This interview is with my friend Charlotte, we’ve known each other since we were nine years old. She’s not a blogger or a social media fanatic, she’s an actual real life person(!). Charlotte and her husband Alex had their first baby, William in November last year and are adjusting to being new parents.
If you’ve ever Googled “can you die of sleep deprivation?” at 4 am, you want to read this interview.
This year to celebrate Mothers Day, I’ve interviewed a group of Mums that I particularly admire. They are all Mothers with different experiences, views, stories and opinions. Some are from the blogging and social media world whilst others are ones I know in real life. I’m running the series through out this week and we’ll be talking about birth stories, parenting advice, sleep deprivation and much, much more!

Can you tell us about your birth experience?
Well to be honest it was rather horrendous. I naively went into it thinking I would have a water birth and try hypno-birthing for pain relief. after all I thought, I had a high pain threshold and how bad could it really be if the human race is still thriving with most women happily having had more than one child?  Don’t get me wrong I thought it would hurt but I wasn’t really prepared for just how badly it would hurt or how crap I would feel afterwards.
To start, I went overdue which was rather depressing but apparently quite normal. For your information – curry and pineapple juice to induce labour do not work but feel free to try them if you’re overdue and it makes you feel better! My contractions started on a Wednesday night at ten o’clock, they were coming every 5-10 minutes at first and didn’t end until my baby boy arrived sixty-two hours later. Yes I did say, 62 hours. It was NOT like  mild period pain either, it was sixty-two hours of agonizing contractions.

Despite going to hospital on Friday morning I was sent home as I was only 3cm dilated! I think this was possibly one of the most depressing moments of my life. By the early hours of Saturday morning, the contractions were coming every three minutes, so we went back to the hospital. I was examined (quite roughly) by a midwife who proclaimed in a surprised voice “Oh your 8cm dilated! Well done, so do you want some pain relief now?”  By this stage I hadn’t had so much as a Paracetamol so yes please I did want some pain relief! I was also informed that all the birthing pools were occupied. I didn’t get the chance to try to hypnobirthing because by this point it was well out of the window along with my dignity!
By 10am Saturday morning I was fully dilated and ready to push, however I hadn’t slept since Tuesday night so I was exhausted. I pushed for two and a half hours and still no baby. All of a sudden the room was filled with doctors and midwives (about six) who all looked concerned and told me they needed the baby to be born quickly. Ha! That’s what I said 2 days ago!  My husband tells me now that at this point I started shouting “Help me! Please someone help me!”… The doctors then quickly attached a ventouse (suction cup about the size of a toilet plunger) to the baby’s head and pulled him out whilst I pushed. It truly was awful and nothing like the lovely scenes from TV programmes such as “One Born Every Minute”. To make matters worse I didn’t hold our baby properly for over an hour because the doctors were sorting out the car crash that was my body and the amount of blood everywhere looked like the scene of a horror film.

I’m sorry if I scare anyone with my experience. Every birth is different and it’s important to know that if your birth doesn’t go like the ones you see on the TV then you are NOT a failure.

The next day I felt like crap but decided I was being a hypochondriac. After all Kate Middleton was walking down the steps of St. Mary’s hospital in her four inch heels, without a single hair out of place only twelve hours after giving birth to Princess Charlotte! So I started to try and stand up and tidy our hospital room but the doctor came in and told me to lay down. Apparently I wasn’t being a hypochondriac and did actually require a blood transfusion. After three nights I was finally out of hospital, I so envy the women who have fast labours in the birth pool.

How do you feel about sharing and giving parenting advice?
I’ll give advice if someone asks for it or if I find out something really cool. For example, the other day I found out that the Maxi Cosi car seat handle folds right back to make the car seat into an upright seat which is great when visiting other people’s houses. That is revolutionary information for me and I will happily offer it right up to other parents! However I won’t offer advice on more serious things – like sleeping patterns and feeding, if it’s not asked for. Everyone has to find their own way of doing things and no one thanks an interfering busy body. Generally speaking, if your child is happy and healthy there aren’t really any right or wrong ways of doing something.

Whats the worst parenting advice you’ve ever been given?
When I’m exhausted from having been up all night the last thing I want to hear from anyone is “sleep when the baby sleeps”. Aaarrgghhh!!! Don’t you realise that if I were able to do that, then the baby wouldn’t have any clean bottles or clothes and there would be no nappies or milk in the house? What’s more, when would I eat? It really is the most ridiculous advice ever.

Pre-motherhood, where would we most likely find you?
At work. I’ll be honest, I’ve been looking forward to maternity leave since before I was pregnant!

If you have a baby free day/evening what do you like to do?
I haven’t had a child free day/evening that hasn’t required me to be somewhere for somebody else yet. So if I were to have a free day/evening I would probably have some quality me time. I have kept a diary since I was nine years old and played the piano since I was a teenager. So I’d probably spend the day writing and playing the piano, which I haven’t had the chance to do since the baby arrived.

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a Mother?
Motherhood in itself is a massive challenge, I certainly have not found it easy! Firstly there’s the feeling of failure when anything you wanted to work out, doesn’t. Like breastfeeding for example. Then there are the sleepless nights which are so much harder than I ever imagined. I remember googling “can you die of sleep deprivation?” at about 4am one morning. For the first few weeks I would tell people how I felt and they would say “oh but it’s all worth it though isn’t it” and I would be thinking “well no actually, I don’t think it is”.

It does however get a LOT easier when you start getting more sleep and I can now happily report all the crappy times have definitely been worth it. There’s nothing greater in the world than seeing your baby smile at you.

What kind of Mum did you think you would be?
The kind that sets a good example, is firm but fair and is always available, whether that be for cuddles, chats, bedtime stories or lifts home in the middle of the night.

Did you turn out to be that kind or completely different?
The proof will be in the type of person my baby grows to be. If he grows to be a good, decent human being who works hard, helps others and is happy in himself then I will know I was the type of Mum I wanted to be.

Where have you found the most support to be for first time mothers with new babies ?- family/ friends/ toddler groups etc?
A couple of my close friends have been a massive support in providing me with reassurance when times were very hard at the beginning. I am also a fan of online baby forums, such as BabyCentre, and Netmums , where you can chat to other mums about problems. It’s so important not to feel alone!

How will you be celebrating Mothers Day this year?
It’ll be my first Mother’s day so I’d quite like to do something special, maybe go out for a walk in the park and then out for a Sunday roast dinner with my husband and baby boy. I’ll also be visiting my Mum too, of course!

The Mothers Day Interviews : My Friend, Charlotte

12 thoughts on “The Mothers Day Interviews : My Friend, Charlotte

  • March 3, 2016 at 8:49 pm
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    What a brilliant interview, that was quite a scary birth story. I cannot imagine how exhausted you were after that long in labour. My first labour was 17 hours and I was worn out after that! You have my respect lady! Have a lovely Mother's Day. xx

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  • March 3, 2016 at 8:49 pm
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    What a brilliant interview, that was quite a scary birth story. I cannot imagine how exhausted you were after that long in labour. My first labour was 17 hours and I was worn out after that! You have my respect lady! Have a lovely Mother's Day. xx

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  • March 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm
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    Goodness that sounds like an awful delivery! I hope it doesn't put your friend off for life! #effitfriday

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  • March 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm
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    Goodness that sounds like an awful delivery! I hope it doesn't put your friend off for life! #effitfriday

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  • March 5, 2016 at 7:42 am
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    Fab interview! #FabFridayPost

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  • March 5, 2016 at 7:42 am
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    Fab interview! #FabFridayPost

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  • March 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm
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    This is a lovely idea to interview your mummy friends. Charlotte sounds like she had a real tough birth experience. I love what kind of mum she wants to be and how she will see that in her son. Fantastic. Thanks for linking up to #FabFridayPosts

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  • March 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm
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    This is a lovely idea to interview your mummy friends. Charlotte sounds like she had a real tough birth experience. I love what kind of mum she wants to be and how she will see that in her son. Fantastic. Thanks for linking up to #FabFridayPosts

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  • March 9, 2016 at 4:43 pm
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    I love this idea – and what a terrifying birth! I'm jealous of all the fast pool births as well. I hope Charlotte has a lovely first mothers day!x

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  • March 9, 2016 at 10:25 pm
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    If I'm ever in the very pregnant stage I shall remember that pineapple and curry don't work 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #pocolo it's been fun to learn of some new-to-me blogs 🙂

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  • March 10, 2016 at 4:51 pm
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    What a lovely post, but a bit of a scary labour! Eeeek! I hate pineapple so I never tried it, love currys, but I'm with you on the THEY DO NOT WORK front. I found bouncing on my workout ball better and long walks followed by hot baths! Thanks so much for linking up with #MadMidWeek

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  • March 16, 2016 at 9:55 pm
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    I can also confirm pineapple and curry don't work! what a brilliant interview, I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

    Reply

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