Pregnant? Confused, puzzled, anxious? Well I know I am! There are so many questions when you are facing the birth of your first child. There are the practical questions around birth and labour, and then there are the slightly taboo ones around personal feelings and ways of doing things. Everyone has a totally different experience and take on the birth of their first child, there is so much information to absorb from friends and family and dreaded Google!
So as I face the last few days of my pregnancy and impending birth of my first born, I was lucky enough to be able to ask lots of questions of Charlie at http://www.charlougray.com. Charlie is mum to six week old Oscar. She is a brilliant blogger and gave me some really honest answers to my questions. We are going to do another follow up after I finally (!) have this baby and I’m sure our collaboration will be a long running process, as Charlie and Oscar will always be a step ahead of bump and I!
Anyhow enjoy! If there is anything else you’d like to ask us we would be more than happy to answer.
Charlie is also on Twitter @charlougray and Instagram charlougray
1. Why was now the right time to have Oscar?
I’d be lying if I said I felt totally ready to have Oscar when I found out I was pregnant but since I was young I’d always wanted to be a mother and after a long time of being told children were not on the cards for me when I saw the little bean on the ultrasound screen I knew I was ready for him because he was a miracle in my eyes.
2. Was the journey home from hospital totally terrifying?!
No, it was amazing, I had Ciaran, Oscar and my grandparents, my grandad drove us home from the hospital so it was my little family on the back seat I didn’t take my hand off Oscar the entire way. I thought I would be really worried but I just knew we were a short drive away from our home and the start of our adventure.
3. Did you feel prepared? Was the first week different from how you expected? Why?
The first week was completely different from how I expected, I expected to be completely exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed but happy. However, the day after we were discharged from hospital we were out, Oscar was so well behaved (and still is) I recovered really well and it just felt right. We had a lot of family members visit us which was lovely because he made everyone so happy. I definitely felt prepared though, after all don’t we spend months preparing? I was confident I’d got more than enough for him and I was more than ready for him.
4. What did you buy prior to Oscar’s arrival that you’ve never used / or was a total waste of money?!
Oh this is a hard one because I feel like if I’ve never used it it’s probably sat in the back of his nursery cupboard! I think so far his crib is the only thing we’ve really got that we haven’t used, he really didn’t like it, Oscar likes to feel close to something almost squished like he’s still in the womb so we had to buy a moses basket (that I wasn’t planning on using) and put a special cuddle pillow inside which he absolutely loves, however, we are hoping to make the crib transition within the next couple of weeks!
5. Do you breastfeed? Did you find it easy, or much harder than expected? Tips? Do you share feeding duties with your other half?
I don’t, Oscar’s first feed was from the breast and I really wanted to breastfeed but he just didn’t want to latch on after the first time and then we needed to monitor how much milk he was taking in because he was bringing a lot of it back up too. Breastfeeding was amazing though it was an incredible bond and I’m glad I got to do it once. Now that we’re bottle feeding we do share feeding duties, Ciaran will get up in the night for feeds or I do, there’s no set ‘rota’ with us it’s just taking turns and I love that because watching him with Oscar is my favourite thing in life at the moment. I don’t know how I’d cope if he was one of those dads who refuse to do bottles and nappies, he’s amazing!
6. How many nappies did you buy before Oscar arrived?! Did you have enough?! Did you run out?
Well we had a bit of a nappy disaster, before Oscar was born we were told he was big, so we were given some size 2 nappies, now I had no idea how big or small these were so we stocked right up on size 2 nappies (I’m talking boxes upon boxes) and put our baba in size 2 nappies when he was born and he leaked everywhere, took me a week or so to realise that it was because his nappies were too big and ended up going down to size 1 and just bought 1 box and bought a box as and when we needed them, luckily, we are now onto size 2 so we’re slowly getting through the stock pile we had!
7. What was your first trip out with Oscar?
I believe our first trip out was to our local town, we picked up some clothes for Oscar, did some shopping and got some lunch then went home. I loved getting to push his pushchair around and people peeking in at him and making the ‘owh, isn’t he precious’ face at us!
8. Is Oscar in a routine or do you just go with it? What works for you?
The only routine he really has is initially going to bed, we get him to bed by 10 after a wash, little massage and cuddle etc, I did a blog post about his night time routine just recently, it’s my favourite time of the day.
9. Were you prepared for the birth? Did anything surprise you in a good way / bad way?
Oh,I wasn’t prepared at all, I don’t think anyone is. When it’s your first you’ve got absolutely no idea what to expect. I was due to be induced but had been having contractions for a couple of weeks, I ended up only having my waters broke and labour was quite stressful for me (I will blog about that soon just trying to psych myself up)
The feeling I got when my baby boy was placed on my chest surprised me, in a good way, because I didn’t really realise how amazing it would be and how I would cry and just not want to let him go. How incredibly supportive Ciaran was surprised me too, I thought, after watching many episodes of One Born Every Minute that he would be really annoying and I’d definitely try and kick him out the room multiple time but he just made me smile and put my mind at ease, reminding me that everything would be okay even if at times it didn’t feel like it would. A bad surprise would have to be going straight to theatre after Oscar was born, how difficult it is to be trying so hard for something and being told nothing was happening, very disheartening. But to be honest I wouldn’t change a thing about my labour because I came out the other end, much wiser and stronger and of course got my beautiful baby boy.
10. Are you planning any more babies?!
I would honestly have another baby tomorrow, I think we will just take each day as it comes and if we’re lucky enough to have another baby then we will be very happy.
The next instalment of our collab coming soon!
Charlie and Natasha xxx