Tuesday, 1 September 2015

What they don't tell you

As soon as you start announcing you are pregnant there seems to be stages of excitement and levels of information people start to talk to you about. It starts with excitement – then general tips – then birth stories. Everyone seems to be the expert on pregnancy, birth and babies. There are millions of books, websites and blogs. And then there are hospitals, doctors and midwifes. Information is conflicting and it is not about you and your individual situation.

My gorgeous doula!
The best advice I received was to not read books. So I didn’t. I was told to engage a doula. So I did – and it was the best thing I ever did. I started my pregnancy journey talking to an expert on shifting blockages I had around birth-developed with the thanks of all of those horror birth stories, including my own. I read a book on hypno-birthing and was ready. Armed with this base and my doula, I was able to focus on the impending birth. And buying stuff!

In saying I didn’t read books I did read a couple of others – mostly around sleep and settling – cause that was the issue I was having – which really didn’t need to be an issue – I needed to learn to stop trying to controlling the situation and worry about what everyone else would think. They didn’t understand the pressure cooker I was in and that as long as bubs and me had some level of sleep then how that happened was no issue. The books tried to get me to the ‘ideal’ which wasn’t ideal for my situation and my baby. But it took me many tears to understand that.

What they really, truly, failed to tell me along this journey was that once this little bundle was put in my arms I would fall instantly in love. I could lose hours just watching her, enjoying cuddles, bonding together. I will never forget the first day in hospital where I swayed between absolute love for this little person and freaking out that I was now a ‘mother’ and was suddenly in no man’s land – I didn’t even know how to change a nappy!

But I soon became an expert at parenting – particularly when I surrendered and allowed myself to parent from the heart. Well maybe not an expert, because I am always learning.

What this new found love did for me was tear me between wanting to be a great business owner, expand my business in terms of size and location to wanting to create an income that would allow me to spend time with her as she grew and to celebrate her firsts with her and be part of her life – not an absent/convenient parent.

I understand now that this is not new – in fact that thing everyone would say about the pain of labour and birth disappeared once you held them in your arms – true.

I wish I understood this in order to plan my business more for when it met baby – yet I think it is one of those things that you need to experience first hand and in the moment if someone had tried to tell me I would have ignored them and not got it.

So if I could take the knowledge I have now and turn back the time, what would I have planned differently in my business so that I could truly spend time in the moment with my little girl.

I would give myself permission to live in the moment.  I do know, but it was such a slow process- I would have given myself permission to speed it up. I would have learnt mindfulness techniques long before she was born and integrated that into my life. I would not have been so stubborn and made the changes to my business that I needed to sooner. I would have built my support community sooner-reached out and asked friends for help sooner. I would have prepared my business to meet a baby – not just a few weeks after she was born but for all the stages of her development.

Nothing can prepare you for loving your child it is so strong an emotion you cannot explain, even today I get excited at the end of the day when I pick her up from childcare. There is nothing more exciting than a little girls description of what happened in her day and the constant chatter all the way home! The unconditional love, the cuddles nothing compares to that!

What did you find out that no-one could have told you?

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