Missy’s story

Missy lives on the Gold Coast, Australia. She is a mother of three children, Piper, Paeton and Fynn – her youngest Fynn was born this year. These are Missy’s reflections on her experience of being a mother.

Before my first daughter was born I was very nervous. I wasn’t sure of the pain and if I could handle it.

The 2nd and 3rd time with Paeton and Fynn, I was much more excited.

I had attended pregnancy yoga classes and I really know how to control my breath, and body. I knew I could have a much easier and more natural labour then I did the 1st time with Piper.

For all three of my labours I was induced by my OB and was in the hospital. I had my waters broken and again with all three within the hours contractions started. My husband Leigh was there with my for all three children. My sister, mother and mother in law joined is for the first delivery but for Paeton and Fynn I wanted a more intimate birth with just Leigh and me.

With Piper my 1st child I was scared, I didn’t know the pain until it hit me and I got uneasy I about handling this pain for hours on end. So I opted for an epidural. I really feel this prolonged my labor and in the end I had a vacuum extraction because I was so exhausted after 12 hours of labour and 2 hours of trying to push her out. In the end it was fine, but I knew the next time I wanted to feel more in control of my body.

So 2nd time I knew the pain of contractions and felt more prepared to handle them I had some gas and within 2 hours I had Paeton. This labour was very fast, felt totally natural and I felt like my body took over and did what it was meant to do. I was very pleased this time around.

Third time with Fynn I was so excited to feel all the pain and emotions again… giving birth is the most amazing thing and I was so lucky to be experiencing it again. My labour went for 4 hours this time and my back was so super sore. I spent most of the labour in the hot shower as I couldn’t get comfortable sitting or kneeling. I tired that gas again but it made me feel very ill so I opted to give birth totally natural… it was amazing and spiritual.

I was so lucky to have amazing midwives and also the best OB. That also played a huge part in my labours being so amazing! He even let Leigh deliver Paeton and Fynn! Pretty special!

Holding your baby for the first time in your arms is something that no one can describe until you are there in the moment. It’s so surreal that this life, this child you have been carrying is finally in your arms and part of the family. It’s amazing how an instant bond forms between you and your baby. I love and cherish these moments in time with all three of my children! I can remember every second of the first moments I held my children.

During my labours, I learnt I am much stronger than I ever thought. Especially with each child, I was more aware of my pain threshold and what I knew I could handle. I wanted my husband Leigh to be proud of me and I wanted to be proud of myself.
Birth is such a personal and individual experience. It’s an amazing time becoming a mother.

I recommend trying labour without drugs if you can get through the pain. The pain of the contractions is actually a pretty amazing thing… after the FACT! haha

I really believe that partaking in pregnancy yoga strengthened my mind and body in preparation for giving birth to my children. I really recommend it. It also gives you an hour a week to concentrate solely on you and your baby.

Motherhood has taught me patience beyond belief. It’s also taught me the unconditional love I always heard my own mother talk about!

My husband says I don’t want to have sex as much… after the 3rd time maybe that’s my body’s natural way of telling me NO MORE! Haha…

The biggest challenges have also been the greatest moments if that makes sense, every day presents some sort of challenge. I have learnt to take every day in my stride, as the next will no doubt be totally different! I try to enjoy the present moments with my children as you never know what’s around the corner.

I learnt to survive on lack of sleep like every other new mother 1st time around it felt like a zombie, 2nd time not so bad and 3rd time I really didn’t feel it at all!

Piper slept very well from about 8 weeks, I was lucky !

Paeton was a shocking sleeper and only just started sleeping really well at the start of this year when she turned 2. She was up at all hours of the night for what seemed like hours.

Fynn is 3 months and still not sleeping through, he is a hungry little man and still feeds about 2 times through the night, but he is easy to get to sleep and just wakes and feeds and then straight back to bed.

Swaddling is the way to go, some parents make the mistake of thinking their baby doesn’t like to be swaddled, because they fight being wrapped up, but all my babies needed it to calm them and get them off into a deep sleep.

As for me – COFFEE! And clear eyes!

Handling sleep gets easier with every child…

Don’t waste time and energy trying to get your baby into a sleep routine to soon, they will do it in their own time. I stressed over trying to get Piper my first baby into a routine because I read all the “save our sleep” type books that said babies rely on routine. So feed at this time, play at this time, bed at this time…. I soon realized that I was so stressed over this whole routine I was going crazy… so I did a total 360 with the next two… and it made life a bit easier.

I had a terrible time with breastfeeding Piper. I only feed her for 6 weeks, my nipples were bleeding, I cringed every time it was feed time and I wasn’t enjoying it. I put too much pressure on myself now I look back.

With Paeton it was so much easier, I knew what I was doing and she attached really well. I fed her for 5 months.

Fynn also took to breastfeeding like a duck to water. I want to feed him for at least 6 months. It’s easy and its FREE! No bottles (although I do express if I am going out or working and Leigh has to look after him). Knowing this is probably my last baby I am really enjoying this bond with my little man!

Piper was 5 and a half months I started with rice cereal with her then moved to veggies and other purees I made.

Paeton was about 4.5 months and I did the same. Although she is a much pickier eater and at 2.5 years still lover of bottles of milk!
They girls love pasta, rice and most meat. Piper at 4 is just starting to eat steamed veggies on her own.

Both girls love fruit, cheese, yoghurt and fish.

Piper was about 8 months when she first started to crawl; she did a commando type of crawl before she walked at about 13.5 months.
Paeton crawled at 6.5 months and was walking around at 11 months (think she wanted to keep up with her big sister!)

So I will be interested to see when Fynn walks and crawls!

We didn’t experience any terrifying moments as they learnt to move – thank god!

Having the first and second and now third and only grandchildren on both sides of our families, it brought everyone close. I have lots of help and babysitters. It has brought my sister and I a lot closer and she is just the best aunty, she is a natural.

It took me ages to let go of the girls; they have now started to enjoy sleep over’s at Aunty and Uncle’s place and also Grandma’s place. They love it and I Leigh and I enjoy the nights it’s just us and Fynn.

Having three children does put a totally different perspective on my relationship with my husband Leigh. We are a lot more tired, and I feel like sometimes we don’t spend enough time talking or together – life, kids and work get in the way. We do try to have time just the two of us, but not very often. In saying that, Leigh is a wonderful hands on dad, he is amazing and loves his kids, he cooks dinner a few nights a week, he takes the girls fishing, and bike riding and does bath time, and bedtime without a second thought.

I also joined a really great group of mummies that I met at my antenatal classes, we are still great friends 4 years on and many siblings later! Best thing I did!

Little tips…
I store all outgrown babies clothes in nappy boxes, then I have rough idea of the sizes of the clothes in the boxes…eg. newborn nappy boxes have new born clothes.
Cabbage leaves DO help sore boobs!
Find a lovely baby nurse/midwife that you can talk to anything about…I found my at the local chemist and make appointments to see her with all three of my babies to have them weighted or answer any questions.
Everyone experiences motherhood in a different way. Because everyone handles lack of sleep, stressful situations, crying babies and sore nipples in a different way… so too will our experiences of motherhood totally differ from each other.
If I have a friend/relative having a baby, I cook up meals that can be frozen and popped in the oven for dinner, because I know all too well the last thing you want to worry about is DINNER!

Pearls of wisdom
Above all else do what works for you, if someone tells you that you must do something, if it’s not working for you, don’t stress yourself trying to do it! You’re the mum so what you say goes!
I have learnt to accept help when it is offered, I didn’t with Piper, I very rarely did with Paeton and now with three kiddies I accept whatever help is offered my way!

Missy, Gold Coast, Australia

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