On February 14th 2019, sat hunched over on the toilet, with my partner sat just opposite me on the floor, we read one word that changed our lives.
Every day since then has been an incredible journey.
We had taken two home bargains brand pregnancy test (got to start with the cheap ones first!) and there was two faint lines on each test. They were so faint we decided we should take another, just to be sure. So I sent my partner off to Morrison’s, to spend the money we had put aside for our date night, and he returned with three more pregnancy tests!
Five tests later and we were 100% sure we were pregnant.
In 2018-2019, I had started my first year of university, I moved to Leeds and began my student life. By Christmas 2018 I knew that university wasn’t the place for me. I had made great friends and some even greater memories but it didn’t feel right. So I was planning to complete my first year of university and then leave. Finding out I was pregnant was both the best news and the scariest news of my life.
All my life I had known that I would love to have children, but I had fluctuated between wanting children and not. But I had met my match in Dan, my partner. I knew he was who I was meant to be with.
Let’s fast forward to October 2019. I had left university back in March 2019 and turned 19 on the 1st August 2019. I was about to become a young mother.
October 2nd was my due date and now we’re at October 5th. The baby nowhere in sight and having had a membrane sweep the day before… I was getting fed up of all the backache and rib kicking.
Feeling like there would never be an end, we wandered off through Stannington, Bradfield. We decided to delve into the local delicacy to take our mind off things… we went to ‘Our Cow Molly’ for some delicious ice cream.
THE BIG EVENT
At approximately 5am I woke to a waterfall gushing through the bed. I genuinely thought for a moment I had just wet the bed (yes that’s something that can happen when pregnant!) My waters had just broken. I wasn’t experiencing any contractions or labour pains yet (it can be 72 hours until you actually go into labour).
I woke up Dan and we rang my mum to take us the hospital.
After what felt like years, we were leaving the hospital. It was 8.30am, my contractions were 4 minutes apart but generally speaking, there was no sign of baby. We still go home and I’m in agony the whole way home.
Pain, screams and tears… this went on for hours. The time seemed to be in slow-motion.
Oh-no. The contractions were hitting me hard at this point and I realised… I was ready to push. At home. With no medical help. In the midst of this great ordeal, the ambulance arrived… I was so pleased!
Not long after, he was here. My baby had arrived, it was so surreal. The 6th October 2019 at 12.36pm… Freddie Eden came bounding into our lives, our hearts were so full.
I had no pain relief and largely got through it by clutching onto the people near to me… sorry Mum, sorry Dan!
It’s safe to say that the mattress was ruined.
WHAT THEY DON’T TELL YOU
Whilst being a new mum has that beautiful bliss… it also has its hardships.
The nipple pain, backache, the heavy bleeding… but something I was never quite aware of before having my baby was the judgement.
I don’t drive, I planned on getting all out of the way when uni was finished… unfortunately, life took a different route for me.
Taking Freddie on a bus was quite hard, there were stares, uncomfortable comments and occasionally even outbursts from other passengers. One particular outburst was rather… scarring.
Freddie was only a few months old and we were on the bus journeying home. He was rather upset laid in his pram, hungry, fed up and wanting a nap… it’s a hard life being a baby!
He began to cry. I took him from his pram and cuddled him, hushing him and trying to calm him down.
What happened next shook me to the core. An elderly woman shouted out “shove a dummy in it.” Her first comment felt harsh but then she cried out again “these young mums who have these children and can’t even take care of them.” The remarks kept on flowing, I was horrified. It was purposeful, with intent, she intended to embarrass me.
This was one of the first experiences of this kind that I’d had. I didn’t know how to react so I just sat there cuddling my baby, trying so hard to keep it together. Mums everywhere will tell you that putting your emotions back into normality can be difficult after having a baby… so this had me hanging over tipping point.
Another woman stood up for me and put the lady in her place but it was just such a horrific incident that my anxiety has been horrendous ever since, especially on public transport. I have been the pit of many jokes and unfortunately the incident is not uncommon. Over time I have grown harder skin and a sharper tongue to nip it in the bud.
The judgement that other people have for young mothers is disgusting. It is unwarranted and incredibly disrespectful. However, with all this negativity I feel it is important to say, there is nothing more precious to a mum than a connection with her children, no matter how young she may be.
THE REWARDS OF MOTHERHOOD
Enough of the negatives! It’s always best to end on a positive!
It has been incredible to watch my baby grow up, to see his first two Christmas’, his first birthday… I watch him as he learns new skills daily.
It truly is the little things that matter when you’re in love. Seeing him learn to point, press buttons and develop fine motor skills is incredible. They learn so much every day. But one of the most positive experiences of becoming a young mum is watching your friends and family fall in love with your baby, to see them accept and adore this tiny human.
My best friend, Leana, has practically adopted Freddie as her own, she’s the cool aunt that every child needs to grow up with. I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful for how my friends and family have accepted such a change. They’ve made us all feel loved.
Now I’m going to end with just a few things I wish I had known when becoming a mum.
- Take pictures when pregnant and in labour, make sure someone captures every precious moment, especially the birth. With my labour being only six and a half hours I didn’t get a single photograph of the birth and my first picture with Freddie and myself was not taken until 3 hours after his birth. It is my biggest regret.
- Listen to the advice people give you but you do not have to follow it. People like to give you advice they feel is helpful but that doesn’t mean you have to take it on board. It is your family.
- Your body will change and it might not go back to how it was before, but you just need to learn to embrace it because it is a part of motherhood.
- Enjoy every moment, even the crying because you’ll look back in a year and those moments will be dearly missed. So if you can, enjoy and video any and every moment.
From your Yummy Mummy,