So I had my first night away from Amelia last week for a friend’s hen do in Portsmouth. As the whole of the UK knows the weather has been a little tricky with lots of snow so the combination of this and the snow was making me feel quite anxious about it all.
Although I was looking forward to some “me” time I cried several times in the days leading up to the hen do as well as the several times driving away from my house. I was with my NCT mummy friends and there were two other mums who were leaving their babies for the first time overnight too so it helped that I wasn’t going through it alone and they understood how I was feeling.
Leading up to the hen do I was trying to focus on the positives of being away like being able to take a long hot shower, washing my hair, doing a full face of make up, getting dressed up and most importantly that lie in without the 5am wake up call. It was also such an amazing opportunity for Steve to spend some quality time with Amelia. He has been with her for an evening or a morning but never longer than 5 hours just him on his own. This was an opportunity for him to spend a whole 24 uninterrupted hours with her. He was calling the shots, running the show and making decisions.
The morning of the hen do I was so tearful and Amelia was very clingy; it was like she knew I was leaving her. It also started to snow quite heavily and there were some question marks around whether it was safe to travel but we decided we would give it a go and turn around if any of us felt that it wasn’t safe or we weren’t comfortable.
Driving away from my flat was actually painful. It felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I knew my Steve would be amazing and that Amelia safe with her daddy but it was that she wasn’t with me and I wasn’t going to see her for over 24 hours. Lots of tears later I settled into the car journey reminiscing with the girls about how we met our other halves and our proposal stories. As the sat nav announced we were about to go through Hindhead Tunnel it hit me like a tun of bricks how far away I was from Amelia.
My bestie sent me a lovely message and I just wanted to share it with you all as I found a lot of strength from these words:
“*Enjoy 24 hours to miss Amelia but to also enjoy YOU who you have probably missed a lot over the last 6 months
*Enjoy 24 hours of missing Amelia’s gargling but enjoy adult conversation
*Enjoy missing the heavy arms of Amelia nestled in but enjoy using both hands to eat a hot meal
*Enjoy all the snaps of Steve and Amelia but also take photos of yourself clean and dressed up with make up
*Miss the midnight chats with Amelia but enjoy the moment you wake up and realise you can go back to sleep without feeding
*Enjoy knowing that time moves and every second you get closer to going home
You got this – from experience wine helps you relax so order a large ASAP!”
We arrived safely at the hotel and met up with the other hens for a quick drink before we got ready for the night ahead. It was just so lovely to have some time to myself to get ready. A lovely hot shower, clean hair, full face of make up, a video call with my baby girl and a prosecco in hand I was suitably relaxed. It was a lovely night and it felt amazing to let my hair down and be just me and dance the night away to cheesy 90’s music!
I made it to midnight (and I was still in my heels!) and decided to call it a night and headed back to my room. It was weird going back to my room to go to bed and not seeing Amelia there. For the last 6 months she was been by my bed in her next to me so even on evenings I have had dinner with the girls I have always been able to crawl into bed and see my little cub. My lovely husband sent me a photo of his view of her in bed when he crawled into bed and this definitely helped. I changed into my PJ’s, made myself a cuppa and expressed before bed
Waking up in the morning to my alarm clock rather than Amelia was very different. It felt strange to be able to switch off the alarm and be able to roll back over. I didn’t get out of bed until 9am and sat and expressed whilst going through the several photos Steve had sent me since they had been up since 5am! I definitely think that the number of photos that Steve sent over helped me feel closer to home and reassured me that she didn’t need me.
On the drive back home I got the same feeling that I used to get when I worked in retail on Christmas Eve and I was driving home for Christmas. I don’t know why but I felt a mixture of excitement and nerves; a bit like before you go on holiday!
Coming home and seeing Amelia hit me like a ton of bricks and I came back feeling less like Amelia’s mum. She didn’t want me, she wanted Steve for comfort and it broke my heart. It had only been just over 24 hours but felt like a lifetime for me and it felt like Amelia had forgotten who I was. I’ve always been her comforter but to have her shy away to someone else ( even if it was daddy) was the most painful thing. I felt useless and not her mother. She felt like someone else’s child and I couldn’t settle her.
It’s taken her a good two days to get back to normal with me. It’s like she was punishing me for leaving her and not being with her. It’s then taken me another day to write this blog. I promised when I started this I would be open and honest through the good times and the bad and this was a real low point for me. I don’t regret going away and having some “me” time but I have to admit I had hoped she would have been more excited to see me. It has made me feel quite anxious about being away from her in the future but it isn’t going to stop me. Its very rare that I have or will need to spend an evening away from her so hopefully as she gets older she will be a little more forgiving!