I was super chilled through out my pregnancy. I never freaked out or stressed out, I took every single day as it came and I couldn’t have been happier. But all that changed right after I gave birth.

My pregnancy involved me moving to a new town to live with my boyfriend as I currently lived with my parents and at the time, even though I was a few hours away from everything I knew, it didn’t seem to bother me.

My first words holding her were “oh my word what do I do??!!”

The moment Mole was placed on my chest I got scared. My first words holding her were “oh my word what do I do???” screaming out to the midwife. I had no experience with babies and I don’t even think I had held a baby before. It hit me, the huge amount of responsibility I had caring for her and I wanted to be perfect.

Struggling to breastfeed

After a few hours in hospital, the midwife came in and questioned me “have you not fed her yet?” in a stern tone. It was the “yet” in her question that stuck with me. I felt sick, I looked at Mole sleeping away in the little crib they have and thought, “why have I not fed you yet 🙁 ?” and then I thought “how do I even feed her?” I really did not have a clue what I was doing. It took me 10 minutes to struggle changing a nappy and one of the most important responsibilities as a mother is feeding your baby and I had no clue how to even do it! The feelings of excitement and happiness started fading away.

The feelings of excitement and happiness started fading away

Struggling to breastfeed at the start gave me so much anxiety. From not knowing when and how often she should be feeding to not knowing if I was doing it properly and Mole was having enough.

This feeling still lasted when I took Mole home from the hospital. As soon as I walked through the doors with her she cried and cried and cried. I was trying to feed her every 40 minutes but she was constantly hungry. I was up all night for about a week. I saw every hour of the clock. It wasn’t till I spoke to my mum on the phone at how much I was struggling caring for her when she asked “are you winding her?” I didn’t even know what this meant! Again I felt like I was doing everything wrong and as a mother I should know all of this stuff.

Flashbacks

I’m not sure if anyone else has gone through this, I kept on getting flashbacks of the birth. But the painful bit. It was like I had PTSD from birth trauma! My birth story went really well actually, I don’t even know what I’m complaining about as so many women have it bad, yet, it was the most traumatic event that had ever happened to me. I had never had that pain before for hours on end. Every movement I did afterwards that hurt triggered a memory of screaming to push Mole out. I could even feel the pain again in my mind.

The Nappy Train

Sadly, I could’t get to grips with how often I had to change Mole’s nappy. She would get so upset if she even just did a little wee in her nappy. For some reason I got this awful feeling of reflection. Spending most of my life in education to finally hold down a good job and now being off work to change countless nappies everyday. I don’t know why but it made me feel like a failure in my job.  It was hard to convince people around me as well that just because i’m off work doesn’t mean that I do nothing but watch TV all day, I am constantly changing nappies and feeding. I am raising a life. It was very hard to accept that being a mum is a full time job. Its the hardest full time job. And I am so grateful now that I can see it is the most rewarding full time job.

Mourning my old life

Writing this now, remembering the thoughts I had about missing my old life has got me in disbelief. I’ve had Mole for 5 months now and I wouldn’t want my life any other way. I am so grateful to have her and the happiness she gives me every single day. Nothing in the world can make me as happy as she can.

But, during the first few weeks I found myself mourning my previous life. My selfish life. Being able to shower when I wanted, sleep all night, go to the gym for two hours and not feel guilty. I would constantly question myself “What the hell have I done?” I’d gone from having it very cushy living with my parents and seeing my friends every weekend to being in a whole new town, not having anyone to help to caring for a newborn baby.

I would constantly question myself “What the hell have I done?”

Tears

I can’t tell you how many tears I shed during the first few weeks. Anything could set me off. The worst was when the midwife at my check up appointments would ask how my mood was and I’d get a horrible lump in my throat and then i’d spend the rest of the session not listening to her properly because I’d be trying my hardest not to cry, then as soon as the session was over I’d just burst into tears. I didn’t want people to think I wasn’t coping because so many people have babies and they all seem to handle it pretty well. I wanted to be like them. A strong mum.

I remember placing Mole on her play mat in front of the shower so I could multi-task watching her and getting to wash my hair. I’d step into the shower and cry. Looking at her whilst crying made me cry even harder because I felt guilty for crying when I was so lucky to have her. I’d get out of the shower and paint a smile on my face so know one could tell tears were streaming down my cheeks 5 minutes ago.

Symptoms of Baby Blues

I started to wonder if I had Post Natal Depression. But I didn’t have all of the main symptoms and some days were good days for me. I came across Baby Blues whilst researching my own symptoms and I fitted into this perfectly.

  • Crying for no reason
  • Irratbility
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Poor concentration
  • Sadness
  • Restlessness
  • Impatience
  • Mood changes

It was strange really because after 2/3 weeks I felt normal. Like all of my previous feelings and struggles were just a dream. I started getting out of the house to baby classes and making new mum friends pouring my heart out to them, going on walks breathing in fresh air and began the process of loving my new life.

I wake up every single day now so content and in love. Even through the bad nights of no sleep I look at Mole and smile. I almost hate myself for ever feeling the way I did the first few weeks of her life but sometimes you can’t control what is going to happen. Hormones have a huge role to play too and i’ve accepted that I can’t blame everything on myself.

I LOVE being a mummy.

Zoe Waite
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