Welcome back to the Share Your Story series. Last week Natalka from I Want To Buy A House sharing her story on her experience with inheritance. This week I have The Overtired Mum sharing her story on what it has been like becoming a Mum. Here she is now…
The Overtired Mum
I am a mum to two boys aged 3 and 1. I juggle life as mother, wife, part-time worker, and just plain old me as best I can. Life has plenty of ups and downs but as long as there are also plenty of laughs along the way it can’t be that bad.
Becoming A Mum
Being a mum is something I had always assumed would just happen at some point in my life. I had no idea it doesn’t necessarily happen naturally when you decide you are ready.
After so many years of trying not to get pregnant, I was finally ready to start a family with my husband. Much to my despair I soon discovered it was not as easy as I had expected it to be. After a year of trying and coping with the disappointment month after month I discovered I had PCOS and needed a little help to fall pregnant. The treatment worked amazingly well. I fell pregnant straight away, but alas it was not to be and it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy. I was distraught, my first attempt at becoming a mum and I had failed.
It was one of the hardest parts of my life. But I somehow picked myself up and had another go. This time it was a success and I was on my way to achieving my dream.
In October 2014 my dreams came true and I finally became a mum.
My baby boy was perfect and my heart-felt like it would burst with all the love I felt for him. I’m not going to lie, life with a newborn is tough. It’s lovely and amazing, but it’s tough. If you can manage with the lack of sleep there is then the constant worries that all new mums have. Is the baby breathing ok, is he too hot, too cold, is he hungry, how much milk should he have, how much sleep should he have? It doesn’t matter how many baby books you read during pregnancy, the baby won’t have read any of them. They won’t do exactly what the book said they would do. And the things you do to calm them down won’t always work. When the baby is born you are suddenly thrown into a tiring world of nappy changes, baby weigh clinics, ‘helpful’ advice from everyone (whether you ask for it or not). But also a wonderful world of playing, laughing, love and excitement.
We soon got into a routine and everything started to settle down. I began to feel more confident that I was doing a good job.
I just needed to pluck up the courage to venture out of the house on my own and go to a baby group. Oh my, the nerves you get when faced with going to a baby group for the first time! Will anyone be nice to me? What if they all look super neat with perfect hair and makeup and babies who don’t cry or do massive stinky poo’s as soon as they walk in? My worries were soon gone when I realised they are all new mums, all in the same boat, and all really lovely and welcoming. I felt silly for not having gone sooner. I soon made some of the best friends I have ever had and whom I still see regularly and who I hope will be friends for life.
As our baby grew and became a toddler we were lucky enough to be expecting a baby brother for him.
It hadn’t been easy this time either, we tried for a year again with no success, but just before I was to go and see the doctor for treatment a miracle happened and I fell pregnant naturally. I was over the moon. Throughout the pregnancy we made sure we told our son all about the baby and prepared him as best we could but without wanting to overdo it. We wanted to enjoy our time as a family of 3 before we became a family of 4. First time around I went 5 days overdue so I assumed this would be similar (I really should stop assuming important things in life) so I didn’t get too carried away with preparations as I had it my head I still had plenty of time.
Our second baby had other ideas, he decided he was ready to join us and completely unexpectedly I went into premature labour at 35 weeks and 2 days. I was totally freaked out.There wasn’t any pain at all just really heavy bleeding. I was rushed to hospital where they immediately confirmed the baby was fine but was trying to be born. Decisions were pretty much taken out of my hands and despite my fear of it my second baby boy was born by caesarean section. Although it wasn’t my preferred birthing method it was very quick and pain free at the time so not all bad.
The baby was tiny but perfectly formed, only weighing 4lbs 2ozs he was whisked away to NICU to help him get started in life.
He was strong from the start and only had to stay in for 5 days. The recovery from the operation was hard to take. All I wanted to do was to cuddle my toddler and reassure him that everything was ok and to get started with life as a family of 4, but it just wasn’t that easy.
Our first sons third birthday was approaching and he was going through a ‘difficult’ stage, with behaviour being a major issue. Of course having a premature baby and a mum who is recovering from surgery wasn’t an ideal situation for him and unsurprisingly he seemed to find it all a bit of a struggle to cope with. For pretty much the entire first year of the baby’s life every day was a battle for me. I know you can never fully trust a toddler with a baby but this was another level. I didn’t even have to leave the room and the toddler would do something to the baby, he would for absolutely no reason run up and hit him or throw something at him. We hoped things would improve once the baby was sitting up and playing, but that just gave the toddler more to do to him, as soon as I took my eyes off him he would push the baby over or take his toys. It was such a hard period in my life, I felt I was in tears all the time and constantly at the end of my tether.
This all took its toll and about 6 months into being a mum of two I was diagnosed with post-natal depression and anxiety.
Everyone who I confided in gave me brilliant support and no-one blamed me for going through this. They could all see how difficult life was looking after the boys and understood. We sort out some professional help from the health visitor and a family support organisation to try to help our son with his behaviour issues. It was a long and very difficult road but a year on we feel we have really turned a corner. He is behaving so much better and no-longer lashes out at his brother unprovoked. Of course he still has his moments and the poor baby does still have the odd knock off his feet or toy taken away but that’s just siblings, and the good times now far outweigh the bad times.
I am back at work part-time now and although I miss my boys when I am working.
I feel it is good for all of us to have a bit of separation. It helps us to find the days when we are together much more precious and enjoyable. My mental health is still a bit of an ongoing issue for me but I am a lot better and improving all the time. Starting my blog and joining twitter has honestly been a really positive step for me. Writing down my thoughts and feelings is good for refreshing the mind and the support on twitter from other people experiencing the same things is invaluable.
I look forward to watching my boys grow up and with the fantastic support from my husband I am hopeful for a bright and happy future.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Falling pregnant is a lot more difficult than I feel it used to be made out it in films – I’m glad you got your babies and have the support you need for your mental health.
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