I didn’t think for a long time I had what they call the baby blues. Sure, when Jacob was born I cried a lot, with worry and pain, with happiness, with tiredness, with my hormones all over the place. I cried a lot during my pregnancy too, with tiredness, pain, Bill Turnbull leaving the news. Yeah, that happened.
But I would never would have said I was depressed. Till now.
The past few months or so I have been denying it to myself. Just telling myself oh, I’m just tired, I’m overwhelmed. But those excuses turned in it, I’m lonely, I’m useless, I can’t do this anymore. I have recently found myself crying and feeling so low on a day-to-day basis.
The thing is I never wanted to admit it because I thought it would translate into me being a bad mother who can’t handle her own child.
But behind those Instagram photos of Jacob smiling and sitting for the first time is me, who just a few hours before was probably crying thinking that I can’t cope.
And boy do I feel bad even admitting this. There are people who have it far worse than me. But the shock of being a mother, the loneliness, coping with him being in and out of hospital, and breastfeeding a baby with three known allergies took its tole on me.
Can I please just stress again, that amongst the low parts I do feel incredibly lucky to have this wonderful little boy in my life, but its been hard work. He has eczema, and to many that may not sound so bad. But he is a world of itchy, oozing skin, and we’re constantly thinking, what has set it off this time?! There’s been antibiotics, creams that have caused more damage and hives, cracked skin and holding Jacob down at night to avoid him itching. Then there was the silent reflux, which we have manged, taking egg out of my diet alongside diary and soya and giving him Gaviscon But he was in pain, cried a lot and was sick in huge amounts. So those made me worry and cry more, I watched him struggle, knowing I couldn’t do anything more for him, I just felt useless.
I can’t really pin point when it all started. I remember feeling terrified when the birth was difficult, and it took a while for me to really get over that, emotionally and psychically. I put any tears down to my hormones getting themselves together and the healing process. The tiredness was hard, and breastfeeding in the night was harder, I would cry with him in my arms and my husband’s arm around me.
But I felt lucky and thought it was all normal. It probably was. I am still not sure. But once my husband went back to work, the days went by and the feeling of loneliness and fear started really kicking in.
After a couple of weeks I was really sick of being a milk machine. My emotions where all over the place and I was really feeling it. I loved bonding with Jacob and his face watching mine after he fed, even in the early hours. I knew these moments wouldn’t last long so I was sucking them in and really enjoying them as much as I could, but with the sweet feeds came the harder ones. Crying at the breast and not taking it, feeding for hours and not being satisfied, and as he allergies kicked in, freaking out at every feed that I was possibly poisoning him. I felt completely undone. Crying whilst feeding my little boy, made me ashamed of myself.
From then on I would cry almost as much as he did. I remember having a massive meltdown because I couldn’t help my baby from not crying one day, I wanted to shout at him, someone, although I wouldn’t, I felt bad for even thinking that I wanted to, just to let the emotions out. They overwhelmed me and I cried for hours. He eventually settled of course, but I’ll never forget.
I have been to some fab baby groups and have spoken to some lovely mothers, but I am so shy, and talking to people scares me more than anything. My family, who don’t live nearby, visit once a week or so, and I suck in those moments. My friends live far too. I am miles away from anyone I know properly.
My husband, who is a champion to say the least, has watched me suffer and has told me to get help many times. Honestly, I ignored it for a while, I have been in denial so much, but I have finally decided to talk to someone. Last week at Jacobs weigh in the lovely health visitor asked if I would need some support. Holding back the tears, I agreed, and I will see her next week.
Jacob has progressed incredibly well, the crying is rare and he is so happy most of time. He is so proud of himself and I love that. His symptoms flare up, but we have more good days than bad. I am so proud of him, and love him so much. It is time to help myself, as I still feel down a lot, and I hope at least reading this will help someone else.
Please feel free to add your comments of your experiences and thoughts.