I made some lactation cookies yesterday for a friend whom just had a beautiful baby girl, I also laced them with a ridiculous amount of choc chips because, well… why the hell not?!?! It’s her first bub and she is absolutely killing it but as anyone who has already had a baby would know you don’t feel like you’re killing it in that first little bit. It’s a cocktail of emotions, physical torture and having no idea what the hell you’re doing but reading all the things to find out what you’re doing in the small windows when you’re meant to be resting.
We were catching up as part of our first ever little Mother’s Group. Actually, I won’t be calling it that, I’m going to call it a Survival Group. These two girls were my bridesmaids and it’s such an incredible blessing to be able to live and share this part of our lives together because we all know it’s hard AF and can be quite lonely so having people to do it with is pretty damn special. A non-judgey, non-comparative little gang where we can just cheer each other on once a week. Who would have thought that would become my idea of a good time haha!!!
In any case my other gal pal has clearly also had a delightful little baby girl and she too is killing the game (it’s her second bub). Now, clearly I am still waiting for my sweet pea to arrive earth side so technically I’m attending without yet meeting membership requirements BUT oh my lordy has it given me a gentle reminder of what is to come in the weeks that follow birth. Regardless of if it’s your first, second or third baby they are all so different and whilst yes, it is less of a shock the second time around, I also think our brains trick us and we forget. We only remember the highlights reel or something. Maybe we block it out because it falls into traumatic events/time in our lives? Plus, no two babes are ever the same so the training ground you’ve come from is useless on this new and unknown obstacle course you’re now on other than maybe some slight muscle memory.
The babes that have been birthed are both so wonderful yet different, which means they both present different challenges to their Mother’s. They’re different from each other, different to they’re sibling, different to their friends and as Mother’s we struggle with different things each time around or in my case, each new day. Some days the long nights wouldn’t bother me and other days the thought of night fall gave me heart palpitations. It’s pretty crazy how you could be a Mother of five and yet still be blindsided by the arrival of your sixth baby because it presents you with challenges you’ve never been faced with before. That coupled with the hormones, the sleep deprivation and the healing from birth and it may as well be your first time. Our bodies don’t ever know what’s coming or get used to it. How crazy is that???
So why do we tend to only think new mums need help? It seems to me that a Mother every time she births another babe is in need of the same assistance, love and nurturing of a first time mama. In fact maybe they need more help because they have other little ankle biters around the place demanding attention as well. If you know anyone having their “not first” baby please take them a meal, do some washing, check in on them and treat them with the same care and attention you would a first time mum. No matter where you are on the journey it’s a difficult road and community seems to be the only thing that helps. Having your people rally around you and knowing you’re not alone in this even if no one else can do it for you; just feeling supported and like you have a personal cheer squad is the best most uplifting feeling in the world.
I’ve tried to take the time to assist where I can before the arrival of my own little nugget but even that is limited due to the nature of toddler life with Bam, being heavily pregnant and on the vomit wagon still. Once I have the babe I will be even less able to help as I will be in the trenches with the girls. I will say though, knowing you’re not in those trenches alone, knowing that others are right there with you and knowing that other people have climbed their way out before you is a pretty powerful thing.
*Written whilst bouncing on a fit ball hoping that the tightenings of the night just gone turn into surges strong enough to birth a baby*