age: 33 years old
child: son – 14 months old
A lot of people consider pregnancy being the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you?
At the beginning, it was hard mentally. I could not accept the fact that life as I knew it, was over (a cigarette after work, a glass of wine in the evening). But when I accepted the fact I was expecting a baby, it was great.
As for the physical side of things, I wasn’t feeling nauseous. Only closer to the end, when the little one had not enough space anymore, it was more painful. Basically, I have good memories of my pregnancy. Everyone at work was considerate and supportive and I was enjoying 2 hours sleep and feet massages after work.
What did you feel the first time you saw your baby?
I was glad the birth was over (I thought that would be the hardest part – haha) and I was glad the baby was fine.
How were the first weeks and months for you?
It was the worst time of my life. I was totally unprepared for the never-ending circle of duties, total exhaustion and constant crying of the baby.
I was always hoping to wake up and realise that it was just a dream and reconsider if I wanted to have a baby. I know I felt like a machine without any feeling within. Just like a machine for changing, putting to sleep, night waking, feeding, expressing and always round and round. It was horrible. I would simply describe it as a terrible disillusionment of the whole motherhood mixed with a great desire to turn back time. But fortunately, I don’t remember much of this time anymore. And I hope that even the little one will not remember that later on in life.
Your son is now 14 months old. How do you feel as a mum today?
Even today it happens that I have a hard day, but it all has kind of settled and I cannot imagine my life without my son anymore.
What helped you to get over the hardest time?
What took you by surprise the most about motherhood?
That a woman doesn’t become a mother automatically with the birth, that love for a child didn’t come the moment I saw him (as all new mothers are convinced, although I don’t understand why).
What exactly was the most difficult for you?
Definitely the constant crying of the baby. Now I know it doesn’t mean I was doing something wrong or that I was being a bad mum. Babies simply cry – it is a fact and you just have to endure it and wait till it passes. When I read articles about crying in this difficult time, all that I found everywhere was that if the baby cries, something is wrong and the cause of it has to be discovered and removed. And since my baby was crying ALL THE TIME, I only fell into deeper and deeper depression and hopelessness because I could not figure out what was wrong with my baby. I felt like a horrible mum who never should have had a baby. All these articles and the “wisdom of the Internet” only caused more harm. I would not read it anymore.
A lot of future mums have a lot of questions. What do you think they should especially prepare for?
They should definitely study everything about breastfeeding beforehand as it doesn’t come on its own as I naively thought and it had cruelly backfired. There is no way to prepare for that carousel of duties and permanent tiredness.