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I'm Schnieder Moore, and you are listening to everyone on the podcast.

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Everyone on the podcast was created for one reason to get honest about parenthood, about the realities, the joys, the surprises and the fears, the moments that foremost and the ones we don't hear people talk enough about, which is why we are so proud to partner with water wives as our sponsor for this season as they share this mission with us and are such an essential brand for everyone.

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As creators of the world's puritz baby wipes containing just two ingredients, ninety nine point nine percent water and just a drop of fruit extract, water wipes are pure than cotton, wool and water and also the breadwinners of three national parenting far towards 2020, including best baby wipes during the early days. As a parent, everything is uncertain. But choosing the right wipes shouldn't be a worry. With no artificial fragrance, soap, silicones or color's what the wipes are suitable for sensitive newborn and even premature skin.

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Together, we are committed to providing more reassurance for parents with trusted products and this podcast helping us to all take those important steps towards greater confidence while building a community of support for every mom.

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This week, I'm joined by Alvin Garrahy to talk about her Lockton pregnancy induction, birth and life as a new mom during this crazy year. Arriving at the doors of the rotunda 10 weeks ago, an induction and a day of unknowns lay ahead with partner restrictions. Olva, like so many women this year, started the process of birth without her husband, Rory. But here shares how she was able to get into the zone, focused on controlling the controls, how she never felt alone, as the midwives are so incredible, and how she found strength in knowing that she was the only woman who could birth her baby at every moment.

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We understand why there is a lot of anxiety and loneliness for expectant and new parents right now for missing out on the pregnancy. You imagined partner restrictions and learning how to do this without seeing friends and family.

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I'm going through it myself, and we hope by Oliver sharing her honest experience that we can in some way reassure and support you. As all of us says, we are a tribe of incredible women.

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We need to remember that. Elvis, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast and congratulations on almost 10 weeks with beautiful baby Sean.

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Oh, thank you. And and same to you. Congratulations to you on two weeks on your number two. So amazing that you're you're working and you're doing this. But thank you for having me.

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And when you asked me a couple of months ago, you mentioned just me by coming on the podcast, I kind of thought, gosh, I'm no expert here. What would I have to say? I haven't done this yet. This is all so new to me. I think it's the same for everyone, isn't it? For no one's an expert. We all are just kind of winging it. So I'm delighted to be here. And thank you for asking me and happy to to share my experience of being a mom for the first time.

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And that's it. None of us know what we're doing. And the sooner we learn this, I think the more permission we give ourselves to to be kinder to ourselves, like we're all winging it. And just when you think you've got something actually nails, something will change. A phase will change, a clock change will change exactly as we learned yesterday, something will always change. And there's been more change than I think any of us could have ever, ever fathomed this year alone for four people.

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Absolutely. You were you had a good chunk of pregnancy before all of this kind of restrictions and lockdowns and all of these things. So were you able to kind of tell people in person and get excited about what was about to happen? I was yes.

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So we found out in January we were very lucky and I felt pregnant very fast. And I feel so blessed that that happened because I know it's not the case for so many. But we found out in January and I was five weeks pregnant, so we didn't tell our families until I was nine weeks. We have an early scan at nine weeks and then we told our families, which is so exciting and and this is all pre covered. Obviously, this is the end of January this stage.

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So, you know, we could visit them and we could hug them and we could well, if I have my sister, even she lives in care. So we told her on FaceTime then. And but it wasn't because, of course, but it was just because she said we were all very excited until told Stan Musial and then waited until the twelve weeks to tell our friends and extended family and things like that. So yeah, it was very exciting.

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But I was twelve weeks kind of at the end of February. Around twenty the February I think so not long before all this kicked off. So, but it was lovely to meet up with my friend, my close friends for dinner or whatever and and tell them in person. It was very it was really nice.

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And then March came and locked in game. And so it was a huge amount of pregnancy was only really kind of two months, but I had pretty covid and then very much a covered pandemic's pregnancy after that.

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Yeah, of course, because of those few months that you were pregnant, you were still distancing in some respect from people that didn't know. Yeah. That point of like being able to finally share the news and start indulging in all those, like, pregnancy things you're expecting, like joining the the Pilates classes and the yoga classes and going shopping for baby and, you know, just dipping your toe into this new world. I find it it's really sad to have had all those things, just clothes completely.

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And my family will always say, like I want to, like, I've been quite fruitier or kind of maternal since I was like, I love dolls when I was younger. I know I had all the problems. The book is the whole lot for my dolls. So, you know, I think there was always kind of like, oh, never, ever has a baby.

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You know, she's going to just love all of that. So, yeah, it was it was it was it was so lucky in the sense that the pregnancy went so well and, you know, with no issues or anything.

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But I would have loved to have been able to do that because I was because I was the first of my close circle of friends to to become pregnant and to have a baby. I didn't have a friend, a close friend in the same boat as me. And obviously I had my sister. So luckily I got so much advice from her was fantastic. But again, she wasn't there, so I don't get to see her that often. And so I would have loved the mother and baby classes.

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I would have loved the ladies yoga. I would have just I would have been in my element, you know, having those things to attend and like that again, going into all the shops and the bogey's and the whole lot and everything just shut down, you know, so we didn't get to do any of that locally.

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There's been lovely online things and we did our engineering classes online. And and we did know eventually we got to kind of go in and get our bits because as we were kind of coming out of Lockton, we got to go and get a boogie in baby elephants and things like that. And but I would have I would have signed up for all of the classes and doing all of the courses. But yeah, I just wanted to be this year, unfortunately.

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And then obviously, there's the. Scans as well, you know, locally, where he was there for early scan and the 12 week scan, but after that I was on my own and and don't get me wrong, like I loved the scans again, we were so blessed. We never got any bad news or anything like that. Everything went smoothly. And but, yeah, it's daunting going on your own and you don't know before every sky and, you know, if if it's going to go as well as they did so.

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And that was that was kind of scary, especially the 20 week one. And we'd actually lost our little dog baby a couple of weeks before that, which absolutely tore it apart. We were just heartbroken. And he was my first baby. And I always say he'll always be my first baby. But we lost him quite tragically. He was attacked just as we were in lockdown and. My 20 week scan was the next scan after that happened, and I was particularly anxious for that because, you know, something bad has happened and you're kind of we were heartbroken about this.

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And but luckily, you know, so I have to go to that scan. And I kind of wish that was the one scan that I really wish you could come with me, because I didn't I was just on edge or something after that happened, probably. So thank God everything was OK. And we got it all went well and it was fine. So, yeah. But I you know, I totally understand women's anxiety and worries about attending scans alone because you never know how they're going to go.

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So yeah, I suppose that's just the what comes with having a baby in a pandemic. It's such a vulnerable time. And I think that those scans, especially, as you said, the 20 week, it's it's for me it felt like is this the day I'm going to find out the bad news or is this the day that's, you know, just all the things that you're hoping and planning for? Your you'll find out won't be a reality.

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And it's it can be a phenomenally happy day because it's also the day that there's a lot of reassurance that actually, you know, everything is tracking as it should and baby is growing as it should. And you can really leave feeling like it's real. It's it's this is happening and we're halfway there. And it's so positive on both sides of us. I felt really like I want to share that. And I want like also I felt, why does he get to miss that?

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I know he's the dad, too. Yeah. Yeah. And he was equally equally as anxious as I was, you know, and we're hoping and praying that everything would be OK. And and I know he would have loved to have been there with me, too, because you do you cling on to every single word they say, you know, and you're kind of looking at their facial expression as they're moving the thing around. You told me, you know, and it's kind of like, you know, it's you literally cling on to every word that they say.

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And and as you said, it's either jubilation and delight and happiness or could be absolute heartbreak. You just don't you don't know. So, yeah, it's it's definitely a scary time for for 2010 at the hospital that I attended, the rotunda. They've since allowed dads or partners in and for 20 week scan, which is amazing. But I know it's not the case with all hospitals. So it just depends on on the hospital, I think, at the moment.

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And then, of course, you've got the countdown to birth, which I think knowing that this time around for me, because it was my second. Like I remember on my first thinking, that birth was just like D-Day. Like, that's that's almost the end of us. It's the big milestone. And nothing was really thought about thereafter, whereas after he had a different perspective this time in thus labor and birth is only the beginning, actually. Oh, yeah.

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Everything else that's taken labor and birth is completely unknown and labor and birth is completely unique to every woman, every bump, every baby, every pregnancy. It will never go the same way and it'll never really go as you fully anticipate it will. So leading into those weeks, how were you kind of managing those those very normal thoughts around what's it going to be like?

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Yeah, I was surprisingly calm. I think I think I'm kind of good in situations like that whereby. You know, you control the control levels and whatever will be, will be and I just accepted. I kept saying to myself, millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of women have done this before you and millions and millions will do it again. You know, it's the most natural thing in the world to give birth to a baby. And so I was quite calm.

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I didn't feel that anxious about us. I can be quite rational in situations like that. You know, you just have to get on with it. You just have to do it. And that's how it's going to be, you know? And Sean was measuring big. So my doctor had said to me all along, we might not let you go for the full 40 weeks. We don't want to seem to get to you know, he was big.

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We don't want my consultant, Jennifer Donnelly in the rotunda was amazing. She I very much felt like she was really looking after me as well as the baby. And she know she said there's no point in us letting him get too big and it be not a nice experience for you then, you know, maybe having to to do a section instead of natural birth, which is what I which is what my preference was to give birth naturally. And I look, I got to in the end, which is Grace, which she said, you know, we might use and use your early if if if we think it's the right thing to do.

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So I was actually induced to thirty eight weeks. So in a way like I went in. I had scanned the day before I was, she basically said to me, when you come in for your scan on the Tuesday, if the head is engaged and everything is favorable and will and you see the next day. So it was a case of, OK, I'm going in today and I'll find out now what's happening, which is happening tomorrow or whatever.

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So luckily you all the head was engaged and things like that. So I then knew that I was I was going to be in labor the following day. So, you know, although I probably would have liked it all to happen naturally at home and things like that, it was kind of nice to be able to plan and then know that, OK, I'm being dropped off at their turn to tomorrow morning at half seven by Rory. He's leaving.

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Then I'll be just at nine or whatever time. So I kind of liked knowing that it was happening the next day, even though deep down I would have liked everything to have gone, you know, let it happen. But luckily, actually, after the after I had that examination on Tuesday, I had to show that nice. I was getting kind of pains and things like that. So she said to me afterwards, so he was he was coming kind of in a couple of days anyway.

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So it was nice to hear this because I knew that he was ready to come out, you know, so. So, yeah. And then the day came and Rory dropped me off, as I said, at half seven that morning, and literally was just the weirdest experience because I had all my bags, my snacks and the whole lot and my ball and everything. And he was gone then. And you're just sitting in the waiting room, you know, waiting to be kind of admitted.

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And like other women are coming in and and you're kind of wondering what their situation or do they know what they're having or is this their first or how do they you know, it's just all these thoughts go through your heads. And I was quite emotional when he dropped me off because I was like, this is just so bizarre. I'm going in to give birth to a human and I'm on my own for half, pretty much half the day and.

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And then, yes, I was admitted and I was induced in around nine o'clock and the pains kicked in and. I like I really wanted to feel the pain for as long as I could. That was something I really wanted to do to experience and I did, which was Grace. And I had my music in my ears and I just got to my own little zone. I was like, again, you're just a number of it. So you've done before.

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You so many will do it again. You just need to get in the zone. And just I kind of felt I was like, oh, well, was obviously very lucky, but I was the only person who could do this. Is me. The only person who can bring this baby boy into the world is me. So I'm going to get to that I just felt so deep that I was I was I was I was blessed with that experience and that.

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You know, I was I was I was able to experience that, so the pain started and then my water broke and the whole loss and so from have seven I dropped it. I am things move quite fast. And I was past the kind of three centimeters by about two o'clock in the afternoon. So I was moved to the labor suite that and where Kookmin could come in. So that was so nice then just kind of by with ice and then the Teamsters get really bad.

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So I was like, OK, I've done a good few hours of this. Now, whenever you want to give me the epidural, I am ready.

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So so I had the epidural then and that was like they are just the most amazing thing ever. Like, they just I was so chilled then once that kicked in and we were having the crack with the midwives. And, you know, I could have I didn't fall asleep, but I could have. But I loved that then. I loved the fact that I got to feel the pains and and and really know what it's like to be in proper labor and then and.

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And then to be able to kind of enjoy the time there, Rory, you know, and and chat away and be like this, not that this is happening now and I'm five centimeters now and things are moving fast. And I just I loved every minute of it. And it was I felt so powerful. Like I just felt like the only person that can do this right now and bring this this baby into the world is me. How amazing are women's bodies that thus I have been given this job and that my body is going to do this in a matter of hours?

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Like it was just I just loved every minute of it. And of course, it's tough and the pains are so intense and it's so overwhelming and you're cursing and you're like, I remember saying, Troy, I was like, just just be there, you know, just be there. Like, I don't know what I want you to do or what I want you to say. But if you could just be by my side, that's all I need.

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And he was fantastic. Like, he was so good. He knew, like, not to say too much, just be there. And if anything, I need I let him know, you know, and. Yeah. And then I just loved every minute of it. And then five to eight that evening then Chuck was born. So yeah, we were blessed with a little baby boy. He was in the end he was eight pounds, fourteen and a half.

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And so I never let go and I hung on to that have all died a few few times.

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So A14 was like no effort in the House.

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It all matters. It all matters. All matters. But I love that you're the only one who can do this. And I when you're sick, that that to me is like that's that mother kicking in. Yeah. It's that huge maternal rush to say this is now on me, this is my baby. I am going to birth this. I am going to make sure that it is brought safely into the world like it's a real transitional point between who you are and who you're going to be and how you like.

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That's the priority from forever. You know, forever.

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More things will never be the same again. Yeah, it's over.

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And my priorities before that, God, when I think of them, like, you know, just silly things that I like, I need to do this today, you know, it's definitely that moment you're like is the priority now getting you here safely? And this is on me and let's do it. And yeah, I felt I had to I said I felt so powerful.

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I just felt like this is so cool that I get to do this, you know, and even like you, you want to feel pain, you want to feel pain, you want to feel that connection. You want to feel your body is doing this so that you can walk out of there being like, I am amazing. My body did this. I'm a mother now. He is my little boy. And I brought him into this world.

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Yeah. And it was funny once he was born and everything and then back to the ward and I saw other women there, I almost felt like we were like a tribe.

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We know being amazing, like we have done this together. I felt like, I felt like I was like a sister. I was like, this is so cool like that. We all did this in the last couple of hours, like, you know, it's just amazing. It really is.

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So and and I was I was Rory threat. What was his feeling when when Sean arrived again? Just, you know, that it was it's kind of when he comes out like we spoke, we knew we were having a little boy. So we spoke all about him for the nine months. What we know obviously we found out 20 weeks or whatever.

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But am I just seeing him there in the flesh, you know, after all, because you wonder during pregnancy, what will you be like, who you look like, you know, what'll it be like to hold you?

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You know, like I I found like being pregnant was amazing. But you're still kind of I don't know this person. Yes. And I although you feel connected to them, you don't know him until he arrives or she. And so he was just I think he just found the whole experience just amazing as well.

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And he was he kept saying to me, it's like it's like you done before.

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It's like you did before. You're just so gob and you're you know, it's like you could do that four times or, you know, he was very encouraging. But, yeah, he was he loved us. And he was he was fantastic, too, because I know it can be obviously we have to do all the work. But, you know, it can be hard for the men because they don't know what they should do or say or what he was.

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He was just brilliant. And he was he always a very calm person, you know, and he's the only speaks when he is something decent to say, are worthwhile saying. And, you know, he's very calm and he just he was the best possible person to have in the room because I'm the chatterbox and I'm the kind of chatty you one. And he's become one where I think that's why we work. But yeah, he was great.

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And then, you know, you do the whole skin skin thing and, you know, while they were well, you know, we kind of he was very much involved from the word go, which was great. And the bonding kind of started from the word go go, which was just which is great. I couldn't have asked for better. I was very much on my own. So. Yeah, yeah. And I think it was I'm sure he was probably delighted that he was off the hook.

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No, I was. I was I don't know, I just think if the pain is bad, you know, nothing, I know you can do this thing and all that, but I just kind of. I just I was just like so close my eyes, my eyes were closed for so much of us because I was almost kind of like, if I close my eyes, nothing nothing I see can make this feel worse or nothing will annoy me.

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You know, if anyone's doing anything that I'm doing that I won't see it if my eyes are closed.

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So I just kind of close my eyes and deep breaths and I just kind of went into my own little zone. That was that was how it happened.

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I was the same. I was laboring at home for a while, for a long time. And it really wasn't until I actually sent Tom to bed. I would like to know just you go get some sleep. And I was entirely by myself downstairs. I put some, like, soft music on it was a fireplace. And I just had my birthing ball and I turned off lights. I just had a candle in a corner just giving an off life that I did back into something.

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Yeah. And that's when the pain started. Like I had to be just by myself in a little place.

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That's really that that in itself is a lesson about how you like biologically.

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It all should kick off or else. Yeah.

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And how and how you're kind of you are on your own and it is just down to you, you know. And I know people, other people do it differently and they might like massaging or the the hip, everything or whatever.

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But I thought it was kind of they reminded me of kind of period pains, you know, when you get really bad pains and if, you know, if someone said something that you didn't agree with, it almost made things feel worse because you're like, you're annoying me.

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I'm already getting used to just be quiet, you know? So I just felt like if I'm on my in my own zone and it shows my I do this myself, nothing can make this feel worse than it already is, you know. So that's that's how it worked for me completely.

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So what was it like then? You know, nobody's here. And that's why I, I started out by saying, like, this time round, I then knew birth was not actually the end point. Birth was the beginning actually, of in some ways the work. And I you know, I think that there's a real period actually after the birth when you are alone in hospital and with that baby on that first night and nothing to do with covid, you'd be alone at night anyway.

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Yeah. And where those cries and you feel like, oh, I don't know what to do now. I don't know where is where is the book. Where's the manual. I didn't set the test for this. Yeah.

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It's so true. And I, I one hundred percent guilty of absolutely focusing on the labor and the births in the lead up to it and getting through this and wondering what it's going to feel like and all of that. You know, I read, I read books about birth and labor, what I didn't read any about after that, you know, and. I definitely think people focus so much of the day, they forget that, as you said, that's at the end of the pregnancy.

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Now you have a full life of motherhood. So, yeah, it was we got that first. Nice. He was born at five to eight in the evening, so he was quite sleepy after that. So he was actually very Zen that nice.

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And I was like, cause, you know, in a way in a way he was kind of because he was so sleepy, took a while to latch on things like that. He just wanted to sleep.

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And but in terms of, you know, him crying, he did very little that first night for Gods did make up for the next phase, I think they call it. That was not that that night to or those that night. Second night. Yes, he was. So the first night was fine because he was on a couple of hours old, a very chilled and then with the next guy. And you're just kind of wondering, God, you know, I think it's just you don't know what to do.

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It's so new to you. And, you know, in a way, I was kind of I was happy that he was kind of alert and awake because he was so chilled the first night and he was feeling much better the second night. But, yeah, it was just nonstop.

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And it's like when I ever get my boobs back, they're just talk to you. It's so important as well because they lose that weight when they're born that you need to get it back on. And and yeah, it was intense. I didn't sleep a single week the first night because I just couldn't stop looking at them the second night because he didn't let me, you know. But I don't think I think I don't think I even goes into hospital to have a baby expecting to get a great sleep.

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You're just you're but I think you kind of run on adrenaline as well, you know, like, I was constantly taken because I couldn't have any visitors except for two hours a day or to come in. And you can't see any pictures. I was on FaceTime. I was just staring at you just stare someone. You're like, I can't believe you're mine. You know, it's just amazing. Yeah, no, no, I know. I'm sure there are books, but I didn't I didn't really read many of what happens afterwards.

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And I'm going back to what I said at the beginning. That's where you just wing is, you know, when you to just do what works for you. And and no one is an expert when it comes to being a mom for the first time. You just have to do what works for you. And I'm very much of that opinion. Like, you know, you can take all the advice in the world, but no one knows your baby like you do.

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And, you know, I often get messages on Instagram from people asking about you. How did you make it work or what do you do when they do this? I I'm slow to give to give any advice because this is what works for me and my baby. You could be completely different, you know, and I have received it's funny, when you become a mother, you know, people kind of sometimes take it upon themselves to send you their bit of advice.

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And I'm like, you know, comes from a good place. You don't know my baby. You know, everyone is different. And and that's where I think there is no manual. And you just have to do kind of what works for you. Yeah.

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There is no book for your baby. No. And it is nobody will know your baby like you do because nobody has spent that intense period of time attached to you. Then you're exactly. Yeah. Examining your kind of every move. Yeah.

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And nobody has done the overthinking that you have done in your head all night long, wondering what if I put them on this position, what if I put them on that position, what if I roll over. Did they get enough today. What was that cry about today? Was I good enough today? All of those swirling thoughts are in your head and often, as you said, like that well-meaning advice that can sometimes just be enough to push you over the edge of things.

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It could almost stress you out more. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Or someone. Oh, my baby feeds disarranged a day or sleeps this amount of hours a day, you know. In the beginning, I was like, what are we doing wrong, Bush? Now it's just everyone is different. It's just the way it is. And we've kind of gotten into our flow now. And I, I feel now that it's kind of 10 weeks on, I must have done too much wrong because he's driving and his weight, his grades and he's feeding and he's sleeping and he's happy and he's smiling.

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You know, I think once, you know, they have all those signs, you know, that they're a happy content baby and you're doing your best, I guess.

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And it has to be just moment to moment. It's not even day to day completely. It's just moment to moment. It's what what do I think my baby needs right now? What do I think is the best thing that's working for your own physical and mental health, too? And I think that's something that often gets prioritized in those first ten weeks when your entire focus is on this new human, this new little baby and everything that they need that you forget.

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Well, yeah, but what do I need so that I'm at my best for them completely.

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It's so true. And those first few days after we come home, I didn't get dressed, I didn't take off my pajamas. It was just the way it was because I was so focused on the feeding and, you know, doing that that I didn't have time to think of myself. And I know that that's normal for those first, you know, the first few weeks or whatever. But I got to points then kind of few weeks on the road.

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I remember. I'll never forget. It's funny how you change in terms of what makes you feel good or, you know, revived or refreshed. I work for I work at my dad's in our family business, Dublin Bay Cruises. So there's no real alternative. But, you know, I'm lucky that I can be flexible and I can do both and I could do it at my time, which is great. But it was kind of the first day I felt, OK, I need to do maybe just two hours work because I just want to get on top of a certain few things.

[00:30:45]

He was probably about four or five weeks old at this date. So I said to my mom, this is when we were out of Lockton and would you take notes, take for a walk for maybe three hours just so I can sit down, get this done, and I'll feel that I don't then I didn't know how good, how good I would actually feel after. Not only was I happy that that bit of work was kind of ticked off, I felt so refreshed after it.

[00:31:07]

It was kind of like, this is doing work. It wasn't going. Was that, you know, it was it was it was kind of like the old me for three hours where I just sat down and did my work, knew he was OK. He was in good hands. My mom had him, couldn't you couldn't have been in better care. And I was able to just do this work. I just felt great after I felt like I had had a massage, I was like a new woman with just three hours to myself and my laptop doing, you know, bits and bobs.

[00:31:33]

And again, it sounds bizarre because I was doing work, but I just felt it. I was ready again to take on take on motherhood for another, you know, but because that's when you say I was a new woman.

[00:31:45]

But actually, I think that there was it was the comfort of you being the old version me for a few hours.

[00:31:51]

Yes. Yeah. Because you know her. She knows what she's doing. She knows how to do work. Yeah. Have to be accomplished and have something ticked and be in control of. I did that. Now it's done. I'm going to close my laptop. There is. That doesn't come with motherhood there. No there is no closing down.

[00:32:12]

It's, it's not that it's so true.

[00:32:14]

It was kind of that feeling of finishing something with like motherhood has ever been. So. Yeah. It's so true. It's so true.

[00:32:22]

So we sat there with your mom and in the best care. And when you were out of luck, then how are you feeling now that we're looking at these kind of we're kind of weak to have sex of not being able to have that support around?

[00:32:37]

Yeah, it's it's I mean, I'm very lucky she's she's only around the corner and obviously we do house visits or anything like that, but you can go for a walk with someone. It's outdoors from one of their households. So I'm blessed in that sense that we can do that. And if I have questions or, you know, she's related to that, she can you know, she can see my dad as well. And, of course, I would love for them to be able to come over here or to drop him off to her and, you know.

[00:33:09]

You know, if I need to get work done or if I do need to go do something or go to the bank, even I go to the post office, you know, those sort of jobs. And, yeah, it's very, very tough for I feel very, very lucky that she's so close by and we can go for a walk if we want. But there are so many people like even my sister, even for example, she has two under two don't care.

[00:33:28]

And, you know, we feel so far away from her at the moment because they're at that level on her youngest, isn't it? Isn't even one. Yes. And and so much of one's life has been covered and locked in. So we feel like we've only seen her a handful of times since she was born. And we're such a we we are very close knit family that, you know, it's very tough raising this. She's so far away from us and you just have to get on with it, you know?

[00:33:55]

So I feel very lucky in the sense that I'm so close to mom and dad Bush and it is so tough for her and for so many others at the moment, especially the first time moms and maybe know women who don't have a sister like I did to ask advice or don't have or maybe are the first of their friends to have a baby, too. So, yeah, it's it's just it's really tough for for so many, which is why this podcast and other things like even baby, you know, those online resources of ways for women to connect, ways for women to hear or other experiences that they feel less alone.

[00:34:34]

And just in my own experience of when I was on maternity leave the first time, like sometimes listening to the conversation in a podcast might be the only bit of interaction you feel like you've had that day.

[00:34:44]

Absolutely. And I have to say, I learned so much like, as you know, I'm a fan of the podcast. I listen to it throughout my pregnancy and a lot of a lot of other parenting podcasts. But I do cling on to snippets that I hear. And it was funny, actually. I was talking to my friends, you know, as I said, I was the first of my friends to have a baby. And I was like and they were they were intrigued to hear all of labor and stuff.

[00:35:07]

And I was like, there are certain things they never tell you. And they thought, this is so funny. I, I remember going through it moment by moment of the labor and the whole lot. And he was bored. And everything between the famous ten toes came in and myself, I was telling me this was the funniest thing I ever says when we were sitting enjoying the toast. And the next thing this lady came in called Sue and she had a and was like a big sponge.

[00:35:32]

And I was like and so I had been dressed to the stage and he had a little hat and she's like, Oh, I'm here to give you.

[00:35:42]

So it was like I was like, oh, you're washing me. She's like, yeah, rips off my nose and starts like me down with a sponge soapy water. Why my mom afterwards she's like, oh, it's called Bed Bath. I was like, no one told me that I was going to be sitting there so helpless, having just pushed out a baby and getting a bed bath and washed by this lovely lady. Kalsu like no one tells you these things.

[00:36:06]

And it's like she was an absolute angel on earth, like giving me a wash, like, you know, you never think this is going to happen or you're never going to be in that situation. I never heard that that happened to women after having after having a baby.

[00:36:18]

But it didn't happen to me. I know. Let us know. I'm like, well, I feel so relieved.

[00:36:24]

And it was my bed, but maybe she was like, you need it.

[00:36:29]

Love you. You said you were fairly stressed. There was pumping it through you there at one point. But yeah, no, there was no we just found the funniest thing.

[00:36:39]

There was no bed bath. And Hollister's had to wait for the epidural to wear off before I had the shower. And to be honest, I know what people say about the tea and toast being the best thing in the world.

[00:36:47]

Yeah, for me, the tea maybe I was too nauseous for the toast, but the Frehley shower. Oh, that was amazing.

[00:36:54]

Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. You feel like a new woman don't you. Yeah, it's amazing. And it's yeah. It's not in the prettiest showers, it's not in the most Oh showers.

[00:37:03]

It's just a feeling of the water coming down. It was just yeah. It's you, you feel like you could take on world for the first hour and I was kind of my second term.

[00:37:12]

You gave me it. So what could you if you could go back and tell nine one. Well actually sorry. Thirty eight week pregnant you. When you were going in to have that scan to see how big he was or to get the weight to get his size checked, and you're wondering, will I be brought in for labor tomorrow or not, you could go back and tell her how it's going to be or how it's going to go or what she shouldn't worry about.

[00:37:40]

What would you kind of go back and help her with? And. I mean, again, the main thing was the fact that I was going in on my own because of the whole the whole cover thing, but. Your body kind of just kicks into into gear, doesn't it? And it's kind of like, you know, whether your partners here or not, this is happening and you're in the best possible care you can be in, you know, like the stuff in the rotunda.

[00:38:07]

And I'm sure all hospitals all across the country are just like midwives are angels on Earth. They're just amazing. They're there to help you. The second you walk in that door, you're in the best possible care and no one's going to leave you there on your own. I never felt alone. I never felt alone in that time that I was before you could come in. And after he left, when I was there for the for the two nights after Tom's born there, they're just amazing.

[00:38:33]

And I had heard this before. I had, you know, before I went into heaven. But they're just phenomenal. And there's nothing to worry about because they're there for you. You know, they're there for all the questions you have pre birth and post. And and you'll never feel alone once you get in there, even though it might seem that way, you know, in the lead up to it. And I'm sure you agree, like, it's just they're there for you constantly and they've all the answers.

[00:38:57]

And and as I said, it felt like I was in this little sisterhood, you know, between the midwives and the other moms there. It was just and so sad leaving. And so, of course, it was sad. I was sad leaving the rotunda. I honestly, genuinely was that that was that was over. And, you know, and that, you know, I'd gone through the whole birthing I'd had. Sean, thank God you're safe and healthy, but I was sad to be leaving because I just loved my experience.

[00:39:23]

There's so much. So I would say there's nothing to worry about. You'll get through it and it's it's fine. It's the most natural thing in the world to have a baby, you know, whether it's you know, whether it's a C-section or whether it's it's you know, you're so well looked after no matter where you are, I'm sure, and wanting to be to be afraid of for me, my memory of both births, complete feeling of how on earth did I do that?

[00:39:51]

Did the millions of women before me do that to the millions of women after me?

[00:39:55]

That and how was it the biggest kept secret, that women are the most powerful biological beings on this planet?

[00:40:05]

Yeah, it fascinates me every single day. I think about I think about my birth experience probably every single day since I had them. And I. I just think. How is that how humans are created? It's just unbelievable how they're brought into the world and women are just super heroes, you know, it's just it's unbelievable. But yeah, I get that I was the same feeling of absolute elation that I did that. And this women can do that.

[00:40:35]

You know, it's yeah, it's great. It just fascinates me all the time. It's a total miracle. Thank you so much for sharing that incredible positive story. It's. Reassurance right now is the antidote to fear, and it is fear that is going to block all those wonderful flow and oxytocin hormones and all of that, like there shall be joy in it, too, you know?

[00:41:04]

And, yeah, we need to get rid of the fear. We need to share as much. We need to be as honest as possible about the things that are really hard so that you can anticipate them and you can prepare your mind for them. But overall, I think give as much reassurance and empowerment and strength and pass that on so that women approaching their due date can actually grow in excitement instead of, you know, nervous anticipation and fear.

[00:41:33]

Absolutely. Yeah. And that's exactly what I want to do on this podcast. It's exactly why I'm so I'm so proud that you were able to share this story 10 weeks after having it, because it's clearly so fresh in your mind and and in mind. Like I I still cry constantly over the past.

[00:41:52]

You know, as I said tonight, I'm a huge fan of the podcast, so I was absolutely honored that you asked me and I'm delighted to talk about it, because, as we said, it's it's it's the most amazing experience in the world. And I'm happy to share mine. So thank you for having me.

[00:42:07]

And congratulations on the first 10 weeks. Thank you.

[00:42:11]

Because it is done in itself.

[00:42:14]

It is. I feel like I would I think of of all those moments we've had and all the sleepless nights. But there's many of them. You know, it definitely is difficult and it's tough and it's a new version of you. What? It's all worth it. It's it's great. And you feel very, very lucky. So. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening, if you enjoyed this episode, it really helps our show to grow.

[00:42:46]

If you subscribe race or leave a review, share this episode across social and get in touch with this week's guest, Oliver Garrahy on Instagram. Talk to you again next week. This series is kindly supported by water pipes, water pipes are an essential for everyone from the first nappy change to during those messy waiting months as creators of the world's purest baby wipes. Water wipes are pure than cotton wool and water. And our proud sponsors of Every Month the podcast.