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.
Being a first time mum, you always take on board as much experience from others as possible. However!! I have never felt so much pressure as I did with some of the midwives! Don’t get me wrong, I think midwives are incredible & they have to follow NHS guidelines for mums and babies, but the pressure to breastfeed was so much.
I had a c-section due to my daughter deciding to flip round at 37 weeks. Being told to lie on my side to breastfeed after having major surgery was not fun! The pressure as a new mummy is so intense & that had such an impact on how I grew as a mummy.
The pressure I put on myself really did tumble into how my anxiety progressed. Feeling like a bad mum if I didn’t feed my baby every 4 hours & waking her every 4 hours was so horrible. Again, midwives have to advise this but! I understood with my baby being just 5lb 8oz but the guilt was so heavy.
‘Trust your own instinct!’ After a while of struggling to try to breastfeed a baby who couldn’t latch on properly, I went to the bottle; best thing I’d done. I also expressed for a couple of weeks. Even while sat with a FAB supporter (family & babies) watching my breastfeed she applauded the bottle! Knowing how hard id tried!
What I am trying to say is don’t let the pressure build on you. Trust in yourself. If things don’t happen bang on time then don’t panic. I have to say this to myself every day being such an organised person! Seeing mums close to me who are relaxed & have chilled & happy babies, makes me think why couldn’t I be like that! My daughter is amazing don’t get me wrong! I know I could have saved her a lot of stress through & myself if I’d had gone a different route. A calm one!
Hindsight is a beautiful thing! Just be you; trust in yourself! You’re an amazing parent. You are helping a human to grow!!
If I’d have had this drilled into me at the beginning, maybe I wouldn’t have gone down the route of so much anxiety & PND, but it’s built me to be me now; a progressing & successful mummy.
The day my daughter was born was the day my life changed forever. The bubble I was in was so surreal. Looking at this little bundle of joy looking at me and me realising that she will now rely on ME for her entire life!! No pressure!!
I had felt like a strong person before having my daughter but I was always known as the person who was kind, selfless, always smiling and would do anything for anyone. Maybe this was my downfall! I was and still am a delicate person who would be taken for granted and anyone who knows me, knows I wear my heart on my sleeve. Having my daughter left my guard open so much.
3 days in a boiling hot hospital & not having any sleep due to my daughter wanting to stay awake all the time so she didn’t miss out on anything, made me hit the baby blues very quickly. I was so happy to see parents and best friend while in there to keep me going. Sleep was an unknown word. A hard part of my stay in hospital aswell as breastfeeding team stressing me out, I think also not being involved in many of my daughters first photos started to trigger something.
Am I just the one who’s given birth to pass over a perfect baby for photos or can I join in please! I hardly got including in photo’s and it started to feel hard like I was being left at the back of queue. Even when we got home; “I’ll hold the baby while you get some jobs done”…. erm??? NOPE!
Carrying your baby for 9 months & then people wanting to take your baby to give you a break 3 days after having her, really bothered me! Help was all that was needed & I started to be lead in a direction I didn’t want to be.
I think being vulnerable as a new mummy didn’t help and started the sad process of what was later realised to be depression and anxiety. Little did I realise I would be heading down this road of heavy emotions, CBT & medication but the question is does this make you stronger? It’s one hell of a learning curve I’ll tell you that! Let the journey continue! …