29.9.11

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I've had a few things on my mind recently. I started writing the draft of this post a couple of weeks ago after reading Claudia's post at her lovely blog Aux petits oiseaux, which talked about childbirth and how women can set themselves up for disappointment and feelings of inadequacy if their birth doesn't go as 'naturally' as planned. It got me thinking, not only about my own birth experience, but about many aspects of parenting and the standards or expectations that are often associated with raising children.

Emily's post yesterday at The Beetle Shack might have been intended as a short and sweet 'tell it how it is' post about the food she prepares for her children, but it struck me on a much deeper level. The  lighthearted 'confession' about shopping at big supermarkets and buying what's affordable over buying organic food or feeding her children home grown produce really resonated with me... and it cemented my train of thought that had spawned from Claudia's childbirth discussion.

Don't get me wrong, I love reading about empowering, calm, natural birth experiences. I found them so inspiring throughout my pregnancy, and I still enjoy reading them now...

...but what if yours wasn't like that? What if yours was the one where everything went off course? What if it wasn't empowering, but deflated you to your weakest self? What if you had to ashamedly ask for an epidural after labouring naturally with a posterior baby with a deflexed head for 20+ excruciating hours and still being only 4cm dilated? I guess you just have to live with the fact that your birthing experience leaves much to be desired, and is extremely unlikely to inspire any expectant mother.

Obviously, every labour, every birth and every experience is different. While you might have the greatest plans for a calm, natural birth and the confidence and enthusiasm to back it up, sometimes it's just too fucking hard. And so you fail. Or at least you feel like a failure. For a little while. And then you wake up to yourself and realise that nurturing and carrying your child to term and being able to hold your healthy baby in your arms, is in fact your greatest achievement yet. So I try to remind myself that I did a pretty good job. Heck, I might have even passed.

But something I've found to be true in my case (and some of my peers') is that as mothers, we inevitably set ourselves up for feelings of failure, time and time again... long after birth. Take me for instance, during my nine months of pregnancy, I used my time to set myself some parenting standards. Some commandments, if you like. And because I've always been the over-achieving type, I was going to breeze it in.

1. I will not give my child a dummy, I will be patient and teach the child to settle herself with other comforting aids. On the third week, during a monster cyclone, tensions were high, and I caved and gave the girl a dummy. I continued to do so until she started refusing at about 4 months old. Now she sucks her fingers. (FAIL)

2. I WILL breastfeed, no matter what. It was a huge struggle to start with, attachment just was not happening... but I was determined and eventually we got the hang of it. I love breastfeeding Lalie and expect I will be very sad when she eventually weans. Although I've been successful with this one, I now have some understanding of mothers who simply can't, or choose not to breastfeed, whereas before I had zero tolerance. (PASS)

3. I will grow my own vegetables organically and feed her straight from the garden. Hmmm, despite our efforts, the only garden she's eating from at the moment is Rafferty's. (FAIL) Which brings me to another food related commandment...

4. I will NEVER feed my child any pre-packaged baby foods. You know what, sometimes it's just easy. And God forbid we do anything the easy way. (FAIL)

5. I will use cloth nappies at home and disposables when going out. I can barely get through my washing as it is. (FAIL)

6. I will keep toys to a minimum to encourage a deeper engagement and level of play. Well, I'm not lying when I say that the toys we have purchased for lalie have been minimal, but if you borrow a carload from the in-laws, I guess that would be cheating, right? (FAIL)

7. I will avoid teething medications and pain relief, and will opt for natural alternatives. I've used both Bonjela and Panadol. I can almost hear the tsk tsk's... (FAIL)

8. I will not feed my baby to sleep and will follow the SLEEP FEED PLAY routine. Our routine went a little something like this: FEED FEED FEED SLEEP FEED FEED PLAY FEED FEED FEED SLEEP. (FAIL)

9. I will not allow my child be stimulated for long periods by a television.  So far, I've managed to stick to this one. But ONLY because our TV broke when she was about three months old. (PASS-ish) 

10. I will start reading to her, every night,  from birth. We have the occasional story, but most of the time she just wants to eat and destroy literature. (However, in the last couple of weeks since I started writing this post, she's really starting to enjoy a story or two!) (FAIL)

These are just some of the 'rules' that come to mind, and out of a list of ten - I've only really managed to achieve two . There's no wonder post natal depression seems to be popping up everywhere.  It's almost impossible to live up to the high expectations that we set for ourselves. And half the time, I wonder if we set ourselves these rules because we really truly believe in them, or if it's just to feel adequate next to others with those similar standards? I know I can only speak for myself here... but I feel like on paper, I'm failing miserably. Look at all that red! I'm not mothering in the way that I would have liked - I break all the rules. Yet in my heart, I know with all certainty that I am doing the best that I can, and that every single thing I do, every word, every action has her best intentions at heart.

I'm only human (a tired one at that), and although sometimes I feel like I'm under-achieving, my daughter's smile tells me that she feels loved, happy, healthy and safe.

And really, at the end of the day, can I should I expect anything more from myself than that?

50 comments :

  1. First let me say that doing any of the things you listed doing does NOT, under any circumstances, make you a fail. In any way shape or form.

    In fact, what it makes you is a mother.

    A mother recognizes that she does whatever it takes to get through. A mother recognizes that every single child is different, has different needs, wants, likes and desires and it is perfectly okay to just go with it.

    Come on! You've done the amazing part look at that precious little girl. She is perfect. Paci or no paci, packaged food or no packaged food.

    Now the second bit (and I hope no one here will take this the wrong way), but those lists? They are pretty much a first time mother thing. By the time you are moving onto baby number two you realize much more quickly that flexibility is the true magic key in mothering. And then you don't even bother thinking about what you will or won't do! :-)

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  2. This is so good! I am so there, oh man am I right there with you. It feels like no matter what happens somehow it isn't good enough. But how can anyone be perfect? Is that even perfection? Who decides?

    And look at that beautiful little girl!! That is the sign you are doing an amazing job!

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  3. I've been meaning to write a post along these lines too, but have not been able to find the words just yet.

    Oh, we put so much pressure on ourselves as mothers! I planned an amazing, inspiring homebirth, and instead I had 27 hours of labour (at home), a transfer to hospital, a caesarean, and a terrible two days in hospital with the most terrible nurses. Add to that, six weeks of breastfeeding hell (although like you, breastfeeding is awesome now and I'm so proud of myself that I soldiered on).

    I had a few of the same commandments too - no dummy (FAIL), cloth nappies (FAIL), and I'm sure I will 'fail' on a few more as she gets older.

    The reality is, being a mother is hard - damn hard. And you do whatever gives you more sleep, less stress, and a happy baby.

    Lalie's smile is proof you're doing everything right, and that you're a fantastic mama. You're doing an awesome job!

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  4. I loved this post! It is so clear that you are an amazing mother, your world glows with love and beauty. This was really honest of you but really, I´m SURE there´s a big list of things about the way you´re mothering that you´re very proud of!

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  5. oh dear it's all so true!

    My score is similar to yours.

    I swore I would never let my child watch TV but I'm not above plonking her infront of Dora so I can have a cup of tea in peace..

    I always feed her to sleep and I refuse to listen to people who say that this is wrong!

    We do use cloth nappies but we live in the desert and it only takes 5 minutes for anything to dry.

    But I am guilty of using medications with wild abandon

    Bay is same age as Lalie and it is only in the last few weeks that she has started to enjoy books too.. Wish I could say the same for me as I find reading to her incredibly tedious.

    Ahh yes it's so true Motherhood is laden with guilt, I had no idea how tired I'd be.

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  6. Aside from the breastfeeding I think I failed all those tests too...with at least one child, sometimes all. We do what we can do and there's no doubt in my mind you are a fantastic mother. Eulalie looks incredibly healthy and happy. I've always fed my babies to sleep despite thinking I would do otherwise while pregnant. And my older two do watch tv everyday, sometimes with Violet on their lap. A times you just need the peace.

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  7. I can completely relate to so many of these points.

    I think as parents we create such high expectations of ourselves and we are always the first one to be critical of our perceived "failures".

    I know there have been times when I've been unfairly hard on myself. But in someways, I think this is what makes us better people. And better parents.

    I'm guilty of letting my 16 month old daughter watch Play School while making lunch. I'm guilty of breastfeeding my child to sleep (only a couple of months ago did I finally break her of this habit).

    And although we might have ideals, sometimes life doesn't work that way. If parenting has taught me anything, it's simply to go with the flow and do what works.

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  8. i can't relate, not being a mother - but i can observe and with a baby with a smile like that you're definitely doing something right! i think you're being quite hard on yourself. she's gorgeous and you made her - and that is so unbelievably amazing. x

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  9. Oh lady. There are so many pressures on Mums. And the biggest ones probably come from ourselves. I think we just need to parent as best we can, based on our own instincts. I really find it incredibly sad to read that sometimes you think you're under achieving as a Mum! CRAZY TALK. You are amazing. Kellie xx PS I find the labours of people who had the best intentions for a natural labour and then went off the planned course the most courageous of all. PPS I give Olive mostly organic food. I also lose my temper with her. Which is worse I wonder??? Olive doesn't watch any tv but plays incessantly with my iphone .... I could go on but I'l stop. Let's not make any more lists please!

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  10. I adored this post, and completely related to everything you said!

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  11. 'my daughter's smile tells me that she feels loved, happy, healthy and safe.'
    amen.

    p.s. your honesty is refreshing.

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  12. Claire, you are one exceptional woman, mother and blogger. You have spoken my heart here about all of it, but mostly birth. Two c sections- i've been told to my face that i should have/ could have done it naturally. Heart breaking way to start mother hood and the reason i've never written about my birth stories. Maybe now i will.

    I adore you, just so you know.

    xxx

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  13. Oh Claire...I just want to give you a hug...

    Yes, you are doing the best you can. We all do. Love is the best (and easiest) thing to do as a mother...and it's what's most important. Not any of those silly rules.

    And you did your absolute best with birthing Eulalie. Let me tell you...just because I had a straightforward waterbirth at home...does not mean that I am any more empowered, calm or conscious than you. It means that my little girl was in a good position to birth. And as a result things went smoothly. All women can have a beautiful birthing experience providing position and internal readiness are right. And it upsets me that when this isn't the case women blame themselves. There is so much of birth that we can't control...under your circumstances you were a true warrior.

    No two pregnancies or births are the same. So it could be completely different next time...

    Position is the one thing I get obsessed with...and so it's quite amusing that I have an anterior placenta this time round and I can't figure out my babes position. It's meant to be...forcing me to let go and surrender...and that's all we can really do.

    Love love this post

    xox

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  14. I remember every health nurse telling me not to feed Cohen to sleep and I tried super hard not to and felt so disappointed when I couldn't keep the little man awake when feeding. Then I spoke to some older mothers, who laughed and told me that feeding to sleep was the most natural thing in the world and babies had been doing it for centuries. Revelation! Goodbye guilt!

    I also remember an old man seeing Cohen with a dummy in his mouth tsk tsk tsking me and saying that if anyone had put a dummy in his children's mouth he would have smacked it back out again! I thought goodness! Cohen can have the dummy and not the smack thank you very much!

    I love Sarah's second point too. I've been realising that already with a toddler and being pregnant. I may have said this before, but the only rules I really live by now
    are that you 'do what you are doing until it doesn't work anymore, then you try something else', and 'just love them'. I think I will add 'and be flexible' to that. :)

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  15. PS. I probably rambled enough already. However. I too planned on having a natural birth. But after 24 hours of labor and the most intense pain in my spine, I gave in an had an epidural (and a sleep.) Thank goodness I did. Cohen was not born for another 12 and a half hours and then he was forceps delivery because I had a cusp on my cervix and he was distressed. Definitely not to plan. I felt like I had failed, as I couldn't even push him out with out help. But with time I realised that without that help my 9 pound 4 baby and I would not have been safe and healthy.

    I still hope for a natural birth with this pregnancy. What does that say about me... :)

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  16. Why is it that as women/mothers we place so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves to conform to a certain way? I too have been quilty of not achieving certain expectations that I had prior to mummy-hood but I learnt pretty fast with our first to just follow my instincts and go with the flow. With each subsequent child we have adapted to what suits that child and at the end of the day I feel that if your children are loved and happy what else matters :)

    Just know that you are doing a fantastic job...your daughter is a credit to you :)

    x

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  17. PS. While I'm on my soapbox (believe me, I find it hard to get off it when it comes to birth!)...if I happen to have a posterior labour and I get to exhaustion point, I will be heading straight to hospital for an epidural...without a shred of guilt. Because I truly know that posterior labours, inductions, augmentations (and the list goes on) make for a harder birthing experiences. And a helping hand is nothing to be ashamed about! In fact at times, it's absolutely necessary.

    x

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  18. while i was reading this i was thinking about when we were visiting montessori and steiner schools deciding on which was best for quinn and us as a family. i was so nervous thinking all the parents would fit into exactly what your listing here. i was so happy to find out everyone was normal like us...were all just doing the best we can. i have no judgement of mothers only support. x.

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  19. I agree with so much of what you have said. With Inda, my birth went pretty much like the example you describe, 28 hours of not progressing past 4cm followed by an epidural and a baby being raced off to special care nursery needing oxygen.. not the all natural birth i had planned and i was devastated. A year later i was coming out of one of the scariest places i have ever been.. post natal depression. I am sure the super high expectations i had contributed and i was petrified to ever try again if this was the way it was going to be. SO with Noa i read lots, prayed lots and spoke to alot of people who said, 'drop the expectations and go with it.' So instead i wrote a birth plan that said 'epidural if needed/wanted.' And i went in with a much lower standard and Noa was born in half the time without any intervention of any kind and her first year has been so incredibly different. We need to stop comparing our experience with everybody else's and using that to define our standard of parenting! It doesnt work and it is so fake. Thanks for sharing Claire x

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  20. cheesy but true (a sunnymummy quote):

    'You are doing way better than you think. Let good enough be your motherhood mantra"


    go easy on yourself. mother guilt is a beast.

    you are doing an awesome job. YOU are Eulalie's mum. YOU know best x

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  21. Oh Claire... I hear you. I think we are our own harshest critics and sometimes our own worst enemies. But also we know ourselves and our babies the best so we need to learn to give ourselves a break!
    I too had plans for a natural birth but then had a three day posterior labor and ended up having an epidural and forceps delivery. But I know that I gave it a red hot go and that sometimes that's what happens and thank god for modern medicine because I would have died otherwise. And our babies are loved and cherished and well looked after and really, that's all that matters!
    You're doing good! xx Joanna

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  22. It's mother-guilt Claire - and it's rife. It usually starts around conception and keeps growing with your child.

    As for the disappointment after not experiencing the birth you 'planned' - I witness this time and time and time again - women come to my classes for their second pregnancies because their first wasn't how they planned. I think there is so much wonderful literature/stories/classes/courses out there but not many of them discuss the fact that we actually cannot control our birth and often, our baby decides for us. All we can do is surrender to where our birth journey takes us, accepting every part of the journey.

    I never use the term 'birth plan' because we are nature and nature doesn't work according to plan.

    As for everything else...you do what you have to do.

    Lalie - all she needs is love. (sing with me) all she needs is love, love

    love is all she needs x

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  23. Being a Mum is seriously such a hard job to do sometimes but at the same time the most rewarding of all. I'm not perfect and I know that people don't always agree with my choices and at times voice their opinions on me a little too loudly which I don't like but I try and let them wash over me because we are all so different and I need to remember that what I choose is important for me and my family although I struggle in my mind with this sometimes.

    In the end whatever makes Eulalie and you happy is the right thing to do, you need to choice for her what you think is best and you know what is best for your little one more than anyone else. Each time I see her little face she is always so happy and really in the end that's what is most important. You are a great Mum and have a happy and healthy little girl never doubt that. xxoo

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  24. hello aunty bell, I just want to let you know that u are a truly amaising, inspiring and beautiful mother(and aunty)!!! I have been wanting to post a comment for sooo long but I couldn't let this opportunity go, to let u know how much we love u (and lalie and uncle paddy) and tell u that u should never doubt urself again!(eaisly said than done, coming from ur sister in-law who would fail ur checklist twice as everything i said i was going to do differently with phoebe has not be put into action!) hehe! love u aunty bell love nique xxxxxxxx

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  25. Ahhh.
    This post resonates with every inch of me. Jodi is spot on. And has planted a lovely song in my head.
    Love, love...
    My lady came to me with a heart murmur and an infection after a terrible triple induction. Prepared for a natural birth. Ended up attached to an I.v in a room filled with strangers. Not my plan. And I am learning to heal. After spending a week in hospital and a lot more in tears with a screaming Bub (after that start she was diagnosed with silent reflux) I have learned to gie myself a pat for all the good that does come from each day. Did a load of washing, had a cup of tea, picked up a toy? Winning. It's the little things. And more so my little thing, she is the best. The cream cheese to my bagel.
    Pats on your back mama. Cause lord knows mamas need just that. Xx

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  26. Hi Claire. I read your heartfelt post earlier today, and really felt I wanted to come back when i had the time to comment. From what I can see you have not failed at anything. Look at that beautiful smile on your wee treasure's face, you are obviously doing so much right, she is so happy and beautiful! Why do we mothers put so much pressure on ourselves? I was with you on all of those expectations with my first. By number 3 they are now so far out the window (although i still have a love/hate thing with the dummy). These babies of ours grow up so damn fast, and we mothers waste so much time and energy judging ourselves, comparing ourselves and trying to be this ideal that probably doesn't even exist, when all they really need (as Jodi said so well) is love. You may not have the organic, home grown veges, but I can see you have bucket loads of love, oh, and fun! I say you shouldn't expect anything more from yourself.
    PS - I'm writing this as much for you as for me. Its so hard remembering it all the time.
    PPS - How adorable is your neice, brought tears to my eyes.

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  27. You're sooo lovely in sharing this. I had never imagined this parent thing being so tough. I thought Dr Sears' book had it sorted for me :) It is better with the second as all that matters is that they are happy, healthy and with their family. You are a fantastic mum and don't you ever forget it! xxx

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  28. you said it yourself - Laile feels loved, happy, healthy and safe. Truly that is all that matters.
    you are an amazing mama! xxx

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  29. lady, ALL that matters is that your bambina knows she is LOVED & she is & she does. f off all the rest of that guilt trip! x

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  30. ScarletsviolinSeptember 30, 2011

    Thanks for your beautiful honesty Claire! I found your blog a while ago whilst randomly searching 'on becoming a mother' after our labour went pearshaped. Your words articulated exactly what I was feeling about our new baby but couldn't bring to the surface at the time. Our little girl was due on the17th of Jan but we ended up being induced 2 weeks later with the usual 'cascade of interventions'. Totally disempowering, out of control and quite a shock for someone hoping to have a calm & natural birth. But wow, what a huge love we have everyday with our beautiful little babe. Through all the tiredness and bleary eyed nappy changes, comes an injection of energy from a wee little smile. Magic!
    And yes, we are still sharing the bed, feeding to sleep, using the odd plastic fantastic toy, tearing up storytime books and using disposables (even with cloth nappies donated from others sitting in the cupboard) 8 months later! I'm right there with you on this one.... We do the best we can. You're a great Mum! x x x

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  31. after having my first son, i felt like a failure. I felt like I wasnt a "real woman". I had planned on having him vaginally, but complications arose, and I had to have a c-section.
    Then my second baby came along, and it was the same thing.
    There are days still, that I feel that overwhelming failure of being a woman.
    BUt, I feel, that I am making it up, for being a good mom. There are things on your list, that I wish i could have done, too.
    Anyways, I think we just need to focus on the positives, and keep moving forward. We are all new to this at one point or another. Even every child is a different experience!
    Lets keep doing the best we can!
    -m

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  32. I've been thinking about this a lot. And I think what I was trying to say in my comment yesterday (and most likely failed), is that I don't think we can ever define ourselves as a mum by a list. Because I look at this list and there's nothing on there, fail or pass that would change my mind about you being an outstanding Mum. Kellie xx

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  33. one of my pet hates in this whole parenting game is the pressure that we/society puts on women to have a perfect birth. I absolutely believe in being as educated as you can and making your own choices, but essentially as Jodi said, birth is about nature and letting go. And the most important thing is a healthy baby and healthy mama. As someone who had a wonderful, conscious (though not initially chosen), spiritual c section with a healthy baby and a great recovery, I really find it so sad when I hear women feeling that they failed cos they didnt have a natural birth. You are not a failure - you have achieved the most incredible purpose in the world - nurturing and birthing another human being. Be proud of what you have done, be proud of your c-scar....a mark of love. Birth is birth, no matter what our journey xx

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  34. I hear you. This is why baby number three is easier in some ways, you allow yourself to have plans and rules but rule number one (for us anyway) is go with the flow. No point in buying in to the guilt and when others try to sell it to me I point out that my first two appear to be unscathed so far.

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  35. I love this post. I've been freelance-editing birth stories and all the while contemplating my as-yet-unrealised-natural-birth experience after two births with epidurals, and hoping and planning that THIS time will be natural. But all the best intentions don't necessarily have the results we're after...best to go with the flow and take the pressure off :)

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  36. Thank you Claire for these words. Exactly wanted I needed to read after being made to feel like the World's Shittest Mum (2 days in a row). Loved, healthy and safe. You said it yourself, that's all Lalie really needs to feel. (And one day, having the same shoe size as her mum won't hurt!) From that ever-smiling face of hers, it's bloody obvious she feels it in every little bone in her body. I'm sorry you feel like a birthing failure but the truth is you ain't. Far from it. You got a Lalie. Sounds like a pretty damn successful labour to me.

    And I can tell you where you should stick that list... Mwah xx

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  37. Ps During my pregnancy with Elke I had placenta praevia until my 32nd week and then she was lying transverse until my 38th week so I was prepared for the possibility of a caesar. Luckily by the time she was ready to birth she had sorted herself out. Her birth was a wonderful (albeit painful when they hooked me up to the syntocin!) experince up until the point when my placenta decided it didn't want to budge. One hour and a litre of blood later I had to undergo an emergency D & C and felt like death warmed up for days afterwards. In spite of the last part, it was still one of the two most amazing things I've ever done. And to think 100 years or so ago I may not have survived the same experience. Shudder. Sorry for waffling on but bascially what I'm getting at is, if you both make it out of the room alive then it's a blessing. A huge blessing. Everything else is just a bonus. xx

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  38. I had to google 'deflexed head' and just realised Elke had one too during labour. I just didn't know there was a term for it (one of the disadvantages of having a baby in another country!). Hence the reason for the syntocin. Sorry, don't know what I had to share this piece of info with you but I can't stop thinking about your post...

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  39. What a beautifully honest post. I'm sure we all can all relate to our own list of things like this and realise that we don't need to add this extra pressure on ourselves. Being a mum is bloody hard and it takes 100% of you all day every day, no one can adhere to that so every now and then we take short cuts for the sake of sanity. Hurrah for sharing that! xx

    ps. my number one rule breaker is that I'd never shout. Although I find myself shouting most of the day :(

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  40. Wise words Claire. I was so lucky to have met a midwife midway my pregnancy whom told me that what the baby needs is love, food and a clean nappy. That's all and the rest is extra. I was already feeling guilty then for not being able to eat right, exercise and feel like a goddess connected with the universe. I felt rotten not being able to enjoy my pregnancy.

    And in a warped way it was almost a good thing my little one came early, because it made me realise that there are so many factors we just can't control. But I still get stressed about it and even feel guilty about feeling stressed. Haha oh well. Thanks for the post. I'm sure it resonates with so many mothers.

    Take care.

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  41. Motherhood should never be about passing or failing. You do what works for you as parents. Each to their own and you should never be judged by that. We all have our lists of what we think we are going to do and it changes all the time. I said I'd never let my child sleep in the bed...but you do what's easy. Looking at your list I don't think I have passed any of them (maybe a couple).I know a lot of mums in the same boat and we don't think ourselves as failures. Don't be so hard on yourself. Motherhood is a tough gig!

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  42. as a mum to a 12week old - i say AMEN sister!
    Let's not talk about all the things we buy before the baby's here, too. when really, i had absolutely no idea what i needed in a pram, etc. but i was convinced i did!

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  43. From what I read I don't think you have failed at all and have worked out what is working for you and your baby. We all 'break the rules' and I really don't think there is are hard fast rules which work for all babies.

    And your daughter smiling is definitely saying you are a fantastic mother!

    I love your blog by the way, you take such beautiful photos :)

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  44. As a mother of four, I can tell you it gets easier every time! Second one is sooo much easier, third is a piece of cake and fourth almost rises up himself. I'm definitely having more! My rules are to love them, squeeze them, kiss them as much as you can, feed them as healthy as your possibilities are, and above all don't get nervous or anxious, because you are doing the most natural thing in the world. Babies sense that and are calm when you are. When that happens everything else falls into place.

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  45. Love this. When I had twins the nurse came in and asked me if I had dummies. I replied that of course I didn't. The head nurse had discouraged them. The feisty young Irish nurse inhaled and retorted,"Oh for God's sake girl. You've got twins. Get yourself some dodos!" It has been something of a mantra since then. Oh for God sake girl get yourself a chardonnay. You've got five kids!

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  46. Nicole OuelletOctober 04, 2011

    I love your honesty and IMO it's what will make you the best mother you can be.

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  47. I failed at all of these (well for the feeding i'd give myself a pass-ish, i had low supply so both girls got about 3-4 months) and some others too probably... but what are you going to do? it's impossible to do all of this stuff and a smile on your face and your babies face is better than any rules I say

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  48. Wow, I know you already have so many comments, but I completetly relate to everything you said.
    I am so happy to have found your beautiful blog through Em at The Beetle Shack.
    Bek xx

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - it really means so much. I will try to reply where I can! xx