Its HARD. No other way of putting it. And its a rollercoaster.
The Bond….everyone talks about the overwhelming feeling of love you feel when you meet your baby. When i met my baby it was a blur. We’d been through a traumatic birth. I didnt get skin to skin as he didnt cry. I thought he would die. I was convinced. Then they handed him to me and took me to the ward. And left me with him. My job to take care of this tiny new human. So i did. But for someone else. He wasnt mine.
Baby T is spectacular. I know this because everyone tells me so. For the first few days i only held him to feed. I didnt just cuddle him. I put him down and looked at him. I wondered when he would be taken away. Now i hold him more. Just because. But im still not in love. When he looks at me i realise what a beautiful baby he is. Id do anything to protect him, to care for him, but am i in love? No. Im scared to let go. What if he leaves me? I worry the midwives will take him away or that he will stop breathing. I cant deal with the pain. So i protect myself and in doing so, deny myself. I force myself to hold him now, to kiss him (took me 4 days) and when he looks at me, its getting more ‘Wow’ but its slow going.
Breastfeeding….i SO wanted to do it. I did it in hospital. It was agony. I thought it was normal. On Wednesday the midwife mentioned blood blisters from a bad latch. I checked. Over 20 blood blisters. I had never ever heard of this until then. Honestly every suck made my toes curl. On Wednesday afternoon, I sent Mr Me for formula and i hated myself. On Thursday i felt OK about formula feeding (ff). I wasnt as anxious. Baby T was happy on the bottle. Content. On Thursday night i hated myself. I didnt give it a chance, id failed my child, i was missing out and so was he. He wasnt going to need me because anyone could feed him. On Friday i got the blisters off in the bath and hand expressed. My milk was in. On Friday night we tried breastfeeding again. It hurt. He screamed. My anxiety was through the roof. I ordered the Perfect Prep machine (makes up bottles in 2 minutes at right temperature) for next day delivery. Ive tried not to look back. Its hard. I feel guilty. I feel i have to explain. FF is working for us. Hes happy. My boobs dont hurt. I still feel like a bad mum.
The trauma continues….New Mums are never told about the feeling of their asses being blown out after birth. Its like a secret you cant know until you are part of the club. And you can see the other mums laughing as the new mums waddle about holding onto their asses. You always hear about how you forget about the pain of childbirth. But a week later when your stitches make you cry out in agony when peeing, you are still in that delivery room, still being cut, still experiencing every ounce of pain.
How can you bond with the person who did that to you?
You question everything. Every decision. You worry you are not worried enough. You worry you worry too much. You wonder if everyone feels so overwhelmed at the beginning? You wonder if having some sleep means you dont care enough about whether baby is breathing or not. Despite having less than 20 hours of sleep in a week.
You hope the love will come. That the past wont ruin the future and you wonder if youll ever be good enough.
Thats early motherhood.
Love, Little Miss PMA xxx