If you would’ve told me 5 years ago that by the time I was 21 I would have an amazing boyfriend, a baby, a cat AND a dog, I would’ve just laughed.
But here we are, our now family of five!
You’ve heard it all before, mums do everything. The cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing (unless you’re me – I don’t iron), the early mornings and late nights.
Mums do it all.
We have to give credit to the dads, some of them actually do everything a mum does and more.
But why is Mother’s Day so important?
It has been a year since we began telling those closest to us about you. About how we were told I could be losing you because you weren’t laying right in my tummy, but the Doctors did a scan and we saw your tiny heart beating on the screen. Your tiny little heartbeat.
You won’t remember growing before you came into this world, every lecture you attended with me at university, every story your daddy whispered to you when he cuddled against you at night. You made getting out of bed every morning worth it.
The day we found out about you, you rocked our lives, turned it upside down and have taught us more than we ever knew was possible.
I won’t lie, finding out was hard. I was scared of letting everybody down. I was scared I wouldn’t be a good enough mum for you. But I wanted to prove to you that I could be.
You won’t know the joy it brought myself and your father, hearing your tiny heartbeat at every scan, feeling every kick, stretch and hiccup. Knowing you were safe meant everything and more.
You won’t remember the first time you looked into my eyes, as I cried asking if you were healthy and okay, as you laid on my chest, listening to my heartbeat.
You won’t remember the first day we brought you home, how we watched you sleeping that night, your chest rising and falling with every breath. We lost so much sleep but you were home, and you were worth it.
I want you to know I’m doing my best, and I’ll make mistakes but I’ll learn. I’ll learn that you’ll not always want to be held when your hurt, so for now I’ll hold you extra close and make it okay. One day you’ll be embarrassed by me saying that I love you, so I’ll say it a million times over, but I’ll learn to tell you in different ways.
I love you. Be safe. Wrap up warm. I’ll learn.
I know you don’t know much about the world yet and that you’re learning new things every day. But I hope I make you proud. I hope I always make you proud, just as much as I am of you.
The first time you looked at us and smiled, the first giggle, babble. The first time you rolled over, you make us so proud with every milestone, big or small, and fill our hearts with love.
You won’t remember a lot of things before your first memories, but those you don’t remember, and those that you do, we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
All our love and more,
Mum [and Dad] x
A year ago today, I found out I was pregnant. A year ago today, I told my partner that he was going to be a dad. Today, we woke up and held our son for Dylans first Fathers Day.
This time last year, we didn’t know what to think or how to feel, but today our lives were full of happiness and love.
Dylan is an incredible father to Leo, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Dylan: “Ironically enough, I first found out I was going to be a dad on Father’s Day last year (2016), I’ve never been more frightened in my life. I was just through my first year at uni and a baby was a long way from my intended plans.
Because it was so unexpected, getting used to the idea took a lot of time and it was the first time I’ve ever suffered from anxiety.
The day Leo came into the world I’ve never cried like that in my life! I was so scared that the worst would happen during the birth and for him to arrive loud and screaming is something I’m eternally grateful for, all the fear and anxiety was flushed away and holding him in my arms was the best moment of my whole life.
To my best friend and my firstborn son, you’re the reason why I get up in the morning. I’ll always strive to make you as proud of me, as I am of you. You’ve got so much to learn and so much growing to do and I promise I’ll be there every step of the way, holding your hand and guiding you with integrity and wisdom.
I love you more than anyone could ever know, I get the same peaceful reassurance from hearing you breathing as you do from hearing my heartbeat, none of this could have been possible without an amazing mother to Leo, so thank you and thank you to my amazing son for this perfect first Father’s Day”
I’m eternally grateful for the love and happiness my boys give me, I couldn’t ask for a better partner or more beautiful son. The love I have is unexplainable and I appreciate every moment with both.
I love watching our boy learn and grow and watching Dylan teach him and give him belly giggles.
Nothing in the world is perfect, but what we have is pretty close.
There is nothing greater, or more pure than bringing a baby into this world. But recent events of cruelty beyond words, are making us question the kind of world that our children are going to be brought up in.
We shouldn’t have to question it though, but the fear of raising a child in a world that’s so cruel is frightening, to say the least.
The first night we brought Leo home, I could’ve watched him sleep all night. I was so in love and happy to be home. I never wanted any harm to come to him (and I still don’t), I just watched his chest rise and fall, as he slept and dreamt, until I fell asleep.
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
– Nelson Mandela.
We can never protect our babies and those we love from the cruelty of some people in the world, but we can try, and we can teach our children how to love more and hate less.
Every year I spend at least half an hour trying to find a Mother’s Day card that accurately describes how much I love and appreciate my mother, but this year I got to receive one that was thoughtfully written by Dylan on behalf of our little boy.
My boys got me a silver trinket box with ‘My 1st Mother’s Day. Leo 21.02.2017″ engraved on the lid and a wall hanging that says ‘A moment in your tummy, a lifetime in your heart’. Two things I can treasure for a lifetime for my first Mother’s Day, just as much as I treasure my boys.
Not only is it my first Mother’s Day, but it’s also my mums first ‘Grandmothers Day’ (that’s a real thing in our family). My mum helped bring my baby boy into the world, she was there when I started in early labour Friday evening and stayed with me until 3am Saturday morning when I got sent home from hospital, and at 6am when I started with contractions the following Monday, she came straight to our flat and kept both Dylan and myself calm, right through until Leo was born at 2:45am Tuesday morning. She then stayed with me until 9am and has seen our little boy every day since his birth.
My mother is an incredible woman. She’s always been there for me, guiding, supporting and teaching me to be a better person. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for anyone. But she’s not only my mum, she’s my best friend too and I can’t possibly repay her for what she has done for me. I spent half an hour trying to find her a card, but there isn’t one that can ever thank her or describe my love and appreciation enough; she deserves everything. If I turn out to be half the mother to Leo that she is to myself and my brother, then I know I’m still going to be an incredible mum.
It’s not only my mum I am thankful for this Mother’s Day though, without my partner I could never be the mother I am.
I feel lucky, everyday I get to wake up beside someone who brings so much happiness into my life, someone so caring and thoughtful, and on Sunday’s I get to do that with him and bring our baby boy into bed with us for Sunday morning coffee and cuddles while we watch something on the telly for an hour. Spending my first Mother’s Day that exact same way makes me appreciate everything both Leo and Dylan have done for me and I could never describe how much I love them both.
Every week I look forward to Sunday, knowing we get to spend the morning as a little family and I can’t wait for every Mother’s Day to come because I never thought that being a mum could fill me with so much sense of achievement.
Our baby boy is still only small, but he makes me the proudest mother on the planet.
“I found out on Father’s Day, I wanted the ground to swallow me up whole. I tried to seek any ounce of comedy and irony I could on the day I found out to soften the blow but it didn’t work. That night I laid awake staring at the ceiling whilst you slept next to me, I was racking my mind. How am I going to support this child and a partner? I’m 20-years-old, in my first year at uni and I have no job, no clue what I wanted to do as a career – and how do I tell my mum? It took months to get to terms with it and that’s when I became ill, mentally. The anxiety and stress turned me into a shell of my former confident self, and moving to London for the summer nearly tipped me over the edge.
Over time I got used to the idea and I felt a bond forming between me and my child, I’d lay on your bump and talk to bump, even without knowing if it was a boy or a girl. Then seeing our baby at the first scan when we found out we were having a boy, I cried. From that moment on I knew I loved him.
Every day until the birth, I was so stressed thinking; ‘Will he be okay? Will he be still born? What if?’. But then he came, 8-days late, safely.
The first time I held him in my arms, I can’t explain it in words because I don’t know any that accurately describe or come close to the immense feeling I felt when I first held him. I cried for days.
I love our little boy so much, he’s amazing and the best thing that ever happened to me. Although he’s partly the reason behind my anxiety, I can’t imagine and won’t imagine life without my little boy. The bond is inexplicable; I’ve never cherished something or someone so much in my life”.
When you get the due date for your baby, more often than not you find yourself counting down the days until that day and you hope that the little one arrives then, (well at least I did), but when the day comes and goes and there’s no sign of the baby – that’s frustrating.
Statistically, only 5% of women have their baby on their due date but we still hope we are one of the lucky few. Sadly, I was not.
On the 13th of February I spent the whole day waiting for a sign that our baby boy was going to arrive, but before we knew it Valentines day was coming to an end. I tried every trick in the book, spicy foods, pineapple, warm baths. Nothing. I spent most of that week trying the same old wives tales each day in hope that they would help encourage me to go into labour. That last week of my pregnancy dragged, I was on Week 40 and still no baby.
It was 6a.m. on a Monday morning, and I woke suddenly to a pain in my lower abdomen that lasted for at least 30 seconds. I turned over and tried to get back asleep, when I felt the pain again. 6:15a.m. I made a note on my phone, the first pain was at 6:00, the second at 6:15 and when it got to 6:30 I had the same pain. I recored how long the pain lasted for. 45 seconds.
My partner Dylan was asleep next to me, and we thought I’d started with contractions a few days earlier, so I sat in bed, just giving it a bit longer before I woke him. I text my mum saying “I think I’m having contractions” and by 7:00am she was on her way round to our flat and my pains were lasting up to a 1 minute and getting more painful.
When my mum arrived, me and Dylan were in the living room, still so tired, and I was on my birthing ball. By midday my contractions were at 7 minutes apart, so I rang the triage number and they said to come up to the hospital.
This is it. Or so we all thought.
I was admitted into a labour room and checked to see how dilated I was. 2cm. I was told I had to go for a walk round the park up the road, grab some food and come back when the contractions were 1 minute apart. I couldn’t even get outside the hospital before they started at 3 minutes apart.
We decided to go to the hospital cafe instead and grab some food, and then my mum and Dylan had me walking up and down stairs.
By 2p.m. I insisted I had to go back onto the ward, my contractions were 1 minute apart and lasting up to just over a minute.
3cms Dilated. There was nothing the midwives could do for me. I was advised to go home and get a bath, and to come back up when I was ready. By this point, I was already pretty exhausted.
I laid over my birthing ball, eyes closed, asking my mum to record the contractions length and how far apart they were. Dylan had gone to get his car cleaned at this point, because he’d been hiking at the weekend and it was full of mud from his trainers.
Before every contraction, I started to be sick. I’d not been sick through the whole pregnancy, and I think I was pretty lucky with how easy my pregnancy was, but I thought now the little guys making up for it.
Dylan came back after only being gone around half an hour, and both him and my mum were being incredibly supportive. I couldn’t get over being told to go home, I didn’t understand how I would know when I needed to go back to the hospital.
6:00p.m. I couldn’t do it anymore. I said I HAD TO go to the hospital now. They had been just over 1 minute apart for an hour.
I was 7cms and they said that this was it, they were keeping me in. Little did we know we were in for a very long night.
My contractions were still 1 minute apart, and I only had gas and air. At around 8pm I said I needed something stronger, and my midwife Lindsey said that she thought I was doing so well as I was and I should see how I am in an hour, (it went like that the whole night).
I was still being sick, so I was given an anti sickness injection which only stopped me throwing up but still made me want to be sick. I had 4 blood tests done, and had to have antibiotics injected through a cannula twice through the whole labour.
12a.m. came and mum and Dylan were still by my side, (they were trying to take it in turns to sleep, not really possible when I was crying in pain every minute).
At 2:30a.m. (20 hours later) the midwife came back round and checked to see how far along I was. Finally. I was 9.5cm dilated. By this point my waters still hadn’t broke, so the midwife said she would break them for me and then she would come back in an hour so I could push.
Straight after she broke them, I insisted I needed to push. Lindsey had her back to me, mum and Dylan were either side of me. She turned round when I said I had to push saying that I needed to breath it’ll be another hour yet. She didn’t even get to finish that sentence. She could see the head.
6 pushes later, clinging on to Dylan’s hand and my mums, our baby boy was born at 2:45a.m on Tuesday the 21st of February 2017.
Everything felt like a dream, Dylan was in tears and I could hear our baby boy crying as the midwife laid him on my chest. It had been a long tiring labour for us all. I slept an hour after Leo (what we named our baby boy) was born. The whole hour Dylan and my mum watched over him. He was so alert, taking in everything around him.
I will never forget the first moment I laid eyes on him and held him in my arms. I couldn’t cry. I was in awe. I was so in love. I just wanted to look at him and hold him for the rest of his life.
I couldn’t have done it without my mums love and calmness through the whole thing. I definitely couldn’t have done it without Dylan by my side, reassuring me, caring for me and telling me every day how much he loves me. I truly am grateful.
8 days and 20 hours late, but Leo John-Leslie Yarborough was worth every second we had to wait.