My, how things can change in a day. Both for good, AND bad.
Parenthood is a rollercoaster. Yesterday I was laughing about my newfound love of MAFS, feeling confident at my combined 8 hours of sleep from mid-week (broken into 5 blocks of course), and I also totally smashed out the evening routine… after I fed baby boy and put him down, he lay there happily looking about, eyeing out his owl mobiles on the cot, while I did the dishes, unloaded the dishwasher, made some rice, and got almost all of dinner underway, as well as putting on washing and taking it in.
I was so pumped, I very nearly decided to walk to a cafe with him early morning, but alas it was near feeding time and you cannot delay a newborn’s meal time.
Alas, today, the complete opposite. Overnight was hard. So very hard. Combined awake time for 3 hours, and then after a very short nap, baby boy woke, extremely irritated, fussy, crying. Nothing seemed to appease him.
Perhaps the worst of it? My mental state. I had reached my limit. After 3 weeks of lacklustre sleep, I could barely keep my eyes open. The fatigue was debilitating, and I was struggling not just with that, but with the mental capacity to hold him, tend to him, keep him happy, work out what was wrong, etc.
Today when he wouldn’t stop crying as I tried to prepare my breakfast, I kinda lost the plot.
I had reached the end point. I couldn’t do it anymore.
I get emails from COPE, and have been since I was registered with the hospital where I had baby boy. They send information relating to your stage of the journey from pregnancy, all the way to the 4th trimester, post-partum with baby. It stands for Centre of Perinatal Excellence, and I have been enjoying the emails, taking refuge and insight into information that might be helpful to me.
Today though, the email topic was about self-care. I could’ve laughed if I didn’t have tears running down my cheek.
‘Surround yourself with a village, to help you achieve much needed self-care.’ Reading that sentiment, I never felt more alone.
Feeling physically isolated is one thing. But feeling the emotional isolation is a whole other damning ball-game. I don’t have the luxury of people stopping in, providing me with relief, support, a shoulder to cry on. Everyone is too far. everyone is too busy.
People think that the days surrounding coming home with baby are the most important. In many ways, people crowd you and are there all at once – then promptly leave you alone to your own devices.
Your mental thoughts, and your very, very tough, devices.
Don’t get me wrong. I have had much support from friends and family around me… via text. But my situation is damning in more ways than one. Because I can’t be bothered, I’m tired, I don’t know what to say… yet at the same time I need someone so bad, someone to puncture the monotony of the day, to make the helplessness go away.
The baby blues are a real thing. Could it be more? I’m not sure. My mood from starting this post to the end has already shifted, and so it goes that of course my hormones are still going a mile a minute, heading in one direction before promptly putting on the brakes and heading elsewhere.
Some people don’t know how easy they have it. One influencer I follow on social media who had her baby boy a month before I did, posted an honest account of how she looks so put-together so soon after giving birth… she said it’s only because she has dozens of family, friends, all kinds of people coming in and out of her house, helping her with the baby, helping her get by.
She has a village. Many, many people don’t.
I never felt so alone as I did after reading that. I had Hubbie for just over two weeks, but he needs to work. He had to go back to work this week. And I am left struggling and balancing the physical and mental load of caring for two children, one who is finding his way in the world, and then there’s me, who is struggling finding herself after wanting another child for so long.
The baby blues don’t discriminate. Depression doesn’t discriminate with what you wanted, who you were, where you are. your age, your hair colour, whether you write a gratitude blog or not.
The nights are long… and the days follow suit. Sunlight is there, but what use is it when you are cooped up all day in the house, tending to a crying, fussing baby?
I love my baby, so, so much. But three weeks of physical and mental exhaustion, and I am so, so tired.
So, where is the gratitude here? I’ve nearly survived a week. A week where Hubbie has been back at work. It has been incredibly hard. I try to remind myself that this time now is the hardest… maybe we will get relief at times… maybe things will regress, again.
The unknowingness has me rattled. Has me stressed.
I know I have made it this far. It’s just fucking hard. And to think, I prayed for this for so long.
Again, depression doesn’t discriminate.