Will I ever recover?

I don’t take it for granted that I am so very fortunate to be a mother.  I never thought I would and could love someone so much.  The love I have for my son is different to the love I have for anyone else ever.  I am so thankful to be his mother.

However I also know that my mental health has had taken a beating.  Physically and mentally, I am still trying to recover.  I didn’t have a good experience in the hospital and to this day I am still traumatised by it.  The hospital’s interest is in the delivery of the baby and they have no interest in the mother’s welfare.

“We’ve taken the baby out of you, it is alive, you’re on your own now lady!”.

Well, pretty much.

On very difficult days or nights, they remind me of what a failure I am.  I wanted the best for my child but can’t help being angry about what happened at the hospital.  I failed to birth naturally.  I failed to breastfeed.  I failed to protect him at the hospital.  I should’ve been stronger and demanded he be returned to me when they took him away to the nursery.  The sight of him barely a day old hooked up to tubes and being fasted still haunt me.  I’m afraid the hospital experience has scarred me, possibly for life.

I have a very energetic high needs child who is currently also very clingy.  His clinginess, I guess is also part of his natural development of curiosity wanting to know what’s going on all the time.  I love him.  I love that he is so observant that he picks up how to do things very quickly.  The thing with learning and development is he also has difficulties with sleep at night.  I am so proud of him though.  I am grateful of being his mother.  However, I do know there will be many more parenthood challenges to come.  I am bracing myself for them.

 

I finally ventured out on my own

For the second time since leaving the hospital, I ventured out on my own.  Not just another outing with my partner and my precious boy.

The first time was for a mere hour when I went to get a hair cut.  Just on the weekend, I went out for 5 hours.  I gave myself a time limit and told myself I wouldn’t go home until the time was up.  I made it!  I went out and aimlessly walked around, looked at shops, had a coffee.  I almost cried as I ventured out.  My heart was pounding so hard, it almost jumped out of my body.

I know it sound very strange but it is a very big achievement for me to be able to go out and do things on my own away from my lil boy.  We’ve been stuck to each other.  I love him dearly but it got to the point where I was frustrated and scared.  I didn’t want to be away from him for any amount of time.  I know exactly why this is so.  When we were in the hospital, they took him away from me while I was sleeping.  8 hours after he was born.  I’ve been badly scarred from that ever since.  It was a horrible experience.  It should not have had happened.  It was irresponsible of the hospital.  Not only to have taken him away from my room while I was asleep, they could not, would not explain to me what was wrong with him.  To this day, I still don’t know why they did that.  Why it was necessary for them to do that.  It was horrible.  It was frightening for a first time mom who already had a bad birth experience.

My partner is encouraging me to go and do things on my own and this in a way also allows him to spend one on one time with our lil boy.  So I have overcome the first obstacle of venturing out on my own but I will have to see if this will happen on a regular basis.  I know I need to do this for everyone’s sake.  I can’t just stay home with him all the time.  I have to make time to go do things for myself.  Or so I tell myself.

 

Another breakthrough is he’s been trying to put himself to sleep.  He’s really been trying to do this by himself.  Sometimes he’s able to, sometimes he can’t and get frustrated.  So he asks me to help him by rocking him to sleep.  I don’t mind rocking him to sleep.  I know this shocks a lot of people who have sleep-trained their babies or have very independent babies who go to sleep by themselves.  I am happy to rock my baby to sleep.  This is not forever.  He’s already  growing up very fast.  I feel a tightness in my chest that I can’t catch up.  He’s growing up.  My lil boy is growing up.

 

 

 

“Your body will do what it is capable of”

I really hate reading this.

Really.  Hate.

On internet forums, parenting/mother-baby websites, when the question posted by any woman about to have a first child her concerns of childbirth.  You will no doubt read at least one post from Madam Earth Mother that ‘it will naturally happen, your body will do what it is capable of’ and ‘I had mine no drugs, no gas, all natural birth, I didn’t even feel the pain!’ and ‘IT WAS MAGICAL’.

Well, Madam Earth Mother, for the rest of us mothers whose body couldn’t do ‘what it was supposed to be capable of’, what of us then?  Are we lesser women than you are?

For those of us who couldn’t naturally birth, are we lesser women than you are?

For those of us who had to be induced, had to use gas or be administered epidural or pethidine, are we lesser women than you are?

There is so much written about the ‘magic’ of (natural) childbirth, that first time moms don’t really get told or read much about that their birth plan or whatever this fantasy instilled upon us could go wrong.  Our once idea of having a drug-free, natural childbirth (well, because it’s the most natural thing is the world right?) is shattered when we end up in the theatre being butchered up.

What do you say to us then?

 

How did mothers in the past survive without parenting books/sleep schools/sleep training books? (Alt title: How parenting books/sleep schools can fuck up your first year as a parent)

Right, what’s my beef today?

Parenting books. Sleep Schools.  Sleep Training Books.

What the actual fuck?

From under which rock did they turn up from?  How did mothers in the ye olden times look after their sprouts?  How, really?

As if this parenting (especially first timers) gig isn’t daunting enough.  Desperate parents fork out loads of dough to seek ‘advice’ from these books/schools.  All they do is add more stress to the cause.  Thanks.  No Thanks.

 

Put down awake but drowsy

Good luck to you if you are able to do this.  I don’t know who you are but congrats, well done etc.  You try doing this to some babies and see what happens.  This is not possible for most parents.  For the sake of self-assurance (ok, more of a what the fuck am I doing wrong), I trawled parenting forums to see what other parents are doing.  It’s ok, I’m not the only one who isn’t able to do the put down awake but drowsy bullshit.  Some moms are still rocking/feeding/cuddling to sleep.  Yet most of them have been suffering silently while they read of other moms’ ‘achievements’ in getting their bubs to ‘self-settle’ (oh don’t get me started!) and sleep at the appropriate nap times and night bedtime.

Seriously get the fuck out.

 

Self-settling

HAHAHAHAHAH a 12 week old baby self settles to sleep?  Or some moms like to embellish the truth a little by telling all and sundries that their babies self settle at 6 weeks.

I call bullshit.  Who the fuck are you people?  Do you know babies are babies for a very short while?  You want to put them in a big cot, all alone in a big room by themselves and put themselves to sleep on their own accord?  Who the fuck are you people?

Who was the first person who came up with this genius of an idea that it is good for the baby to be put flat on the cot, in its own room, by itself, self-settles in the early weeks so as to be independent?

 

Sleep through the night

Just have a quick glance through parenting forums and you will find the common question asks for how to get baby sleep through the night.  Look, most babies don’t.  It’s natural for them to wake up during the night.  Maybe once, maybe twice, maybe I don’t know.

To expect a 6 or even 12 week old baby to sleep through the nigh is ridiculous.  Reality is some babies won’t even sleep through the night at 2 years old.

Get used to it.

I know I’d been stressed for the past months of WHY ISN’T THE BABY SLEEPING! But now, I appreciate all the extra cuddles times

 

Cry It Out

Why would you intentionally let your baby cry it out?  So it won’t be dependent on you?

They are babies, they are supposed to be dependent on you!

 

Breast is best

Ok, we all know breast milk is best for your baby.  But what happens if you are not able to breastfeed?  It’s frightening how many of these ‘experts’ are saying to persist as breastfeeding is the most natural thing (oh, like vaginal birth without drugs?).  This puts a lot of pressure on some moms who want to (or maybe not want to) but can’t.  Can’t/not able to, due to a myriad of reason.  Not all new moms can breastfeed and this can be distressing.   We should encourage FED IS BEST.

 

Being a first time mom is a learning curve.  It is daunting enough for most of us (I say most because judging by ‘instagram moms’, seems to be an easy gig for them, in between baby wearing and breastfeeding and housewarming and looking glam all at the same time).

 

Ditch the books.  If you can’t, take and disregard.

 

My human child and my furry child

So this is happening in my household.

My partner got our human child a walker (a Joovy Spoon – best of all the walkers he’s researched on) and he loves it.

Put him in it and he’s the happiest boy ever, zipping and bolting around the place.

He loves his walker!

But he also loves his furry sister.

Every opportunity he gets, he wants to be near her.  He’s so happy now that he is mobile on his own accord.  He seeks out his sister to play with.

However, little human child hasn’t learnt the skills of gentle as yet.  While he loves to bolt toward his sister to touch her, she defiantly sits in the middle of his path.  This is a recipe for a lot of tears.  From her.

Lately, she’s become more needy.  She never used to like much attention from us, happy to just do her own thing.  She’s been wanting more from us lately and becoming more daring in sitting near her human brother.  Well she really wants to be near us so she gets pats.  But that’s the sort of risks she is willing to take.

She didn’t want to be near him for the first 6 months.  Then one day, while he was having his afternoon nap, I found her laying at his feet during his nap time.  I think it’s at that point, she’s decided this little human is ok.

It’s a big change for the old girl, having been an only child and now she needs to share the attention and love.  But she gotta look at this way, she’s getting more love – from another human!

 

 

 

Mommy Introvert (alternative title: I am an introvert and a first time mom)

I am an introvert.

And I am comfortable with this.

However since giving birth, I have started to question how this will impact my child.

I have read all these stories of moms going to play groups, mothers groups, play dates etc and I wonder am I denying my child of something by not going to these groups?  It seems that these groups are more for the benefit of the mother than the child.

I have no desire to go hang out with other mommies comparing child raising notes.  Being a first time mom is daunting enough.  Just imagine the constant comparison.  This would drive me beyond insane.

Perhaps after he’s had his 12th month’s vaccinations, I could start taking him to swim classes.  Not sure how that’d go down though.

Rejection from my child

This sounds rather pathetic but I feel rejected by my child.

The child I’d gone to hell and back for.  The child I love with all my heart.  The child I’d sacrificed my life for.  The child I could not imagine I’d be a mother to (because I didn’t think I’d be a mother).  The child who doesn’t like to sleep.  The child who now whines more than laughs.

Yes my child.

This very child prefers his dad though.  His face lights up when his dad enters the room.  His face lights up when he sees his dad comes through the door  when he finishes work.  He cries and whines and screams when he can’t see his dad.  No amount of love nor cuddles from his mother could comfort him.  The only thing that can turn the sad face into a smiley face is his dad.

How do I feel about this?  I feel sad.  I feel hurt.  I feel rejected.  I feel incompetent.

I ask myself where did I go wrong?  Why does my child reject me?

I don’t have an answer.  He just prefers his dad.

No matter what it is, I am still his mother.

I still love him no matter what.

Today I really feel like a failure

He won’t settle.

He won’t sleep.

He pushes me away … cuddles no longer work.

He fights me with everything … changing nappies is a nightmare.

He doesn’t even grin at me anymore as he used to when he wakes up.

He cries and screams so much, nothing I do can comfort him.

All this remind me of the difficult pregnancy.

All this remind me of the failed induction.

All this remind me of the failed natural birth.

That’s right, I can’t even do what a woman naturally is supposed to do.

I have failed.