Happy Birthday Isa-Bubbles …

It’s a big day for me today, Isabelle turns one.  Well she turns one at 16h25 to be exact.

This whole week I have been reflecting on the fact that one year ago I had this little person inside me and she was moving around and how much I miss that closeness.  You can’t explain to someone unless they have had a baby moving around them – how miraculous it is, how strange and how fantastic all at the same time.

I have spent much of this week holding my hand on my lower abdomen just remembering those moments and missing them terribly.

I also take this opportunity to reflect over the year and how much has changed from last June 2009 to now.

I was facing the c-section that I was quite afraid of.. it went fine.

I was very nervous about staying in a general ward, I really wanted a private room, but we could not afford it … but it was fine, just something more I fretted about.

I was worried about how we would cope financially with the four months of unemployment … but Kennith made a plan, and it was fine.  Sure it was a financial hill we had to overcome, but it was fine.

I was worried about how I would fare at home on maternity leave – well there was something worth worrying about.  I did not fare well at all actually.

Once the initial week or three passed I really started to feel frustrated and unhappy being at home.  I am like duck out of water at home, and really do not know what to do with myself.

The days gaped before me – they were black, empty and dark – and terrifying!!

I got stressed and anxious with the dawn of each day.  I took that stress out on Kennith the minute he walked in the door.

I felt totally lost and a drift at home with a new born baby.  It was not as if I had nothing to do. I had the other two kids who had school and all of that, I had my freelance work, and of course I wanted to spend the quality time with Isabelle.  The problem was that it just did not feel comfortable, it just did not feel nice!

I felt this pressure that I was meant to be fulfilled and happy being at home and gazing at my baby, which I dearly wanted and clearly adored.

But then I realised that I was not fulfilled, I was not happy – I was unhappy and concerned that maybe there is something wrong with you.  Why was it not enough to be at home and with my new born baby?  Why could I not cope with what seemed to come second nature to thousands of women each day – what the hell was wrong with me!!

At some point I started to feel a little out of control – actually a lot out of control.  Isabelle was also a crying clinging new born, and I felt I was permanently holding her and rocking her to keep her quiet – which I found exhausting and stressful.  I do have space issues, and find the constant touching of anyone – children as well – very stressful after a certain period of time.

I did start to fantasize about hurting her.  The fantasies usually involved me flinging her across a room, and the quiet and peace I may experience as she was moving through the air.

I did realise that once she hit the immovable object of the wall and slid to hit the ground, the quiet and peace would no longer exist and I would then be faced with another set of problems.

I know I should not be so honest about what I was thinking and what I was feeling, but that is really how I felt.  I thought about it several times a day.  When I started thinking about smothering her as that would be a good way to get peace and quiet – I realized what ever I was doing was not working.  I did not want to get all hysterical, but the alarm bells were clear to me, and I was still able to hold it together.  Waiting to see if it got worse might not be the best solution in this regard.

I found a psychiatrist and could get an appointment the following day.  I went over for a visit and a few meds, and just being there made me feel better.

I realized that maybe it was not her that I was not coping with, it was the fact that I was at home and that is what I could not deal with.

I contacted my employer and asked if I could come back early – they all but came to fetch me, which I am deeply grateful and forever indebted to them  for.  I went back on a part day flexi-arrangement basis and it did more for me than all the medication and psychiatrist visits in the world.

I was able to nip home during the day at about 11h00 to breastfeed Isabelle and spend an hour with her.  I would leave work and get home in time to feed her again before 17h00.  I realized how much I absolute loved and adored her – and how much being away from her made me better and  a more caring, affection and better mother to her.

Of course I am embarrassed and very sad that I could not be happier with her at home.  That she was not enough to keep me there, I really wish I could stay at home with her, but I couldn’t and can’t.

I am a better, more stable, more sane mother going to work each day.  Sure I worry about my children, and I miss them.  Especially Isabelle, I miss her smell, her soft squishy skin, her gummy smile, but right now I know the best I can do for me and them, is to pack them up in the morning and for me to go to work.

But today is my baby’s birthday and I am looking forward to getting home and helping her blow out her first candle on her first cake!  I love that little girl more than I can ever express!!

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8 Comments

  1. Happy BDay!
    We all go through this at some stage or another during our pregnancies and baby afterwards. I also felt like baby was 24/7 in my arms, and I couldn’t do anything else!
    Thanks for sharing. It feels as if you are doing something wrong when you can’t show anything for your day than having spent with a baby! But it passes… 😀

    Reply
  2. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I am going through similar feelings at the moment because my little angel who turns 1 next month has become very clingy and sleeps very very poorly. I returned to part time work after 4 months for the same reasons as you and it did me a world of good for the day times. but i am at my wits end with the night time battles. I am thinking of seeking professional help from the sister lillian care centre. Baby sense advice just aint working. At least now reading your blog I dont feel so alone for having such violent thoughts toward my baby whom I love so dearly!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  June 14, 2010

      Please ask for help – we always seem to ask for help only when we are really at our wits end. It would be great if we could recognise when things are starting to slip and then put up our hand, but we do tend to wait until the hell as set in, before we bleary eyed and exhausted put up our white flag.

      Don’t think about asking for help anymore, just do it, make an appointment, get some one to assist.

      Reply
  3. Vision

     /  June 11, 2010

    Ah Isa Bubbles is gorgeous and those blue eyes are amazing!

    Happy Birthday to your gorgeous girl!

    It is so great that you are open and honest about your feelings. We try to be all put together all of the time.
    The important thing is that you made a plan to do something about what your were thinking so it wouldnt go further and that is what being a great mom is about!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  June 11, 2010

      Thanks Vision. I realised that the more honest I am, the more honest other people are with me, and then I realise that I am not alone. When I bottled up what I was feeling, I constantly thought it was “just me” who was going through this.

      I hope this blog and forums that we chat on inspire other moms or soon to be moms to be more honest about what they are really going through, and that there is no shame in admitting that you really are not coping.

      Reply
  4. Colleen

     /  June 10, 2010

    I am so glad I get to read your blog. I am due with my 1st and I am worrying about everything you described 🙂 Im fully prepared for the fact that I can only stare at a baby for so long before I lose my mind. I will be studying at the same time so that will give me some distraction and we will be moving house.

    I hear you on the moving inside, I always thought of it like the alien bursting out the guys guts in Alien! Now I get a little giggle and warm fuzzy feeling when Mr kicks away (even if its my ribs…).

    Enjoy your little angel’s birthday! How are your wedding plans coming along?

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  June 10, 2010

      Hey Colleen – congratulations – I hope it all goes well for you on the 1st. I think we have a tendency to get overwhelmed by the details of it when the baby arrives, and even though it was number three, I could see myself immediately falling into old destructive habits!!

      I really miss the kicking inside – and fondly remember many hours spent with my hand firmly strapped to my belly. I really really miss that part.

      Wedding plans are sort of ticking along – it really is all a bit crazy right now – I am dropping balls and walking in to rooms and forgetting why I am there. My little brain is just doing too much and worrying about too many things …. but this too shall pass.

      Keep in touch – hope the blog helps you more than it scares you!!!

      Reply
  5. Oh my, this all sounds so familiar. Happy birthday to the princess.

    Reply

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