It’s been over a year since my last post and honestly, it’s ridiculous how much has changed. If you follow me on various social media platforms you will have seen more than likely but I miss writing my thoughts down here so…here we go.
As of June this year, I am a Mum. The one thing I said I would never ever be. I literally always said I don’t want kids, never ever. Yet here we are. The best thing that has happened to me…
I realised in mid 2021, probably not long after my last post, that this year I was going to be 30. It was time to make a decision. Did Matt and I want a baby? Did we want to make our family a 3? Clearly the answer was a yes.
Freddie was born on the 1st June after what was a fairly nice pregnancy considering all the horror stories you read. Everything just went pretty easily, granted the back pain, knee pain…just pain was horrible but then it could have been so so much worse. The actual labour and birth also happened extremely quickly, thankfully. The actual day was such a blur. I’ve heard I’ll forget the pain of birth but not quite how you manage that. Roll forwards almost 3 months (scary!) and we are sat in the second heatwave, melting.
The first probably month and a half I found very difficult. I got struck by the ‘baby blues’ which stuck around bit longer than was pleasant. My mental health took a dive which left me feeling really low and useless. I was having days where I didn’t want to get out bed again which when you’ve got a small human that is depending on you to be mentally strong, is not ideal. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I worried about postnatal depression. The thought of it is scary. As always with mental health, there is a stigma to it. I feared I’d become another statistic. All sorts went through my head.
The first two months, I felt lonely despite having a large support network. It was a weird feeling. I was far from lonely but my mind would not allow me to see otherwise. It was almost as if it was just me and my thoughts, most of which were negative and doubting every single thing that happened. I went though a stage (which granted, I still do and always will) where I blamed myself for things going wrong. There was more days than I’d care to admit where I spent the majority of the day in pieces crying somewhere, having doubts and hating myself. Trying to control so many hormones, whilst still functioning as a human and more importantly, as a new mum was one of the most challenging things I’ve experienced.
When Matt went back to work after his ridiculously short paternity leave ended – that’s a whole different topic really isnt it, 2 weeks is far too short and not enough for any father figure to bond, learn and support – I found that I was completely lost and overwhelmed. Suddenly it went from 2 of us trying to work out this new way of life to, what felt like, just me in the day. The fatigue, the confusion, the frustration, it felt like it was all on my shoulders. Listening to a screaming, colicky, reflux baby who is uncomfortable and can’t express himself is probably one of the most exhausting things. Especially when it feels like nothing you do helps.
On the brighter side of things though, I don’t think I would actually change a thing. It’s the most stressed I’ve ever been but I can only imagine that this is now me…stressing and worrying all about Freddie. There is something hugely rewarding about watching him grow and develop. Especially when he is already so advanced for his age, he is already doing so many things he shouldn’t be yet. He’s already started teething. Seeing his smile light up his face when either of us walk in the room can make a bad day that much better.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that when he gets to 3 months it gets easier all of a sudden, and I can already sort of see that. We’re learning about each other, all of the time which is settling all of us down in turn. I could just do with his reflux calming down a lot more, both for how uncomfortable he is, and how much washing needs to be done!
Going forward, I’m working on my own mental health, I’ve started CBT again. Not that it did much last time but I’m willing to give it a go again. I need to improve my mental well-being both for my sake, and definitely for Freddie. He needs me at my strongest, not the weakest. I’ve never been ashamed to ask for help with my anxiety and depression, it’s just sometimes not the easiest of things to come to terms with.
As I type this I’m actually in one of my happier stages, I’ve been in the depressed and plateau stages already, this always follows. I can see things a lot clearer in this time. This is the healing time for me. However, for once, during the depression stage I was able to allow myself to think a bit more and do it with some more clarity. I guess having some spare time away from working has allowed me to focus on me a bit more, something I really should do more often.
I have the right people around me for exactly who and how I want to be right now, but more on that next post. I really want to post more regularly on here now that I have more of a purpose. It would appear the blog is more than likely going to become a mental health, lifestyle, mum blog. There’s something I never thought I’d write. I’m hoping writing my future posts will;
- a) allow me to get rid of thoughts swirling through my head
- b) allow others to potentially read about similar situations they are in
- c) be able to share my photography with less pressure put on myself
Time to get writing the next post, which may be my most honest one for a while.