Welcome to the world my son… George Francis Poole!
George was 6 weeks old on Friday, how time is flying by, sadly!
The first six weeks with George in my life has been wonderful, very relaxing and rewarding.
I named him George after my great grandfather, the father my Nana who is still alive at 97yrs.
Not knowing what I was having made it very hard to know what boys name to choose. I had always had a girls name in my head after hearing about it many years ago when working in Northern England, however a boys name I was not sure on.
Due to having many boys in the family, 3 brothers and 7 nephews, not to mention all my friends and clients babies… there just did not seem to be a name to use that did not relate to one of them! So it came down to family names for me and George was one that no-body had used, even though my Nana has over 40 grandchildren/great grandchildren combined!
When George entered the world on the 14th July, by C-section, I took one look at the pink, healthy, bonny boy and thought – you are a George! But I decided to spend the next 24hrs with him to see if that name suited him.
I had to have a C-section due to surgery I had had 2.5yrs ago and having been part of several natural births, this was new territory for me, in terms of how you felt as a mum to be during that process of delivery. And thanks to my wonderful midwife, mother and the surgery team at Waikato Hospital, despite the quite over-whelming amount of medical procedures that need to occur, it was not that stressful and at times it was quite entertaining.
George has arrived into the world with a very healthy appetite, which for the first 24hrs was very challenging and incredibly painful at times. He was not the sleepy newborn like some are for the first 24rhs, very hungry day 2. He was hungry and wanting to suckle for most of the night and that was hard due to not being able to move and after 8pm, alone due to no means for my mum able to stay and support us.
By day 2 and 3 however, it was easier and George had encouraged my milk to come in enough to satisfy him for the most part! He did not loose any weight in his first week, instead gaining! Those cheeks getting chubbier by the day.
Family and friends support for me in the first few weeks has been incredible, I have my mum, brothers, friends and community giving help and support until that last 10 days when I have been able to drive and look after myself and George without the need for help.
Everyone has been dying to know how I am finding motherhood, how and if it is feeling different from my experience with my work.
Did I feel over-whelmed, or have I found it hard to hear my own baby grizzle or cry?
In the hospital, coming home and even now, I have still a lot of the time felt like I am working! Yes I do feel love for George, but I have felt immense love for so many of the babies whom I was will from birth and who shared a room with me for the first 6-9 weeks of their lives. I have even caught myself saying to George “Auntie Shar” instead of “Mummy”! I have felt like a fraud when calling myself mum!
The best way to explain how I have felt is just ‘normal’! Even though this is a word that I usually hate to use in my job, it is the best way to describe how I am finding my new life… it just feels right, it feels normal and I do not have to think, I just have to ‘do’.
Over and over I think about all the first time mothers out there, those I have helped and those who I hear about who find it so over-whelming. The conflicting advice, the tiredness, the anxiousness about understanding what their babies needs are and adjusting to their new life as mothers, often so vastly different to their previous life.
This is where all those years of working with babies and all those sleepless nights and learning is paying off!
There are a couple of things that are new territory for me, mainly being the emotional hormone changes and now the ability to juggle motherhood and work to enable to me to cover my mortgage and living expenses.
When my mother left after the first week of helping me, I was surprised to feel teary. Always the independent daughter, leaving home at 16 and only ever having spent a few of days with my mother at the most since.
It was an emotion that was not based on anything in particular, just a teary feeling that sprung up when she left and after a wee cry, it was over when a friend gave me a hug and we had a little giggle at my ‘new found emotion’.
For me I am aware of what to look for if those tears continued and the possibility of needing more help and a dear friend who arrived 3 days after mum left, she did a check in and while sipping a cup of tea, checked in and asked how I felt, just letting me know she was there if I did need it!
This is what is so important and what I have done for so many Mum’s over the years and I appreciated it, even though I knew I was fine, it was nice to hear.
Starting back at work now, just part time but even still with George only being 6 weeks old, the need to top up my the income I get from Paid Parental Leave to cover all my expenses is required and so that is a new experience, juggling all on my own!
So as I reflect on my first 6 weeks as a mother, I am very peaceful, very happy, I am feeling very content and daily enjoying that fact that I can ‘do’ as I have done in my job but without giving instruction or explaining ‘why’ this is what I am doing!