I have re-written this post soooo many times just trying to get what I want into words! The truth is you cannot really put motherhood into words accurately.
First off take a look at my instagram @mrsdeadon and you will see a plethora of cute baby pics and outings in the buggy. Classic social media fodder that paints a picture of the ideal life as a first time Mum. You will also see that my pictures were not very plentiful in the early days of living with my new son mainly because I simply didn’t feel like I had anything worthy of posting to social media, in other words I had nothing to boast about or at least I felt like I didn’t at the time.
Fast forward 6 weeks and I can’t get enough of posting sunny snaps with the buggy and cute sofa sleep shots #soblessed etc.etc.etc. and I have more than enough to boast about because being a mummy really is amazing. It is by far the best thing I have ever done aside from marrying his Daddy!
But FML it is not at all what I expected and a few days after he was born it felt like my whole world just came crashing down and I will admit there were times when I cried uncontrollably and said to myself ‘what have I done.’ Yes I will admit it; I felt like my gorgeous little boy was a mistake. Call me a horrible person or an awful mother if you must but it’s true.
When I looked at my boy of course I felt absolute love and adoration but in a way that only made it worse because on top of that love I also felt like I just wasn’t cut out for being his Mum. One night after not getting to sleep until well past midnight I just laid there wondering if it was too late to get him adopted. I was just so so scared about how I was going to cope. It sounds awful writing it down especially as clearly I did cope being as I now have a happy 9 week old who seems to be thriving despite his mothers awful start to the job!
The Baby Blues
They say that the baby blues starts when your milk comes in around day 3/4 and for me that was Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Christmas Day I spent most of the time sitting in a soggy bra with next level painful heavy tits that seemed to make mincemeat of the supermarket breast pads that I had on, I was also shattered after waking up every 1.5 to 2 hours to feed the little man. Luckily we had all our family around us to help out and I got plenty of time to rest between feeds as various aunties, granny’s, and nannie’s took the baby off for cuddles but that in a way also made things worse because as the day’s came to an end I started to feel a crushing dread about being without everyone else to help out. I had no idea what time the baby would go to sleep, I was nakered, and quite frankly scared shitless about being at home; so much so that I would actually break into a cold sweat thinking about going back home. The thing about taking a baby home for the first time is that there are so many unknowns, and of course the antenatal class’s prepare you for basically nothing except giving birth and let’s face it that was the easy part. Push a 6lb baby out your fanny? No problem! Take care of that baby when it can’t even lift it’s head or feed itself without your help while you feel yourself like you have been hit by a bus? If I hadn’t done it I would tell you it was impossible!
So anyway the baby blue’s – whilst it wasn’t all bad of course, I do generally look back on those early days and see myself weeping and trying to put on a brave face when I was scared to death. A breakthrough came Boxing Day evening when I was sitting up in bed at 1am crying because I had just put on a lovely clean fresh bra after taking off the day’s sour milk smelling one and almost immediately ended up soaking it through. ‘I JUST WANT TO HAVE DRY TITS’ I remember wailing at Giles. This sprung him into action coming up with a solution which consisted of me sleeping bra-less with a towel wrapped around my chest and a t-shirt over top. Honestly that was the happiest I had been all day wearing that lovely dry towel! Another breakthrough came a week later when I discovered that supermarket breast pads were actually useless and I could actually pay 5 times as much for something that actually absorbed moisture! So now I had dry boob’s and bra’s I still felt rubbish and generally like I couldn’t cope and contrary to what the midwives told me it lasted well past the 2 week mark, in fact by the time Giles went back to work after 3 week’s I felt no better and was relying heavily on mothers, and mother in laws to pop in and let me get some sleep or have a bath during the day. By 5 weeks post natal I had completly stopped looking at our girls WatsApp chats because I couldn’t bear to see another picture of a happy mother with her baby in a new outfit or hear another story about how someone got 4 hours sleep in one go – even the bad stories about babies throwing up or waking up at 2am didn’t help because I just thought ‘how are they so ok with this?’ ‘Why arn’t they falling apart like I am?’
By 6 weeks I had, had enough and after asking one of my mum friends how she was coping and hearing that she was having the time of her life 90% of the time I realised perhaps I needed some help. So I went to the doctor. He asked the usual questions and referred me to Post Natal Depression team for a referral and I went home thinking that at least if there was something wrong with me I could get it sorted and hopefully try to be better at this motherhood thing. And the funny thing is for the rest of that week something actually changed. For starters Drake was starting to sleep ever so slightly longer, he was also starting to smile at me, and take interest in things around him so he was capable of sitting by himself in his bouncer while I emptied the dishwasher or god forbid fed myself. But I also just felt ‘better’ it was like a cloud had lifted and I felt more capable and more positive. I actually felt like I knew what my baby wanted and that I was capable of giving it to him, it was a truly amazing feeling.
I have no idea what triggered this sudden change: maybe my baby blues lasted 6 weeks instead of 2, maybe just going to the doctor was enough to trigger it, or maybe I just needed time to adjust – I suspect this is more the reason because in those early day’s I spent so much time obsessing over what this person was doing, and what worked for this baby and that baby while manically googling how to get rid of colic that I really had no time to enjoy anything. As soon as I started to spend more time with Drake alone I started to realise that actually I would find things out about him in my own time, and that ultimately me and his Dad knew him better than anyone else so us and us alone were the best people to know what to do with him. If something didn’t work we would just move on and try something else (the Velcro swaddle that I spent 20 quid on and waited anxiously by the letter box to receive springs to mind as it currently sits by the moses basket having been used once after I got so annoyed with it during a 3am nappy change I threw it across the room – without baby in it I hassen to add.)
And from then on things seem to have just got better and better, the only difficult thing is that Drake seems to be at his most grizzly (I call him the grinch during these times) at 6pm just when his Daddy arrives home and that has been tough for him because he never see’s the lovely chilled happy baby that I spend my day’s with. Thankfully he has had some holiday from work to use up so we have spent some lovely day’s this week as a family.
I am also extremely proud that I seem to have nailed some sort of bedtime routine as Drake goes to sleep at 9.30/10pm every night and even falls asleep independently with the help of a star light projector that runs in the nursery all night long – again another classic example of us knowing what work’s for us because Drake love’s lights and Ewan the Dream Sheep just wasn’t going to cut it. Glad I saved that 30 quid.
So ultimately what I am trying to get across here is that not everyone copes well with early motherhood – it doesn’t mean you are a bad Mum. Yes I have had moments where I have put Drake in the bed wide awake at 3am after rocking him incessantly for 30 minutes (it is the absolute worse when you get them out for their night feeds and they smile at you with big eye’s knowing full well you are not going back to bed any time soon. Half of you want’s to squeal at how cute he looks and the other half wants to throw him out the window because you want sleep THAT BAD.) On this occasion I chose to put him back in the basket still wide awake and come upstairs in tears to wake Giles up and wail that I had had enough and it was his problem now despite the fact he had work at 6am. I am not proud but it was either that or scream at Drake so I don’t think I had much choice. These moments are few and far between and the good far outweighs the bad, and my facebook and insta’s will be full to the brim of smiling mummy and happy baby with no mention of the projectile vom that soaked into my knickers last week, or the nappy change at 4.30am that had him being so wide awake I was up watching Modern Family in the dark crying. If motherhood has taught me anything it is not to believe everything you see on social media because behind every #soblessed is a #iwillthrowthisbabyouthewindowifitdoesntstopcrying. And also that if you put on your new jeans that actually fit over your post-baby thighs that baby will probably be sick on them.