I can’t believe it but he’s 6 months old this week! Where has half a year gone? It seems it has gone in a flash but at the same time I feel like I’ve known him forever. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster and a massive learning curve but also the most amazing adventure of my life. I have had down days when it has been so hard I’ve sobbed ( I mean proper crying, like a child) and there have been days where I have thought I might combust with happiness. I’m not often proud of myself but during the past 6 months… actually during the past 15 months (including preganancy) I have indulged in a little self respect and pride. I have been amazed at what the human body can achieve and how much we can endure. Here is a list of reasons why I am proud and why other mothers should be too:
1. I grew a human! And it was really difficult at times. Nausea, exhaustion, pain. Pregnancy throws a lot of challenges at you but we overcome them knowing that our babies are growing happily inside. In the third trimester I also suffered from symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), swelling and high blood pressure but everything was always forgotten when I felt him wriggle and kick.
2. I went through labour and surgery. I surprised myself during labour. I handled the pain better than I expected. Although it was tough…really tough…. the strongest thing I felt was excitement. I was finally going to meet my baby! I was doing OK and managing the pain with gas and air but was really disappointed that everything came to a standstill at 9cm dilated and my (rather large) baby was back to back. By this point it was going so slow I needed some extra pain relief and I went on a drip to help me fully dilate but after another wait there was no progress. When I was told I needed a caesarian I felt like I’d failed. All that hard work, so close to the finish line and I couldn’t quite make it… not on my own anyway. I’ve got nothing against having a c-section. I think whatever is the safest way for mother and baby is best but going all the way is something I really wanted to achieve and after all that contracting I felt it was my right as a woman to birth my child. It wasn’t to be. Turns out having a spinal block when your contracting is pretty tough ‘keep still’ they said ‘lean forward’ they said. I can’t! I’m in pain and have a massive bump in the way!! Recovering from surgery with a newborn is pretty tricky too. So I just want to say ‘well done body, you tried and we got our baby here in the end!’
3. I’ve fed my child myself. Breastfeeding is exhausting, its frustrating and its awkward but somehow, amazingly I’ve managed to do it for 6 months. I know not everyone is able to breastfeed so I am truly grateful that I can. I wouldn’t have managed without the support of midwives and my husband but mostly I was just really determined. Arlo’s tongue tie resulting in poor latch, oversupply, fast letdown, too much fore-milk, reflux/allergy- whatever breastfeeding threw at us we did what we could to overcome it. There have been a lot of tears but we have really tried. It turns out that Arlo’s reflux could possibly be an allergy (most likely to cows protein). It explains a lot. It explains why feeding has been even more of a challenge than it should have been for us both but we have made it this far and I hope some goodness has got into him even if it has upset his system too! I want to continue for as long as I can before returning to work and I am in the process of cutting foods out of my diet in order to find the allergen. I had already tried eliminating things but chose lactose free products or soya which apparently are not good enough so sticking to oat/ rice/ oil based products instead. I hope I can find out whats causing the problem. I really want my baby to be comfortable and I’m not ready to give up breastfeeding just yet, although even if I did there’s the issue of him not taking bottles- read my ‘Battle of the bottle’ post, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it!
4. I am alive! My baby is alive and we are happy :). I am ssoooooooo tired but I have survived 6 months of motherhood and although there have been a few issues with feeding/ sleep/ illness along the way for the most part Arlo is happy and thriving. Don’t get me wrong there are times when you miss the freedom and feel like you are going crazy but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Becoming a mother is all I’ve ever wanted. This is just the beginning, there is so much more to come. I can’t wait for all the next milestones and all the exciting things we will be able to do as a family. It’s going to be so fun!
If you are a mother or a father there is a lot you should be proud of too. You are raising a little person and that it amazing. Go you!
Linking up with #HappyDays Linky and #TheList