Monday, 23 June 2014

Pregnancy, Breasts, Dummies and everything in-between.

I know. 

I have four children. They are without doubt, the best thing about my life. Without doubt. Would die for all of them. Any time, any day. I went to see a play last week which included the line 'Having a child is like a piece of your heart leaving your body - it's just out there - walking around.' I couldn't have put it better. I love my kids. A lot.
Just to get that out in case it appears otherwise once you start reading.
The parenting 'Guidelines' given out by the government were different with each and every child. After the second I stopped listening to official 'guidelines' and went solely on my instinct. Best thing I ever did. A few of my friends have given birth recently and listening to their stories over recent weeks has literally filled me with rage. Some people have the lovely birth, no complications and are literally the walking embodiment of 'earth mother' - whatever the hell that means. Yay for them. The rest of us may have had a slightly harder time. This is for you Ladies.

Let's have a baby!
Before:
If you want a boy: eat red meat, salt and potassium (bananas), absolutely no dairy.
If you want a girl: no red meat, no/low salt, no bananas/potassium and tons of dairy, TONS.
Boy sex: Sporadically when you are ovulating, none during the time immediately after your period.
Girl sex: Basically a lot, from the minute your period finishes. A lot. You'll find men give little resistance to this guideline.
Fair to say this is not based on scientific testing - more on old wives tales that have worked for myself and friends. I traditionally eat a very 'boy' diet. I'm a salt addict. I'm not big on dairy. 3 sons.
When I was trying to have a girl, I changed my diet completely, stayed away from salty food and basically ate my weight in yoghurt. I also had Mr Hirons on a schedule. The poor man was exhausted. Happy, but exhausted.
Lo and behold we go for the scan and: NO PENIS. Ava.
Coincidence? Maybe. I think not.
When we went for number four, I didn't change a thing about my diet. I even said to the family 'I'm going to get pregnant, have a baby boy in the Summer and his name is Max.'
To be fair, I've always taken planning to the extreme.

During:
If you're tired, sleep. There's a special kind of tiredness that comes with pregnancy. I like to call it 'sudden coma'.  Even if it means leaving visitors to go to bed. Do it. Sleep. The people that mind don’t matter and the people that matter don’t mind.
If you're hungry, eat. You're not eating for two though, you're eating for a hungry pregnant woman. There's a difference. One is sensible, one is the little enabling devil in your head that says 'eat ALL of the ice cream'.

Labour:
If you are in pain, have the drugs. It's painful. There is no getting around it. A large obnoxious watermelon is literally trying to tear you in half. There is nothing to be gained from 'going through the pain'. It's a powerful experience with or without the drugs. Trust me. I've done both. Mind-blowing experience either way. I personally have no time for 'breath through it!' and people shouting 'You can do it! COME ON!'. I'm not a racehorse at the Grand National thank you very much. Stop putting unnecessary pressure on women to have no drugs. If you're in pain, unbearable 'kill me now' pain, have the drugs. My preferred drug was a mobile epidural. I had 4 extremely large babies. I felt no need to 'breath through' anything. I AM breathing. You however, won't be, if you keep yelling at me to 'BREATHE!'
I did, however, threaten to punch the midwife who told me the anaesthetist was on his break. 'He can have 'A BREAK' when I am not IN PAIN.'.
Equally, if you gave birth at home, in a birthing pool with candles and a doula, very happy for you. I really, genuinely, am. I hate you a little bit. That's not everyone's journey.

After:
Breastfeeding. We all KNOW that breast is best for babies, we're not MORONS. That's what they're FOR.
Breast, however, is not always best for Mum. And I'm sorry (not sorry), Mum comes first, not the baby. Mum, not baby.
Yes, disagree all you want, but a new Mum that is in bits because she cannot feed/doesn't have enough milk/simply doesn't want to breastfeed should not have the breastfeeding mafioso giving her a hard time and trying to make her feel like a failure. We do that to ourselves constantly when we have children, we don't need your help thank you very much. 
Breastfeeding, while undoubtedly being a beautiful thing, is also the most exhausting thing you can do while still 'technically' being awake. Your boobs feel like they are going to explode, your nipples look and feel as if they are going to fall off and frankly, sometimes you're in so much discomfort you wish they would. And guess what!? When you have subsequent children and breastfeed them - the uterus knows what to do as soon as that baby latches on - these are called 'after pains' - and no-one - NO-ONE tells you about them. By the time you get to child 3 and God Help Us - 4 - you are literally begging for pain relief to knock you out. And you know what's coming. You can't have any. Worse than labour. No really.

I have even more disdain for formula companies encouraging African women to buy formula instead of feeding their babies themselves. I know what Nestle are up to. This is not what I am talking about.
I'm talking specifically about the Western World and making women feel bad. It's not cool. That is all.
For the record, I breastfed all of my children, for varying degrees of time. When it was too much for me (depending on how many other children I had, let's be honest), I switched to formula. No guilt here. 
I love my breasts. They did a wonderful job.
I love formula. It helped me out when I was at my wit's end.
My offspring are intelligent, strapping men and children. Breastfeeding is a wonderful, unique thing that we girls can do - but not breastfeeding is absolutely not the end of the world. Please don’t give yourself a hard time. Your baby will be fine.

After:
Health Visitors.
Can we take a minute to talk about Health Visitors? Let me start by saying I've had 4 children and numerous health visitors. The first one was lovely, I was lucky.
The next three, I told them not to come back, I knew what I was doing and I was fine thank you.
Remember this is your house, your baby, your body, your family. If you are not happy, tell them to leave. Don't ask them, tell them.
If you are a health visitor and you know that you do a good, supportive job, we thank you, really.
I have too many friends though, that had bad experiences - mostly linked to breastfeeding if I'm honest (see previous) and the worst kind, the kind that turns up and hasn't read your file, doesn't know that you had the labour from hell and ended up in ICU (Max) and is wondering 'why Mum is in bed - she should get up and move around! *insert smiley face* Get out of my house.
Their job is to help you and offer advice, if you aren't getting that, they can leave.
In fact, anyone around you that is being anything other than supportive - can leave. Buh BYE.

After:
The Pyjama and Shower Rule.
People are strange creatures. A pregnant woman is the centre of attention for 9 months. As soon as you birth the Baby Jesus from your loins, he/she gets ALL the attention. Rude.
To remind people that YOU went through an 'experience/ordeal' (delete where appropriate) stay in your pyjamas for about 6 weeks afterwards. Especially if you had a c-section or are breastfeeding.
I'm not advocating becoming a sloth.
Get up, shower. I cannot stress how important it is to shower every day unless you are completely bedridden. One day rolls into the other if you don't. You need that two minutes to yourself to stand in the shower and think/cry if necessary – and it is so easy to put yourself last when you should put yourself first.  Trust me on this. The sooner a new mother puts herself first everything else falls into place. Why? Because she can cope.
Shower, then change into fresh pyjamas for as long as you need to until you feel 100%.
If that takes months, it takes months.
BUT: even the most ignorant visitor has to be completely insane to ask a woman holding a newborn baby wearing her pyjamas to make the tea.
If you're in jeans and a t-shirt, I promise you - you are the one in the kitchen making the tea while the Baby Jesus is passed around the family. Stay in your pyjamas.

And finally:
If you have no-one to hold the baby while you shower/bath, stick them in their chair. They may fuss, it won't kill them.
If you have a fussy baby, get a dummy. Yes, I know, even more divisive than breastfeeding, the dummy.
Used appropriately, the dummy will soothe the baby for FIVEGODDAMNMINUTES while you dry off and get dressed.
The problems only happen when it is used as a crutch for you to shut the baby up every five seconds. No. That's not what I'm talking about. Five minutes while you shower, make food, take care of your other children? Yes.

When it doesn't work out the way you planned.
I have four children. I've had more than four pregnancies. If you have also suffered numerous miscarriages, please don't give up. There is hope. And help available. And I send you all my love. And virtual hugs.

You don't have to listen to me.
I've only done it four times over a 23 year period. What the hell do I know?

N.B. Gina Ford and The Supernanny - whilst undoubtedly having moments of genius between them, also have zero children between them. Zero.

Sorry, that's like taking advice for your car from a bike manufacturer. They share similar componetry but don't really understand the mechanics.

95 comments:

  1. Really enjoyed reading this although I am not looking to have a child any time soon.
    I do think that women who do not breastfeed get put through too much crap and that women need to put themselves first before (God forbid!) the child.
    Even in the airplane, they tell you to help yourself to the oxygen mask before you help your child. Why? When you put yourself first, you are in a better position to help your children/babies!
    So why do we always beat ourselves up when we put ourselves first in any situation?

    http://cherriesstrawberriesballet.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this. The entire piece was hilarious (as usual) but as someone who's recently had a miscarriage, being reminded not to lose hope by someone who's been there helps more than I can say here. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm sitting here with 'Praise Jebus' hands, Caroline.

    Yes, yes and HELL YES!!

    I'm a proud Momma of two strapping manbeasts AND all my own marbles because, yep, I did it my way too.

    The only gut that should ever be discussed during pregnancy or after is the one you trust. No one got a handbook and we're all trying our best every day. End. Of x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent advice Sue and completely agree with both of you, Also on an aside, LOVE YOUR BLOG TOO :) x

      Delete
  4. Cannot tell you how thankful I am for this post. If you ever tire of skin care, feel free to be my lifecoach!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks GOD you mentioned afterpains. Literally nobody told me about these until after I had my first baby and you're totally right, much worse than labour. And with my second I had a c-section and sadly this did nothing to help the afterpains, they were even worse. You think your 9 months is up, but nope the pain carries on, except now you have a(nother) tiny human to look after at the same time lol. Dads get it so easy x

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is GOLD! So empowering, and I'm loving the comments from mummies who couldn't agree with you more!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good Lord, woman! Not only do you know everything there is to know about skin, turns out you're pretty amazing at being a mother too! I have three of my own and I couldn't agree more with all of that. Lovely read. Makes me kind of want to go back and do it all again. Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is hilariously well timed! I am currently lying next to my 10 week old baby willing her to sleep for more than 30 mins so I feel less of a failure because she's not on a schedule. I came to chez Hirons for some cosmetic diversion and get the pep talk I've needed all day... and a good laugh too! Bless you

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mmm, Im already scared about labour pain. Sounds horrific! I can't tolerate much pain - I even made a right fuss first time I epilated. What to do? Will it put me off getting pregnant?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am currently 5 months through my first pregnancy, and a lot of what you are saying resonates already... I am not besties with my midwife, I disagree with some of what she says and she doesn't like that. I am the sole controller of my body, and I will do this my way. Don't even get me started on my decision to return to work after 6 months, 'but you're entitled to 12 months off!', yes, thank you, I am aware of that, I love my job and a) will not and b) cannot afford to subjugate my hard fought for career for 12 long months. As long as I am putting nobody in danger then I think the 'experts' need to be a bit more flexible. I would also like to point out that my MW has not had any children herself...

    ReplyDelete
  11. How weird. I underwent embryo transfer today (IVF - 4 years of trying - about the same length of time I've been reading your blog). I'm hoping this is a good omen! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have my fingers crossed for you x

      Delete
    2. mine are crossed as well! x

      Delete
    3. Ah thanks ladies that's so sweet of you! I'm really touched x

      Delete
  12. I thought I was pretty well versed in biology but I have never ever heard of after pains and two of my best friends have kids. Why is it that at my age I am still learning something new about childbirth? Thank you so much for writing this! X

    ReplyDelete
  13. I didn't Think I could like / admire you anymore than I did already :-)))))))))))))

    ReplyDelete
  14. The part about miscarriage literary felt like a stab in the chest. Such a great post, thank you Caroline. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Please talk about your miscarriage/miscarriges if you can? I think it will help so many of us. Hope is a powerful thing. Thank you Caroline. X

    ReplyDelete
  16. Amen sister! As a young mom everyone else seems to think they know better than I do but I do my best to follow my gut.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for this. It's really refreshing to hear this for a change. X

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for this post. Although I am 23 and not planning on having a baby soon, I will remember it and definitely come back to it when needed. So empowering and lovely, you are wonderful for writing it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think this is quite possible my favourite post of yours - spot on with everything!!!

    One thing that really shocked me after my first (8 week prem emergency c/s) was that I just presumed that because I hadn't given birth the 'normal' way, I wouldn't bleed after.....errrr, wrong!! And yes, the after-pains are quite frankly, a total bitch!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I wish I'd read this when pregnant with my son. I might not have been so hard on myself re breast feeding and shown my chipper but completelly unhelpful health visitor the door

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is my first time reading your blog - and at 4 days overdue with my first it is literally a godsend! This made me laugh out loud, but felt like the answer to my prayers! This is firmly placed on my desktop/home screen/fridge and I'm excited to read more of your posts!!

    Nicola xx
    Nicolaandbabyj.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  22. what great advice! I loved reading this. I have an 11 month old. It's so important for women to hear that taking care of themselves first makes all the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have a 14 month-old son and I couldn't agree more. The only problem is, I should have read that 14 months ago. I didn't let myself come first and I didn't stay in my pyamas more than a couple of days. Sadly, I'm still breastfeeding, I couldn't go back to my job because of it and my son is obsessed with me. When you get pregnant and have a baby all you hear and read about is breastfeed, breastfeed, but no one tells you all the cons it has, especially if you breastfeed for longer than the "neccesary" 6 months. I'll end here, I could go on and on, but I'll rather go to bed earlier because my breastfed 14 month-old still wakes up at least 3-4 times a night...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Caroline, I've just read your post while my 5 month old fell asleep breast feeding. It's so refreshing to read such an honest account of pregnancy/birth. I laughed out loud at your tip about staying in your pj's, it's so true. Since I had 2 other young children at home I felt I should get myself dressed from day 1, big mistake, people do need reminded that mum needs LOTS of support post birth. We're not machines! If breast feeding works great, if not that's great too. As long as mum and baby are happy that's all that matters. Thanks again for the post, I loved it! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  25. I actually Love you Caroline..wish I had read/had advice given to me like this THREE children ago!! I love your honesty and wholeheartedly agree with every bit of it!! MIL properly did my head in today trying to (subtly-MY ARSE!) tell me about how her daughter does/did baby led weaning with her child and how its far better for baby/toddler than giving them purées blah blah blah... whilst I'm feeding my 6 month old daughter purreed sweet potato and she is LOVING it. felt like saying... so f***ing what! they all eat meals by the time they are at school so who cares how they are administered when they are babies!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you!! i felt the same way about baby led weaning! it's whatever you are comfortable with! i'm not comfortable with that and my 2 year old survived with purees. I'm in the process of feeding my 8 month lumpy purees now and really, so what! just do what you gotta do and not worry so much!

      Delete
  26. Really really enjoyed reading this - great advice, feel rather comforted by it. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Caroline, I absolutely loved this post. It's sad miscarriage is never spoken about when it is SO common. I felt so alone when it happened to me, like it was something I had to hide. Anyway thanks for the advice and I hope your inspiring words will help me in the future. Virtual hugs right back at you :)

    ukbabyblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I agree 100%. You are a genius. You always have to do what is right for YOU first.

    ReplyDelete
  29. A few things popped out at me when reading this post!

    - Staying in PJs. Oh yeah! I did this. I hibernated for 6 months. Emergency C-Sec and tiny baby that needed constant feeding. Threats that if he didn't grow enough he'd have to go into hospital was enough to make sure I didn't have time for anything else in those early days then....

    - The Health Visitor! can you actually tell them not to come back? Mine was ok, although she really tried to force the 'go to this group and that group' on me. Go out and do this and do that. I couldn't and didn't want to but she made me feel like a looney for not wanting to.

    - Breastfeeding - I did it...I am still doing it. HE. WILL. NOT. WEAN. I don't mind too much. I was lucky I got to grips with it, but hearing my MIL going on about how so and so is lazy or so and so is a failure because they didn't breastfeed makes my blood boil. It's not easy for everyone and quite frankly if it's going to push you into unhappiness/depression, then don't do it! Do what helps you get through the day.

    I don't even know what I am talking about anymore. Love this post. Not sure if I'll have four like you, might aim for 3. Will try your pre-conception tips out too ;)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I also wish I'd read this before having children as I learnt a lot of it the hard way. I could NOT understand why no-one tells you how difficult so many things are going to be, especially the breast feeding - I literally had no idea that it hurt at all. I'm totally with you on the mum comes first thing - there is a ridiculous amount of pressure to perform as mums, way past babyhood.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm reading this with my 3-year-old grandson napping beside me, and my daughter-in-law due with #2 (a girl!) in a week. She's my hero. Thank you for this amazing post! And for all of the spot-on skin advice you so generously share. My skin is awesome, thanks to you. And your vids are a crack-up. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I adore you. This is the sanest approach to pregnancy and motherhood I have ever seen. We're planning a baby a bit later in our lives, but when the moment comes - I'm going to read this post as my manifesto. Thank you. /Kate

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love you so much. I wish i had read this before having my babies

    ReplyDelete
  34. LOL! Absolutely!! Cannot tell you how much I agree!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you for this post. I wish all of the breastfeeding articles that I read while pregnant were more honest about the level of pain involved. Having a baby latched to your boob is no "mild discomfort" and I had huge anxiety about milk production. Many of my friends were successful in nursing their children, but I had to resort to pumping exclusively and supplementing with formula. After four months, I was done with being hooked up like a dairy cow and the endless, exhaustive cycle of pumping while my babies slept (when, in theory, you should be napping as well).

    I hope that every new mom or mother to be gets a chance to read this post!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Such a treat to read! Especially agree with you on the dummy. You've explained everything with practicality in mind and I wish others could see it that way too instead of opposing their opinion on you and telling you what's right / wrong. Write a book on this woman!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wonderful article - we have five treasures, from 11 to 20 (and three miscarriages). We Did it Our Way too :). Several health visitors - first was AMAZING, such a support. Second came every week for six weeks - just for a cup if tea (she made it!) - still know her, her children are same age as two of mine :). Third and subsequent we told to Go Away (politely). An enabling article - great piece.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wait... IF I ever wanted to be pregnant, I would only have daughters because I am a vegetarian who hates meat and doesn' eat bananas often? o_O -Interesting...

    ReplyDelete
  39. THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  40. THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This article is SO spot on! The pressure on (new) mummies is insane... I hated how the Health visitors stressed that you should breastfeed your newborn 12 times a day or more, and made you feel like a criminal if that was not the case. They even told me to wake her up to feed. That would mean basically feeding around the clock as my baby girl was extremely slow, would fall asleep and loved comfort sucking (i.e. feeding lasted an hour or so. I love her, but hey, that's a long time). She would feed about 8 times in 24 hours, sometimes 9, and was perfectly fine with that. She was also a rather big baby, so could go a little longer between feeds. I would of course wake her up during the day if she would go longer than 4 hours between feeds, but other than that..why wake them up if you can have a few hours to yourself to SLEEP, shower, relax, etc. Thanks Caroline, really great post!

    ReplyDelete
  42. If anyone is suited to write a book, its you. On anything. Whatever it is you talk about, you talk about it SO WELL!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I agree, you should write a book - when you talk people listen. Fact! x

    ReplyDelete
  44. So glad to read advice from a REAL mummy!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you Caroline. As I sit here reading this post while breastfeeding my baby in my pyjamas I feel a sense of relief. It's going to be okay!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Fantastic honest post. Issues re problems with breast feeding aa sand post natal depression should be looked after more within the medical environment

    ReplyDelete
  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh my good God, Caroline I love you. I am five and a half months pregnant with my first child, and have just wept (in absolute relief) reading this post. I am going to print it out, carry multiple copies with me, distribute them to ALL with an opinion (first issue is going to MIL) and generally just relax, now. Thank you, for making me realise it's all going to be ok; and that if it's not ok, that it's still ok

    *orders shiny new pyjamas x 4*

    Please come and be my midwife. And health visitor. And general life coach. And please bring glowtonic.

    Thank you xx

    ReplyDelete
  49. This is brilliant! My husband and I do not yet have a family but it's little bubbles of advice like this which I know I'll be storing away ready to clutch onto when we do have little ones. Thanks xx

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love this post! I'm currently 4 months pregnant with my first child, I will definitely be re-reading this post over the next few months ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Applause and halleluja! ! Thanks so much for this unbelieveble accurate post. LOVE IT and all new/future moms should read it. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  52. Applause and halleluja! ! Thanks so much for this unbelieveble accurate post. LOVE IT and all new/future moms should read it. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love your blog so much that I visit it more than once a day hopping to see new post :-D This one is great. Love it...I am trying to get pregnant since September last year and nothing :-( but will follow your advice and start eating red meat and salt lol. Hope it'll help :-)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Just: Thank you. Very Much. Almost make me cry. ( I have a 3 months old)

    ReplyDelete
  55. This is, without doubt, the best bit of pregnancy early motherhood advice I have ever heard. I so wish I had read this before I became a mum. The only thing I would add is taking time for yourself the whole way until they leave home as it is the only way to stay sane and the best way not to loose it with your kids, although loosing with your kids occasionally is very therapeutic!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'm so glad I got to feast my eyes upon this post. You're last paragraph - special place in my heart. Thanks so much for this post and for being fucking awesome in general.

    -D

    ReplyDelete
  57. This is the best post I have read all night. I was laughing my socks off. Coz it's all true!!!
    L x
    Http://workingmumy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I have 4 kids too :) My world, my beginning, my end, my everything. I havn't read the other commenters but a book by Hazel Chesterman-Philips got me my baby girl, the science bit is explained by proffessor Winston. Baby number 4 was about to happen so we threw the odds in our favour. She is the baby (11 years old People, when did that happen!) of three gorgeous beautiful caring attentive boys and she completed our family.
    Sharron x

    ReplyDelete
  59. Oh and i'm about to start my training to be a health visitor (I'm a nurse) and i promise i wont be one of those awful ones :) Out of my 4 babies, 2 were breast fed. Why? It just did'nt work out with the other two, do i feel guilty-NO!! The eldest son, a strapping 6 foot MAN of 19, was fed on formula. I agree with looking after yourself. My top tip was to get Baby to recognise night/day as soon as possible. No talking, dim light, no nappy change unless absoultly nescessary, changed into pjs at night. Morning was a bit more livley, bathed, dressed, cuddled, sung to, rasberries blown on the feet.. You get the picture. ,Sleep is whats needed most by mum, encourage baby to sleep when you do.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Lovely blog ....I am on child 3 , 30 and hoping for one more in the near future ...I work so does my husband to be and we realised that instinct and gong with it is the only thing that keeps u sane ! Have a lovely summer caroline :-)

    ReplyDelete
  61. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
    This made me cry... and laugh... I have a son, he's 18 now. Had a lovely pregnancy and labour. Everything was just perfect. But then the breastfeeding didn't work at all. Pain, stress, guilt and one hungry little boy. I felt like a failed at being a mother. I was sooo relieved when my doctor suggested formula but couldn't stop crying (seems like a cry all the time :))
    because I felt so guilty. I wasn't the mother who I wanted to be... silly I know. My son is a very healthy and handsome young man and never told me he needed more breastfeeding when he was a baby. Thank you again Caroline for this wonderfull post. I wish you and your family all the best!! X

    ReplyDelete
  62. Just had my second baby and loved every single sentence of this. Thanks Caroline, you're so wonderfully honest and refreshing xxx

    ReplyDelete
  63. Just had my second baby and I loved every sentence of this. Thanks Caroline. You're so wonderfully honest and refreshing xxx

    ReplyDelete
  64. Well done for this Caroline. I am sending you a large virtual hug for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Love this! My neice had an awful health visitor. My neice who is one of six, politely told the health visitor where to go because if she was going to listen to anyone about babies it was her mum!

    ReplyDelete
  66. This was so beyond true! I can't agree with you more Caroline:) I had my first child at 20 & wanted 4 total. My second & third pregnancies ended badly. They were a rare trophoblastic molar pregnancies. After the first, my doctor told me to wait a year & I had to do repeat monthly blood tests. The 9th month of that year, I had a positive pregnancy test that was again, molar. It's rare, so rare that my doctor never had it happen twice. The embryo gets destroyed by cancer like cells & fools your body into thinking it's still pregnant. I've had 2 D&C's after. I now have 2 adult children 5 years apart. A daughter & a son, whom I feel beyond blessed to have. I learned just how important it was to do it my way. I now have systemic lupus & my physician believes those molar pregnancies are where my immune system started going awry. My kids are my life & my everything:)

    ReplyDelete
  67. Great post!! When I had my first child I spent all the first weeks just changing-breastfeeding-changing... him. Staying in PJs, of course...The second time it was somehow easier (I tried to follow my instincts more than other people's advice)...BTW maybe I got two boys (now 8 and 6, really the best thing in my life) because I have a salty tooth :-P

    ReplyDelete
  68. I wish I had had this to pin up all over the house when I was pregnant/struggling to cope wiht a new baby/miscarrying.

    Wise and strong advice!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Dear Caroline,
    Thank you so much for posting this! I'm now in my 2nd trimester, face breaking out with painful, angry spots and this just brought a big smile to my face :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. Thanks Caroline. Pregnant with my first child, very early (6th week, hello) and I'm already a wreck of nerves because I have an ass of a doctor who prescribes without even checking my blood, I have moving house ahead of me (now and then when the baby is 3 months old - made me cry thrice today) and above all I have to stuff progesterone up myself although there's neither evidence I'm not producing enough nor am I very happy to have to take it (stopped hormonal contraception about a year ago, now that my skin has healed over this, more artificial hormones to be taken, oh the irony)
    That whole progesterone addition made me weepy, gave me migraines and I'm dead tired, yet can't sleep... in pretty much no time.
    Changing doctors asap. As in next week. That guy killed all my self-esteem and made me feel like a 12 year old kid in biology class. I'm 29. Jeeeeez.
    So thank you for writing this and cheering me up, above all, making me feel a little better about myself.
    After what you said, I'll be having a girl. Haha!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Genius advice, having had two big babies and been put through the must breast feed baby....but I have no milk.....no it's just slow coming in you have big boobs so you will have plenty of milk....no I have NO milk.......you have to breast feed ....oh my god I'm a bad mother thing, one is training to be a doctor and one is hoping to study law, both bottle fed after weeks of tying myself in knots. If you can breast feed, amazing, fantastic, wonderful, but if you can't don't let them guilt trip you, a calm rested happy mum is best in my opinion. I would whole heatedly agree with Caroline's advice and add trust your instincts, you have carried your baby and built a bond with him or her and I think as his or her ?Mum your instincts on what your baby needs are normally pretty spot on.
    Good luck to all those prospective mums out there xxx

    ReplyDelete
  72. Thank you for writing this post, it's so refreshing so hear a realistic portrayal and expectation of motherhood. I don't currently have any children but I'll defiantly remember your advice when I do. Several of my friends have had babies and not one of them have had a good experience with a health visitor. One was even told, when she'd been shipped up to the ward a mere 30minutes after giving birth, that she had to breastfeed her baby until she'd had a propper feed. In the morning, more than twelve hours later, some with a bit of sense said she should stop and get some rest. Mum's deserve to be treated better, in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Caroline love you for writing this!!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hit the nail slap bang on the head.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Love it, so true. Don't know about the dietry & sex of baby bit, however I'm a salt freak & yes have 2 boys, would like a girl but not a big dairy buff. Oh well cheesecake here we come!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Probably the best thing I've ever read about having a baby. Write a book. Do it now.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Thank you so much for this honest, refreshing account. I don't yet have children but so many people want to judge others on what they're doing based on idealised notions, this is honestly the best thing I've ever read about parenthood. You should write a book, there's a Caroline shaped gap in the market.

    ReplyDelete
  78. What an amazing article. I have just had a baby (2 weeks ago) and I am finding it quite hard to put myself first, hence a few overwhelming days. Thank you as this has made me feel so much better and I shall be taking some of your wise advice!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Fantastic article! If only someone had said these words to me. Fortunately, I didn't cave in to the expectations and agree with everything you said and it did me the world of good as a new mum. Screw what is "expected" and do what is right for you and your baby!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Thank you for giving us a voice. I am a 43yr old American. I had 3 c-sections (unwanted) and 2 vbacs. I follow the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) on Facebook and it makes me so sad and angry to read so many stories from women who had traumatic birth stories and forced to have c sections. Maybe the beauty industry could help bring awareness and change to this travesty against women. Someone has to. Thank you so much Caroline for all you do. I just discovered you on YouTube a few weeks ago and have been reading all your posts and spending too much money, but enjoying my new skincare routine. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Just re-read that article because i love it so much. You cannot imagine how it helped me. Really Caroline : I love you.
    From one ordinary mum to you, love.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS. Thank you. Really, thank you. I agree with every single word here. I don't know much. I only have a 6 month old. Didn't touch Gina Ford for the same reason. Had a very very difficult time after delivery. Stayed in my PJs. Made the mistake of not showering. When I did, I cried in the shower. When I was alone, I listened to him crying while I was taking a shower as I just had to. This makes my eyes fill with tears. Still breastfeeding and very emotional. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  83. This post was not a post for me. Well it shouldn't have been, because I can't stand kids, will never have them, have never wanted them and was lucky enough to get sterilised at 29. However, I always have lots of people in my life who do like children. Who have children. You know, normal people who don't have a mini-stroke at the sight of a baby chucking up? I've bookmarked this post and will forward the link to anyone I ever come into contact with who is having a baby for the first time. It just comes across as so lovely, warm, knowledgeable, reassuring, caring, candid and all the other nice stuff that I know new mums/mums-to-be will appreciate. Great post!

    ReplyDelete

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin
Related Posts with Thumbnails