Baby Blues

“It’s hard’. That is what people tell you time and time again about having a baby. Well of course it is, I had no delusions. I know that babies cry, they don’t sleep when you want to and they are helpless and needy creatures. I wish people had elaborated on what “It’s hard” meant. Books describe the ‘Baby Blues’ and you know you will still be hormonal but no one tells you how you change as an individual and how you, as a Mum, will feel after giving birth. Perhaps it is because it is too off putting to share? Or it is because it is fleeting for most and so you forget what it is like?

Having talked to many friends who have had babies in recent years, I discovered that we all shared similar emotions and experiences after the birth of our babies. For some it lasted 6 months, for me, 6 weeks. I would describe it as a fog lifting from me.

So, what were my ‘blues’ or ‘fog’ that engulfed me, and others after childbirth?

Paranoia – from checking the baby’s breathing constantly to thinking your husband is going to leave you or doesn’t love you (perhaps I wasn’t so paranoid afterall!)

Tears – at everything and anything. Sometimes you don’t even know why. For me, it could take the form of a child-like tantrum.

Feeling Overwhelmed – everything seems scary or makes you feel uneasy. Especially when it is the first time of doing something. For example, I was petrified the first time I took my baby out in the car. Sometimes just getting out of the house seemed like mission impossible.

Anxiety – especially at night-time. How much sleep am I going to get? Is the baby going to wake up the house? Bedtime is still my most stressful time of the day – how long will it take to get her to sleep in her crib?

Tired/Zombie like state – this would mean you cannot compute or register basic instructions and your memory suffers greatly.

All this, combined with learning the skills of how to handle your baby, expressing milk (moo!) or sterilizing bottles, amongst other things.

However, it is important to remember these feelings are temporary and doesn’t mean you don’t love your little bundle. You will get back to normal and enjoy the wonders and fulfillment of motherhood. It is just a matter of perseverance, as are most things in parenthood.

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A Letter to my Daughter:

There you are sucking your fingers!

There you are sucking your fingers!

You were sucking your fingers the first time I saw you. Your outline was hazy but I could see your form lying in my womb. I had been waiting with anticipation to see you and to know you were safe inside of me.

For 9 months I carried you. Although I had not met you properly yet, I knew you and you were a part of me. Greatly longed for and already greatly loved. I sang to you in the shower. I felt your hiccups. I relished in your movements. The anticipation of knowing you became an increasing obsession, little did I know the overwhelming love of a new and unconditional kind, was about to be bestowed upon me.

“ She has my nose” were the first words I uttered when your tiny body was placed on my chest. Your Daddy cried. I was dumbstruck at the traumatic and beautiful way you entered the world. Your Daddy was the first to hold you properly and you mimicked him when he stuck his tongue out at you – what a clever girl at only 5 minutes old!

Every day you astonish me and you are now only 3 months old.  I remember your first smile at 6 weeks. Now you have a cheeky and playful glint in your eye as you perfect that smile. I heard your first giggle yesterday. I was bouncing you up and down on a cushion to some dance music. I felt an urge to text your Daddy straight away to share it with him. Sharing these moments make them seem more real, more important somehow: they are milestones you will never remember and I don’t want to forget.

You still like to suck your fingers.