So, the time has finally come, my maternity leave is over. I’ve enjoyed 42 weeks at home with my darling girl but all good things must come to an end and tomorrow I will be on a train to work for the first time since September 2016.
I really want to mark this moment in my motherhood journey, it feels like a pivotal time, the transition from the sanctuary of maternity leave to the reality of going back to work and I don’t ever want to forget this time. Being at home with my baby has been the best, most rewarding and most challenging time of my life. You are truly never prepared for a baby, everyday is a magical surreal emotional rollercoaster and then it’s bedtime and its so wonderful that you’re excited to wake up and do it all again tomorrow.
I don’t really want to make this a long wordy post, I lot of my maternity leave has been documented in my blog posts and that was the whole point of writing it in the first place. I really just want to celebrate and share some of my favourite memories from the last 9 months.
Centre Parcs at 36 weeks
People thought I was joking when I told them I was going to Centre Parcs for my first week for maternity leave but it was my Mum’s 60th ceebrations in advance of her actual birthday and had been booked for a year. I was so lucky to have an amazingly easy pregnancy and actually I felt almost super human whilst pregnant. Nothing was a struggle and I felt like I could do anything, obviously I didn’t do anything that wouldn’t be recommended but I definitely didn’t feel like being heavily pregnant was a burden on the trip.
It was so lovely to see family too, enjoying some relaxation and fresh air.
The big day
Our little 6lb 12oz baby girl came into the world at 11.33pm on Saturday 15th October, 5 days early by emergency C-section. My heart was suddenly bursting at the seams with love and joy and sheer happiness that our baby was here in our arms. After two nights in hospital we were allowed home on Monday to the reality of life with a new born. My amazing husband was with me every single step of the way and I’m so grateful that he was able to come with me to theatre of the surgery. Even though he didn’t look (I don’t blame him) he was present in the room for the birth of his first child. He heard her first cries and he was the first to hold her.
Life with a new born
Not going to lie, this shit was hard. I was really struggling from my surgery, breastfeeding was a nightmare and I cried a lot. Those early few weeks are the hardest but you get through it fuelled by the love you have for your little person and the need to care for them more than anything else in the world.
As the first my friends to have a baby I was so desperate to meet other mums and make some friends. I’m so grateful to the amazing parenting community on Instagram and I have made some amazing new friends online and from baby groups. You can literally never have too many mummy friends.
I’m so lucky that my parents live close enough to be able to see Amelia whenever they want to and we try to meet up at least every 2 weeks but it’s normally every week. It’s been so lovely to see them building a relationship with her and she just adores them. Her smiles and giggles are endless and she is absolutely doted on. She is one lucky little girl.
My favourite time of day is when my husband gets home from work, Amelia is always so excited to see him that her arms and legs wave uncontrollably and she falls over. She crawls away as fast as she can to meet him at the door and squeals with delight at everything he does. Just watching them together makes me feel like my heart might explode.
I’ve been so incredibly lucky to see Amelia reach so many milestones before returning to work. So far she; has two teeth, can sit up, crawl, stand with support and walk with assistance, she’s learnt to say Baba, Mama and sometimes we get a clear Dada. She also sounds like she says Hiya and Bye but she’s still working on it, she’s mastered waving and we’re working on clapping. She’s been enjoying her food and is doing really well, there’s not much she doesn’t like and she absolutely loves her sleep. She has been the best baby for sleeping, straight through the night from 12 weeks old and she’ll happily nap for hours during the day given the chance. She’s had her first little hair cut at home too but she wasn’t very keen on that.
We’ve celebrated her Nana’s 60th birthday, her first Christmas and New Year, my first Mother’s Day and hubby’s first Father’s Day.
Maternity leave is the most amazing time, it’s time to bond and love and grow, a time for friends and family and fun and learning, a time for learning to do everything one handed, learning to clear up the most almighty poop, for learning that having a child is the most wondrous thing you could ever do in your life.
It’s hard bloody work, sometimes it’s lonely, sometimes it’s exhausting but most of the time it’s pure unfiltered joy.
People always ask me, “are you looking forward to going back to work” and of course the answer is no, I would spend every waking minute with her (and sleeping minutes too) if I could but I know that I can’t. I have to return to work for financial reasons but also because I need to be me. I need adult interaction, I need to wear smart clothes and do grown up things that don’t involve bottles or nappy bags. Amelia needs to go to nursery because it will be so good for her, to help her learn and socialise, to help her adjust into an incredible little girl who’s smart and independent and ready to take on the world.
So for those reasons, I am starting to looking forward to going back to work, I’m going to miss her like crazy, I’m probably going to spend at least a week crying about it every time I drop her at nursery but I’m going to remember that everything we do is for her and our family time will be all the more special.
Thank you to everyone who has visited us, spent time with Amelia, invested in her and been apart of her life so far. I’m so grateful to every one of you for making my maternity leave the best 9 months I could have hoped for.