My Mum #13. Meet Nicola Seward

I have to start by saying Nic is my wonderful sister!  She is the most selfless and helpful person I know and despite our physical distance, our friendship is one of the things I value most as a Mum.  I am proud to introduce her story to you all today….

 

Nic is aged 35 and a first time Mum and wife to Carl. Lover of Everton Football Club, food and family, Nic is a teacher and loves trying to make a positive contribution to the lives of young people. Apart from family days out, if she’s not at the match Nic loves nothing better than going to the pub for a few beers and to read the paper with her best friend and husband Carl.

I am Mum to….

Peter, who turns one this month!

The best bits about being a Mum are….

Being lucky enough to spend every day with my boy and to watch him smile, laugh and get so excited at the small things we take for granted! Peter is such a happy little boy. He is forever smiling and giggling and I can’t help but laugh and be silly with him! I am gob smocked at how much he changes every single day and I love watching his face as he does new things for the first time! I have also really enjoyed going to all of the different baby groups, meeting other Mums and watching Peter interact, chat and laugh with other babies.

I am so proud to have the responsibility of nurturing another human being. I also love being a family unit and watching the change in my husband Carl. Although very excited to become a Father, when I was pregnant Carl would say “I won’t be pulling any silly faces or making silly noises!” How wrong he was! He can make farmyard animals with the best of them and is the king of accents when reading books! The love I see between Carl and Peter every day blows me away. He is the best Father to Peter that I could ever have hoped for and I could watch them play together and listen to them laughing all day long.

The most challenging bits about being a Mum are….

I know that big challenges lie ahead, but I feel as though we have already overcome one of our greatest challenges in coping with Peter arriving 6 weeks early. Nothing could have prepared me for being told that our little boy was to be taken to the Special Care Baby Unit when he was a couple of hours old and being separated for the first 5 days of his life.

It was extremely difficult caring for Peter on the Neonatal ward. It was so tough to watch him in his incubator, not being able to just pick him up and give him a cuddle. This was heightened through our separation, as I was up on the maternity ward, watching families take their beautiful newborns home in time for Christmas.  It was fantastic when we got to take him home, but again very difficult as we did not understand the complexities surrounding having a premature baby.

I would take Peter out in the pram and I couldn’t go anywhere without being stopped and being told how tiny Peter was. We went for Peter’s six week check at the Doctor’s and he wasn’t meeting the necessary milestones and I went home very upset. It was only after doing some research that I realised that this was perfectly normal as Peter should still be in the womb! The research I did helped us a lot and gradually with the support Peter was given by a number of professionals he started to thrive and we have never looked back!

The best piece of advice I could give other mums is….

I have learnt so much since becoming a Mum that I want to cheat and give two pieces of advice.

Do not compare your baby’s development to other babies the same age!

Before I did my research surrounding premature babies, I stopped taking Peter to baby groups. It upset me when people would look at me in shock when they asked how old he was. I would look at babies of the same age and wonder why Peter could not do the same things as them.

We waited 15 weeks for Peter’s first smile! When he smiled for the first time it was the best thing ever! This was a turning point for me and I told myself I would never worry again, Peter will do everything in his own time and so far I’ve been right! Why rush such a precious time, cherish every moment, you only get it once! Every baby is completely unique and will do things when they are ready.

Listen to the advice of other’s but listen with caution!

I always remember when I was pregnant our Bev’s advice was DON’T READ FORUMS (she will laugh when she reads this!) However, in the early weeks when I was worrying about Peter, the Facebook premature baby support groups were a lifeline to me. Reading the stories of other Mum’s who were going through the same as me was invaluable and helped me to learn so much and feel so much better.

We were also so lucky to have the support of so many professionals through the fantastic NHS and of course my amazing sister and own Mum, all who gave us advice which has been so helpful. However, you know your own baby and Mama always knows best!

Since I’ve become a Mum I….

Have become much more assertive. Wo betide anyone that is bad mannered, provides poor service or does not take me seriously, especially where Peter is concerned! I am coming for you! I thought I was pretty good before, but now I really don’t know what has come over me. I say it how it is and will always challenge what I think is wrong!

Since becoming a Mum I have took time to reflect on just how lucky I am. I have a wonderful family which includes the most amazing husband and son and a fantastic set of friends. When I was pregnant I was firmly in the camp of “I will go to baby groups for the baby, but I won’t make friends with anyone as I have enough friends!” My attitude has completely changed and whenever I walk into a baby group now, there is always someone I know and can go and share stories with. Sharing experiences and ideas has been great, but I always take it with a pinch of salt when you meet that one Mum whose baby never wakes up in the night, never cries and is a genius!

My best mum photo is this one because….

I have cheated again as I have two! The first is the day we came home from hospital on Boxing Day. We will treasure this memory forever! The second is Peter’s first proper smile! I’m sure you will agree it’s a belter!

 

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