6 Weeks Post Partum: The Honest Truth of how I am Emotionally
I’m going to be honest here… I’m going to tell you all how I have been emotionally these past six weeks. Let me warn you it’s not pretty!
After the birth I was absolutely drained. If I’m being honest I really could have done with the nurses keeping Baby London during the nights to let me catch up on my sleep. But having to maneuver myself out of bed alone while at hospital just days after having abdominal surgery wasn’t easy. By the time I got home on Christmas day I was exhausted. I actually burst into tears when we got home. I was happy to be home but ridiculously scared as well. Motherhood wasn’t anything like I imagined. When I brought Baby London home I realised he was solely dependent on me and that terrified me. For the next few nights even though I had Mr London Mum I still didn’t sleep because every noise Baby London made in his moses basket had me scared and anxious. I couldn’t actually get up to look into the basket (it would take me so long) so I’d wake up Mr London Mum to make sure Baby London was still breathing.
The influx of people visiting was far too over whelming and having to re-cap the birth made me so sad and want to cry every time, I was so traumatised by it. I hadn’t figured out how to look after my baby and suddenly there were people over. I didn’t mind if they were over to help with the chores because I really couldn’t keep up, but coming over to chat and coo over the baby drove me mad and often it would get too much for me and I’d take myself off to bed. Physically I couldn’t move, I didn’t feel like chatting, I was trying to breastfeed every 2 hours… it was too much all at once.
During the first few weeks I often thought to myself ‘what have I done?’ and wishing that I had my old life back. No one can prepare you for a baby and it’s so, so hard. I was still trying to recover and breastfeed and be a good mum and it just wasn’t working. Sometimes I’d hide in the bathroom and cry (blame the hormones!). I realised something had to give, I couldn’t move because of the caesarean and I was exhausted. So I gave in with the breastfeeding. My nipples were raw, Baby London wasn’t getting enough and it seemed like I was left at home alone while Mr London Mum went about his usual life because feeding was my sole responsibility. That’s when I decided that formula would be making an appearance. Mr London Mum would have to learn to take on some of the challenges.
*Note to new Fathers: A baby is a JOINT responsibility. Personally I think your social engagements can wait for at least 6 weeks. Your partner needs you now more than ever.*
*Note to new Mothers: Don’t feel guilty for not allowing your partner free time straight away. A baby isn’t your sole responsibility and you’ve not only carried that child for near 10 months, you’ve also delivered it. You’re recovering so expect your partner to do most of the work around the house and making sure you’re fed and watered. If bottle-feeding, your partner should take the baby as well, to ensure you get adequate rest. Not just for one week but the full six.
As the weeks went by things got easier as I learnt what Baby London wanted. I gained more confidence as a Mother and enjoyed seeing his development. My heart melted when he did his first real smile as I ran my finger down his little squidgy nose.
After my breakdown Mr London Mum became much more helpful, I’m now able to actually wash and brush my teeth in the mornings! It still annoys me that I have to remind him to do things though such as make bottles up or sterilise them if I’m pre-occupied with the Baby. As a Mother these things come naturally and when your partner doesn’t do them automatically it’s aggravating. I do resent the fact that Mr London Mum gets to continue with his life and have so many hours in the day where he isn’t on childcare duty. He can switch off from it. I can never switch off from it.
I no longer earn my own money, which I hate, I’m used to being independent and having a brilliant income. That’s all out the window. And because we’re relying on one sole wage now we’ve had to move closer to where Mr London Mum works, an area further away from my family and an area I know nothing about. If I’m honest I feel like I’ve lost everything that made me who I was pre baby.
However through all of the sadness of missing my past I absolutely I adore Baby London. He’s such a good boy and things do definitely get easier as the weeks go by. So if you’re a soon to be Mother don’t worry too much about my doom and gloom because you’ll understand, your little baby is the light that keeps you going.