Eva-Beatrix born: 21st August 2010
Weight: 2840g 6lb 4oz
Head circumference: 32cm
Length: 49 cm
Gender: I knew at the second scan it would be a girl – had 3 as she was being awkward of course) and that was eight years ago today!
She is the incredible gift who gave me my cherished title of ‘mother.’
She brought me to life in a way I couldn’t imagine. Brought the family together like I never expected. Strength I wasn’t aware of. Maturity I believed never existed. I was alone but I did have my family – for scans, appointments and for everything after. At 19 my father and I didn’t get on but so much had happened in my teenage years that looking back I’m amazed at the power we had to pull through, at 20 I became pregnant but at 21 my father did become the only (and ever since) the only consistent man in her life.
This child is who taught me how to be less selfish, to love another and to survive a bully. I don’t regret ever having her – yes I regret the parentage – but never having her.
Eva-Beatrix will be eight this year, soley always mine.
She and I have been partners in this since the moment I saw those little pink lines appear. We’ve navigated baby challenges like blow out nappies, having a single mother and sleepless nights and now we’re navigating eight-year-old challenges like understanding the importance of learning, big school and having not one but two siblings!
I had lived with my sister in a grotty two bed house with my twin sister then we moved to a beautiful maisonette which sadly in the end just wasn’t suitable and during that time my partner became her father, however, four years later that all changed but by that time I was living in a lovely three bed rented house with my two children, still live here now it’s become home, in fact it was the first house my daughter came back to as it’s owned by family.
Becoming a mum for the first time is a dramatic shift in any woman’s life, bringing with it a whole host of new and often overwhelming emotions. First, it’s not just you anymore: there’s an entirely new tiny human being to care for, who requires devoted one-on-one attention and love. Second, your body is fraught with some pretty crazy hormonal changes, which can impact how you think and feel about everything and you start crying all the time, even when you’re really happy or just terrified.
I didn’t gain any weight with her although I did have eating issues during my time with her as the strain of lots of things took its toll. Unfortunately even at 8 months pregnant people weren’t aware of my pregnancy minus friends and family as I wasn’t allowed to share the news – trust me I learnt alot who was even a friend and what love actually meant. I would rather not slander but it’s hard to state the obvious that the father had abandoned – yet we prevail as that’s what humans do – we make mistakes but prevail.
I was over due by 4 days and labour pains began on the 19th August established labour took two days but actual established labour 4 hours 21 minutes and duration of third stage 7 minutes, sadly, she contracted Strep B which for a first time single parent who had vaginal tears inside out was an emotional pit of hell to which no one expected although these things happen; was in hospital a week on antibiotics.
I’m so very grateful my mother was there to follow up as I feel without her input it would’ve been ignored or worse just neglected. I had suffered post natal depression after which I can only describe as a giant black hole yet at 6 months post partum the cloud cleared I felt stronger.
My advice on first time parents:
Getting Help After the Birth
Consider getting help during this time, which can be very hectic and overwhelming. While in the hospital, talk to the experts around you. Many hospitals have feeding specialists or lactation consultants who can help you get started nursing or bottle-feeding. Nurses also are a great resource to show you how to hold, burp, change, and care for your baby.
Relatives and friends often want to help too. Even if you disagree on certain things, don’t dismiss their experience. But if you don’t feel up to having guests or you have other concerns, don’t feel guilty about placing restrictions on visitors.
Handling a Newborn
If you haven’t spent a lot of time around newborns, their fragility may be intimidating. Here are a few basics to remember:
- Wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before handling your baby – newborns don’t have a strong immune system yet, so they’re at risk for infection. Make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.
- Support your baby’s head and neck – cradle the head when carrying your baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.
- Never shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration – shaking can cause bleeding in the brain and even death. If you need to wake your infant, don’t do it by shaking — instead, tickle your baby’s feet or blow gently on a cheek.
- Make sure your baby is securely fastened into the carrier, stroller, or car seat – limit any activity that could be too rough or bouncy.
- Remember that your newborn is not ready for rough play – such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air.
Bonding and Soothing
Bonding is one of the most pleasurable parts of infant care, happens during the sensitive time in the first hours and days after birth when parents make a deep connection with their infant. Physical closeness can promote an emotional connection.
For infants, the attachment contributes to their emotional growth, which also affects their development in other areas, such as physical growth.
Another way to think of bonding is “falling in love” with your baby. Children thrive from having a parent or other adult in their life who loves them unconditionally. Begin bonding by cradling your baby and gently stroking him or her in different patterns.
Both you or partner can also take the opportunity to be skin to skin which is holding your newborn against your own skin while feeding or cradling – personally I love this.
Many books and videos cover infant massage ask your Health Visitor or GP for recommendations. Be careful, however, babies are not as strong as adults, so massage your baby gently.
Babies usually love vocal sounds, such as talking, babbling, singing, and cooing. Your baby will probably also love listening to music. Baby rattles and musical mobiles are other good ways to stimulate your infant’s hearing. If your little one is being fussy, try singing, reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, or reading aloud as you sway or rock your baby gently in a chair.
Some babies can be unusually sensitive to touch, light, or sound, and might startle and cry easily, sleep less than expected, or turn their faces away when someone speaks or sings to them. If that’s the case with your baby, keep noise and light levels low to moderate.
Video quality terrible as nearly 8 years ago – I had a terrible camera phone!
As a newborn.
Her crafts when she was younger and shes amazing with reading and writing.
She’s awesome at YouTubes too!
Sometimes my own insecurities and unrealistic expectations of me overflow on her and I hope she knows, when she wonders if she is doing it wrong, if she’s not getting it all right that she is doing just fine. I see it in her eyes when she worries about tests at school or when I come down on her to harshly for small things but I’ve done well. She’s doing well.
I’m not quite sure how time has passed so quickly. So quickly in fact, that I am now preparing to give birth to my third child when I feel like I just had you.
Some days it feels like I found out I was pregnant with you! Pregnant for the first time ever just days ago, not years ago. But then again, it feels like you’ve been around forever. That you’ve always been by my side.
The cool thing about being a mum of multiple children is that you have a special bond with each of your children. Part of what makes our relationship so exceptional is that she was my first.
No matter how our world changes she will always be my first and we’ll love another together, I’ve had two more children and she loves her siblings and we’ll grow together. I’m excited to see what the future holds and she’ll grow up one day and I’ll have to let her go spread your wings just like children are meant to.
Until then, I hope the days slow down a bit, but if they don’t, I’ll never forget that she was the one who made me a mum.
Happy eighth birthday .