So Zara is 8 months now and i was going to write the below paragragh in past tense but i’ve decided to go back there and write it as i’m living in that moment because i still remember it all to well and it was very raw….still is.
So here i am a new Mum… Still sick from HELLP Syndrome, terribly traumatised, from thinking i wasn’t going to survive my childs birth. I’m Anxious. Depressed and living in this new life at home that doesn’t feel like my life. It feels foreign as fuck and i hate it. When does that amazing moment of newborn life being the most glorious experience of my life start?? … Because that’s what social media shows you, and for me it’s nothing like that. My anxiety is so raw it makes me feel like i’m never going to get through this, my chest is constantly tight, my heart is beating fast all the time (adrenaline?) i have diarrhoea because that’s what always happens when i’m anxious, i can’t eat but i know i have to because i feel better when i do but it’s so hard. I feel like the only way to make this feel better is to run away and leave… oh hang on Zara’s hungry again i can’t run away yet. Let me go stress myself out even more by trying to breastfeed. Oh hey strong let down squirting her in the face and her not wanting to latch. Let’s try the other boob, ok phew she’s latched… oh she’s off… she’s back on *Repeat x 10*. Ok, so i think she’s had enough?… “Brendan do you know how long she was on for, i wasn’t looking at the time”… (This was my breastfeeding experience, i had a couple of successful feeds but in the end, my mental health was suffering severely and it was already fucked so i stopped breastfeeding at 2 months and continued to express till 5 and half months)
So my anxiety levels have gone through the roof even writing this, that’s how badly i suffered. My husband and i fought constantly because i didnt’t want visitors and he did (he comes from a family of 4 siblings and they all have 2+ children so for him having visitors after the baby is born was normal. Plus his friends have had babies and everyone visits you after you have a baby) but unfortunately that’s not how his experience was going to be, i wasn’t coping and i couldn’t bare to have people in my house, my safe zone, especially because no one really understood how traumatised i was and how badly i was struggling.
I think the thing with PNA & PND is that it is the biggest head fuck because you’re expected to feel like rainbows and unicorns about your newborn, except you don’t. So you have a constant guilty conscious and when people ask how you are, you lie and say good (i had a few friends who knew how bad it was) I remember someone saying to me “you’re loving it though” and i was like hmmmmm and they said it again “yeah, but you’re loving it” it was the worst feeling because i wasn’t, not one bit.
I did start seeing a counsellor the first week i got home from the hospital, i rang her in tears and she got me in that week and i’m so grateful she saw me, i wouldn’t have be able to get through this without her. I still see her once a month and i still need her support even 8 months on.
8 months on things are much better (although this week hasn’t been and so i felt like this was the time to write this blog, because my anxiety isn’t great so i could really write from that place again) I do find parenting hard, i constantly apologise to my husband for not finding it a breeze and being a natural at it. I feel like a shit Mum every day because i see all this shit on social media that i can’t relate too and it makes me feel like something’s wrong with me because i don’t feel that way. I Love her so much, but i still struggle more often then i wish i did.
This is week will pass and like everything, there’s highs and lows and i’ll come good again. I just have to take every day as it comes and i hope anyone who reads this and has gone through it knows i feel for them and i get you! Please make sure you see a counsellor because it will help, knowing you have someone who you can talk to about things you might now want to say to anyone else will free you.
Also, i’m not great at writing so excuse my bad grammar and punctuation!
Love to you all,