Early versus later stages of motherhood. Which is easier?

I often get the question, especially from new mums, asking what it is like for me to be a mum compared to the beginning. Well, to be totally honest, nothing in this world compares to the nightmare you go through at the beginning.

When I became a mum, I could not understand other mums when they said that it is all worth it. What on earth can be worth this torture? I used to think. However, today I totally understand.

As I mentioned a million times before, becoming a mum is a shock. Your life changes from one day to another and suddenly you hold in your arms a crying baby who totally depends on you. It is like as if someone locked you with an elephant in a room and threw the keys away (assuming you have zero knowledge about elephants). I am sure you agree that this would be a massive load for any kind of living being. 

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Two weeks in the hospital or how my PND started

I will never forget the day we temporarily moved into the room at the hospital’s special care unit where our boys were born. I was home packing some basic stuff for us and knew that we would not come back soon. The senior midwife at the hospital told me earlier on that the boys would need to put on some weight and be able to eat on their own in order to be discharged as at the time they were still being fed by feeding tubes.

I got to our room around noon and as soon as I got there a huge load of anxiety hit me straight to the pit of the stomach. The reason was due to how small the room was and my anxiety which I get when appearing in small or limited spaces. I say more about the events prior to this day in the post My birth story.

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Things that I would say to the old ‘Me’ while experiencing PND

Dear Ivanka

I know you feel overwhelmed with everything that is going on now. You could not wait to have your babies and now that they are here, you are not sure that it is what you wanted. I know you are astonished by your own feelings and emotions. I know you don’t feel the love you expected to be feeling. I know you doubt your decision about having children. I know you desperately want your life back. I know you feel stuck. And I know that you feel incredibly guilty for feeling this way. 

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How to voice your opinion without feeling guilty?

You know it. You finally put the children down and your feet up when your phone rings. It is likely your parents or a friend. You know that most likely they do not want anything major, they just want to chat. However, after a long day of physical and psychological struggle, chatting on the phone is the last thing you want to do. All you need is to sit down, switch off the brain and do not think about anything. After a while, the ringing stops and a text appears on your display. “Can you talk?” You think of what you should do. You want to say ‘no’ but at the same time, this idea makes you feel guilty. 
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Don’t judge me unless you have walked in my shoes

I have recently come across an interview with the psychologist on the subject of maternity, which made me think about many things.

The article was talking about ‘cry out’ method (controlled crying method) and its negative impact on childhood psychological development. One particular sentence was of great interest to me. ‘Only a heartless parent can let a child cry out’, stated there in black and white. If I do not take into account the fact that some psychologists support or recommend this method, I was astonished by the boldness of this statement.

I see a similar attitude in many other things. It’s as though people forget sometimes that there are two sides to everything. Let’s take breastfeeding. ‘The right mother breastfeeds her baby’, ‘Do everything for you to breastfeed’, ‘Do not give up, your baby needs breastfeeding the most’ and so on. From each direction, we are cluttered by the phenomenon of breastfeeding and its magical effect on our child’s life. Every new mother, therefore, feels she has to breastfeed and if she does not, she is not a good mother.

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Christmas holidays with children

We have passed the second Christmas and New Year’s Eve with our boys!

The first Christmas holidays with them I was looking forward to it as a little girl. The first Christmas dinner together, children’s Christmas clothes, unpacking gifts… With Yaw we agreed that boys had to get something that makes a sound. At that time, we did not really care what kind of sound that would be, however, in these things it is better to be picky. As a parent, you have to count on hearing this sound for the next few weeks and hours in a day. 😉

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Quick help in hard times

We all have days when we’ve just had enough. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but more or less, more than less :). In the article What helps me to get through those tough days, I offer an advice and tips that help me to get through the days when my children drive me crazy.

However, sometimes our children are relatively manageable and “good”, and yet, we feel overwhelmed. It can be a bad night sleep, bad pillow, personal circumstances or simply a bad day and we feel we are not ourselves. 
What can we do to feel better at times like this?

Below I offer a few tips from which I believe you will choose the ones that are the most suitable for you 😉 x

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I feel sad and regretful. Is it normal?

I often watch future mums getting ready for the arrival of their children, studying everything about a birth, being happy that they are ready for everything… There is nothing wrong with it, of course.

However, I always see these mums being astonished when the baby comes into the world. Suddenly they find that the birth is just a beginning. Despite studying 20 books, attending pregnancy yoga regularly and consulting everything beforehand with experienced mums, they feel they were not ready for anything. There is nothing wrong with that either. The truth is that no mother can be ready for what really comes with motherhood.

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My birth story

Everything began on April 27th, 2016 in the afternoon. I was home, as usual, Yaw was still at work and then planned to go with colleagues for one quick beer (in this case it was supposed to be really a quick one:). He called me something after six to assure I was ok. He told me the bar they were going to had no signal, but that he would be at home around eight.

A few minutes after his call I went to the toilet and immediately felt that something was flowing in streams out of me. But it was not a broken water, it was blood! (I am sorry, I’d tried to describe it less explicitly, but no compromise euphemism exists here:).

Since I’d happened to find myself in a similar situation on a New Year’s Eve, I did not freak out as you do when something like this happens for the first time. Taken the circumstances, I tried to keep a cool head and get Yaw. However, his phone was no longer available… I laughed at the irony in my mind. Any other day he goes home straight after work, and this must happen just when he went out for a while… I quickly sent him a text and asked him to hurry to the hospital and hoped he’d find it in time. I confusedly began to browse through the hospital papers and searched for the ‘right’ number. Then it was all a blur how quickly the process went.

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