Surprise Mama is my second blogger feature in my Chats with Mums and Dads portion. My first blogger and first Dad interview was with The Secret Father. To be honest, I’m having a bit of a hard time finding bloggers to be featured. You see, I’m not very good at approaching bloggers, I’m really shy. However, I’m going to plod on. I think it’s so much worth it, especially when they (the bloggers) say yes and finally email their answers. I absolutely love each and every answers – all of them are heartfelt and so insightful. As a new parent, I learn from all of the answers.
The lovely woman behind Surprise Mama and I have one thing in common, we both had our little ones in our late 30s. I can’t speak for her but for me, it wasn’t really a choice, life just happened that way. Read on to know more about this beautiful Mama’s journey into motherhood.
Tell us something about yourself, your little one (age & sex).
My name is Michelle and I am a first time mom who just turned 40 (my baby girl was born when I was 39). I work full time in the public health field, when I am not working or mommying I like to sing, read, blog, exercise, and spend time outside. I met my husband only 11 months before our baby was born, but meeting him truly made me believe in love at first sight.
What was your child’s Birth Story like?
They say you get the birth story you want not the birth story you planned (or something like that). My husband and I found out we were pregnant late in 2012. I had never thought that I was going to be able to have children of my own so finding out that we had conceived was a HUGE surprise. We kept it a secret for a long time, as I thought that it was not going to “stick” (as I would say to him). Our intention was to have a natural birth but in the hospital setting. I had spent weeks with my husband in a Bradley Methods class and I was very adamantly against any type of unnecessary intervention. Being however, that I was 39 when she was due, I knew that I did not want to have the baby at home or at a birth center, I wanted to have the comfort of a hospital in case anything went wrong. My pregnancy was very normal and my goal was to wear high heels throughout (which I did). My water broke at 11:00 pm exactly 1 week before my due date. I did not have anything ready as I was convinced that I was going to be late. As soon as my water broke (and I figured out that is what had happened), I had my wonderful husband install the carseat, I started putting up curtains in the babies room, I packed a bag, I folded laundry. I just wanted to try and remain calm. Ultimately, we went to the hospital (about 7 hours in) and my contractions stopped completely. After about 5 hours, they had to give me pitosin (which I was COMPLETELY AGAINST) to get the contractions going in a reasonable way. I was on the pitosin from about noon to about 7:00 pm before I could not stand the pain any more. At this point I was only about 3-4 cm dilated. I had really wanted a drug- free birth, but my body was jus tnot letting go of the little one! So – I ended up having an epidural (actually 3 because the first two didnt work) and then a little more than 2 hours later, a perfect little girl was born. We did not know whether we were having a girl or boy at the time so the doctors let my husband call the sex (girl) and we were able to show her off to all the family before the end of visiting hours that night.
What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one:
People who do not have kids do not understand what being a parent is, that you are never able to get it all done, and that down time is okay – it is necessary in order to maintain sanity.
How do you manage your “me-time”?
I have a great husband who loves us both so much and loves spending quality time with the little one. Whenever I need a little me time, he is highly in favor and usually offers to pay for the pedicure!
Do you have a favourite anecdote of your Little One?
She loves to dance. She started bopping to music when she was about 4 months old. No matter what kind of music is playing she will jam. She keeps a good rhythm and when we sing or play music, she is at her happiest.
What is it about Motherhood you absolutely love about?
I love how my daughter smiles at me when I go to pick her up out of her crib in the morning or after a nap. I love how she is excited to play independently and then comes back to check in with us to make sure that we are still there, I love that she is social and that she smiles a lot. I love watching my husband be a father. I love how soft her baby skin is and I love that right now, I am the most important person in her little world.
If there’s anything about Motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?
I feel like I am constantly worrying about what is going to happen next. I feel very confident in handling today, but how am I going to deal with all the stuff that happens as she gets older like: picking a good school, having hard conversations, encouraging her to make good decisions, helping her to avoid drugs, not texting and driving, not drinking too much…AACK – the list of things that I fear might hurt her is overwhelming and it gives me a great deal of anxiety. At the end of the day, I really just want her to be happy and confident (and not addicted to anything) and I don’t want to screw her up too badly!
What’s a typical day like for you and your Little One?
Sadly, I only see her for about 30 minutes in the morning and 2 hours in the evening. I try to squeeze it all in and I crave the weekend time together. I love singing and taking walks. We love to run errands together. She loves being outside more than just about anything and she is very curious so I try to give her lots of interesting stimulation. We have lots of friends that want to see her often so we visit people frequently. She is a very happy baby so we are easily able to tell what she needs when she is unhappy. We are very lucky because she is very predictable so we are able to have a good schedule and accomplish a lot together as a family.
Best advice you’ve ever received about Motherhood?
Keep everything in perspective and be kind and loving with your partner. When a baby/child sees a kind/loving relationship, they have all the stability that they need.
If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming a mother, what would it be?
As long as you are doing the best that you can to keep your child safe, happy and healthy, you are doing all that is necessary. It is way too easy to beat ourselves up too much about every decision and every aspect of parenting, but you can only do what you can do. Love is the most important.
How do you manage your time between work and your Little One?
Managing time between work and parenting is hard. I basically feel like I am never giving anyone 100%. Currently my job, though flexible, is not pro-children and so I feel like being a mom is looked down upon.
Thank you so much Michelle!
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You can also connect with her on Twitter.