I have wanted to write this blog post for so long, I just haven’t felt ready or brave enough to. I finally feel the time is right, so here goes…
During my pregnancy I was either deluded, or just had no idea about what would happen once our baby lady arrived (probably a bit of both). I thought that I would be able to run my business at the same pace, and she would work around me. I thought I would sleep. I thought my tummy would be flat the moment she came out. I thought I would feel like I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t have been more wrong…
I remember asking my wonderful midwife in the later stages of labour, “can I sleep once she’s out?” What a daft question looking back. My body was incredible during labour, and endured so much. It was however utterly exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep to recover. The moment our little lady was out and placed on me skin to skin, she was 100% dependent on me. I was overwhelmed by the instant responsibility, how could I take care of someone SO tiny and precious?
I don’t think I slept for over 72 hours straight during and after labour (which for someone who lived for sleep was torture). I remember two days in with my little lady it was 3am, and I was sat on the toilet sobbing because I was desperate for sleep. I hated feeling this way, I was worried that there was something wrong with me. It made me think I was a terrible mum, and couldn’t do it. The lack of sleep made me an emotional mess, as well as the change in hormones.
Feeling so emotional and overwhelmed scared me. I genuinely thought there was something wrong me with me. I thought I was meant to feel elated, but I didn’t. Worrying about feeling this way, made me feel 100 times worse. I started to feed the anxiety. After sobbing on the toilet I didn’t let myself cry again for nearly 3 months (despite needing to). I didn’t want anyone to think I wasn’t coping.
It took me about 5 months after she was born to realise that the emotions I felt were perfectly normal, and it was OK to cry. I joined a wonderful mummy and baby group, and listened to lots of labour stories. I could relate to so many of the mums. I wish there was more out there for new mums, I feel we need to be educated more on the reality of the early days of motherhood. My expectations were so different to the reality.
What I have learnt is that IT IS OK NOT TO FEEL OK. If you are a new mum, or feel full of emotions when your little bundle of joy arrives that is OK. Let it all out, look after you, and don’t worry what anyone else thinks. Talk about how you feel to your other half, or the midwives. Get as much support as you can.
If we were to ever have another baby, I hope I would be more accepting of my emotions, and kinder to myself. I am a great mum, and my baby lady is my entire world. If I had shared my feelings, and not been so afraid of them, I think I would have been so much more relaxed during early motherhood.
This was hard for me to write, but I hope it helps someone. Thanks for reading Kx