I'm not a perfectionist about everything - one look at the state my house is in most of the time can tell you that. But I can be hard on myself when I make mistakes. I have even been known to avoid a situation rather than risk making mistakes or making a wrong choice.
Don't get me wrong - I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be at home with my kids and I love it, most of the time. But recently I've been missing the part of me that existed before I became the bum-wiping, tantrum-soothing ninja I am today.
When I ended up having an emergency caesarean it kind of took me by surprise. Mentally I had prepared myself for pushing my baby out but hadn't really given the ins and outs of a C-Section much thought. I kind of thought that if I needed one so be it. There was nothing much I could plan for. I was wrong.
While both my kids have pretty good language skills for their ages, there are a few things that I'm still struggling to help them to understand. Perhaps I need to learn to speak toddler? Despite my best and most patient attempts, the following concepts are proving particularly tricky for them to comprehend.
You might think you've died and gone to heaven after having a baby and want another one straight away and you might think : never again! Both are acceptable.
Midwives came and didn't think anything was wrong, despite bleeding and cracked nipples. I will never forget seeing her mouth covered in blood after feeding, I knew this was not right.
My baby is one in a couple of weeks and all of a sudden it just feels so milestoney. Much to my surprise I've gone all knobheadish and smushy about it. I feel like I want to sniff his hair and drink in his babyness before he starts lobbing lightsabers at my head and asking me to pull his finger.
Right now feeding your infant would be like sticking a giant gin nipple in their face and syphoning off last night's post-3am Jaeger-Bombs... You've thrown up in your own hair and made the decision just to 'brush it in', and for the first hour you were awake this morning you couldn't remember how many children you actually had...
My weight-loss and toning achievements are results of hard work and dedication, not simply sitting around and relying on my gene pool. Yes, having a high fitness level pre-pregnancy does help your body to get active again post-labor but this alone is simply not enough.
As the surgeon who did my caesarean explained why I should have an emergency caesarian she looked almost like an angel to me. Within twenty minutes, my son was born.
This is it now, you know what's coming; you need to dig deep and find the strength within you to get through the night. But to help you, here are a few little reminders/tips on how to cope when the chips are down.
It's never straightforward, I was never just one type of breastfeeder. In exactly the same way I'm not just one type of mother or one type of person. I'm lots, all at once sometimes. Like everyone else. Phew, think I need a lie down.
I still look at my scar and it reminds me of the journey I've been on. It's my tattoo, my story, my reminder to be grateful. The lady photographed in Helen's picture has this and a beautiful photo to commemorate her triumph. I hope one day we can all look at it this way.
Today I wanted to speak out to all those new mums who at this moment are feeling tearful, lonely, beyond exhausted and perhaps slightly scared that they're going to get post-natal depression and I wanted to reassure you that what you're feeling is normal and that it will pass.
Toddlers have selective hearing, they will not hear you bellowing their name telling them TO COME BACK HERE RIGHT NOW. NO I AM NOT JOKING. I AM COUNTING TO THREE..... ONE, TWO..... TWO AND A HALF... but they will hear you from three rooms away when you try to sneak a piece of chocolate.
They read her books about sleepy rabbits, tired bears and exhausted princesses. They sang her lullabies that instructed her to 'sleep, baby sleep' or to 'hush little baby' - yet still she remained wide-awake. (Not sleepy yet? Maybe I am reading it too quickly.)