In the past 8 weeks I have felt so many emotions that some days I wake up and don’t know if I should laugh or cry. I’ve gone through the frustration of my waters breaking but having to wait nearly a full day to go in to labour, then all the stuff that comes with it bringing a baby in to the world: pain, exhaustion, anxiety, fear and disbelief that it’s actually happening.
Next came everything you feel in those first days of having a newborn… the aching from child birth, and the little smug feeling you carry around with you knowing you grew that beautiful baby. The sleepy eyes that are only kept open by sheer adrenaline, obviously love for this little person is ever present but I found I loved Frankie and Dean even more as well. I know that I as well as most Mum’s also feel more of those labour emotions for the first bit aswell: more fear, more pain and more anxiety.
Then came the bit I hadn’t prepared for, the worry that came when Georgie started to look unwell. The lump in my throat whenever she coughed or sneezed, or did her strange little shivers. Not trusting myself to make a decision over taking her the hospital or not, wishing someone else could make the decision for me. Oddly enough, the day it all happened the over riding feeling was nothing, I went in to fight or flight mode and I knew I couldn’t start crying straight away or I wouldn’t be able to stop. Then once I gave in it was like I was drowning in emotions. Guilt for leaving Francesca with various people so we could both be with Georgiana. Physically I was still hurting from labour and I was so angry with the world for not just letting me heal before this happened. More anxiety when I spent time away from her, I hated not knowing what was happening every second of the day. Frustration that my first night away from my baby girl wasn’t for a night out with Dean or a meal with my friends but instead because we both weren’t allowed to be with her when she was just 10 days old. Pure unadulterated fear came on the day she got really poorly. I felt more helpless than I ever had before when I had to watch them switching her machines over, quickly giving her a chest scan, shoving more tubes and wires in to her. All I could do was watch the numbers on her monitor change, mostly in the wrong direction and stand back.
Obviously relief came next and then elation that we could bring her home, and I could have both my girls in the same room. She picked up a tummy bug a few weeks after leaving hospital and we ended up back there, that just piled on my anxiety. I waited for all the horrible feelings to go away and one by one they did, all but anxiety. That got worse. At night she’d drift off to sleep and I’d lay there wide awake watching her. With hundreds of questions and scenarios in my head. What if I didn’t notice her getting dehydrated? Should I stop the breast part of her combination feeding so I know exactly how much she’s keeping down? Should I stop the formula part of her combinations feeding so what she is getting is all natural? Is that cough the pneumonia taking over again? Is the sneezing bronchiolitis again? I’ve been petrified she isn’t making any noise and an exhausted mess when she’s crying in the middle of the night because I’ve poked her awake to check she’s ok.
I know my feelings are irrational and that’s what makes it more frustrating. I am so thankful that my health visitor looked me square in the eye and said “You’ve been through a lot, are you sure there’s nothing you want to talk about?”. At the time I was mortified that I started crying and didn’t stop for 15 minutes, but once I’ calmed down I listened to her and felt a million times better.
Since then I’ve seen another wonderful health visitor whose popping in every Wednesday to say hello and chat until my referral goes through (3 month wait list – woah!), plus a GP whose prescribed me some mild anxiety medication and sleeping pills so I can actually get some shut eye over the weekends while Dean has Georgie.
I’m hoping that by just talking about these feelings they’ll ease off but right now I’m happy for a bit of extra support to make things easier, I can’t carry on like this. It’s not fair on either of the girls or Dean for me to be walking round like a petrified zombie!
Hopefully this is a big step in the right direction.