Things That Weren't As I Expected

I blogged a fair bit during pregnancy. I had very clear ideas about the type of birth experience that I wanted, and the sort of Mother I was going to be second time around. Some of it, I'm unsurprised to report, has been spot on. However, as is generally the way with life, there have been things that have struck me by surprise, despite the fact that Quinn isn't my first baby. 
 
Actually, having already had Seb is the root cause of most of the surprises, as Quinn has turned out to be a very different kind of baby.
 
I'm sure there are way way more unexpected turns in my parenting journey to come, not to mention plenty that I haven't thought of to include in this blog post, but here are at least a few of the bits that haven't gone strictly as I foresaw them going.
 
 
Homebirth - Ok, my birth experience was actually a whole lot better than I expected. However, I had in mind that it would be this gentle, serene experience, where I'd be silently "in the zone" and everyone would be sat about by candlelight, as I drifted through contractions for hours on end. I ended up giving birth about an hour after my waters broke, and my labour was ridiculously intense and full-on. There were no candles, no calming birthing music, no chanting... just some insane out of body experience on my bedroom floor. 
 
Breastfeeding - This did not go to plan. I mean, for one, I was knowledgable on breastfeeding (I thought), and I knew that it was absolutely supposed to be a painless experience, unless my latch was wrong. So if it did hurt, I'd just get the latch sorted out then it would be totally cool. Except, you know, Quinn was born with a significant tongue tie and silent reflux. I ended up with cracked, bleeding, scabby nipples and had to feed with nipple shields. I have suffered with multiple bouts of mastitis, blocked ducts, blisters, thrush and vasospasm. I didn't realise it could be this hard. Saying that, I also didn't realise it could be this rewarding and I never in a million years expected to become as passionate about breastfeeding as I am.
 
Return to Work - Being self-employed (from home) I expected to be back to writing within weeks of baby's birth, and by now I definitely expected to be working at pretty much full capacity. The reality is that a) I've chosen to follow and entirely different career path, which I hadn't even entertained this time last year, and b) I don't have a huge amount of time for freelance work, actually, I have no time for freelance work. Quinn is a thousand times more time consuming than Seb ever was, and the fact that I've fully embraced the idea of "attachment parenting" makes it difficult to also accept a particularly strong work ethic. 
 
Siblings - I didn't give that much thought about how the baby would fit in to a family with three existing children whilst I was pregnant. It wasn't that I didn't care, just that, the baby, and the three boys, had no real choice in the matter and I accepted that what would be, would be. I totally wasn't prepared for how much they'd all fall in love with one another. I worried whether Seb would feel someone abandoned when a new baby arrived, but if he does, he doesn't show it. He's always far more excited to see  his sister first thing in the morning and when he comes out of school, than he is to see me. He, and the older two, absolutely dote on her, and it's so heart warming to see her fond reactions to them all too. 
 
Money - I thought we'd really struggle financially once the baby arrived, and don't get me wrong, we live on a seriously minimal budget - but we do live. I actually stress less about money now than I did pre-baby, and I think it's because I've really found my groove and got into a certain mind set of living with very very little. We can't afford many luxuries, and what we perceive as luxuries may seem trivial to other people, but I do feel as though I've found a thrifty balance now that Quinn's here. I know that we're saving heaps of money by using cloth nappies and breastfeeding, so that helps!
 
Body - Not gon' lie - I kind of thought I'd be back to my pre-pregnancy figure by now. That was probably really unrealistic, but before pregnancy I ate so so healthily, and whilst I relaxed my diet a bit when I was pregnant, I remained really active. I thought I'd be doing so much yoga post-baby, but realistically, I carry Quinn for most of the hours of a day, and the chances of me getting 30-60 minutes to myself to do yoga are slim. Breastfeeding hasn't been the magical weight loss trick that I wanted it to be either, it's just given me a serious sweet tooth which hasn't helped matters at all! I was a size 6-8 when I fell pregnant, which, retrospectively, is very very small on my frame. I'm now a size 10-12, which I should probably be more than happy with, dropping another dress size wouldn't be too shabby, but I'm lucky to have a boyfriend who loves me and (so he says) fancies the pants off of me regardless, and I probably will shed a few more lbs, even if I'm never back in that bikini!
 
I'd love to hear from other Mums (or Dads!) about how the reality of parenthood has differed from the dream! I could add quite a few more to this list myself!
 
 

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