I would officially like to announce this blog post wouldn’t have been achievable if it hadn’t been for my ‘tuckshop lady’ arms holding onto the edge of a bottle while I pump my engorged breasts. The one thing I have come to learn about my body over the past week or so is that, if it hadn’t been for this little bit of flabby piece of flesh (especially in a society that promotes a tan, leaned packed fighting machine of a body), then it wouldn’t of been able to type this letter to you.
Now by the time you will actually get to read this letter, we would’ve established the need to remark on how fast March is flying past us and how the past few blog posts have been purely orientated to all things revolving around newborns and the overwhelming thought of having a baby as we come to terms with having to feed, nurture, inspire and influence a new person. But, also ourselves as new parents and individuals.
When I discovered I was not only expecting but also, Baby O’Chunky was here to stay after a brief touch and go moment around 14 weeks of pregnancy; I started scouring the internet for information on pregnancy, postpartum health care relating to postnatal depression and anxiety (in anticipation of understanding signs and symptoms of postpartum depression as I would later experience antenatal depression and anxiety during my pregnancy) and seeing if there was that hidden manual on how to be a parent. You know the ‘how to raise a child and be a parent’ manual that most parents will state they wish came with every baby, right?
Having successfully understood the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression/anxiety and coming to terms to with parenting being 100% based on learning experiences and trying to duck all matters relating to urine and faeces; I started thinking about blog posts relating to pregnancy and life as a new mother and parent. As a result, I started taking notice on what my pregnancy skincare routine was like and what products I favoured as I knew there would come a time where my items of luxury would be limited to a blasting of dry shampoo, a licking of toothpaste while my child screamed in the background and two day old sweats covered in dried breast milk and pastry crumbs.
Whilst scouring the internet for that secret parental manual, I started heavily thinking upon the almost daily conversations I had been having with my pregnant cousin and wrote a series of blog posts dedicated to first-time expecting parents. I wanted to angle these blog posts towards two demographics really and they were: first-time expectant parents like myself, who had absolutely zero idea where to start when it came to all things baby related and felt the overwhelming urge to throw up at the idea of planning, hosting and cleaning up after a baby shower.
At the same time, I also wanted to acknowledge those Dearest Readers who didn’t have any form of a support team and were having to find the courage and determination of continuing their pregnancy on their own. If any of my Dearest Readers are experiencing this and are wondering if someone gives a shit about you and your wellbeing during this pregnancy, I am thinking about you in so many ways. As a result when writing these blog posts, I wrote them with the intention of being able to get cheaper materials for those who are budget conscious (I was budget conscious as well!) and while writing this, I would seriously recommend going to your local charity shops and seeing if they have any baby furniture available.
The only thing I would highly recommend when it comes to purchasing baby furniture (especially in relation to the baby’s sleeping arrangements i.e. bassinette or crib) is buying a firm mattress. Over the past 10 years, Australian evidence-based research conducted on sleeping arrangements on newborns and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has stated, a firm mattress has been linked to preventing SIDS from occurring.
I can vouch and promise that this will be the only piece of information I am going to give you a helpful, handy suggestion about doing. At the end of the day when it comes to being a parent and having to make the right decisions for our children as we see fit, the decision is ultimately yours to make and I cannot and will not persuade you into changing your personal thoughts and feelings on the matter of what is deemed safe and unsafe towards your unborn/born child. Merely for the fact, I would never want harm to be subjected to you, your family and your beloved child.
Which is something I have come to realise after having become a parent for the first time. I was scared of the underlying pretext of what couldn’t happen during my pregnancy but now, the tides have changed and I have become slightly afraid of what could happen in the future.
But for this moment and this very second, I am going to enjoy without guilt the delicious luxury of being able to inhale my baby’s unique smell, feel the softness of his hair as my hand brushes against the soft part of his scalp and stare longing at the little miracle I was not only able to create, carry with a few hiccups and bumps along the way before ultimately, delivering Baby O’Chunky into a beautiful and slightly scarred world.
I am 100% positive there shall be a time, where I will come back to the blog post and reread what it was that sent me into a creative spin while pumping breastmilk. So, I wanted to leave a little message not only to myself but also to those who will stumble across this one day in the near future and that is:
We often tend to fear the uncertainty of what motherhood and parenthood is about because until we have children of our own, we cannot fathom nor understand what our parents state and go through on a daily basis. Having since become a mother for the first time and experiencing a wide range of emotional experiences as well as seeing my child go from appearing to be happy to suddenly becoming ill, I need and hopefully will acknowledge in the future, this experience has made me a greater parent in the sense of being able to emotionally and mentally cope with any physiological changes that may occur in the future as well.
From minor skin grazes requiring a kiss and a band aid to doing a Pablo (my brother) and that being smashing the tip of a thumb with a mallet at work by accident and requiring surgery; these opportunities have been stressful in the interim but they have allowed us to gain viable skills, learning experiences and overall: become a parent who rises to the occasion and will sit there, holding their child’s hand through the pain or kissing a knee better. At the end of the day, you will become the type of parent you wish to be because you put in the amount of energy you wish to contribute to parenting. Don’t take those little or large moments for granted, take as many photos as possible because one day it’ll be uncool to be seen in public with you and capture those endless snuggles, kisses and hugs before they grow up and move out.
Remember those who have inspired you in the past, present and future and continue striving forward. Don’t let anxiety/depressed fuelled moments ruin your overall dream and desire for eternal happiness because it is merely a fleeting moment in thousands to come and simply acknowledge those feelings for what they are. Temporary glitches in the Matrix. You will continue to flourish, do great and be the best parent you can be and your child will love you, even when they yell at you, “I hate you”.
With that, Dearest Reader…. Welcome to Maternity March.
Lots of love,