I’ve been trying to write a blog post but someone doesn’t like sleeping in the day and when she does I don’t like putting her down. From a practical point of view she sleeps longer when on me so why would I risk putting her down, but the real reason is that I love our sleepy cuddles. Scarlett slept on me every night until she was about 11 weeks old. I miss that. I’m glad she’s now in her basket but I am cherishing the cuddles. This post has been written in stages, one handedly, on my phone!
A year ago today this little blastocyst was transferred into my awaiting womb. They said it was a perfect embryo, that it was because look what it grew in to!
This day last year I had hope. Hope that third time was a charm, that this round of treatment was going to work and I would get pregnant. It did work. That perfect little embryo grew inside me and became my daughter. My daughter. I find that hard to say out loud sometimes, it just doesn’t feel like I should be allowed to say it, that I am allowed to have a daughter and be a mummy like everyone else. But I am a mummy and one year on from my embryo transfer I thought I’d have a think about some of the things I have learnt.
Pregnancy made me body confident. I’ve never liked my body, I’m fat and have been most of my life and have very low self esteem when it comes to my physical form but I loved my pregnant shape. It felt like my body was meant to be shaped like that and I wanted to show it off to the world. I walked to work through my pregnancy, past a row of shops, and one of the loveliest things was to look at my reflection in the shop windows and watch my tummy grow. It made me think of that montage scene in Notting Hill where the seasons change! I would stand and stare at myself in the mirror, something I’ve avoided doing for years. I was even brave enough to do a photo shoot with Sarah Hart Photography (https://sarahhartphotography.com) Pregnancy is beautiful!!
Labour is like nothing anyone can describe. But I really wish they had. I don’t know if I’d have listened to people though! I wasn’t scared about labour throughout the pregnancy, I was of the attitude that it was what my body was meant to do so nature would take over. I’m going to write a separate post with Scarlett’s birth story but I’m not ready to write that yet, three months on I’m still quite traumatised if I’m completely honest. I’m not sure how I survived it but I did and somehow my body recovered well. That is incredible!! The female body is amazing!!!
Something I struggled with in the very beginning was the fact I didn’t get that “gush of love” that people talk about, that you see in films, that is expected. It worried me to start with, not hugely but there was a niggle that I should have felt it. As the first few weeks passed I realised that it was ok, I didn’t need to feel that. I didn’t have a huge and overwhelming moment of love because my love for Scarlett didn’t start when she was born. I don’t believe it started when she was conceived. I didn’t have a gush of love because it wasn’t new. I realise now that I have loved her for years. I loved her before she even existed because she was always there in my heart.
One of the hardest things I’ve had to accept over the last few months is that it is ok not to enjoy every moment. People like to say that to new mummies, “enjoy every second” and when you don’t you feel like a failure. Having a new born is bloody hard work. It’s physically, mentally and emotionally draining. It’s overwhelming and isolating and all consuming. Anyone who says they enjoyed every moment lied. But that’s ok. We are human. We are tired. We are spent. But we love those little self thieves with every part of who we are. I have a long history with mental health issues which I think has actually helped me over the last few months. I’m aware of my anxiety issues and I know my triggers, I can’t imagine how hard these feelings must be to someone who isn’t used to it. I’ve been good and have sought help when I need it, be that from my mum, my sister, friends, my Nct group, Twitter, the GP or the HV. There is always someone there to reach out to and I feel strongly about talking about things so that people know it’s ok to struggle and to ask for help. Things change fast though. To begin with I dreaded the evenings, Scarlett didn’t go down until 1 or 2am, 5am a couple of times! They were relentless and exhausting and frustrating and I didn’t like the mummy I was at that time of night. But we are getting there with bedtime now and in fact I was looking at Scarlett this evening and thinking that bedtime is one of my favourite times of day now. No longer is that last feed hours long and painful. It’s a precious moment that I share with my miracle girl and dream of the life we will have. I didn’t enjoy that and now I do. And that’s ok.
I find it really hard to believe that a whole year has past since the embryo transfer, it feels like yesterday and is also a life time ago. Life is truly amazing, science and our bodies are incredible – I grew a person!! An actual little person!!!