Babies in the air! Everyone is either announcing pregnancies or counting the weeks until their special arrival! This is bringing back so many memories of when I had my little boys, it was about this time of year I found out I was expecting with both. So with this in mind thought I’d share with you all my story with being a young mum, the struggles we had and what we made it through. Grab a cuppa (and your favourite snack) and enjoy. I also apology for the length of this blog, I got carried away 🙈
So in April 2010, I was 18, I had just started a new job, I was very excited for a bigger income and more challenges with my learning. I was working as a childcare assistant and was planning to train towards my level 3 nvq. In the June I found out I was expecting, I felt overwhelmed with nerves and excitement. When I told Ryan, he was so excited to become a dad and he supported me in every decision and emotion. When I finally got enough courage too tell the family about our exciting news, I was extremely nervous. It did not quite go how I was expecting as we got mixed reactions. Some people were so happy for us, offering us support and spoke to us about what too expect and making sure we were prepared. Some members were not very happy at all and were concerned I was making a mistake, saying that Ryan would not stick around. I understood their worries but wished they would of supported the decision that I had made.
It was quite hard for me and Ryan to set up for our new family as we lived between 2 different houses, my parents and ryans mums flat. It was quite cramped in both places for the both of us. We did not feel comfortable anywhere, but the problem we had was that we did not have enough money to get a deposit together. Over the next few months, we slowly got things together for our baby with the help of some family and we were set for the arrival of Christopher-James. We were so excited too be expecting a baby boy and we had a name straight away.
In January I was told Cj was breach and his head was stuck under my rib. I was in quite a lot of discomfort with this and I was not sleeping well. We were in a single bed at my mums and on a sofa bed at ryans mums so that did not help either. Thankfully when I went in hospital for him to be turned in my stomach he had already done it that day, I was so relieved!
In February Cj was born weighing 6lb6oz. Ryan was so good counting and timing my contractions making sure I had eaten and was drinking enough so I had energy. He was my rock going through all that pain. When Cj arrived we had to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring but was discharged the next day. I remember laying in the hospital just staring at Cj feeling so proud that we had gotten through everything and I had him in my arms but also thinking that I was not sure where our home was, where we were going to go home too and where we were going to have our first night all together.
Our first week home was very stressful and overwhelming. It was not because we had a newborn baby, but because we did not have our own space too bond properly. We had so many visitors all through the day that turned up unannounced. We could not turn people away as it was not our home to do so, which meant we could not just relax. All I wanted to do was cuddle up with Ryan and Cj and talk about everything or just staring at our gorgeous little boy whilst he slept. But someone was always wanting to hold him or feed him, but we always got the changing the dirty nappy bit, which of course I did not mind as I was trying to fight for time with our son.
As the weeks went on it was taking its toll on me and Ryan. We needed our own home so we were desperately looking to find somewhere. We were very lucky we had the support from the council and they gave us a loan for a deposit to move into our flat (which we quickly paid off). We moved into a 2 bedroom place in Brighton. It was in awful condition and was so expensive but it was immediately available and we needed it more than wanted it.
Cj was now 5 weeks old and I still did not have a proper bond with him. I ended up being told I had postnatal depression. I did not want tell anyone about it as I felt so embarrassed. Ryan first noticed the signs and told me I should talk to someone about how I was feeling. I’m not sure if this was just coincidence that I got this or if I just did not have enough time to bond with my baby boy. It was horrible and I could not control it. I would cry all the time and felt so lonely even though I had so many people around me. I would stare at Cj and not really feel an overwhelming amount of love, I loved him of course but not like people said I should feel. I love him so much now and we are the best of friends, but at the time I just didn’t know how too.
Eventually as time went on we got into a lovely routine and me and cj had a fantastic bond with the help of Ryan supporting me through everything I was going through. Thankfully the people who doubted finally did come around, but I wish it was sooner as the emotional support I needed in the beginning was not there. Ryan stuck by me through everything I went through and did everything he could for me.
After 11 months of staying in Brighton we decided to move to Lancing, which I felt was a big move but I needed a fresh start and fresh surroundings. We moved in to a lovely 2 bedroom flat near the beach. It was so cosy and clean and just felt like home. Finally we felt like we had somewhere to be proud of. We created such a close family bond and I was in such a good place with life.
When Cj turned 1, Ryan and I decided we would try for another baby. We wanted them close in age so they would be good friends growing up. At the end of May we found out we were expecting again. This time we kept it to ourselves until nearly 3 months. I was worried about the reaction from certain people as it was not a nice experience the first time round, but too my surprise everyone was happy for us. It was such a relief and made it a much more exciting experience for us as a family. I had a rough pregnancy this time round tho as George was measuring 3 weeks behind. I also had bleeding, reduced movements and we were warned he would be premature. Thankfully he made it full term and was a very healthy weighing 7lb5oz. We were over the moon. Our biggest concern was introducing Cj to his baby brother. Cj was great tho. He was so caring and gentle from the moment he saw him. They now have a amazing bond and are the best of friends.
Again after we had George, Ryan noticed I was starting to show signs of depression again. I could feel it too, even though I had a close bond. Some days I felt I could run away and not look back, It felt like everything was getting too much for me. I sort help straight away and was diagnosed with post natal depression and anxiety. The doctor prescribed me medication but I did not take it, instead I spoke to a helpline that specialised in that area and just made time for myself to relax and unwind. This helped so much and the support again from Ryan was amazing! I’m not sure how I would of got through it all without him. He was the only person I could really talk to about how I was feeling and know he was not judging me.
So right now we are living back in Brighton and I have a great bond with both my boys, they are my world.
For all you mums out there, no matter what age you are, childbirth will be the hardest thing you will ever have to do but it will also be the most rewarding. Stay strong, fight through the hard times and enjoy the good times.