And so I wanted to do a series of nosy chats with some of the people I find the most interesting and compelling in my life – who have been gracious enough to entertain me being irritating as all hell. First up is my darling friend Mia. Mia is awesome, clever, funny, so kind but sassy and cool. Basically all the things you hope for in a human. Mia had an awesome kid aged 20 (pregnant at 19!). This blows my mind. I know it’s actually incredibly natural in terms of human instinct, but to have the wherewithal to go through something so defining and life changing and scary at such a young age leaves me a little awestruck to be honest. I also have just LOADS of intrigue around giving birth, having kids, being pregnant and sometimes it feels weird to just ASK my friends who’ve had kids. So I’ve pinned all my questions on Mia….and she was kind enough to answer them:
When and how did you realise you were “up the duff”?
I realised really early on, which sucks because mega long pregnancy (so no wine). I was working in a hotel at the time and had a shit load of breakfast shifts, I kept feeling dizzy, sick, and weird but just put it down to being up early and not having eaten. I had to keep going to lie down on the floor of the disabled toilets because it was cold and made me feel less likely to pass out. I did think it was weird but didn’t make the connection with pregnancy. Then one of my coworkers accidentally elbowed me in the boob and HOLY SHIT that hurts! Then I knew.
Left work, grabbed a test, went home, and found out.
I called a friend who swears the conversation went like this:
‘Hi, I think I’m pregnant.’ ‘Think or know?!’ ‘Well I just pissed on a stick and the fucking thing keeps smiling at me!’
And that is the beautiful story of me finding out I was up the duff. They really should make a film out of it…
Were you in a relationship when you found out you were pregnant? (and in which case, was it serious, was there a process where you discussed the future?)
I was in a relationship but only just. It definitely wasn’t discussed previously, I was 19 and worked in a pub…
Sum up being pregnant in one sentence (please)…
Oh that’s a tough one…
Um ‘shit but fucking awesome’.
What does it actually feel like when there’s a BABY moving in your body? Do you freak out?
MENTAL. Absolutely mental!! When they’re first moving it just feels like when you have those bubbly farts in your tummy (you know). But yeah when they’re bigger it’s insane. Literally like a deleted scene from Alien.
Ava was breach until a week or two before she was born, then I was in the bath and she flipped. Like did a full on somersault. I thought my stomach was going to rip.
They kick your bladder a lot too which is naaaat comfortable.
Did you ever forget you were pregnant, whilst you were pregnant, and then look down and think “shit!”
HAHA! Um…not that I can remember. Except maybe when people asked what I wanted to drink.
If you were to sum up giving birth in 5 words what would they be?
My birth was very straight-forward and pretty easy, as far as births go. But probably – scary, exhausting, empowering, life-altering, and messy.
Did you wet yourself. Mia. I’m scared of wetting myself.
While pregnant? No. During labour? No. Since having a child while laughing? Yes.
How long does giving birth take? I cannot stay up past 2am these days. Are you EXHAUSTED?
That completely varies. Like I said mine was quick (there’s a long story to this but basically I was induced earlier than I should have been). I went into full labour around 9pm and Ava was born dead on 12am. So less time than the average Netflix marathon.
It is exhausting, but the adrenaline after they hand you your baby takes all that away.
(I’m expecting so much abuse for the 24 hour+ mummys now…hi mum! Sorry about that…)
Who was with you whilst you in the delivery room?
Just me and two midwives! It’s a super long story but the labour was fast and slightly chaotic so she was born before anybody had any chance of getting there. I actually think it worked out better that way, I have a tendency to be a bit dramatic and pathetic. This way I just had to get on with it and get her out!
Did you poo on the table?
But…my contractions made me poo. A lot. Which I was grateful for.
Until I felt the urge to push (which feels like needing to poo) and I didn’t know what to do. I was either going to have a poo on a table or a baby in the toilet. It’s a tough call. Luckily I made the right one and Ava was not born in a toilet, nor with poo on her.
When did you know she was called Ava? Before having her or when born?
I had a list before she was born and that was top. It sounds weird but when she was born I knew it totally fit her.
Has it made you feel differently about your body? And if so, in what ways?
I’ve always had a terrible relationship with my body, I’ve hated it in many ways since I was about 13 (I now look back at my 13 year old body and want to slap myself). Pregnancy, childbirth, and the aftermath change it in so many ways. I was diagnosed with BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) last year, and I particularly obsess over my stomach – a part of the body not famously improved by pregnancy!
I’ve read a lot of articles about how empowering for body positivity childbirth is, but I’ll be honest it hasn’t had that affect on me. I’m getting better at accepting the changes (five years later) now, but I won’t wear a bikini and show my stretchmarks or ever go braless.
Obviously for me there the way I see my body is a much deeper battle than just what happened to it and what it did through the creation of a baby.
Oh! Also, I really struggled to breastfeed, which made me feel utterly useless. This is something midwives need to be better about, I thought my body was failing me and my baby.
Did you get scared you might accidentally squish her in your sleep when she was a baby?
Hahaha! Yep! Co-sleeping wasn’t really my thing but we would both occasionally drift off post-night feed. I woke up once when she was about three weeks old around 4am and fully freaked out, half asleep I was looking under my bed for her, checking under the pillows…she was in her moses basket next to the bed where I’d left her.
Do you poo in front of your child? Do you get stage fright? (Sorry for all the poo questions)
Oh God, definitely. Bathroom privacy stops existing for a long time. Stage fright is not a thing with your own kid, trust me.
What’s been your favourite age so far?
I love her age at the moment, she’s so fascinated by everything around her and wants to know how it all works. She’s turning into the biggest science geek, it’s great. It’s also a lot easier because she’s more independent, can do her own thing and entertain herself.
I am also mega broody at the moment though so I’m seriously longing for those tiny baby days, nothing beats having a snuffly, warm, brand new baby snuggling into your neck.
Be honest, did you care about the gender of your baby?
Yep. I totally wanted a girl. Soz.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened as part of being a mum?
Kids will say a lot of things they don’t realise are super embarrassing. Ava liked to swear a lot when she was younger, and there have been many, many instances of her yelling about ‘mummy juice’ in the wine aisle. But to be honest it’s usually just funny. Maybe I’ve got lucky here?
What’s the best part of being a mum?
It’s really hard to pinpoint one thing because there are so many experiences and moments that you don’t think can ever be topped, and then they are. Kids will never stop amazing you. Having somebody who is completely dependent on you is an incredibly unique experience, however. And it makes you look at life in a whole different way. People talk about the kind of love you have for children being something completely different, and it really is, it’s a love like no other. This isn’t to dismiss other loves, they can be just as great of course, but it’s just different.
What’s the hardest part of being a mum?
I got pregnant at 19, so am a pretty young mum. Which comes with it’s bonuses but it also adds a lot of struggles. While I would never change it for the world it is tough sometimes seeing all my friends do ‘normal’ twenty-something things like travelling, flying up the career ladder, and partying on a Thursday while I’m on my fifth viewing of Frozen of the week. I think everybody experiences a bit of loss of their old lives when they have kids, of course a whole new world is opened up, but you can’t help feelings of grief and envy. It’s very easy to constantly compare your life to others, and it’s something I have, and still do, struggled with.
Well from where I am standing (currently sitting actually) I think you’re doing an AMAZING job. Thank you Mamma MIAAAA.
Mia has her own awesome blog located here
BYE FOR NOW xox