considered a luxury.

When this photos was taken I didn’t know what my Fred would look¬†like, or the immediate and overwhelming love I would have for him. I didn’t know that everything before would blur into insignificance, that life would become totally and beautifully revolved around my little boy. I didn’t know the multitasking involved with motherhood, the growing strength of my biceps as I carry the boy around on my hip … I didn’t even know how to put on a nappy; and I remember being terrified of bathing him in the sink …

I have learnt more in the past 10 months than in the previous 32years put together. I’ve learnt what love really is, I’ve learnt it’s possible to give of yourself when you feel there’s nothing left in the tank … I’ve learnt that the human body is incredible, and that dusty skirting boards can wait …

I would do every last bit again, and perhaps one of the reasons I Blog, is to capture these moments – already too aware how fast time goes, and how quick these babies grow …

 

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