Becoming a mother has been a pretty hard shift but entirely rewarding. That said, I want to go all personal with some ‘Esther’s motherhood’ facts about pregnancy and becoming a mama! Just as every human is different, so also is every woman, and certainly every experience is different.
a/ I remember feeling very tired when I got pregnant. Okay, I love my
sleep (I am notoriously known for sleeping whilst standing on the Jubilee Line), but this tiredness was on an extraordinary level. I started a workout regime with some wonderful ladies near the flat I lived just before I found out I was pregnant,
a 1omin workout session would feel like I had worked out for 100hours non stop. Of course, I blamed it on my very poor fitness level, little did I know that I had a little bun cooking in the oven!
b/ When my doctor confirmed my pregnancy, this weird warm feeling swarmed me. It was like I had already met my little baby. Well, she was inside but it felt more deeper than just being a vessel carrying around an offspring…I was engulfed in love! From henceforth, I was like a protective
eagle over my bump!
c/ Morning Sickness. Heartburn. Mine lasted nearly 8 months. Horror, I know. The little (big) downside of my pregnancy. I threw up because the air of Pontoon Dock/Canning Town/Plumstead/London Underground all stank of pollution. Yes, my morning sickness was a result of smelling the air! It got so bad that when I visited my friend in Oxford, I nearly went on all fours to beg John to relocate to Oxford with immediate effect. If possible, I would have taken home Oxford countryside air in the biggest Kilner Jars!
d/ On the note of morning sickness, I couldn’t stand the smell of fridges too. Even if they were bleached. So, this included supermarkets. I couldn’t stand kitchens either. So for 8 months, John and my parents did the food shopping, cooked and obtained things from the fridge. Even then, some food items even smelt of fridges. I went off Maggi Seasoning Cubes and never recovered.
e/ I wee-wee’d every 10 seconds. Actually, apart from some exaggeration, there were times I would finish from the loo and walk out the bathroom and find myself walking back in for another round of off-loading! The worse bit was when I did manage to sleep, I would have my sweet dream interrupted by this sudden urge to wee! I would somehow pause my dream, go to the loo, come back and rewind a little of my dream and replay only for it be interrupted. Again. And Again. And Again. I rarely slept throughout the night. Ah, mingled with that was my sleeping on one side, John blissfully sleeping and night time was baby’s day time.
f/ I was always tired but my baby bump was quite small. I obtained the ‘bump-on-board’ badge. 50% of the time, it worked. I managed to get a seat on trains and tubes (when I was able to bear it…but will definitely throw up/leave my vomit mark upon exit). Big thank you to all those who acted their seats for me to seat. But the other 50% got me thinking how we Londoners are so attached to our seats. I mean, help a pregnant woman out! TFL need to make the badges supersize.
g/ My emotions were everywhere. I told John once that I wanted Eat’s tomato soup. He kindly bought it for me whilst he bought some yummy oxtail with rice. We sat down to eat our respective purchases. I opened my soup and burst into tears. I still cannot explain til this day why I cried so passionately. In a nutshell, John ate the soup and I ate the oxtail!
h/ Be prepared to have lots of blood taken out says needle-phobic-I! My first appointment blood request hit me like a ton of bricks. It was all sweet and dandy until the midwife casually said “We are now going to take some bloods”. I froze in motion. My brain went into shutdown mode. 3 weeks later, after an hour ordeal, sitting on the biggest Pink Arm Chair, talking dream holidays, my first bloods were taken by two lovely nurses. And it wasn’t bad at all.
i/ Stick to your gut feeling and be proactive about your birth. Isabel was very very very overdue according to due dates predictions and I later had to admit myself into hospital as the NHS had forgotten about us! *Violins*. That said, I had a birth plan, playlist sorted on Spotify, but we did not stick to the bi
rth plan, and the playlist did irritate me during my induced labour! I did have a somewhat dramatic birth story due to a pretty poor quality midwife and I did not stick to my gut feeling to get another midwife! I instead went on with her administering my induction and my oh my, I can tell you know hat she did not deliver Isabel! She messed up so many times.
j/ I did not know I could not eat during childbirth. Not that I wanted to, all I wanted was to meet Isabel ASAP, hail and hearty. However, just note.
k/ I have never been so terrified of poo-ing until after birth. It was so numb there are one point then days later, it started hurting! I used to almost hypnotise myself to relieve food waste products!
l/ Accept all the help you can get and get the bond you need with your child (skin to skin contact). Unfortunately, the hospital I was in had babies almost on a conveyor belt…so many babies being born and so little staff. So, me and John were thrown into the deep end from the beginning. But thank Jesus for my mum and a lovely aunty that lives hear us helping us. It was all so new, Isabel looked so new, the experience was new; and me and John were pretty scared.
m/ Motherhood is humbling! I changed from being the keep-to-yourself sort of lady to lady who keeps her friendship connections open! I became a mother friend hunter, looking for any new friend to talk to about baby poo colour, to fashion for breastfeeding, to climbing the career ladder and a mother . I have made new wonderful friends as result. I don’t know what is it that changed, I think its because its so hard to give birth that you value everyone!
n/ Breastmilk didn’t flow like a ever sprouting fountain from the beginning. And it HURT! I was recommended everything under the sun to help with breastfeeding the honest truth is I stuck with it and I plan to breastfed as long as possible! I love breastfeeding! However, if you are needing some boosting with breastfeeding, there are herbal nursing teas like this one.
o/ Breastfeeding means dressing loose and free for me! No high necks or zips at the back of dresses because Isabel demanded milk anywhere and everywhere and it had to be given! I have had to be creative with clothes, wearing v necks, stretchy tops or dresses, oversize tops and vest tops underneath so that my stomach doesn’t show where I lift my tops up. Oh, I carry around a light scarf for extra coverage.
p/ Fashion and beauty was a hard thing during pregnancy and now as a new mama. It was partly due to my emotions. During pregnancy, I was so busy throwing up, I couldn’t be bothered to dress up. I did have the “pregnancy glow” sometimes but towards the end of the pregnancy, I looked ashy! Now as a new mama, I got so busy being busy I forgot to look after myself. Hence, that is changing. I did lose hair around the perimeter of my hairline and my skin and hair now feels a lot drier. That too, I am working on.
q/ I hate clutter but there was so much things you need with a baby! We tried so hard to minimise expenditure and we were gifted with so many useful items during our baby shower, but we still needed as little bit more after Isabel was born! From nail clippers to bogey extraction tools, we seem to have new need everyday for something from amazon!
If I can think of more facts, I will add. I hope this helped and I want to reach out to new mothers out there and share in your joys and fears. I can appreciate that the joy of having a baby, plus the demands has made folks forget to tell me some of these facts. When I did speak about them after I had experience them, they responded with “oh yes…!” Please excuse our baby brains!
How are you finding mamahood and what were the things you wished people told you about being a mother? I would love to hear from you below.
If there are topics you wish me to cover, also comment below.
I promise to take more pictures of me and Isabel!
Pregnancy photographs from Victor Oluwaseun