Saying it Loud.

Hi everyone its Sunday and its dry out which in our house means the kids have put on coats and wellies over their pajamas and gone outside to act like hooligans in the garden affording me some quiet time..
Todays post is a little different I'm leaping backin time again (2008 to be precise) A time that for me was so conflicting of my emotions it was the year I gave birth to my first born, the year I became a mother, the year I started to believe in myself and my abilities again, but it was also the year my baby cried constantly for six months, the year I descended further and further into isolation and anxiety, the year I blamed myself for all of her pain, the year that guilt and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness swallowed me so deep it consumed me.

I've already touched on this if you've read my previous posts you'll know how I struggled during the pregnancy with worries and doubts, how I ate myself into oblivion to try to comfort myself and consequently was very ill at the end of the pregnancy, I had developed a condition called toxemia (aka pre eclampsia) and was admitted to hospital 2weeks before my due date and induced, resulting in a very long and difficult labour. Of course at the end of it when your little baby is staring up at you all angelic like, the fact that she's just inflicted over 22hours of torture on your body suddenly seems irrelevant even though the thoughts of ever going for a wee again puts the fear of God in you.. no, no just look at those big blue eyes nothing before her matters, nothing. I kept staring at her, completely in awe, she was so perfect I couldn't believe she was mine, she filled me, I had gone from being this broken empty shell to feeling so full and complete, bursting with a love for her I had never felt before, she was all I needed in the world I was not going to let her down, I was going to be the mother of all mothers.. well, that was the plan,
the first few weeks of motherhood were like a dream, I got it yano, I knew instinctively everything she needed all day everyday, we just seemed to click.. mentally I felt so well, so at ease, motherhood released a calm within me that I hadn't known existed.

I think she was about 12weeks old when it started, her screams were enough to wake the dead.. I paced the floor with her holding her close whispering songs to her, we came up with "the bounce" as me and my husband not so fondly refer to it as.. it involved either one of us walking with an over enthuasiastic bounce in our steps to try soothe her, it worked.. sometimes. She liked being up right, she was almost allergic to lying on the flat of her back I spent endless nights sitting upright with her on my shoulder propped up by pillows dozing in and out of sleep.. pretty soon I was running on empty. The thing was, I couldn't leave her, not for a second, not when I knew she would spend the entire time crying her little head off, I couldn't bring her to see friends/family, people get awkward around a baby that never stops crying, I mean they don't mean to but lets face it, its not exactly the best crack in the world and paired with an anxiety ridden mother who won't even hear of you holding her baby well it just seemed easier to avoid those situations, avoid people. .. so thats exactly what I did, silently hoping and praying that it would stop. Endless trips to the doctor only to be told... "a bit of colic", "trapped wind", along with peoples lovely comments such as "Ah sure, she's just spoilt, your holding her too much" etc, etc. Deep down I was dying. I use to put her in the car and drive for hours, crying to myself, apologising to her. I presumed like everything else I had fucked it up. Got it wrong somehow.. As she got bigger it got harder my arms and back would ache, I brought her to a healer, back to the doctor, still she cried.. I cried.. we cried in unison. I specifically remember one day in the car she was screaming so bad I had to stop the car, I parked at the back of the old tescos carpark and got her out of the car she was inconsolable.. a woman with a car full of teenagers approached me, I'm not sure why, I never asked her name, maybe she told me I don't remember I just remember what she said.. she told me 3 out of her 5 had colic, she said how tough it had been and how she had felt like she was losing her mind, she got through though, she said as mothers we always get through, I felt like i could trust her, she was the first person to look at me and I didn't see that "poor girl hasn't a clue" look on her face. I told her everything right there and then in the middle of the carpark I told a complete stranger things I couldn't say to people i seen everyday. I told her how I felt so strongly that my baby didn't have colic but no one would listen, I told her how even when shes sleeping i couldn't because it was consuming me her pain was all I could think about, something was wrong I just didn't know what it was, she said something to me and it's stuck with me ever since.. she said "follow your gut, if you think something is wrong then it usually is". It was so simple but hearing those words sort of snapped me back to reality, I felt like I had been in a hazey due for months. I looked down at my
sweet girl as she sucked ferociously on her soother. What was wrong? She was close to 6months old I knew we couldn't to on like this I settled her back in her car seat, said goodbye to the lovely lady with the teenagers, went home and spent another night walking and bouncing and she cried, but I didn't, so at least that was something.. right?

We spent her first Christmas day in bed she was crying so much I couldn't bare to be around anyone, we were in my husbands mothers house for dinner, everyone was there, I felt cheated for thinking just because it was Christmas it would be ok, it wasn't. We lay in his bed exhausted her little eyes were so red and she was so so pale. I needed to step up I had to, we rang shannon doc. St. Stephens day we were admitted to hosptal for a week of tests. Then, after a very long few days came the news. Our precious baby girl was not colic, or spoiled, and we her parents were not eejits, she was allergic to the formula milk. Something so simple, the months of watching her writhing and screaming in pain, of feeling like two helpless young ones who hadn't a clue what they were doing.. it was over.. Nutrilon pepti was the name of the new formula milk we got it over the counter in the chemist every week. I changed doctors and we've never really looked back.
I stopped driving around for hours everyday, she stopped crying for hours everyday and everyone stopped tip toeing around us, we got into a new routine, she was happy always smiling. I was ok. I was obviously filled with joy and relief, she was ok, and if i'd have just listened to my gut she probably would have been ok a lot sooner, but being so young, so unsure, so inexperienced it was very easy to let doubt take over, it was easier to believe I was wrong. It was easier to trust the doctors and everyone else rather than trust in myself. It was only once she was ok again that I realised how messed up I was, I had spent so long isolating myself I could hardly hold a conversation with my closest family anymore, I was completely desocialised, in other words I was awkward as fuck. Mix that with all my other issues that came all too readily flooding back to the surface, I was the furthest I have ever been, everything was dark, there was no light. Most says I didn't get dressed.. I didn't see any point. In my head everything was ok once I stayed in this little cocoon that I had built up around us, we were safe, she was safe.. my over irrational fears for her safety completely consumed me. I
never left her side and if I did I found myself panic stricken the only way I can try to descride the feeling is, you know when you hold your breath.. if u do it for so long your vision turns blurry, your chest gets tight, everything gets dark, thats how I felt being away from her I trusted no one. It sounds crazy here now writing this down but at the time this was my reality, my crazy, frustrating, exhausting reality.

I think she was close to 2 when my boyfriend (now husband.. yes he stuck around.. amazingly.. crator definitely deserves some kind of medal) anyway he burst through the door, it was all very theatrical.. there I was folding laundry with my mouth hanging open, in my faded tracksuit 2 sizes too small, love handles, messy hair and crocs.. pink crocs.. he begged me to get help. Looking at him in that moment it was like I was seeing him for the first time in years, I could see the pain in his eyes, pain that I was causing. Something clicked I don't know what but I said in a whisper that I would and I watched his tense face relax. The next day I went to my doctor who set me up with a councellor, and I very quickly realised I had more issues than Carrie Bradshaw and fucking Big had. Its a very slow process but I stuck at it, I took baby steps.. most notibly I started getting dressed again and I threw out those nasty fucking crocs to the relief of everyone but mostly him.. my knight in shining armour... he'll kill me for saying that!!! I slowly started paving my way back to my friends back to my life, but just with one big difference, me, I was different, I was better, bit by bit, I started holding conversations with people again.. now I never shut up I want to talk about everything all
day everyday.. and its rubbing off on the kids they never shut up.

All in all I suppose what I'd love for people to get from this is, follow your gut, trust in yourself, say it, say everything, I swear once its out there it disallows your brain to blow it out of proportion, do not allow paranoia to fester, talk, talk, talk, and I promise nothing will ever seem scary or too much to handle again.

Thanks for reading,
Mammysbrightside xxx

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