So this is the life of mummy hood. I still find it strange calling myself that, ‘mummy’ part of me feels like it hasn’t really clicked yet. That I’ve got a child that depends on me for survival and will now, hopefully, need me for the rest of my life. I’m not quite sure when this penny will drop, maybe when she’s older and I hear her call me mummy for the first time? When she can only find solice and comfort from me? People, friends keep saying to me ‘I can’t believe you’re a mummy now’ well guess what, I can’t believe it either.
I feel so amazed and blessed by it all. She was a good girl throughout my pregnancy, the most discomfort I felt was heart burn and on a few occasions, sciatica, but apart from this I would go as far as saying I had a wonderful pregnancy. I loved seeing my belly grow, and feeling her kick and move around. Someone told me that due to their child being a young adult now, that they can’t remember what it felt like anymore, to feel their baby kick and move around. I hope I never forget that feeling. I miss being pregnant now and if I could guarantee that a second pregnancy would be the same (morning sickness free) then I wouldn’t hesitate. Even the birth was straight forward. I ended up at a different hospital, Kings Mill as both of my local hospitals were full. It wasn’t ideal at the time, but in the end, the staff were so wonderful that if I were to have another baby, I would opt to go back there. I didn’t quite get the water birth I had hoped for, but I amazed myself by managing on gas and air. Maybe my pain threshold is higher than everyone else thought! Don’t get my wrong, it wasn’t a walk in the park, it was agony! For me, the contractions were worse than the pushing. I pushed her out in 18 minutes, so I’d take that part over the agonising contractions any day of the week!
As I write this now my baby is asleep on me, and I’m trying so hard not to fall asleep myself. I know how unsafe it is. What if she falls off, or I roll over and squash her? You know the risks, but no one explains how hard sleep deprivation is. I always thought that due to my sleep pattern always being a bit naff that I could cope on minimal sleep, but it turns out I can’t. She won’t settle at the minute and it’s been this way for nearly two weeks now. She hates being upstairs for a start, God knows why! The health visitor tells me she has trapped wind, and now I’m pretty sure she has a cold. Probably all contributing factors as to why she won’t sleep at night, but then again, maybe she’s just being a typical new-born? Either way, part of me feels like I’m already at breaking point. In the past three days/nights, not including tonight, I’ve been in my own bed for about six hours, that’s not to say I’ve slept! I’ve spent the past three nights downstairs on the sofa with her, until around 4/5am when the boyfriend takes over. Last night was the worst, as her nose was blocked all night. I literally got up at 9.30am after going to bed at 4.30am then I didn’t sleep again until 6.30am this morning, so almost 24 hours. I have a constant headache, I’m not eating, mainly because I feel too ill to eat, I can’t see straight and have to where my glasses constantly and I want to cry all the time. I don’t think I have postnatal depression, I think it’s purely down to the sleep deprivation. Luckily I don’t have any urges to throw my baby out of the window! Crying just feels good at the time and let’s out a lot of stress and frustration, it’s hard to explain. I look like absolute shit, a red face, puffy eye lids on the top and bags underneath, I look ill. Make up is a thing of the past!
Other mums keep telling me, insisting that it does get better. They say once she smiles, it will make everything okay. I’m definitely ready for that now! No one tells you really how hard it is. I’m hoping she’s not like I was as a baby. A baby that never slept and was constantly crying day and night for no reason. I’m sorry mummy! I’m starting to know how it feels now, so I’m sorry I was such a little shit! Speaking of which, luckily I have my mum coming over tomorrow, hopefully she can watch the baby while I try and get some sleep (doubtful as even though I’m exhausted, I can’t sleep well in the day). Visitors really do take it out of you. Looking back, I wish I had put my foot down and refused all visitors during the first two weeks. They are constant, someone every night. Of course I appreciate all the gifts they’ve bought her, it’s not a case of being ungrateful, not in the slightest, but we really needed to rest. They say get as much help as you can from visitors, get them to cook dinner, wash the pots, do laundry, but it doesn’t happen. Instead they end up having cuddles with your baby, while you get up and make cups of tea. If you really want to help, bring me some food that I can freeze, it would really help me out. To be honest I would probably feel weird if you started to wash my pots while I sat there, but if you want to do that, then that’s fine too!
It puts a huge strain on your relationship. No matter how rock solid you think you are, if you tell me it never affected you and your partner then I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you. You’re both tired and ratty. You pass each other by in the evenings as one of you sleeps, while the other is up with the baby. In the day time, you’re both just like zombies. Staring into space wondering when the nightmare of sleepless nights will end. I’ve said things I don’t mean, and will never forgive myself for, but when you feel like this, it’s literally like word vomit coming out your mouth. Things come out wrong and back to front. I miss cuddling on the sofa, or giving him a kiss good night in bed, it’s strange how much these little things affect you, but they do.
I went on a wild goose chase today for a number of things. Comfort milk for starters. It’s probably giving her tummy ache changing her formula, but in the long run, it will be easier for her to digest, so fingers crossed on that front. I’ve also bought some items for the cold she has, not that there is really anything you can do at her age. Most medication is for 3+ months. Fantastic. Hopefully, just maybe, if the new formula does its job and the cold buggers off, I might get her to settle at night. Even if up for two hourly feeds, that would be amazing if she did and settled straight after like the first week!
Luckily, I don’t feel completely on my own. I have a friend who is a health visitor, although sadly not mine. She’s been wonderful with advice, and assures me that unfortunately, this all sounds normal. I must be driving her up the wall, I contact her day and night, with what I’m sure are very stupid questions, but I feel so much better for asking them! I’ve got a couple of friends/family who have had babies in the past year, so again, their advice when I need it is like gold dust for me. I also have a new friend, who sadly I have not met yet. And yes, despite this fact, I do consider her to be a friend now. Her baby is a little over a week older than mine, and this is her second baby. Saying that, I feel like she is going through a very similar time to me. Sleepless nights, trapped wind (from the baby that is!) etc. I know that if I send her a message at 3am, then it’s more than likely that I’ll get a reply back within the hour. I feel like to an extent that we can joke about the situation we’re both in, which helps to keep me sane! Hopefully, in the not to far off future, she’ll be able to pop round and visit me. There are also friends without babies that help me out. One in particular who lets me vent and moan, and also gives great massages! I just wish I could afford to go every week. We both have problems at the minute, not the same problems, obviously, but it makes me feel useful, that I can try and offer advice and she can do the same for me.
I dont want this blog to be all negative, because despite the fact that I feel like having such a hard time, it’s probably nothing that any other mum hasn’t been through at some point, so I just need to suck it up, because I wouldn’t change it for the world. I look down at my baby sleeping on me, and she looks so peaceful and so pretty that I could cry! I love her so much, it genuinely fills your heart so much that it hurts! I’ve also got things to look forward to (besides my baby) which I think I’ll probably speak about next time. Conventions, netball and fall premiere season!
Apologies at how long this post is, it wasn’t my intention. I’m certain hardly anyone will read it, but it’s not why I’ve done it. It’s actually made me feel better writing this, and of course, it’s helped me to stay awake for an hour! Oh and one more thing, my English language and spelling is atrocious at the best of times, never mind about when I’m sleep deprived, so if you spot something that is incorrect, then please don’t comment on it, because I really don’t care, I’ve done my best with what little brain power I’ve got left.