Well I doubt 2017 will top 2016 for me!
I know 2016 has been a pretty sh!tty year in many ways (Generally: Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far right. Personally: the death of a very good friend of mine and my beloved dog), but it was the year I became pregnant and gave birth to a wonderful little boy. I couldn’t have really asked for much more!
I am not sure what to expect in 2017. I think most of the year will be winging motherhood and trying to be the best parent I can for Baby Flat.
Here are a few things 2017 has in store:
In January I can start driving again. I can’t wait to have a little more freedom and to be able to leave the house a bit more with Baby Flat. Since the c section, I have not been allowed to drive. As I live on the outskirts of a small market town, I have therefore been restricted to walking into town (which quickly gets very boring!) or staying indoors (which is less boring than I thought it would be, but probably isn’t very good for my social skills!).
Getting fit / losing some chub
This should probably be my priority in 2017 (after Baby Flat of course!). It makes me a little sad because I love eating! I hate the way I look though, and there’s only so long you can use the excuses “I’m pregnant” or “I’ve just had a baby”! I gained a huge amount of weight through TTC and pregnancy. To date I have lost around 30lbs but I have a long way to go (like, around 40-50lbs) before I’m back to a weight I’m comfortable with.
I do feel a little cheated as so many people say “The weight drops off when you breastfeed”, which I have found to be total rubbish. I am eating around 2,000 cals a day, which I track religiously using MFP (MyFitnessPal). Allegedly breastfeeding then uses up around 500 cals a day, so the maths say I should slowly be losing weight. I’m not. I know it’s not the end of the world and I have never been able to lose weight easily, but when breastfeeding is so darn hard I think there should be a little reward for the poor mum!
I think I’ll feel much better once my fitness increases and my waistband decreases. My self-esteem, motivation and all-round confidence is linked to my weight, as I’m sure it is for many people, so I really want to get a grip on it sooner rather than later. I have started following a few fitness/diet blogs, but there is so much sponsored rubbish out there it’s hard to find blogs that are interesting!
Going back to work
At the moment, the plan is that I will return on 1st August 2017 and BT will take the remainder of my year’s maternity leave as paternity leave*. This way I can ease back into work and will have a few weeks knowing that Baby Flat is safe at home, before we need to face putting him in a nursery for 11 hours each day. I am really unhappy about having to put him in a nursery when he is so small, but if I give up work now then it will be very hard to get back into my chosen career a few years down the line.
Financially it makes very little sense for me to go back to work now, as the cost of childcare plus the cost of my commute means I will effectively be bringing home £10/day (incredibly depressing when I am working 12-18 hour days!). I am trying to focus on the bigger picture though, and the long term incentives. It is very hard though when I have been treated so badly by my current employer (as background, they were awful to me throughout my pregnancy and made a number of threats about my job. They then failed to give me the correct pay increase in line with others of my level and refused to give me a bonus. Although they did not say it, all of this was as a direct result of me announcing my pregnancy).
Hopefully in 2017 I can explore other job opportunities and get a new job for 2018.
(*As an aside, I love the shared parental leave system the UK has at the moment! I really hope that it won’t be one of the many beneficial systems that gets cut once Brexit occurs. Sadly, I have a feeling the UK will massively backtrack on a number of employment protections and benefits we currently have, along with many other benefits.)
It seems like madness to already be thinking about this, but BT and I would love to have a second child. We both originally wanted a big family (four children), but over the years that obviously changed to praying for just one healthy child!
Originally, when I was pregnant with Baby Flat, we had said that we would start trying in January 2017. We were conscious that it could take years to fall pregnant again (not to mention the fact that a pregnancy doesn’t guarantee a baby) and so we were keen to start as soon as possible. If we were lucky enough for it to happen quickly, then that would have just been amazing!
Unfortunately, due to the nature of Baby Flat’s birth, we were told not to start trying again for at least a year after the birth. Although this was a little disappointing, we will forever be grateful that we actually have a healthy child and we will never ever forget that. So many women (and men) go through everything we went through and much worse, yet never get to hold their baby. We are definitely counting our blessings that Baby Flat arrived safely!
We will see where we get to over the course of 2017. Sometimes we think that we should maybe start trying a little sooner (nothing stupid, but perhaps waiting 9 months rather than 12) as we don’t want to leave it too late and miss the boat. Other times we’re really nervous to try at all in case I am not “fixed” internally and us racing to try again somehow harms any baby.
It is difficult to get any accurate information, because the guidance appears to be “wait at least a year or you may risk damaging yourself and/or your baby, however if you are over 35 or may struggle to conceive you can start after 6 months”. This makes no sense to me, because either you are ready physically to carry a baby or you are not?
We will see. As much as I am ready emotionally to start trying now, I am definitely not ready physically as I still get quite a bit of internal pain from the c section.
Anyway, for now I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has to offer.
I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful 2017!
x x x
P.S. I have changed my Username slightly as FlatWhite was just so impersonal! 2017 and new beginnings and all that…