Who is your idol or hero and why?
My ultimate hero in life is, has, and always will be my Nan. We had the most wonderful relationship and she has influenced me to become the person I am today. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was 16 weeks pregnant with my son and unfortunately passed just a few short days after he was born. I’m not a religious person, however I do believe there is a reason for everything and the fact I fell pregnant when I did was a little sign of hope. Without him I don’t know how I would have coped. My Nan was louder than life, and was never afraid to say it how it was, I feel that this attitude has passed down to me and I still can’t decide if it’s a positive or not!
There is not a day that goes past when I don’t miss her. The stories she would tell of what she got up to in the 60s, her road rage at ‘slow women drivers’ or quite simply someone who would be there to listen to me chat for hours about the most mundane subjects, yet showing great interest. Near her death she would say that she’d had the most amazing life and has the most loving family around her, all she wanted to do was hold on long enough to meet my son and she did. When I’ve reached the winter of my life, I want nothing more to be able to look back and have that same peace, the ability to know that if death is imminent, I can be happy with how my life has been. Knowing that she felt this was inspires me daily and will do for everyday I am here on earth.
Pre-motherhood where would we most likely find you?
It is no secret that I enjoyed my social life, in fact to look back I was probably the least maternal person around! Although I was only twenty two years old when I fell pregnant, I feel I have achieved enough in my life to not feel like I will ‘miss out’ due to being a mother. I’ve worked a summer in Magaluf, worked all over France and even managed to get myself a half decent education along the way. After returning from France one year I took the first job I could find, just a bog standard retail position in a camping shop. Outside of work I loved nothing more than getting a few Strongbows down me and hitting the town. I am a huge lover of 60s music and northern soul and would avidly hunt down nights with the sweet sound of music from yesteryear! During the summer I would be that drunk girl at a festival covered in glitter and crying when a corker of a song gets played (true story, Primal Scream Movin’ On Up – got me right in the feels, lets blame the cider). Looking back now, I feel that my whole life was about living for the weekend, which seems like a selfish way to spend your days. However this was all shaken up that one day those two little blue lines appeared.
If you have a baby free day or evening what do you like to do?
I am very fortunate and only live a five minute walk from my parents, they offer to have Gruff overnight quite often. Its really nice to have a break, as it is just me flying solo, sometimes its hard to snap out of mundane motherhood life. I’ve had a handful of evenings out since having my son, which in all honestly I have mixed reviews about. Before, a rubbish night out was sometimes expected, however these days there’s almost an unwritten rule that I must have this amazing baby free night which as you can imagine is not always the case. The hangovers now seem to last for days, and I feel very guilty if I spend over £20 because that’s two loads of baby formula right there!
I am currently writing this still nursing a particular adult headache two days later, but I’d like to add that it is so worth it. As a single mother and two stone heavier than before, my expectations of ever having any kind of human contact again were non existent. But you heard it here first, Danielle Parry went out and snogged a bloke. Yes me! I am still in shock and weirdly want to shout it from the rooftops! Finally I feel a bit more attractive again, nothing will continue from this I know, but who gives a hoot? I’m only human, and us humans need a bit of mouth to mouth action now and again right?
You’ve mentioned before that you’d like to train as a Midwife, was this directly influenced by your birth experience?
My aspirations are directly from my birth experience, pre-pregnancy I was studying to pursue a career in theatre production and stage management. However I had to completely dismiss this as it was totally impractical when I was with child. From my initial midwife appointment I was transfixed, I was fascinated not only by my pregnancy but the role the midwife played along my journey. It was about one month after I gave birth, I started looking into Midwifery a bit more and realized that just maybe there could be a way into it for me! Here I am six months down the line, I begin my access to healthcare course in September and I can’t believe I have made the first step to follow my dream.
Can you tell us about your birth experience?
Oh good lord. Only my son could have made an entrance the way he did! Due to complications during pregnancy I was induced three weeks prior to my due date. This can be a long process and took a few days before anything really started to happen. My labour was extremely tough, I asked for all the pain relief I was allowed. The first epidural they gave me was in the incorrect place and I needed another one put in place, however the second one wore off within half an hour or so and again I was in agony. As my son was back to back and not shifted after well over an hour of pushing, they had to perform an emergency section. I had two spinal blocks due to the fact the first one simply didn’t numb me, then after my son was born all the anesthetic wore off. I’m not lying when I say I felt everything, the surgeons hands inside my body and being sewn back up. I begged for more pain relief however I was told that “you can’t possibly feel this” which was very wrong indeed. I lost a lot of blood too and was required to have a transfusion. Two days later I was still in agony, which morphine wasn’t even stopping, I was laying there literally screaming down the ward. It turned out my appendix was on the verge of rupturing and I was whisked off to theatre for the second time. Over all I spent two weeks in hospital and ended up discharging myself.
Before becoming knocked up my Instagram consisted of a couple of hundred followers, directed from my Facebook account. My photos would be of nights out, my cats, and food. Very bog standard. However after I realized I was pregnant I started using IG far more often, using it as a public diary to document any thoughts, feelings or worries about what I might be experiencing. The popularity of my account suddenly seemed to grow and suddenly there were a couple thousand followers within a matter of weeks. I started to follow a lot of women who were also pregnant, as a first time mum it was great to be able to interact with others who are going through the same thing! Now every time I log on my news feed is full of babies! I keep in contact with quite a few people through IG, and have made great friends, some I have met, some I will probably never meet. I still use my IG to keep a detailed documentary of my day to day life but now I have the added bonus of chatting away to some ace people all over the world!
How do you feel about sharing and giving parenting advice?
Tough one, the one thing I can’t stand is people going on about how to parent ! However saying that, I like to share my experiences with my son, good or bad and possibly touch on the outcome. So I guess I wouldn’t exactly give people parenting advice, just share what I have learnt…if that makes sense?
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a mother?
Motherhood has been kind to me in all honestly, I think the actual process of birth for me was easily the most challenging. It is bizarre to think that I have only been a Mother now for 7 months, yet I feel that it is so second nature, I can’t quite remember what it was like before hand. Every day comes with fresh challenges but I am there standing in my suit of armor ready and waiting.
When I was pregnant, I was fully aware the relationship I was in didn’t have a future. This didn’t bother me too much as all I cared about was my unborn son. The father and I broke up but there was still an agreement he would be involved. But to this day he has only seen his son for fifteen minutes.
I knew I wouldn’t change, my personality, my hobbies, my interests, they would all remain the same. I’m still me, I just happen to have a child. I know a lot of people completely change after having a baby, which is fine however I knew I didn’t want that for me. Just because I now have a son doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into a baby group loving, organic, mumsnet, coconut oiled vegan.
Did you turn out to be that kind or completely different?
I did exactly what was said on the tin. However a bit fatter than I hoped.
In what ways is your son most like you?
He is very laid back and chilled, he will sleep twelve hours at night and nap various times through out the day. He rarely cries or has a naggy day. As he just lives with me and Gareth (my cat) he has never witnessed an argument and has my full attention all day, everyday. I think he has picked up his laid back nature from me, as although I like to think I am quite productive, a day on the sofa with a box set is always top.