Am I the only mum who isn’t nervous about handing their baby over to someone for cuddles?! That’s all I could think about! I only wanted my daughter to be held by people I trusted. After talking to my Health Visitor about how I felt, she agreed with me that I needed to do what was best for me and Isobella in terms of being comfortable; if you’re not then your baby isn’t!
Too many times did I ask for Isobella not be crowded and I completely understood that people wanted to see her! But you do feel invisible! They don’t see you, ask how you are and how you’re feeling. You’re not the only Mum on the planet but each one goes through one hell of an experience carrying a baby! Sometimes all you want is someone to ask how YOU are!
Too many times did I say something and it was overlooked. Too many times did I ask to be respected as a Mum in the choices I made yet told I may not be doing the right thing. It’s so difficult. This for me was the start of my journey to a place I never wanted to go to. The struggles mentally were real. I felt invisible, unknown, in a corner and all I wanted to do was take my daughter and hide away where no one could find us!
Maternity was lonely; It always is but you don’t realise how much. I wanted to get out and find places I could go to mingle with other parents, but every time I went to put Isobella in a car seat or the pram, the worry of ‘she’ll be hungry at that time’ or ‘she’ll need a sleep at that time’ so we can’t go out, happened too often. She was a terrible sleeper. She only slept once in her pram until the age of 10 months and still, I could count on one hand how many times she has now; she’s 2! People would say ‘she’ll sleep in the pram it’s fine’….nope! Have you seen a child scream till they go purple because they want to sleep but will only sleep on you! How do you get out of that rut!
I wanted to be like my friends. I wanted to manage just how my best friend did and does just so amazingly, but i just couldn’t get myself into the mindset of ‘take it in your stride and let others help you!’. For me, this triggered so many doubting feelings. Not the fact that I was feeding my baby well, keeping her clean, dry and safe, and giving her all the love in the world; I wasn’t praising myself for that! I would constantly doubt myself for the things I couldn’t get right!
My Health Visitor many times told me I should give anti-depressants a go. Isobella was only 5 months old and I felt like I would be defeated if I went onto them. She decided to sign me up to CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). Did I think it would work?!…… No!! But my friend had done it and it helped her so I thought I would.
First day I went I said to my now husband “This isn’t going to do anything for me. I talk to you all the time so how is it going to help me speaking to a random person?”
Little did I know it would help me more than I thought.