Nobody told me…

That you will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. That your boobs will be forever pointing down. Down Boobs will be their new name. That you will never wee alone unless you have planned it, like some covert operation. That even though your yoga teacher or some other birth ‘guru’ told you that your ‘baby is the perfect size for your body,’ your vagina will still split all the way to your arse hole and look more like a cross stitch project, than your previous well groomed lady garden. That your nipples will be so red raw, that you will develop an irrational resentment towards your husband for not being able to lactate. That you will never drink a truly hot beverage again. That your hair will fall out (nightmare). That your period will come back (bigger nightmare). That the chub rub between your thighs will continue to be the ruiner of all Summer dresses and hot days for months (years) after you have given birth. That cycling shorts will save you. That you will now have to bath with 46 rubber ducks and a plastic boat. That you may never bath again. That your sofa will never be clean. That you will no longer think Mr Tumble is a weirdo and that you would actually quite like him to come and live in your house. That Happy Meals and Fruit Shoots are ok and that you needn’t have been such a judgey dick before you had even had kids. That you will forgive yourself for being a judgey dick. That you will never reach the bottom of the wash bin, NEVER, don’t even try. That you will smell like a milky armpit for at least twelve months and that you will probably be ok with this. That one night they will sleep through, but then you will wake them because you got scared. That you will trade your handbag for a nappy bag or a Bag for Life. That at some point you will get actual human shit on your face and someone else’s sick in your pants. That you will have your favourite shows on CBeebies, and you will be excited when they come on. That you will never be on time again. That you will know every word to their favourite book. That you will cry and scream because you are broken and you cannot get up one more time. That you will sit up all night stroking their head because they’re too sick or too tired or too emotional or just too toddler. That you will wish and dream for a moment alone but when they go you will long for their return. That your heart will be so full it could burst. That you will cry when you find the smallest sock that no longer fits. That your exhaustion, frustration and the absolute chaos can be forgotten with a smile, a word or a cuddle. That you will burst with pride at the smallest change and your heart will swell to see them grow. That you will miss those first few weeks. That you will lose some friends but gain the world. That you will change in ways that terrify you but you will like it. That you will achieve things that you never thought possible.

That it will all be worth it.

It is not all shit

I feel that it is really important to talk about our mental health. When I write I try to make sure that my posts are real and honest, because it is fucking hard. I often think that anything worth having is hard, this is definitely true with raising a family.

I aim to raise awareness of the importance of our mental health. My own mental health is more important to me than anything else in my life. If it is not good my husband suffers, my children suffer, my friends suffer, the dog definitely suffers, but most importantly I suffer. As far as my mind is concerned I need to be at the top of my game. I neglected my mental health for so many years and it destroyed me. It has taken me thirty three years to realise this and after my recent diagnosis of Autism, I feel that everything is slowly falling into place.

For me it is important to talk and reach out and normalise difficulties when it comes to coping with my mental health. If I broke my leg I would not feel ashamed to go to A&E, if I had a chest infection I would not be ashamed to visit my GP and this is how I am learning to be for my mental health too. However, dealing with any form of mental illness and anxiety may make this incredibly difficult for many people, so I talk about how hard things are because I want others to see that it is ok for stuff to be really tough sometimes. It does not mean that it is hard all the time, a lot of the time it is absolutely Bobby Dazzler, but for me it is important to acknowledge that sometimes things are tough and look for healthy ways to deal with this.

I LOVE my life, my family, my home but I want to normalise the tough times as much as the wonderful times. I want my smiling family photos to be followed by stories of sleepless crap, toddler tantrums and days where the only thing that I have consumed has been eight cans of Diet Coke and a Mars Bar.

For me life is about owning those challenges and difficult times and focusing on ways to make it better for next time. Nothing is perfect, but not everything is shit.

Here we are today after 3 coffees, 2 diet cokes, 1 brew and 2 pieces of cake 🤣

Hospital Birth Plan

This is my hospital birth plan, I handed it to the midwife on admission to the hospital. Had I been more prepared and gone into labour on time, I would have emailed it to my community midwife so that they had a copy before hand.

I hope it may be of use to someone else.

Birth Plan

ADDITIONAL NEEDS

I am Autistic and would request that the minimum amount of people are in the room as much as possible during labour. I would politely request that no students are to be in the room during labour for this reason.

I have sensory needs and difficulties and for this reason I ask for people to remain as quiet as possible and communicate through my birth partner please. I also request that artificial lights are dim or off during labour but that natural light is available at all times.

BIRTH PARTNER

My birth partner is my husband Will, he will be with me throughout the whole birth and we have written this birth plan together.

INTERVENTIONS

If their are any concerns regarding the progress of the birth or feel that intervention is needed at any point please can you speak with Will first rather than myself.

Please could you allow us some time alone to discuss any suggested interventions before they take place.

With regards to intervention in a NON EMERGENCY situation please can the following be discussed before anything is agreed to

Benefits – what are the benefits to going ahead with this decision?

Risks – What risks are associated with this decision or procedure?

Alternatives – What alternatives are available in this situation? What alternatives are there that might not be available here but might be available elsewhere?

Intuition – What does your gut tell you?

Next or Nothing – What comes next if we say yes? What if we say no and let things progress naturally?

If I require an assisted birth or an emergency procedure I would like Will to stay with me at all times.

POSITIONS

I would like to remain upright and as active as possible for as long as possible. I would like to be on all fours for the actual birth and not squatting. I would like to lie down as little as possible.

PAIN RELIEF

I would like to try to avoid all pain relief for as long as possible. I would like to try and avoid gas and air too but I may change my mind about this. I would like to use the pool during the final stages of labour and not before.

SPEEDING UP LABOUR

I do not want any interventions to speed up labour, I would like to wait and see what happens naturally.

MONITORING HEART RATE

I would like intermittent monitoring with a hand held device.

THIRD STAGE

I would like a natural third stage without drugs. I would also like delayed cord clamping and to be able to birth the placenta naturally.

SKIN TO SKIN/FEEDING

I would like baby to be placed directly on to my tummy straight after birth.

I will be breast feeding my baby and do not wish for them to have any formula at all.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our birth plan

Lucy and Will

The Breast-Laid Plans

I absolutely love a plan. It does not necessarily have to be my plan, I am happy to go along with anyone’s plan really, I’m not a control freak I just like to know what’s going on. 

Cass is not into my plans and he makes this known. The uncertainty of parenthood is something that I’m still trying to get my head around, I just don’t know what’s coming next and I found this so hard in the beginning.

My birth plan had some, let’s say, last minute adjustments, as did our sleeping arrangements and my plans for introducing food didn’t go too well either. One thing I thought I was sure of though was breast feeding. 

I found breast feeding tough. Initially, it was the pain. I was in so much pain I ended up exclusively pumping at three weeks. At five weeks though the pain eased and we got into the swing of things. It has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions and at times so tough. I thought I knew what I was doing but again, it was in no way like I imagined. I was very lucky I received a lot of support from the midwives at the Salford Birth Centre and at a local feeding group. Not many women have this, no matter how they choose to feed their child.


I had planned to feed Cass until he was two. I thought that this was a done deal, babies love milk and I thought it would be me who may eventually crack and have to change the plan. A couple of weeks before Cass turned one he started to lose interest when being fed, he was easily distracted and began to push me away. I initially thought it may have been his teeth coming through or the heat, but as the days went on I noticed he wasn’t really taking any milk apart from first thing in the morning, when he was really hungry.

Shortly after Cass’s 1st birthday I made the decision to stop feeding him breast milk. At the time I thought ‘Cass is ready, I am ready.’ I had given it 100% for a year. I thought I’d be celebrating. I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be, it was really tough. My hormones were all over the place, my supply went into over drive I ended up getting mastitis pretty badly. It was so painful and the only advice I could find was to feed or pump through it. 
I couldn’t feed Cass, I didn’t want to confuse him by making him take the milk just to ease my discomfort. Every time I pumped I could feel my milk come in and it was making it worse. I ended up on a course of antibiotics and tried to hand pump a small amount every couple of hours and eventually it died down. 


Cass on the other hand was totally ready. I had prepared myself for screaming and crying at bedtime and tantrums through out the day. I thought he would struggle and we would just go back to feeding. But no, he’s not even asked. I thought co-sleeping would definitely cause us problems too, but if anything he’s actually sleeping (a bit) better. At last. 

I do feel that stopping breast feeding so abruptly has a huge affect on your mental heath. My hormones were all over the place and I genuinely struggled. I think more women should be made aware if this. Mothers who choose not to breast feed at any point after labour must be going through these emotions, this on top of everything else is really tough and no one makes new mothers aware of it. 

I try to not worry about the planning anymore. I’m just getting through one day at a time and enjoying every moment. I’ll waste my life away planning for things that may never come, it feels so liberating to just let go.