Tag Archives: Mother

A shoulder to cry on

Some time after the toddler was born, I made a promise to him- and to myself- that I would do everything I could with the time I had left to make it all up to him. I needed to let him know that I was deeply, deeply sorry for letting him down when he needed me most. I needed him to know that I was sorry for not being strong enough, for missing that first hour of his life, and for failing to be the mum he needed when he needed it most. He was just a baby. He was barely four months old. He didn’t understand what I was saying and in a way, neither did I. I don’t think I had even begun to accept what had happened during his birth by that point. I certainly wasn’t feeling like a mother to him; I just knew that I was supposed to be feeling it.

Making that promise seemed like the best thing to do and I admit that even today, it weighs heavily on my mind. If  I’m tired, or he’s having a tantrum and my face won’t form a smile… guilt hits me like a bullet then. What about the promise?

When I made that promise I was grieving. Not for a person, but for something… something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.Perhaps I was grieving for that amazing birth I was supposed to have, especially after the first one had gone so wrong? Perhaps I was grieving for that little boy in the delivery room, who’s heart beat fell silent and died in my dreams? Perhaps I was grieving for… for me?

I am not the same person I was before my son was born. In many ways I am a better person. It’s taken me two long years to realise that. In many ways I know so much more about life and love and motherhood. In many ways I can now be that mother I thought I was before he was born. Perhaps I can now stop grieving for that person I was back then and embrace the new me?

These are all things I have been thinking since I left the meeting yesterday. It was the first Manchester Birth Trauma Association meeting and despite being involved in its set-up, I hadn’t actually thought much about how it might affect me. I’d bought a box of tissues, knowing that it could be emotional to talk to people who understand, or even just to talk to people. Caroline bought individual packets of tissues so that we could go home and cry too.

I didn’t cry. But I did think about that promise. I think I’m keeping it. I think I can keep it.


I’m glad to have a shoulder to cry on.


On this day, when my life changed forever

On this day, when my life changed forever, the sun was warm and the air was fresh. I held a tiny person in my arms and became a mother, just like that.

Its hard to believe that was seven years ago. In the early hours of this morning, returning to bed for the umpteenth time and sinking under the covers, I caught sight of the time and saw that it was 2 am. My world stopped a tiny little bit then.

She was born at 2 am, taken from my body with squeals of protest and indignation. She cried and cried, her wails nothing more than the mewls of a kitten. Before that, they had placed her head on my abdomen as they made attempts to remove the rest of her from my body. I felt nothing, just the slight weight of a new life.

She cried as they stitched me, pushing and pulling and mending my broken body as they chatted and weighed and laughed as she took her first wee all over the midwife. She cried as my husband held her tentatively, big hands around her tiny, wrapped-up body. She cried as they announced all was well and she was healthy. Nothing wrong with her lungs. Apgar score all good. Breathing well. No further signs of distress. Surgery went well. Mum off to recovery.

She cried as they held her towards me to say hello and her tiny eyes were scrunched like rose buds, waiting to open when the time is right. She cried as they finished and insisted I held her.

I felt a tiny moment of panic. This is it. This is the moment I actually become a mother. Funny how nine and a bit months of pregnancy just cannot prepare you for this moment. When you meet your child and your life changes forever.


Your life changes forever.

She cried as she was handed to me and I took her with greedy and needy hands. I held her to me and looked down at her face. I watched her eyes open and her bottom lip quiver. She was silent.

We were both silent as she looked at me and I looked at her and I thought to myself that I would remember this moment for the rest of my life- how she looked, how she smelled and how she felt in my arms. She stopped crying so that my tears could flow.

On this day, when my life changed forever.








Happy birthday Eva XxX

The Guilt of Mothers

When I became a mother almost seven years ago, I learnt all about a mother’s guilt very quickly. It’s like a nagging, clawing sensation deep inside that just doesn’t let up.

When I became pregnant with the toddler, the guilt intensified.

To my girl, I am so sorry that I have turned your world upside down. I am so sorry that you are going to have to share your parents and your toys and your time. I am so sorry that I won’t be there for you as much as I was…

Now I am pregnant again and the mother’s guilt is working over time.

The toddler is so young. The Big One is so young. Time is stretched already.

When I look at the kids’s faces, they are my world. How can another fit into that world without tears and upset? How can I be doing this to them? How will I find time to teach the toddler everything that I taught the big one? How do I explain to him that he won’t be the baby anymore?

The thing about the guilt of mothers is that is has no reason, no common sense.

My post on the Baby BornFree blog

BPA-FREE Parent & ProudI wrote a post for the Baby BornFree blog, about bonding with my son. Reading it back today, I feel so much sadness for the person I was then. I took it for granted that I would bond with my son instantly and when I didn’t, I thought there was something wrong with me. Am I alone in struggling to bond?

Read my post here.

I’d do it all again in a heart-beat

I read a post recently by Liz over at The Mum Blog and it struck a chord with me about a post I’ve wanted to write for a long time. Liz’s post is about the fact that she won’t be having any more children- something all women, one day have to come to realise.

I always wanted four children, perhaps because I am one of five myself. I grew up in a big house with a big car and one bathroom. Chaos was always on the menu and as we were all girls, there was a fair bit of poster pinching and nail varnish snaffling too. My parents used to shop at the local cash and carry. There was always someone to play with, someone to share with and we had ‘sleepovers’ in each other’s rooms almost every night. That’s what I wanted for my children.

Life doesn’t go to plan; I know that now. After the big one was born, I wanted another almost immediately. I felt guilty at this thought though, almsot as if I were betraying my precious girl for wanting another baby. I struggled with  comprehending how I could love another baby as much as I loved her.

When I finally fell pregnant with the baby, the big one was four and all my big plans of a huge family seemed to be slipping from my grasp. It had taken four years to be at a place where another baby was an option, five months to actually get pregnant- by this point I was 32. Getting old?

My second pregnancy wasn’t easy and severe nausea lasted up until at least seven months; I started to rock sea-sickness bands with every outfit and was in bed by 9 every night. You know the rest.

After he was born I swore I would never, ever do that again. Talking to my midwife counsellor, I realised that part of the reason why I didn’t love him striaight away was because I had compared him to the big one constantly throughout my pregnancy. It turned out that I actually couldn’t love another baby. Towards the end, I’d wanted to stay pregnant forever because I didn’t want to spoil my perfect family. After he was born, I was a wreck and filled with guilt that I had infact ruined everything by insisting on another baby. We were all miserable, weren’t we?

Looking back at pictures, the big one has loved being a sister right from the very beginning. They’re really good friends now. I want more.

I’d do it all again in a heart-beat.

at least one of them is smiling...

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