5 Reasons Why is my true stories by real parents feature. It’s basically a glimpse into another parent’s life on a particular subject or event on their personal parenting journey. It might be funny, happy or heartbreaking but each of our stories have their own value and charm.
This week I’m featuring a piece by Emma Cottam who had her first baby, Isabella this year. Emma also runs the popular online shop and blog Isabella and Us.
Reason 1 – I Didn’t Hold My Baby Much.
Isabella was born on the Saturday in the early hours of the morning and on the Tuesday after her birth I realised I’d only held her to feed her and rock her to sleep. When she fell asleep I’d put her down in her crib or she had been passed on to well meaning visitors. After all isn’t that what you are meant to? Isn’t that what is expected? I felt so upset and disappointed in myself for not holding her
more, for not being firmer with visitors when she was calm and settled on me.
Reason 2 – We Struggled To Settle Her
Isabella was born 9 days before Christmas so on top of the family and friends who lived close by we had those visitors who had come to see family for Christmas. Each evening after countless visitors Isabella was unsettled. She would cry for hours and neither by husband or myself could settler her. What we know now is that she had oral thrush, colic, reflux and was struggling to break down the lactose in my breast milk. I can’t imagine what my new baby must have been going through to then have been passed around to visitors on top of not feeling well and trying to adjust to the world around her.
Reason 3 – We Didn’t Get Much Time As A Family
Isabella’s arrival 9 days before Christmas and 10 days before her due date meant that Christmas, New Year and also family engagements took up a lot of days during my husband’s paternity leave. My husband was only entitled to one week paid Paternity leave and then had taken the second week as holiday. There where what felt like constant visitors or family events we had to go to and although Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends during my husbands two weeks off work we lost about 5 days to family events. During those two weeks after her arrival I think we only got about 2 days just as a family of three and looking back I know that really wasn’t enough and we will never get that time
Reason 4 – I Didn’t Take My Time To Recover And Rest
Hours after returning home from the hospital whilst my husband and Isabella slept I was up rushing around the house making sure it was clean and tidy for visitors. I did this each morning and then spent each evening tidying up the mess from that day. I put washes on; I hovered and cleaned each day to make sure my house looked presentable to our visitors. I also put make up on each day before visitors arrived so I looked okay too. Looking back this was ridiculous. I should have been in bed or on the sofa resting not rushing around. My body needed time to recover and rest after giving birth and being pregnant.
Reason 5 – I’m Left With So Many Regrets
Everything that contributed to me wishing we hadn’t had visitors so early fills me with so much regret. Instead of being able to look back on those early days with happiness, I look back with sadness and a lot of ‘I wish I had…’. If in the future we do have another baby I wouldn’t have any visitors for at least the first week, I’d stay in bed and rest and I would spend time bonding with my baby. The fourth trimester is tough and I felt that my needs as a new mum became secondary to what any visitors wanted in terms of visiting. When my husband takes time off work now we make sure that we close the door to the outside world, we don’t have visitors and we spend time just us, as a family of three. Just as we should have done in the beginning.
If you have a parenting story to tell and would like to feature in my 5 Reasons Why series – please take a look here.