What people fail to mention about a new baby….In rhyme!
The talented full time mum/workaholic/poet Michelle Stevens offers honest and far too familar rhyming words on having a baby! Written a while back but still so relevant....
High on hundreds & thousands, embarrassed by the amount of toys in our playroom and hoping I don’t have to go near a cake pop for quite some time, I have finally come out of the fog, a 1st and 4th birthday, and numerous party celebrations. Yes two kids born in Jan was incredibly bad planning. It has made me think how fast the last year has gone and surprisingly a tad sad that the baby bit for me is over. Two is our limit we are definitely done. Our little family unit feels complete. When I do have a moment of sadness I remember the below reflection that I wrote a few years ago. It’s what I feel people didn’t mention before I had a baby, the joys that were conveniently eradicated from the NCT agenda. Certainly the bits that I also erased from my mind before having my second. It reminds me that while I loved every minute of “Number 2” ( and I never thought that I’d say that), the now is a lot more fun than some of this was. I promised rhyme so enjoy, but if you are about to have your first baby perhaps hold off till after the birth!
Pain, agonising pain, that can’t be described,
Pain relief doesn’t come fast enough, midwives can’t be bribed.
A stream of people in and out of the room, seeing your bare arse in the air;
Later you’ll feel embarrassed, but in the moment you just don’t care.
There’s strangers touching and rummaging, regularly in your lady parts,
There’s some joker suddenly saying, “Now the active labour starts.”
A vivid out of body experience, as your body deals with the pain.
An awareness you’re howling like an animal again, again and again.
For me there seemed to be, an abundance of medical intervention.
Conversations in front of my husband, I’m too embarrassed to mention.
But that’s enough of that, somethings are best forgot,
Suddenly you’re presented, with your cute, lovely, tiny tot.
Once home there’s the night sweats, no one warns you of those,
Waking up for the first night feed, having to wring out or change your clothes.
The birth and all involved, means you’ve not sat comfortably for a week,
When you do it’s rather tentatively, on the edge, of one bum cheek.
She has kamikaze hands, with tiny knives for nails,
That slice your face and neck, every time she wails.
She’s ready for food in an instant, in my case she’s bleating like a goat,
I give in, although I’m feeding early, she chokes on milk spraying down her throat.
Feeding baby in public? Other people’s opinion, you shouldn’t care,
But it’s hard to relax, when the grunting under your shirt, resembles a baby bear.
Be it her dribble or milk, there’s now a damp patch on your top,
The muslin’s on the other side of the room, what’s really required is a mop.
Leaving the house is a mission. Finally organised, ready to go, leaving in a sec,
Then there’s a rumble and bottom explosion, bright yellow baby poo oozing out her neck!
Once you’re out you take a deep breath, you made it and you’re pretty glad.
10 mins down the road, “Crap did I pop in a breast pad?”
After lots of half conversations and a bit of cake, round a mums from NCT,
You’re back in the car, “Crap did I leave my breast pad on their settee?”
Greeting the postman daily in your dressing gown, or with baby sick down your top;
To claim yet another pointless piece of baby apparatus, via an Amazon shop.
Gagging for a night out, even a 10 min trip to Tesco alone in the car;
A brief break from your mini side kick, the dream of wearing an underwired bra.
And when you do go out alone, it takes careful planning and work,
To ensure a fridge full of milk, “Don’t waste it!” I’ll go berserk.
Feeding a baby is draining, the insatiable need for cake never goes away.
Not particularly helpful, when trying to diminish what you weigh.
The pain of pumping and dumping; I never understood what I’d been told,
It depresses you, it’s demoralising, it really is liquid gold!
But you tell yourself it’s not forever, surely the end is in sight,
Not going to be long now, before they’re sleeping through the night.
Just settled her down, thankfully laid down your head,
You hear the creaking of the landing, bugger my toddlers got out of bed.
And when you start to think, you’ve got the night feeds down to a tee,
She starts waking every 2 hours, for a 20 min snack from me.
Eventually hallelujah it happens, baby sleeps right through the night,
But rather than enjoy it, you wake them up, to check if they’re alright.
You get into the swing of it, suddenly life is a well oiled machine,
Every scenario anticipated, all settled into a routine.
You realise it’s time to exercise, to tone your tummy and arse.
Walking loads with baby, making new mum friends via a buggy fit class.
You’ve signed up to all sorts of sessions, baby massage, sensory classes or baby rhyme,
Second time round you know what works, and what’s a waste of time.
So now enjoy it, get out and about, the pain’s no longer dire;
You’ll be working for the rest of your life, won’t have free time like this till you retire.
So I’ve put my career on pause, lost my dignity, my savings and my figure,
My life feels chaotic, it has lost my control freak rigour.
My body’s not my own, my favourite top now shows all sorts of bumps,
My pregnancy glossy thick hair, is falling out in clumps.
I never have time to go to the toilet or drink water, my husband doesn’t understand,
After nappies and sterilising bottles, I have constantly dry, cracked hands.
Motherhood is taxing, exhausting, certainly no piece of cake, (mmm cake).
But whatever the little mite throws at you, you’ll never think it was all a mistake.
A tired fog, piles of nappies, the fact you haven’t been to the bathroom on your own for a while.
None of it matters at all, when you experience that first giggle or smile.
You soon realise it’s not the end of the world, if they won’t go down for a nap,
At some point most babies roll off the bed or suffer some other mishap.
You feel you’re achieving nothing, your “To do” list grows, and your morale keeps taking knocks,
Remember you’ve grown and are nurturing a tiny human, trust me you’ve already ticked that box.
And while getting up for the night feeds, will certainly leave you yawning,
Never will someone be so excited to see you, at 6am in the morning!
Michelle Stevens is a writer, part time poet, full time working mum, aspiring kid's picture book writer and an observer. You can read all her poems and blogs at