When I first had S, and had to deal with the whole situation surrounding her father, as well as a tiny, jaundiced, premature baby, I don’t think I felt particularly lucky.

But just lately, having spoken to many other women about their experiences in pregnancy, childbirth, relationships, childrearing… I realise just how fortunate I really am.

Single Mother Ahoy and baby
I am definitely the most lucky mummy in the world.
Here is a list to remind me of my good fortune…
  • My pregnancy, if you remove the ex from the picture, was actually fairly easy. I had a little hip trouble, but I didn’t end up having to leave work early or confined to a wheelchair from it. I didn’t have gestational diabetes. S was born before she was big enough to be anything but a pleasure to feel kicking me. I didn’t have to endure a hot summer of pregnancy, I didn’t get preeclampsia, I had water retention but not too badly. All in all, a relatively trouble free pregnancy.
  • Although I was induced, and labour was painful (and ten and a half hours!) I have heard some real horror stories that have made me realise how easy I really had it. I didn’t tear, S wasn’t distressed, despite being early she was a good weight and healthy. I didn’t need to have an emergency C-Section, and was lucky enough to be able to go through the process without drugs or epidural.
  • S was born with no suck/swallow response, and was fed formula through a tube for the first few days. I was very lucky to have the help and support of hospital staff, who helped me to begin to breastfeed. They would say it was down to my hard work, but I really didn’t put any work in, other than pumping before S’s NG tube was removed.
  • I have been so lucky with the breastfeeding! No mastitis, no bleeding nipples, no engorgement, no painful breasts, no low supply, no leaky boobs when I went back to work. Whenever S wants milk, it’s there. When she doesn’t want milk, I’m not in pain.
  • Linked to the breastfeeding: S did not poo much before she started solids. For a while, she was only going once a week. At one point she went for 18 days without a poo, during which time she was perfectly happy and content. Apparently this is not unusual; breastmilk is so efficient, there’s little waste from it. 18 days was a record for most of the health visitors I spoke to though!
  • I was a high risk for post-natal depression. Everyone thought I would end up depressed, including me. I have more than one friend who has struggled with PND; I’ve seen how utterly horrible it is. I am so fortunate to have never experienced it first hand.
  • When S and I first came home, she was still jaundiced, and I had to wake her to feed her. As she got better, she would wake for feeds; but she didn’t cry unless there was something wrong. She didn’t have colic and has only ever had a very mild nappy rash once or twice. It took me a little while to realise that actually, some babies do just cry a lot. Actually, I have been very lucky that S is just incredibly easy-going, and only cries when there is something wrong. And that something is usually fixable. Being on my own and lacking in confidence, if things had been different, and S had been a screamy baby, I’m not sure I would have coped so well.
  • Seriously, I know I’m gorgeous and all, but how the chuffing hell did I manage to produce something that perfect?! She is so much more naturally happy and laid back than I am. And I don’t think either of those is a quality the sperm donor possesses. I definitely lucked out where this child is concerned. Even when she cries at 2am, and she snots in my hair and digs her nails into my boob, she’s still perfectly adorable. How the hell did I do that?
  • Being on my own with S definitely has it down sides. For instance, my work is having its annual summer BBQ this week; it starts at 5pm and is infamous for all the free food and booze… and I can’t go because I have nobody who could look after S and put her to bed without tears. BUT I also don’t have to compromise with anything I do with her. As I noted in this post the other week, we get up in the morning, decide what to do, and go. When we come home, we have whatever we fancy for lunch, and spend the afternoon doing whatever we please. I don’t leave her to cry, she still sleeps in my bed on a regular basis, I still breastfeed her, and I’m careful about what I do and don’t say to her. I don’t have to worry about someone else coming in here telling me I really should get her out of the habit of sleeping in my bed, or her cot should really be in her room by now, or haven’t I given up breastfeeding yet, or telling her she’s good or naughty or bad or telling her to say thank you.
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Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.


MamaMummyMum · 27/06/2013 at 10:17

Inspiring post, always nice to focus on the positives, well done!! xx

    Vicky Charles · 27/06/2013 at 19:11

    Thanks, I get tired of listening to myself whine! And it's true what they say – "I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining!"

anna · 28/06/2013 at 18:58

its always best to focus on the positives i think! lovely post!

Jaime Oliver · 28/06/2013 at 21:38

what a fab post and one that i personally relate too as my daughter was 6 months old when we were on our own and i spent a large portion of my life with her (she is 12) being a single parent. <br /><br />Thanks for linking up with #PoCoLo x

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