I’m Lowri and I’m 31 years old. I’m sitting here on the sofa trying to write about my experience of being a first time Mum, for Mam Cymru, but my daughter Ava starts crying. For the tenth time tonight I’m walking back up the stairs to settle her, (sticking the dummy back in her mouth).
Before I had Ava, I was one of these women who said they would never use a dummy, I also said I’d never do lots of other things; sleep with the baby, boobs not bottle, fresh food and none of the jars nonsense!!!! All that went through the window when Ava arrived, on a very cold November evening in 2016.
The birth itself, was quite straight forward, and although it was horrendously painful, it was all worth it when I met my beautiful, sweet daughter for the first time! I barley slept that night, and to be honest I haven’t slept much in the last seven months!!! Being a Mum is so amazing but it’s also really, really, really hard!
Obviously, I love Ava with all my heart, but it hasn’t been easy! I remember that first night when we returned home from hospital, she cried all night and Aled my husband and I, had no idea what to do! I thought I’d be a natural, I thought I’d know exactly what to do! I didn’t, I had no idea how to settle her and it broke my heart.
I started breast feeding, but because she wanted feeding all the time, 24 hours a day, the exhaustion and a combination of pain after the birth and the mastitis from breastfeeding, became all too much. I was literally falling to pieces, mentally and physically, in every sense! Food turned on me, one bite and I’d be in the toilet throwing up! I wanted us to be this perfect little family, welcoming all our family and friends into the house to meet Ava, but we were turning them away!
Something had to change, and after six weeks of crying and feeling like a crap Mother, a turning point! I started asking for and accepting help from my family and my health visitor, and I made the very difficult decision to give up breast feeding. I broke my heart over this decision, and I still feel guilty now, but it was the best decision for us as a family at that time.
Seven months later and I have to say that I’m enjoying every minute of it, even though I’m tired all the time! Every day is a challenge, a new adventure and I really enjoy it and feel excited about the future.
LOWRI’S TIPS FOR NEW MUMS!
1 – Ask for help – everyone needs it!
2 – Enjoy the little things
3 – Sleep when the baby’s sleeping
4 – Follow your instincts #MotherKnowsBest
5 – Try to have an hour to yourself every day, especially in the early days.
6 – Don’t be hard on yourself
7 – Keep a list of who came to visit the baby so they can read it when they are older
8 – Don’t forget to eat (whatever you fancy, you need the energy)
9 – Socialize with other Mums – it’s important to talk and share experiences
10 – Take plenty of photos – babies change on a daily basis.
By Lowri Sion.