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All posts for the month July, 2014

The first law of alchemy

Published July 27, 2014 by reachandflexibility

“In order to obtain or create something, something of equal value must be lost or destroyed.”

Beth is nearly 8 weeks and although she has been reasonably calm these last few days the above quote has been flying through my head. Although unhealthy, I’ve been thinking about everything I have lost in gaining her. Everything I’ve been feeling recently can amount to 3 words.

Guilt

For not being able to love her like a normal mother would. For not carrying on breast feeding despite everything that says it’s for the best. For not running to her every cry within seconds simply because I’m too exhausted of bending to her every demand. For not being as good a mother to her as I know I should be.

Then there is guilt to Kim and pup. For not being able to give them the attention they once had. For not being able to share a bed with them both because I know caring for Beth at night will simply keep them awake. For making Kim work a job he hates simply to keep us all going. For putting him in a life he may never have chosen.

This section could go on a lot longer. Mothers are so judgemental of everything you do. If you’re not doing it to their standards or to this weeks “guidelines” then you’re selfish and a bad mother. A lot of guilt stems from this. I want to be a good mother, so why do I listen to these types?

Loneliness

I’m doing a lot of this by myself. Though Kim helps he has to work a lot of the time and the last thing he wants is to be working again as soon as he gets through the front door. I have no family here to help out and the friends I do have have little experience with babies. That’s when they actually remember I exist anyways. I spend my days in front of the TV holding Beth counting the hours until Kim gets home. There is nowhere to go where I live. No simple trip down the shops. I can’t even walk the dog easily with the pram and going out without him is not an option. I have no one to really talk to and it’s lonely. People say I should ask for help because I never do. There is no one to ask though. And even if there was, what can they do? Why even bother them?

Mourning

For the above first law. Everything I feel I have sacrificed.

Going straight back to college, walking pup casually during the day, my body or at least what I knew it to be, a fun, enjoyable sex life, my social life (or at least what there was of it), any time gaming, a full nights sleep, my identity…

I guess a lot of what I’m trying to figure out with this is who I am now. As a mother I feel like nothing. I feel like Beth is the personality and the life and I’m just the drone which sustains her. Like that guy from total recall. I feel like I’ve lost who I am and I’m mourning that as I try to figure myself out. I feel like a shadow of who I used to be. Was it an equal cost for her? I hope so.

This is just me trying to structure my thoughts before the next feed which I know will come soon. Another night of feed, nap, feed, nap. Before another day of feed, settle, feed, settle… It will get better. Just need to keep my head above the water.

6 weeks – colic, smiles and afternoons off

Published July 18, 2014 by reachandflexibility

So today was me and Beth’s 6 week check. She’s fine in every way. Well apart from the colic. The colic that for the last 5 weeks or so has been driving us all mad. We’ve tried nearly every solution out there from changing her formula (she was breastfed but it was exhausting having her feed for hours on end, the lack of control/knowledge of how much she was actually getting from me and the fact that Kim couldn’t help out) to white noise on the ipad. It’s only in the last few days that she began to settle a little more and even then we still have a few hours of grouchiess.
She’s now around 4.5kg in weight and growing well. She feeds every 3 hours on the dot and is handling the nights quite well. Despite her clearly having Kim’s grumpy face we have even had a few smiles the last few days. They are few and far between but they are there.
I am getting there…with a nights sleep I’m able to cope. Well no, I feel good when I get a nights sleep. I get the housework done, I enjoy my days and I enjoy Beth. With no or little sleep I’m a mess. I’m like I was 4 weeks ago. Tuesday morning I was like this after having around 3 hours sleep, interrupted of course. Kim left for work with Beth crying and me saying that I wished for just a few moments she didn’t even exist. Well he took the afternoon off to come back and look after both of us. It was needed and I was so grateful for the help and support. With a little sleep I felt slightly more normal again.
Well at today’s 6 week check I got given the line that Kim has practically been chanting at me the last few weeks, “don’t beat yourself up”. The nurse told me that everything I was going through was normal. That depression was normal, that guilt was normal and that bonding does take time for some mothers. I nearly started crying there and then. I’ve not been diagnosed with anything but I’ve been told I need to look after myself. To get help when I need it and to take it easy. And of course to stop beating myself up. Easier said than done but I’m working it.
I’m back in 2 weeks for the start of her vaccinations so well see from there if need more help. I hope I don’t. A happier post will come soon I promise.

4 weeks gone

Published July 1, 2014 by reachandflexibility

So things are getting better somewhat. I’m not crying every day only the odd day when I’m tired and frustrated. My mum and sister coming over was a big boost I needed even if it did give me a small realisation that I never ask for help when I need it. It also made me realise that I get very easily frustrated over the silliest of things. One of which was a sling we bought that I just couldn’t get to fit comfortably. The only thought running through my head when trying it though was “I’m too fat to carry my own child.” Yeah it was a little extreme.
I’m liking Beth a little more each day but still view her with a sort of detachment rather than the unconditional love that others seem to have. I voiced a few of my frustrations to my nurse at her 2 week check and her advice was what everyone else has told me. Keep up on my sleep and accept/ ask for help when needed. Well as said I’m slowly getting there.
My aims as always are to keep Kim happy. If he’s happy then I’m happy. Unfortunately though this is proving difficult recently. In being so miserable I seem to have neglected even the basic things like telling him I love him. I do love him there is no doubt about it but recently I’ve just been having trouble with everything. I’m sure he understands but I need to pull myself out of this rut. Nights are the worst I find. When I just feel alone with things. When it’s dark and my thoughts kick in. Usually when I’m most tired and need to sleep. It’s hopefully getting better though. I don’t want to jinx it.
I’m not actually sure what to put right now. I just wanted to update to say we’re getting there. Very slowly I’m getting there. One night at a time.