I was thinking about my next blog post last night, sometime in the early hours. I was desperately trying to get my 13 month old back to sleep. He had a temperature and was just wanting to play. ‘I’m glad I went to sleep just after 10pm last night’, I thought to myself but how I wished it was earlier. I just want to sleep, now please! He eventually nodded off, in our bed (something I swore I would never do, but sometimes you have to do what works). Not long after Little Miss woke, my husband went and got in her bed and I had the boy in with me. So in the end we all got some much needed sleep. The point of this ramble is I feel I had decided long before I had children the things I would and wouldn’t do and things have totally changed. I’m a firm believer in doing what works and if people choose to judge, let them. Just as long as your child/ren is/are happy, safe, fed and loved.
Most people who know me will be aware I had my first baby at 27 weeks on June 3rd, he was stillborn and we named him Alex. We found out he had died due to Placenta Insufficiency. Which basically meant when the placenta was forming, there was a ‘cliche’. The placenta was not able to provide him with enough oxygen and nutrients as he was getting bigger.
I went into my first pregnancy, thinking I just need to get to get to 12 weeks and everything will be all good. So the day I discovered our baby no longer had a heartbeat I couldn’t believe what the Doctor what telling me. I even asked him if he was being serious. That day and the days that followed after changed me in a way I cannot explain. I have definitely learnt a great deal from carrying and birthing Alex and even though I wish I could watch him grow, I’m so proud to be his Mum.
I thought when I would have another baby everything would be ‘better’, far from it. Now in May 2015 I have a daughter, almost 3 and a son 13 months. 3 babies in 4 years, phew! I know I am incredibly lucky to have these gorgeous, happy children in my life but do I always feel it? No! I was told:
- You will be sleep deprived
- You won’t have any time to yourself
- Sleep when baby sleeps
And I’m sure I could list a lot more. I definitely had ideas in my head of how it would be.
- My baby will sleep for long periods when I put him/her to bed
- They will breastfeed with no trouble
- My house will look nice and tidy and we will eat well everyday
- I will always look immaculate
- I will fall asleep when my baby does and sleep as long as my baby does in the middle of the day
- I will make time for myself
Did I ever actually achieve any of those things in the early days? Hell no! And I still don’t now. But like I said earlier if your child/ren are happy, safe, fed and loved, does it really matter about Mums needs? Sure it does, we are women at the end of the day with needs and wants. I’m not very good at making time for myself, but I am getting better. Motherhood is great and it’s certainly a rollercoaster at times, with its high and lows.
I’ve been taking antidepressants since the end of January and they have definitely given me back ‘me’. It was awful struggling, putting on a brave face and just wanting to run away and not be a parent. I would beat myself up and think that I was awful Mum, especially after losing Alex and not wanting to parent my living children, WTF? I felt overwhelmed with everything and would get anxiety at the thought of leaving the house with 2 kids in tow. I still have the odd days where I know I’m not in the best place, but I feel I can handle those days better than I used too. I see a counsellor from time to time too which is really helpful.
My journey to become a Mum has not been the easiest, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Little Miss and Mr Happy are the closest thing I have to Alex and I love watching them grow. I do have times where I would love to disappear for the day and come home when I want too and only worry about myself. But don’t all us Mums feel like that? I don’t think there is anything wrong with admitting it’s a hard job. I guess no one can really prepare you to become a parent, or prepare you for what might happen on your parenting journey. I certainly wasn’t prepared to birth a baby that had passed away and the things that people say to you after the event.
I must remember to be kind to myself and to regularly tell myself and others we are doing a great job.