Soooo I’ve always said my blog will be 100000% honest! I wouldn’t hide anything and give a true account of my pregnancy journey and now my next chapter as a mum. So that being said, there is an issue id like to talk about!! Baby blues- Postnatal depression etc. You’re always told how amazing having a baby is and you get this instant bond you can’t describe, however i just didn’t feel like this for the first 2 weeks.
So I was high risk of developing postnatal depression, due to past events, traumas& being on anti depressants before being pregnant. For this reason the health advisor took extra care with me & so did the midwives as it was in my notes. Luckily i did not develop postnatal depression but I had the baby blues quite bad. They say the more medical intervention you have during pregnancy & labour then the more chance you have of getting it. Unfortunately nathaniel & i didn’t get the best start together. I had a C Section, which I chose for reasons of my own and natural childbirth wasn’t suitable for me. I don’t regret my decision at all, I don’t really feel like I’ve missed out on anything – at the end of the day, I just wanted my baby out healthy. But apparently it is quite common for women to struggle after having a c section as its the most surreal thing ever. You go into a room & then suddenly your baby is here.
So more details on my c section… The whole of pregnancy you build up to the birth & you constantly think about the labour so I had done this. It wasn’t decided until 36 weeks that I was having a c section. Again it was my choice and a choice i stand by. But because it was decided quite late in my pregnancy I had to adjust, there would be no waters breaking or labour or contractions. Something id read so much about & learnt about in my ante natal class. So, I woke up knowing i was having my baby that day.. which is actually the most amazing feeling!!! I knew 2 weeks beforehand and it took away so much stress as I knew he would definitely be here that day & could prepare. However, the whole c section is just mental. You go into a room, there are so many medical staff around, you’re poked and prodded. Then you’re laying on the table and you can feel the pressure from them tugging the baby out of you. And then you can hear them talking…. Talking to your baby… holding and seeing your baby and you’re just laid there. Then what feels like a lifetime you hear the cry and you know they’re okay. Then you wait another lifetime for the baby to be shown to you. I remember the moment I first saw him. I felt emotionless, it is just such an overwhelming experience. No labour, no pain.. your baby is just there. For this reason i started to feeling like he wasn’t mine… I didn’t see him come out of me or even feel him coming out of me. I didn’t feel the pain of having him. They’re then taken away to be cleaned up for about 10 minutes and you’re just laying there wondering WTF just happened… and then i had skin to skin with him and I just felt anxious. I didn’t get the rush of love. So then they noticed his grunting and realised something was wrong. We then went to recovery where we were still skin to skin and I tried to breast feed, however where he couldn’t breathe properly.. It was making him work harder and he needed to focus on his breathing and not feeding. 30 minutes later it was decided he had to go up to special care baby unit. So then i got moved into a ward & then into a private room. I was so so exhausted from the anathestic and was out of it. 4 hours later and i had only been with him for 30 minutes… My mum went up to see him but i couldn’t. I couldn’t leave the bed because of the c section. So after 4 hours, i pushed myself to stand which almost made me faint & then into the wheelchair. I went up and saw him and he was attached to wires in an incubator. Nurses looking after him. He was up there for 3 days, I had to watch other people looking after my baby & i didn’t have a chance to bond at all. I then chose not to breast feed because for his recovery he was being fed through a tube but then needed to start being bottle fed and working on his sucking. My milk hadn’t come in & i couldn’t keep up with the amount he needed as he was being fed so much through the tube. I think missing out on those 3 days was inevitable for bonding. When i finally got him downstairs in my room with me, i was so anxious. I just didn’t feel like he was my baby. Obviously i love my baby!!!!!! Im not saying this at all, i just had trouble bonding with him. I just didn’t feel like he was the baby that was in me… its honestly the most f’d up feeling ever. So for about 2 weeks after, I was in a blur and i just wasn’t enjoying the experience. I was exhausted, still recovering from my c section… and when he’d be crying at 3am and i didn’t know what he wanted, i would cry too. I questioned whether i even wanted to be his mum. It sometimes felt like i was just looking after a baby not my baby and in a way i was kind of grieving the baby that was in me as my bump was gone and i didn’t feel like the baby was mine. Honestly It was such a dark place. Its a massive life change & you can no way prepare for it!!!! You read books etc but nothing prepares you!
HOWEVER, these past 2 weeks (he’s now 4 weeks old) I have completely bonded and have felt no love like it. I am utterly obsessed with him, i want to be with him all the time. Whereas before i longed for someone to come and take over looking after him or feeding him. He sleeps in my arms every night and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to be cuddling him every minute of the day and he makes me laugh so much!!! He is honestly my best friend and i couldn’t imagine my life without him. I love being his mum and i love him being my first born and my son. He is the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen in my life and I’m just so proud of him, proud of how strong he was and proud of the little boy he’s becoming everyday and the amazing man he will be one day. I honestly completely get it now.. the love you can’t describe, just when i see pictures of him it warms my heart and i miss him!!!!! They say it takes 1 person to come along and fix your heart after all the times its been broken well… He has truly fixed and then stolen my heart!!
I think there is so much stigma surrounding mental health & postnatal depression. Bonding takes time for some, and thats okay. If you had medical interventions like me, then bonding is difficult. I wasn’t around my child for the first few days to bond. Its not like i didn’t love my baby, i just didn’t feel that intense feeling some other mums describe. Im not a bad mum because of it. Im going to call what i had – post-NATE-al blues… because i think it was more than baby blues but not quite postnatal depression as it only lasted 2 weeks. Every mum is different and shouldn’t feel bad if they feel different things to other mums or choose different things. Im back on medication and I feel completely bonded to my son now!! So it gets better! If any one is reading this who has felt similar or anyone who feels like this in the future!!! Theres also nothing wrong with having postnatal depression, theres so much support out there.. But i understand how it can be difficult to admit for some people as saying it out loud is scary and admitting your feeling down when you should be feeling elated with your newborn. But being a mum in general is HARD!!!! Honestly!!!! Its constant & its intense. Im still in a blur where he’s feeding every 3 hours, so it feels like you’re just constantly feeding them & you can’t get anything done. My advice is to get out the house as much as possible! I got out ASAP. like the day after i got home from the hospital!!! I recovered quite quickly from my c section. A week after my c section I was in guildford at his newborn photoshoot, and i was crawling around the floor positioning him!!!!
There are so many guidelines for mums.. but each mum just needs to do what works for them!!! I know mums who hardly leave the house & mums like me who are straight out… There is no right answer to motherhood & honestly you just have to do what works for your baby!!! My baby sometimes gets grouchy so it sometimes puts me off going out.. but I’m over that now!!! Im not embarrassed anymore if he’s crying in public… I know he’s not in pain.. I know he’s just communicating with me or jut fussing!!! I feel like ive finally sussed things so I’m much more confident going out by myself. Ive also started driving again.. so ive only just nailed getting him in & out the car seat & today i only learnt how to even bloody unlock my silver cross car seat from the isofix base in my car LOL! It takes time but it gets so much easier. Im also so much quicker at changing his nappy & i can tell when he’s about to wee all over me!!!!! No mum is perfect but we are all trying!!!! My parenting style is quite casual, I have no problem people holding him or feeding him & I’m not going to mollycoddle him. I also went out for a night out 2 weeks after because in my view he was in good hands & its normal for a mum to want to take a 5 hour break to chill, its more healthy in the long run rather than bottling it up. Tough love is best love!! But thats just me! Everyones parenting style is their own and there is no right answer. However i have started to get a little attached to co sleeping!!! I can also tell what he wants… and he wants me a lot.. just wants to be held by me which is really cute! I do worry about both of us getting attached to sleeping in the same bed though! It now breaks my heart seeing him nap in his crib…. which is only a next to me crib and is literally right next to me but i hate it!!!!! I got him used to being settled by himself quite early on! but now thats out the window!!! He sleeps in my arms.
If anyone has gone through similar or is going through similar then please reach out!!!! Id love to chat 🙂 Im not embarrassed or ashamed of how i felt the first 2 weeks… Hormones also had a part in it… And Im a lot better now so thats the main thing and being the best mum i can possibly be….. and I’m loving every second! I love being a mum and i love being his mum. Also one last thing… its okay to ask for help!!!! You don’t have to do EVERY single bottle to be a good mum, its every 3 hours its overwhelming.. so if someone offers to feed him i take them up on it! Its perfectly healthy to take a little break. If someone offers to watch them so you can have an hour nap then absolutely say yes!!! This post was really hard to share, because i didn’t even speak about how i was feeling for a while because i just felt so so so guilty for feeling the way i did!!! But its happened and like i said, my blog is 10000% me & honest and I’m not going to hide anything about my journey.
Lots of love,