A mother gives a refreshingly honest look at life as a new mum in a new book – detailing everything from chapped nipples to accidents with soiled clothes.
Rebecca Oxtoby, 29, from Warrington, Cheshire, penned Mum’s the Word following the birth of daughter Isabelle 11 months ago and self-published the book on Amazon, where it has become a bestseller.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Rebecca, who is a highly specialist speech and language specialist, explained she wanted to give a more realistic look at motherhood than the one women are shown by ‘perfect’ mumfluencers on Instagram.
The book recounts hilarious moments that will strike a chord with mothers everywhere, including the time Rebecca found herself ‘milking’ her own breasts in a restaurant toilets.
After giving birth to her daughter Isabelle, 11 months, Rebecca Oxtoby, 29, from Warrington (pictured together), penned her book Mum’s the Word and self-published it on Amazon, where it quickly became a best-seller
The mother-of-one (pictured with her daughter) opens up about the pain of breast-feeding and how she’s had to deal with impromptu milking – such as in a Mexican restaurant
She writes: ‘Three hours into a rare child-free day out with the girls and I was bursting out of my bra like Hulk with tired eyes.
‘The pain was intense and the bra was damp. Cue milking myself in Chiquitos’ toilet: squirting mum juice up the wall and clogging the toilet with the paper I’d used to clean up the mess. And who said motherhood wasn’t glamorous?’
On a hilarious accident with a pair of dirty leggings, Rebecca shares: ‘I sat by Isabelle’s head to give him morale support as he removed her pants. It was evident that he was shocked at the amount of c*** seeping from the side of the ‘leak-free’ pull-ups.’
‘To further prove the point, I held the s***-filled leggings out to showcase the mass of poo inside them.
Now in lockdown, Rebecca says she has learned to accept the beautiful pictures she saw on Instagram were far from reality
‘In slow motion, the contents fell from the leggings and onto my beautiful daughter’s open-mouthed face.’
Explaining the motivation for the book, Rebecca told FEMAIL she had struggled to get used to her new maternal role and failed to recognise herself in the picture-perfect snaps posted by influencers on social media.
After sleepless nights spent breast-feeding Isabelle, Rebecca started to gather her thoughts on motherhood, which she says was cathartic. Pictured, Mum’s the Word
‘On Instagram, people have beautiful positioned filtered photos and whenever I looked at that, I thought: “That’s not what this is like, I’m covered in poo, she’s covered in poo”.’
Rebecca made the most of the hours she was up in the night with her daughter to write the book and said she found the experience ‘cathartic’.
‘It’s amazing how much time you have when you’re up all way through the night,’ she quipped.
The self-described ‘parenting novice’ makes light of all the mistakes she’s made – including dropping her daughter, and hitting her head against the roof of the car.
In each chapter of the book, Rebecca dedicates a few pages to subjects she’s experienced in the first months following the birth if Isabelle, from battling her ‘rotting’ belly button to constant arguing with her partner, known as Daddy.
While Rebecca’s words are often humourous, she also digs into some more emotional subjects, such as the fact that she struggled to accept her own body after going from an ‘athletic’ size 10 to a size 18 in the space of a year.
The 29-year-old (pictured with her daughter) says that even though giving birth and caring for a new life is beautiful, she’s struggled to get used to her new body
After Isabelle was born, Rebecca (pictured with her daughter), who had always been an athletic size 10, had to wear a size 18 and felt down on herself for not ‘bouncing back’ to her regular frame
She penned: ‘Even Facebook has jumped on the fat-shaming bandwagon, replacing my ASOS targeted ads of old with recommendations for ‘chub rub’ shorts.’
‘I’m sure they’re taunting me: every other news story is about a celeb who ‘bounced back’ into their size 8 jeans. The only thing I’ve bounced back from is the fridge.’
Rebecca also says that pregnancy and the aftermaths of birth can leave women feeling ‘de-humanised’ as strangers look at their bodies and private parts – making them feel like ‘freaks.’
Making light of the hardships she faced in the first months after Isabelle’s birth, Rebecca admits she once had to ‘milk’ herself in the bathroom of a Chiquito’s restaurant. Pictured, with Isabelle
She adds that keeping her dignity intact was hard while several doctors inspected her vagina both before and after birth – without so little as an explanation as to what they were looking for.
Recalling an instance where a midwife visited her at home to check on her postpartum, Rebecca penned: ‘When she turned up, I casually mentioned that I wanted to breastfeed but was struggling to hand express and I couldn’t bear the pain that accompanied that little alien sucking on my bleeding, shiny-raw nipples.
‘Within seconds, my bra was off and a middle-aged woman was milking me like a cow in front of Philip and Holly. My poor husband didn’t know where to look.’
In spite of these hardships, Rebecca admits that being a mother and giving birth to Isabelle has led to many ‘beautiful moments.’
The mother-of-one admits she once dropped a dirty nappy on Isabelle’s face in one of many parenting mishaps (pictured together)
Mum’s the Word, by Rebecca Oxtoby is available on Amazon. Learn more on @bookmumstheword.