Occupation: Secondary Teacher on a two-year break. Currently at home full-time, embracing the madness.
Number of children: 3
Age/s of children: One boy, aged 6 and two girls, aged 4 and 1.
If you were working in pregnancy, how many weeks were you when going on maternity leave?
I was lucky enough to have two of my three babies in July, in the middle of the school holidays which meant that I finished up in early June before the waddling and real whining began. I had one baby in October and I finished work about three weeks before she was born.
Best part about pregnancy:
I loved the anticipation and the build up and I really enjoyed reaching each pregnancy milestone. I was fortunate enough not to suffer with morning sickness and I remember feeling like I was flipping amazing on my first pregnancy. People would tell me I was ‘blooming’ and ‘radiant’ and ‘glowing’. Sadly no one used any of those words to describe my appearance on the subsequent pregnancies. They did, however, tell me that I looked tired. A lot. Because telling someone they look tired always helps, right?
Worst part about pregnancy:
The unnatural tiredness was something I never got used to. It was like extreme jet-lag mixed with the hangover from hell. I remember coming in from work and falling asleep on the couch with my coat on regularly when I was pregnant with my first. I also cried a lot on acount of the tiredness and the hormonal circus that was storming by body. With each pregnancy the tiredness got progressively less debilitaing though. Either that or I had gotten used to surviving with much less sleep. Actually yeah, I’m pretty sure it was the latter.
One tip on getting through pregnancy:
Put yourself first. I used to find it very hard to say ‘no’ to things but since being pregnant and having kids I’ve become much better. Pregnancy is basically a Get out of Jail Free card so don’t be afraid to use it! Sleep if you are tired, eat if you are hungry, try and stay as active as you can, rest up and suit yourself! If you can’t be a little self-indulgent when you are pregnant, when can you?
Type of birth/s:
I’ve had three fairly straightforward births thankfully, all with the midwives in UHG. With my first, I was induced 11 days after my due date. As inductions go, it was pretty textbook and lasted around 10 hours.
I went into labour with my second baby 3 days after my due date. I arrived at the hospital for a regular check up at 9.30am having some pains which turned out to be contractions and after a relatively quick labour, she was born at 2pm. No drugs this time but I found the second stage ,and the immediate aftermath easier as a result.
The third lady came in a whirlwind in the middle of the night, 5 days overdue, and arrived two hours after we got to the hospital. I had a birth plan this time and I would definitely recommend one. It felt good knowing that the big decisions had been made and were on paper so the midwife knew where my head was at without us having to talk about it. Talking was not on the agenda! I used Gentle Birth techniques throughout the labour which really helped. Overall it was the easiest of the three births, despite the fact that the last half hour was far from ‘gentle’ and I’m pretty sure I used swear words I have never used before. But that’s ok too.
One tip on recovering following childbirth:
Accept help! Irish people are almost as bad at accepting help as they are at accepting compliments. Everyone is only dying to give you a hand or make you a lasagne, so let them! And if someone offers to take your other kids somewhere for an afternoon, bite their hand off!
Best part about having a newborn:
The first few weeks with a newborn are really special. I loved the cuddles and the laziness and the fact that there was nothing else I should be doing but looking after the baby; feeding the baby; holding the baby; smelling the baby; taking a gazillion photos of the baby; talking about the baby; getting to know the baby. Ah bliss. It would almost make me want to have another one. Almost. 😉
Hardest part of having a newborn:
For me, the hardest thing about the early days was trying to establish breastfeeding while running on empty. Breastfeeding took up a lot of my time, my energy and my headspace. That being said, after two weeks when we both knew what we were at, it was plain-sailing and one of my favourite experiences of motherhood so far.
If you were to have another baby, would you do anything different in relation to pregnancy, childbirth or recovery?
I have a friend who has had two homebirths and the whole idea of it really appeals to me. I’m not saying for sure that I would be brave enough to have one and I’m pretty positive that it wouldn’t be Mr C’s bag at all but hey, who knows? I don’t think it’s something we will have to think about any time soon though….
Connect with Sinéad
Blog: Shinners and the Brood