A Personal Post ~ My Journey Into Motherhood…

It's Saturday, and I love to write the occasional personal or self employed related post on a Saturday, so bear with me ladies, and gents, as I share some of the thoughts that have been occupying my mind this past week.

Over the last few weeks, several popular blogs have featured posts on the subject of babies – largely, from a 'what comes next after marriage?' and 'when is the right time?' perspective.  I didn't really feel it my place to butt in to the conversation; many of my co-bloggers are younger than me – some by 10 years plus, and I figured that as a blogging mother of two, this perhaps one for me to observe, but not participate in.

And then I read this feature on Florence Finds and I was inspired and fascinated by all the reader comments. And it made me realise what an amazing, supportive community of women there is out there in the blogosphere, women who love hearing about other women's experiences, hopes and dreams, about real life, and all it's highs, lows and plateaus. So I came to figure out that I'd quite like to share a different perspective on the issue of babys and becoming Mother from the and that some of my readers might like to read about this too…

{Image Credit: Gill Taylor – a photo of my little Leanora's feet!}


Please, stay with me – this post isn't that long – I would love for it to provoke some discussion and I so I encourage you all to take sit tight for a few minutes, read to the very end then leave a comment if you have some time.

The decision for us to start trying for a baby happened once I'd turned 30.  Up until then, we had all the regular baby enquiries, well, at least I did; 'when are you two going to start for a family?', 'you don't want to leave it too late you know!', 'ugh to having children in your late 30s or 40s, better to do it in your 20s and get it out the way with then you get your life back before too long'.  Great! What a prospect to look forward to!

Admittedly, prior to turning 30, I simply wasn't interested in having children.  I was very conscious of the fact I was enjoying my life, happy with my level of responsibility as it was.  I would fend off the nosey parkers and smile sweetly saying 'when the time is right'. 

It's funny, as I recall my Mum telling me a few times that she had always wanted to have children by the time she was 30.  But I just couldn't imagine being in that zone.

Then around 3 months after I actually did turn 30, something happened. Mother nature flicked the light switch on in the biology room and set the chemicals alight. My uterus went into overdrive and I started to dream of being a mother. I started to long to hold my own baby, and so I broached the subject with my husband.  "yeah, ok", was all the confirmation I needed that I could rush out and buy almost every pregnancy book I could get my hands on with a 5* review on Amazon or that was stocked in my local Waterstones.

Looking back now, I got myself too excited, too quickly. I read way too much into stuff and also convinced myself that because I have an almost non-functioning thyroid gland {I was diagnosed with hypothryoidism in 1998 and take thyroxine every day now} that I'd fail to conceive. I had somehow gotten myself a copy of a Fertility book and after just 2 weeks of trying for a baby was up early every morning taking temps at the exact same time each day and doing all manner of other 'personal observations' so that I could chart my monthly fertility cycle and work out when was best to, well, get down to the biz of trying for a baby.

Month 1:- Nothing

Month 2:- Nothing

More creative attempts to conceive, involving lying on my back and holding my legs in the air immediately after intercourse – you know, so that gravity could give those little spermies a helping hand on their way to baby making heaven?  Not exactly the most romantic/intimate of post-coital experiences, but I was getting desperate. I was prepared to do anything. It had been two whole months already!

Month 3:- Nothing

Clearly, I was never going to have babies. Ever. I felt I was doomed. I became down. I discarded the fertility books and started on a daily mixed dose of vitamin tablets instead in one last vain attempt to turn me into the most fertile baby making machine in the world.  As each day passed, I found myself thinking 'maybe it's not the right time right now', 'maybe fate is intervening and it will never be the right time', 'maybe for now, I just need to chill out a bit and think of something else. And so I chillaxed a little. Stopped taking the temps, stopped reading the books and started reading a novel instead. 

We hooked up with some friends one evening and went to a club – there was an amazing DJ on and we felt young and free. I dolled myself up to the nines in my heels and tight dress and recall my Husband telling me I had scrubbed up pretty well that evening 😉

Eight hours later we returned home drunk as Lords. I woke the next day vomiting. God knows what possessed me to pee on that stick that was lying on the side but I did, discarding it carelessly, un-fussed about hanging around for immediate results. Barely even conscious of my autopilot moves, so used I had become to the daily routine of sticks and temps and all the rest.

I needed my bed.  Hangover city.  I wanted the bed to swallow me up foreevveerrrrrrrrr………

Month 4:- 2 red lines**…


Double shock.

Triple double quadruple stuck to the floor want to scream 'HOLY SH*T' but can't make a noise style shock.

Oh God I felt sick!

I tidied my dishevelled self up as best I could then raced downstairs to Phil clutching the white stick with the 2 red lines in my hand and placed it gently on the side next to my Husband who was cooking a full English breakfast {to mop up the alcohol, obvs}. I nudged him to shift his glance towards the side.

He picked up the stick. He smiled.  We hugged. There were no words spoken.  There was no need. We 'knew'. And we celebrated with warm hearts over bacon and sausage – and a bit of a headache 😉

Later that day, Phil returned home with a tiny tree that he had purchased from a local garden centre, a symbolic gesture to acknowledge the new life we had created.  The tree is still in our garden now and bears the most beautiful fruit each year.

NIne months on our first Daughter Eska Eleanor arrived. She was 7lb and 11 ounces of perfection. She was also late {just like her Mother!}. Eleven days late! After a close shave with induction, I managed to give birth {with every intervention known to man} to the most exquisitely beautiful little creature. I vividly recall her tiny wet body being placed on to mine just nano-seconds after she arrived into the world. She was like a little mermaid, all wet and shiny.  That first time your eyes meet with those of your newborn baby's is magical.  It will stay with you forever and ever.  I can't even find the words to describe how I felt, her tiny eyes staring into mine.

I remember bringing her home and experiencing a feeling I had never had before, it came over me suddenly as I stepped through the threshold of our front-door, clutching my tiny new born, and I knew. I knew how it felt to love someone so much, that you would be prepared to die for them.

Six years and eight months later, and I now have a smart and feisty young lady who adores dancing and any physical activity, who is a brilliant reader and so curious about the world around her, who has two pet rabbits; 'Scratchy' {his first show of affection to his new 6 year old owner was to claw her face} and 'Ginger', and who is a natural born vegetarian, such is her genuine love for animals.

{My carefree little Eska…}


Eska was my bridesmaid at our wedding on 20th March 2009.  It was the first day of Spring that year – we chose that day for its symbolism in representing a new beginning.

Oh, and in between time too, I managed to create another whole human being {isn't it amazing that we can do that?!}.  Her name is Leanora Rose and she is now twenty two months old. 

{OMG! A very pregnant me – second time round – the look on my Daughter's face suggests she fears if I eat any more, I may actually combust!}

A very pregnant me!

Admittedly she took a little longer to conceive {12 months} and the pregnancy wasn't as straight forward {she arrived 4 weeks early, all 5lb 3oz of her}, but that's by the by, because she's now the healthiest, funniest, most entertaining little 22 month old ever, who likes to potter outside barefoot and sit and talk gobbldeygook to the rabbits 😉


I knew life would change on becoming a Mother, but I had no idea how just how much and exactly how until my baby arrived.  And that's the thing – try as you might, you simply cannot imagine exactly what it is going to be like becoming a parent and adjusting your lives as a consequence until it actually happens.

My world view changed the day I became a mother, in a way that I embraced with open arms from day one.  The way I lived my life was suddenly accountable to a whole new governing framework, a framework that embodied altruism, giving, routine and responsibility over selfishness, receiving, care-free abandon and dependency. No more random drunken nights out.  No more spending willy nilly. No more having the me time to myself that I had become accustomed to and certainly never ever any more lie-ins!  The experience I went thorugh was a strange juxtaposition of schock at the realisation of it all, and a wonderful sense of satisfaction and achievement. 

My baby was tiny and defenseless. She relied on me to survive. She relied on me not to drink on the Friday night when I was still breast feeding her or to go out with my friends and abandon her. My life wasn't just about me anymore but I guess I wasn't alone as a new Mum in feeling once my beautiful baby had arrived, I was more than willing to accept these changes and move into the next chapter of my life.  My whole mindset took a gargantuan shift almost overnight from 'Me, myself and I', to 'mother, carer, protector, life giver'. And all fears of losing any sense of my went right out the window, and I lapped it up.

But did I change as a person? I always wanted to think having a baby would fundamentally not change me.  That I would still be the care free person I was with my inner wild-child tendencies, that I would not become all Mumsy or change my personality or forget to call my friends or all those other stigmas associated with the loss of 'self' on becoming a parent.   And yet I did change as a person and as a married couple we have had to adjust our lives considerably to accommodate our role of parents, but the reward life offers you in return is off the scale immeasurably brilliant; becoming a Mum has made me see the world differently, I'm kinder, more patient, more understanding. I find it much easier these days to accept when I'm wrong rather than being bullish or stubborn about something {I find myself trying to behave in the way I want my children to learn to behave – it's about being honest and setting a good example, right?}. I'm calmer and I definitely appreciate all the beautiful little moments in life much more than I ever did before.  All of this beats not being able to go out and get hammered, or spend time at the gym or go to the movies every week {though the concept of 'date night' is something I fiercely believe in and am still working on!}.

Would I become a parent again?

{Image Credit: Karen McGowran, Leanora at 10 days old}


I've often thought about having a third child and have once or twice mooted the idea to my Husband Phil. It's funny, but almost as soon as Leanora was born, I had a strong gut instinct that she wouldn't be my last. Right now though, our little family unit is good, and I don't want to entertain upsetting the balance we've got.  I'm certainly not prudish about age though, and I'm definitely not put off by the idea of having a baby in my early forties {I'll turn 38 in September}.

Every pregnancy is different too, so I couldn't possibly sit here and tell you what it's like once you're expecting. I'd gladly tell you what they don't tell you {man, there is so much they don't tell you!} but both my pregnancies were so completely different that I've come to realise pretty much anything goes. As long as you make efforts to be as fit and healthy whilst you are planning to conceive {remember that folic acid ladies!} and during your pregnancy, you are doing all you can to ensure as comfortable pregnancy as possible.

Career wise, I've been very lucky but I have also worked exceptionally hard to create a situation that means I can do what I really want and love.  Love My Dress started to earn enough for me not to have to return to work after maternity leave and provided the opportunity for me to become self employed over a year ago now – but despite me living my dream,  I work damn hard {and never get enough sleep!} to make sure the bills get paid every month.  And trust me, it is not easy balancing your career and family commitments, but you just do.   And no matter how tired you are at the end of it all, possibly one of the most rewarding things is getting to properly relax, switch off from work and actually have fun with your kids.  

Is there any advice I'd give to newlyweds who are or who have contemplated parenthood but not when the best time is to start conceiving?  Not really – except to say, don't worry.  Don't worry about conception. Don't worry if it is the right time. Don't worry when the right time will actually be.  Don't worry you will lose your sense of self when you become a parent. Don't worry if you feel no maternal instinct at all and think you may not even want children. Mother Nature is a wonderful thing and she will let you know if its your time, in her own good time.  Learn to listen to your body, your heart and your instinct. I truly believe you will know without any doubt when, if the right time to go for it is.  And when baby does arrive, you will realise that worrying about all those things you worried about before, mean absolutely nothing.

Becoming a parent at 31 was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I still need to shift some of that babyweight, but that's OK.  Sitting on my bottom blogging all day most days doens't help, but I'm working out how to find time to get fit again.

I'm glad I didn't rush into parenthood either and that it happened when it did. I'm so proud and happy and fulfilled to be a Mother of two. It's the best thing ever. I realise that sometimes I can be one of those "annoying Mum's" who shares a few too many Instagram images of my children, but you know what, you don't have to follow or even occasionally dip into my Instagram pics. I like to take photos of beautiful people and beautiful things.  I count my children in amongst that.  If you're not a huge lover of children in general, that's cool with me 🙂 Live and let live…

I could rattle on for England when it comes to stuff like this, but I've said what I wanted to say now.  I would love to think me offering this perspective on the 'when should we have a baby?' thing gives you food for thought today, and encourages you to share your experiences in support of yourself and of others.  I'm always interested to hear the journeys and experiences of other women;  this is my experience, I'd love to hear yours…

Are you a mother already and if so how has becoming a parent changed your life in terms of your sense of self?

How does parenthood work around your career and role as wife/fiance?

Are you a soon to be or recent newlywed thinking about starting a family?  Are you worrying about when the right time will be or have you got it all sussed?

Are you a 'no children thanks!' kinda gal – or chap for that matter? Do you feel under pressure to have children and how do you deal with this pressure if so?

What are your thoughts on the biological clock? Is there any 'ideal age window' to try have babies do you think? At what age do you think it becomes too late to try to conceive?

Are there any pregnant brides to be out there?

Male readers……..! What are your thoughts on this issue and if you have any experiences, do share x

Have a super lovely day all 🙂

Lots and lots of love,




** yes, I did go through horrible guilt for having gotten drunk the night before I found out I was pregnant, but you know what, I did and there was nothing I could do about it, so I decided to not beat myself up and focus on being ultra healthy for the rest of the pregnancy!  Us women are too hard on ourselves at times and we all fluff up at times. Go easy on yourselves ladies 🙂


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.