Helen Fox, who has recently re-joined the Life Matters® team, shares her experience of being a new mum, for our #standupformums series.
In November 2018 I embarked on the most hard but beautifully rewarding journey of my life. I became a first-time mum on 19 November 2018 when my husband and I welcomed our son into the world. I had no idea of the adventure that would await me. I felt anxious and nervous yet immensely excited to raise this new life and figure out the paths of parenthood.
The first weeks
My first weeks were like an incredible whirlwind of tiredness, contentment and love. I was still finding my feet and wondering when the longer sleeps would happen!! Then at just four and a half weeks into my motherhood journey, the tiredness and thoughts of, “am I changing or holding or feeding my baby right?”, suddenly dissolved into insignificance and changed into emotions of panic, fear and heart gripping worry.
My son was admitted to hospital and we were told he needed surgery to enable him to feed and digest properly. I look back now and know there are many more families who go through so much worse with their babies who have far more complex medical needs. But in that moment, I felt like my entire world was being rocked and I didn’t know how I could find my feet and get through it.
An immense sense of strength
After the tears, the “what if’s” and the “why’s”… I took one look at my baby laying in a hospital cot, wired up to feeding tubes and cannulas and suddenly felt an immense sense of strength. Strength that I never knew I had to an overwhelming extent. I knew that no matter how many times we get knocked down, when I feel like I’m running on empty from lack of sleep or have one of those crazy parent days, I will always get up and give all I have, in any way I can! For my little boy gave me one of the greatest gifts – the title of Mum.
My first year
My first year as a mum is almost upon me and I am so grateful to all the people who have supported me in my journey of motherhood so far. First and foremost, my partner in life and love; my husband.
Watching the person you married become a Dad and spend their time playing, bonding and loving your baby is one of the most beautiful things to witness. My sons’ grandparents are heroes without capes! Without fail they are there whenever we need them, and they give a whole other level of love to their grandchild.
Our wider family and friends who have offered to spend time with, look after and care for my son are amazing beings, who have brought so much laughter and happiness to us and have definitely helped my eye bags ease up!
Alongside this I have grown up in a town which in my experience has been so helpful towards me in both my pregnancy and life as a new mum. Whether that be holding doors open for me, offering seats on public transport, stopping to say hello and asking about my bump/ baby or simply bringing coffee over to my table so I didn’t have to juggle the pram, bags and a tray of coffee!
I feel incredibly lucky to have had the best support system around me and family. It is so important to #standupformums because motherhood is wonderfully amazing. At times it can equally be incredibly tough and exhausting. Therefore, we need to support and be there for mums in the fun, exciting and happy times as well as the harder, more stressful and anxious times.
I know that not everyone has the same support structure as I did, available to them. If you feel like you don’t have anyone you could turn to for support, remember Life is always here for you to help and support you in any way we can. Together we stand for Mums!