Hello and welcome to the Brilliant Mum Feature. Once a week I will be featuring one mum in a bid to find out more about them and their lives.
If you’d like to take part in this series, simply fill in this form.
This week our brilliant mum feature is Cath who blogs at Passports and Adventures (formerly known as BattleMum). Cath says she’s an almost 40 year old mum to one little boy, BattleKid. Both Cath and her husband are originally from Ireland, but their son was born in Abergavenny.
They currently live near Tredegar in South Wales on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. Cath says they’ve loved it although it is time to move on. They’re emigrating to Portugal to be near her mum and dad. Cath is married to BattleDad, and they’ve been married almost 7 years and together for 17 years. In their spare time, pre-BattleKid, Cath loved going out for rides on the back of her husbands motorbike, although she says those days ended for her when she was 4 months pregnant. Nowadays they enjoy days out as a family, taking in all the castles of Wales in particular. They also enjoy chilling on the sofa with a film and popcorn when the weather isn’t great for venturing outdoors.
Thanks for taking part Cath!
Have you always wanted to be a mum?
Yes and no. Before I met my husband I’d have said yes, then when I met my husband he didn’t want any and I guess I fell into that way of thinking. We enjoyed evenings out, spontaneous weekends away and holidays and didn’t want anything to interrupt that. Then all that changed when my sister-in-law had identical twin girls nearly 10 years ago and we started changing our thinking. After we got married both our biological clocks started ticking and having a family became important to us.
How did you feel when your children were born?
BattleKid’s birth was a bit traumatic if I’m honest. We’d had an easy pregnancy, went into labour naturally 3 days before my due date and I managed my labour well with gas and air in a birthing pool. However, in the later stages after nearly 2 hours of pushing, the midwife started losing BattleKid’s heartbeat on the monitor and BattleDad started getting worried. He spoke up and asked for a second opinion and the doctor took one look and rushed us into theatre. We were offered an attempt at a forceps delivery before going down the route of a caesarean and thankfully BattleKid was delivered safe and sound. It turned out his head was stuck between his shoulder and my pelvic bone, so there was no way he was being delivered naturally despite all my efforts.
Afterwards I felt traumatised to be honest and I don’t think I’ve ever quite gotten over what we went through. We could have easily lost him had BattleDad not spoken up when he did and we have our hypnobirthing teacher to thank for that. It’s also out me off having another child. I know everyone says each birth is different but it also took me 16 weeks to feel somewhat normal.
I also ended up back in hospital 13 days after the birth for an episotomy repair as the midwives kept saying “oh it’ll heal in time” and BattleDad didn’t like those words. My doctor didn’t care and never examined me when I went to see him so we went private. The consultant was shocked and said “who is look after this for you”. I said no-one and he said “that will never heal on it’s own” and I was booked in for a repair operation 2 days later. But it was 14 weeks before I felt remotely ‘normal’ again.
What have been your most rewarding experiences so far as a mum?
The one thing that sticks out in my mind is hearing those special four words unprompted. “Mummy I love you”. Those and the voluntary hand holding and hugs make everything worth it. Being a mum is hugely rewarding and watching BattleKid develop, learn to walk, talk, overcome hurdles are your rewards for good parenting.
What are some of your funniest moments to have happened to you as a mum?
There have been a few. The funniest moment always seem to happen to the husband. Like the time he was changing BattleKid, just a few weeks old, and he thought he was finished filling his nappy. Unfortunately he wasn’t and BattleDad just started screaming “Oh my God, he’s still pooing, what do I do” to which I had no answer. I was too busy laughing myself to speak. He had to catch it in his hand, albeit with a wipe.
The other funny moment has been the time BattleKid, who was very newly toilet trained, pulled his pants off in BattleDad’s office and proceeded to continue his poo on the floor. He had started to soil his pants before hand. BattleDad was on a conference call and could do nothing until he was finished (only a minute or two). Cue screaming at me downstairs to come help. Haha, I didn’t, again due to sides hurting from laughing!
The funniest moment recently that happened to me was being put on the thinking mat during dinner for refusing something to BattleDad. I was told “oh dear me mammy, thinking mat. You not do that to daddy”. I couldn’t keep a straight face!
Have there been any situations with your children that you have found difficult to cope with?
The sleep regression at 9 and 12 months were tough, very tough. I have always been someone who loves my sleep so to suddenly have that disturbed, after finally getting it back after BattleKid dropped the night feeds, was tough on me. More so I think during the week while BattleDad was away for work (he’s generally gone from Monday to Thursday night).
Developing thrush within the first month of breastfeeding was excruciating. Worse still that the only medicine they could give BattleKid wasn’t really helping the thrush in his mouth. The shooting pains in my breasts were worse than labour pains at the time. Coupled with twice daily injection of Fragmin, and not being able to move properly due to my episiotomy, I was a wreck. We persevered and eventually got over it. And thankfully I didn’t let it stop me feeding our son.
These days it’s the threenager stage which is proving hard to deal with. The tantrums and meltdowns, although slowly lessening, have been hard on both of us, especially when he is kicking or hitting out.
What are your dreams and hopes for your children?
I think like most parents I just want BattleKid to be happy with whatever he chooses in life. I’d like him to get an education as far as finishing school goes. If he wants to go to university that’d be great but if not I’d like him to get an apprenticeship or trade so that he won’t be short of work.
You can find Cath online here…
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