When your pregnant, everything is a dream. You glow for 9 months and you feel nothing can bring you down. You feel those tiny (and big) kicks from inside and you know it’s your little one saying ‘hello Mumma’
Your nervous about labour, but you believe it’ll be the most natural and beautiful thing in the world.
After I gave birth to my daughter, I felt like I was living in a nightmare. My labour lasted 29 hours, 28 of those hours were medication free, and I just kept thinking to myself if I can last a little bit longer I’ll be holding my baby girl and all of this will be over. Next thing I know I’m being rushed down a hall of bright flashing lights with nurses speaking medical terms which I knew meant “this baby is giving up, get it out immediately”
I remember shaking uncontrollably, from being scared and the epidural I was forced to have before going into theater. It smelt clean in the room as they placed the sheets above my face so I couldn’t see anything. I few minutes later with a few painful tugs she was lifted above that curtain. A screaming 9 pound baby girl. But all I could focus on was the burning I could feel. I felt like someone was burning my stomach with a lighter. No one had brought my baby over yet and I started to cry. Next thing I woke up in recovery from being placed unconscious.
When I first met my beautiful Evie, I was so drugged up, I could’ve been holding your baby for all I knew. And the nurses knew I had a very long labour so they let me sleep. Seeing as it was 3am. I woke at 5:45am eager to properly meet my daughter.
We spent 4 days in hospital and I was so exhausted I just kept falling asleep. I wasnt running on the ‘love adrenaline’ like everybody told me I would. My body just kept shutting down on me.
When we got home my mind started to take over. I started having these thoughts of panic. That I wasn’t good enough to be her mother. I would stare down at this perfect tiny sleeping baby, and think of how she deserved a great life. And what if I wasn’t what she wanted in a mother? What if I can’t give her that? I’m going to fail her! I would think as I cried.
It’s not that I didn’t love my daughter. I did. But everything was difficult. My body never got use to having no sleep. I would cry in the middle of the night when she would cry. We would share tears as we did the nappy change. I was so exhausted, I just couldn’t even think. It wasn’t until one night I completly gave up. It was 3am and she was screaming. Nothing I did would calm her down so I wrapped her up and put her back in her bassinet and back to bed I went. My husband thought I had gone insane.
“Are you joking?” he said to me. Your going to leave her? “yep” I said without a care in the world. He scooped her up and left the room. She calmed down within a few minutes. I knew I had to see someone.
I went to the gp and got put on anti depressant. Within 3 days, I was a different person. Whenever Evie would wake I was excited to see her beautiful face. Happy to give my hungry baby a bottle. And rock her to sleep.
Eventually it all leveled out and I still had times when I thought ‘why did I do this? ‘ but I’ve learnt it’s the small things that matter. Here are my top tips for moving forward
- Just remember, the newborn stage doesn’t last forever. Eventually your baby will sleep though.
- Ask for help!! Something I never did.
- Recognise when it’s more than the ‘baby blues’ your feeling and seek help.
- Don’t be ashamed of taking medication.
- Allow yourself alone time. Give Bub to your husband and have that bubble bath. It’ll make you a better parent.
- If you have to put your screaming baby down and walk away, your not a bad mum!!
- Talking really does help. Sometimes to a stranger is even better.
Right now the fog may seem unbearable, I know it was for me. It took me 6-8 months to start enjoying my daughter. And it took me a whole year to absolutely love being a mother. Does that make me a bad mum? No. It makes me a real one.
There are so many options out there for new mums. You are never alone. And it’s worth it, I promise.