Waiting for the sunbeams to come……

I first became a Mummy over 10 years ago….

Blimey, just typing that makes me feel old. However all the emotions that come with being pregnant, then becoming a new parent are still very fresh in my mind. As if it all happened yesterday. Like most Mums, I can recall my birth stories (all 3 of them) with ease, it’s mixed feelings knowing that I wont ever do it again.

When I was pregnant with Lottie, my now lovely vibrant and spirited 10 year old daughter. I had been a midwife for 5 years already. I attended antenatal classes, looking back this was probably where the embers of the Baby Journey were lit. But that’s another blog entirely….

I felt physically and mentally ready for the challenge of becoming a Mum, I was excited and enjoyed all the prep work in packing bags, buying tiny baby clothes and painting the nursery. When my due date came and the labour started, my straight forward labour unfolded and Lottie arrived in the early hours of the 3rd August 2007. No horror story to be told I’m afraid….

My husband Jim was wonderful, he encouraged me, cracked inappropriate jokes and made me smile. My lovely Mum was the perfect balance of being kind & firm, keeping everyone fed with items from the biggest labour picnic I’ve ever seen to date. The cherry on the top of my labour cake was having my beloved Hannah there. We’d become firm friends over the years, there had been many wine fuelled conversations in pubs (prior to the pregnancy I may add!) when we smiled at the thought of delivering each other’s babies. I still owe her a labour…….

At the point at which Lottie was placed upon my chest, I vividly remember these HUGE eyes looking up at me. I felt lots of things at that point in time. The biggest feeling was utter relief that it was all done. I had achieved what I had only seen other women do until that point. I had survived. I was a Mummy. What was I going to do now? The lady on the front cover of the JoJoMaman Bebe magazine that I had packed in my labour bag, appeared to have sun beams coming out of every orifice…….. where were mine?

All I could do after the birth was vomit into a paper bowl, wobbly my way out to the shower and worry about how I was ever going to poo again? Being British, a cup of tea and some amazing NHS toast would fix me up and then surely the sun beams would come. Right?

Jim carefully strapped Lottie into her car seat, she looked a lot like a little boiled potato with a slightly angry face. We took her home. Family and friends swamped our house with tears of joy and lots of pink outfits and cards. Champagne corks popped. But still no sunbeams. I felt numb. Tired. Anxious. Vacant is a good way to describe it looking back.

Like a robot I fed her, changed her and cuddled her. Feeling like maybe I’d made a mistake at times. Craving my ‘old life’ at times. Was I going to be the worst Mum ever?

Then when she was 2 weeks old I was changing her before a bath in the nursery when I decided to play a song for us both. It was Takes That’s ‘Rule the World’ and all of a sudden I was holding her close, dancing with her and the tears were streaming down my face. I felt this incredible need to keep her safe, hold her little body next to mine and never let her go. To always be there for her, keeping her safe and to love her as much as I could. I sobbed and sobbed until there was no tears left.

The sunbeams had arrived.

Interestingly the exact same events unfolded after my 2 boys were born too. The sunbeams took a while to come. But I knew that they would. I just took my time.

So if you feel numb, wobbly and a bit confused after birth. It’s ok. Take your time. Be nice to yourself. You can talk to your loved ones about it. Or write it down.

You could even try a song. I still can’t listen to that song without tears appearing.

Big hugs, Jules x