MERCEDES: “Future mums – be prepared to lower your standards of cleanliness and perfection, to be flexible and to expect the unexpected.”

age: 41 years old
children: daughter – 7.5 months old

A lot of people think that pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you?

I remember feeling very excited about being pregnant and felt a great connection to the baby. I talked to her a lot and I loved the fact that she could be part of my daily activities. During most of my pregnancy I felt very energised except for the last 3 weeks.

What did you feel first time you saw your baby?

Because my daughter was so small, as soon as I delivered her the doctors checked her vitals, oxygen level and did other quick tests. It was probably 5 minutes before I was able to hold her, but it felt like an eternity.

When I had her in my arms it was absolute magic. I thought she was so beautiful and perfect. I didn’t expect to feel that much happiness.

How were the first weeks and months for you?

The first 3 weeks were great. My husband was on paternity leave and everything was new and exciting. We both took care of Martina and we had organised a lot of things in advance so we were pretty comfortable given the situation. After that, my mom visited for a couple of weeks and it was a great bonding experience with her. My relationship with my mom improved a lot after Martina was born. However, at around 2 months my mom was gone and things started to get monotonous and a bit tough. I felt a bit isolated and started to need some “me time”. At the same time, I felt guilty to ask my husband to stay with our little one while I exercised or went shopping because he was working while I was on leave. So, although I still enjoyed being with her I felt a bit trapped.

Today your daughter is 7.5 months old. How do you feel as a mum today?

She is in a great phase where she is smiling a lot and learning many new skills. I feel good because it seems like my husband and I are providing an environment that allows her to thrive. I am very tired because I recently resumed work. Also, because she is in day care, she gets sick quite frequently and that is tough.

The fact that our daughter is developing well is very satisfying, of course. But, I think the most important change for me is that I have some time for myself now that she’s attending day care. Also, my husband helps me a lot and I don’t feel bad to ask for help because I am back at work.

What helped you to get over the hardest time?

My husband, family and friends. Sharing what I felt with them and asking for help. Having time for myself.

Lot of future mums have lot of questions. What do you think they should especially prepare for?

I would advice then to be prepared to have little time for themselves, to lower the standards of cleanliness and perfection, to be flexible and to expect the unexpected.

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