I have just written a piece for website Nourish Baby on starting as you mean to go on, for new mums. The piece will come out in the next few months and I will share it with you, but it has got me all nostalgic about the minute I found out I was pregnant with my first child and the excitement and chaos of bringing her home.
My first daughter came as a complete surprise! A very welcome surprise, but never the less a complete surprise. My husband had set a date he was going to propose to me – 2nd July 2004. He had a plaque made up with a poem and drilled it into the cliffs of a beach we lived near. The plan was, on the next full moon, he would take me down there with a picnic blanket and propose under the light of the moon.
On 26 June, one week before the glamourous proposal, I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant! The tell-tale signs were all there and so I made the trip to the doctor – I told work it was a family emergency and my joys were revealed. It felt all very natural and normal to be pregnant, but alas the proposal still happened in the planned date in a much less glamourous fashion. I am pretty sure I threw up over the cliffs, or something to that effect.
We told our parents when we were about nine weeks pregnant. I remember driving all the way to my parents house in the country, sitting in front of the fire and telling them I was pregnant. They were pleased – I can’t recall what was actually said as it wasn’t long before I was throwing up in the bathroom.
At 14 weeks pregnant, I left my job, we jumped on a plane and spent six weeks driving around America – time to have some fun before life got serious. When we came back I was 19 weeks pregnant and I didn’t really need to tell anyone that I was pregnant as it was entirely obvious.
Despite some good morning sickness early on, a change of career and a move interstate, the pregnancy was fabulous. I loved the feeling of being pregnant and carrying a life around inside.
My beautiful daughter was born in March 2005. I bought her home the following day and that is when the fun really started. I remember getting lots of conflicting advice and ended up having to use my own instinct to set up routines and ideals of being a mother.
I have just as vivid memories on the announcement, birth and the first couple of weeks of bringing home my second and third children.
The piece I wrote for new mums in Nourish Baby elaborates on the advice I read in Robyn Baker’s Baby Love book, Start as you mean to go on. This advice was priceless and even now, we still follow routines I set up in the first few weeks of bringing my first daughter home. I still bath our kids at 5pm, dinner at 6 and book before bed and bed time between 7pm and 8pm. I resolved to be a loving, calm parent and hopefully that is how I have gone forward. There are of course moments that this doesn’t work but setting these ideals early helped me to go forward. It is almost like setting up guidelines to be a mum.
What are your tips for new mums?