If you are a follower of my blog you'll know that I recently had a baby. My personal journey over the past 6 weeks since having her has been the most challenging thing I've ever been through. Of course its been bloody fantastic too but my god, theres so much that people didn't tell me about having babies!
Around a week after having Aria my friend Sally dropped off a surprise parcel for me; a book called 'Nobody told me' by Hollie McNish. I'd seen one of Hollies poetry videos go viral a few months back about breastfeeding (watch it here) and loved her honesty about societies views on breastfeeding and how it made her feel as a mother. I had no idea Hollie had a book out and couldn't wait to get stuck into it as I thought I might be able to relate to it.
A few pages in and I was totally addicted- each of the poems she'd written during her pregnancy were so relatable to me and I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to get to the part where she'd just had the baby... just to see how her first few weeks went in the hope that I'd be able to find some comfort knowing that it wasn't just me who felt the mixture of crazy emotions. Of course, being the honest poet that she is she shared all and it helped to reassure me that I wasn't losing the plot, I literally felt like her book was telling my story as I was experiencing it.
After being inspired by the first half of the book I decided during one of our night feeds to write my own 'poem' about the things nobody told me. I've not written any poetry since school so don't expect a masterpiece but it's true to how I feel right now and something I'd like to look back on in the future!
Nobody told me.....
Everyone told me to sleep whilst I can; you know, like bank it for later and pull it out when I can.
Everyone told me to expect painful labour; you'll scream and cry but forget it a day later.
Everyone told me precook my meals; because we'll never leave the house to go shopping again; well definitely not before week 10.
Everyone told me I'd make lots of mum friends.. and that we'd talk about our engorged tits,baby piss and the latest sleeping trend.
Nobody told me how tough the first week of her being here really would be; the tears, pain, worry and confusion really crept up on me.
Nobody told me that labour wards are places of nightmares; the pressure to pee, feed, eat, feed, put on a brave face, feed- you get me?
Nobody told me how bloody hard breastfeeding would be; without doubt the most challenging task to ever face me.
Nobody told me how battered my poor body would really feel; iron tablets, stitches and the annoying uncontrollable need to wee.
Nobody told me quite how lonely I'd feel on a weekday afternoon whilst the world just continues and our cycle of nappies, boob and sleep just goes on and on and on..
Nobody told me how much I'd need my parents. Mid morning texts, evening FaceTime, surprise parcels all just to reassure me I'm doing just fine.
Nobody told me just how many breastpads I'd use; my sole occupation has become similar to one who has 4 hooves.
Nobody told me how angry I'd be when others without babies told me how sleepy they feel- are you fucking kidding me?
Nobody told me that because of nightfeeds I'd rather sleep alone in our bedroom..well just her and me.
Nobody told me how much money I'd spend in coffee shops just so I could shelter and feed my little best friend.
Nobody told me how a trip to the shops takes three times as long and constant questions like "is she too hot?"
Nobody told me how tempting it would be to have her sleeping in bed right next to me.
Nobody told me that I'd feel this much love for a tiny little thing that demands so much.