20 something Mums vs 30 something Mums

We all know becoming a Mum is a completely life changing experience.  One minute you’re lovingly touching your fast expanding bump, planning the nursery décor and finalising your list of names.  The next, you’re knee deep in dirty nappies, can’t remember the last time you showered and frantically googling ‘why won’t my baby stop crying’.

 

Of course, as we are all different, every pregnancy, birth and transition into motherhood is unique.  I first became a Mum at 31.  The pregnancy was planned and, for me, this was absolutely the perfect time for my marriage, my family life, my work life and my social life.  According to the Office of National Statistics, in 2015 over half of all live births were to women over 30 with the average age of a first time Mum 28.6.  Nearly all of my friends were late 20s or early 30s when they became Mum’s but, more recently, I have met some lovely Mum’s who ventured into motherhood in their early 20s.  One such Mum is the fab Leah (AKA Somerset Mum) and, being the nosey parker that I am, I was curious to find out whether our different ages changed our experiences or not!

 

PREGNANCY

The 30 something:

I was blessed with an easy pregnancy (until 36 weeks when pre-eclampsia reared it’s ugly head  – more on that later!  I had the usual pregnancy complaints – inability to paint toe nails, unable to tie shoelaces and very mild heartburn but nothing of any note.  I was still gleefully climbing over country stiles on dog walks a few days before Sebastian was born and although I did enjoy a good nap on Sunday afternoons before the working week rolled over again pregnancy, for me, was great.

 

The 20 something:

My pregnancy was definitely not planned, in fact it was the hardest decision I ever had to make.  I was 20 years old, I had known his father for 6 weeks.  It wasn’t a good relationship and it probably wasn’t a good idea but in the same breath it was the best decision I ever made.  I had all that I knew was a normal pregnancy until I went in to Stress Induced Pre-Term Labour at 32 weeks.  After a rocky couple of days in hospital, several injections and sleepless nights, the contractions were stopped and I was allowed home.  Along with a couple of worrying midwife appointments that ended up in hospital stays due to babies raised heart rate which thankfully turned out to just be his ‘norm’ I was very lucky.  I never suffered any morning sickness, heartburn, I just had to pee…. a lot!  I also had a significant pregnancy related waddle from 25 weeks onwards although everyone told me this was normal!

 

LABOUR

The 30 something:

Having ridden the pregnancy ride with relative ease it was a bit of a shock to be told at 36 weeks I was being induced due to the onset of pre-eclampsia.  There I was thinking I would ride the knocked up wave until 40 weeks when my baby would arrive on time and without much more than a big sneeze from me.   The induction nearly failed, I had everything, the pessary, and, what felt like, endless reapplications of the gel, he was just in no mood to read his eviction notice.  After 3 days of prodding and poking on labour ward, watching countless women arrive and leave with their babies, they were finally able to break my waters.  Another day later, several more drugs later (syntocinon and a lovely dose of diamorphine) I was high as a kite relaying scintillating stories of Nasty Nick to the hubster and poor midwife.  After 4 days of all this fun, Sebastian had had enough and ended up being delivered in theatre, in case of an emergency c-section, rudely being sucked out by a glorified plunger.  Our world stopped instantly when he wasn’t breathing but amazing work by the theatre team literally saved the day then he whisked off to the special care baby unit (SCBU).  I eventually was able to hold my baby 12 hours later.  Needless to say, not quite what was on my birth plan!

 

The 20 something:

I was blessed with an easy labour (sorry girls).  In fact I wasn’t convinced I was in labour!  I woke up at 1am with a bit of a tight feeling.  I went downstairs bouncing on my exercise ball, thinking after a couple minutes I would feel fine but then I started to panic thinking my waters had broken.  I was wrong I just peed.  After this ‘false alarm’ I was fully prepared to go back to bed and attempt to sleep this ‘feeling’ off however my dad demanded I go in even if I was to be sent back home!  We got to Taunton Hospital and the tightening’s were getting more frequent but they weren’t horrendously painful.  I got put in to a labour room.  The same one I was put in whilst in pre-term labour.  I was expecting to be sent home and told it would be a long time yet.  Eventually the midwife came in and examined me and I was already 7cm with bulging waters.  Shortly after my waters were broken for me the pain started to come thick and fast but the Gas and Air was making me sick so I had to give up that beautiful little mouth piece, it had become my best friend.  Before I knew it, it was time to push.  Lincoln was born at 7.24am on the 15 August 2015.  Labour was quick and so much better than I had expected.  To this day I can’t describe or fully remember the pain I was in, maybe that’s a good thing?

Leah

 

STARTING MATERNITY LEAVE

The 30 something:

I had visions of half drowning myself in decaf tea whilst zooming round on my wheeled office chair in the weeks leading up to my maternity leave.  The problem with being the head of your department is all the planning and training for your mat leave cover can only be completed by yourself.  Couple this with recruiting for the position – very strange experience essentially boiled down to ‘are you as good as / better than me at this job’ and the last month or so prior to your confinement starting results in a shed load more work than usual with an immovable deadline in sight.  Just because I like a challenge, my sudden induction happened two weeks before I was due to finish work so in the early part of my labour I was sat in hospital frantically emailing instructions to various colleagues.  Once Sebastian was finally born we then had a glorious (ahem!) two week stay in SCBU with him and I separated and me sharing a room with Mum’s who all had their baby’s with them.  Did I find it hard?  Erm yes, probably the only thing in life that has nearly broken me.

 

The 20 something:

The start of my Maternity leave was extremely short and sweet.  Working for my dad as the Office manager/Accountant meant, regardless of what I did there was never a start or finish, the end of month fun and games continued.  We managed to hire someone to temporarily take my place within the office, showing her the ropes and trying to teach my dad the ins and outs of the accounts which ended in me working from home after the birth (GREAT).  I finished 10 days before my due date, expecting a long wait for his arrival.  5 days later he was born 5 days early!  After anticipating a couple peaceful weeks with my feet up and enjoying the last days as myself rather than ‘Lincoln’s Mum’.

 

THE FIRST MONTH

The 30 something:

For the first half of month one we were imprisoned in hospital.  Once we did finally break out I came home with a colicky baby who didn’t stop screaming for the next 10 weeks, whose average feed time was 45 mins and who flat out refused to sleep anywhere other than on me or the hubster.  This was not how I had imagined motherhood.  I distinctly remember being sat holding him at 2am and just thinking “what have we done?”.  I was lucky and unlike so many Mum’s who have spent time in SCBU or NICU I didn’t have trouble bonding with him and absolutely knew I loved him but in my sleep deprived, hormonal new Mum state of shock I just couldn’t see a way out of the exhausting and, at the time, life debilitating situation we were in.

 

 

The 20 something:

The first month I was really lucky.  Although he didn’t sleep through the night until he was 18 months old, I quickly became accustomed to the broken sleep and adjusted really well to the coffee addiction so many mothers acquire.  I thought I was a pro at breastfeeding but after a couple of bad latches I really struggled to feed, the pain was excruciating.  I remember sitting and crying through an entire feed.  After 6 weeks I reluctantly gave up but realising how miserable it was making me, I wanted him to have a happy mum rather than one that dreads the moment he starts to nuzzle at me for milk.  Apart from this he was a really easy and happily pleased baby.  He wasn’t ‘colicky’ as so many people deal with so I think I adjusted really well.  He was also the type of baby you could take anywhere and this I loved, at 3 weeks old he went to his first Motocross enduro.

 

Part two to follow next week – sign up for email alerts so you don’t miss out!

 

Check out Leah’s fab blog here

4 thoughts on “20 something Mums vs 30 something Mums

  1. Reblogged this on Somerset Mum and commented:
    After being approached by Steph over at Country Mumma to add my 2 cents in for this amazing post based on the differences in motherhood and adjusting to being a mum at the different stages in our lives. I was the 20 something and the lovely Steph was the 30 something. She has written this fabulously and I have filled in my parts! I have never been so excited to work on a piece of writing. Thank you Steph for coming up with such a great post and for Inviting me a long to be apart of it! 

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Amazing to see all the differences. It’s amazing how you can have two such different pregnancies happen out of just one body. Really interesting post! xx

    Like

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