The first days 

Do you ever look back at photos through your phone…? Scrolling through and remembering those times and thinking “awww”… I do with some photos. I get all nostalgic. And with others, I thank the lord that months and years  have passed and when I see that photo, I shudder. 

When I was 37 weeks with my son I started to think about labour. On one hand people told me that it was going to be the worst pain I’ve ever felt, so I started to wonder if I would survive it. Would I die in labour? 
When people ask me how labour was now, I tell them it’s the easiest thing you’ll do. Having a child and everything that comes after that is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. 

I never thought the first days of having a child and it being the darkest days and hardest days would ever be in same sentence. 

I went from being cared for, and being asked “how I’m feeling” in my pregnancy, to giving birth and being forgotten. Making coffee for the revolving door of guests that came leaving my house in a worse state than it was. I went from being offered seats and smiled at politely from strangers to receiving death stares if my baby cried, from being treated like precious cargo to be expected to cook for estranged distant relatives and host a clean a house when my body just gave birth to the thing that made me precious before. 

Birthing might be something your body is meant to do, but my body didn’t seem to like the effects of it all that much. I stopped feeling like a woman after that baby came out of me. Everything hurt, my lower back, my vajayjay, everything. breastfeeding made me clench my teeth and scream. It was like daggers all the time…

 I remember I offered my husband a blowie because I felt like if I didn’t he would leave me. I felt like I was useless. 

Where was this organic mother I was supposed to be? Where was the easy side to it all? I did the hard yards, I birthed? I waited three days to dialate, and be considered of hospital worthy attention, surely now it would be easy? 

Oh yes Labour was easy, it’s what comes after that is the hardest part. 
The never sleeping. The NEVER SLEEPING. I don’t think you understand. I remember someone saying to me that people who say their children sleep are liars. I wish I could be a liar too, I would think. 

I would cry because I felt robbed. I felt cursed. I felt like someone cursed me. I remember I booked into a first aid course but had to cancel because holding my baby that much threw my neck and back out… they wouldn’t let me reschedule or give me a refund. I cried on the phone to the lady about how I needed to do it because of my anxiety and how I couldn’t afford to pay again and she didn’t budge. 
I never realised what a control freak I was either. Who knew I went from being a ‘see-you-at-12ish’ to timing the hours and minutes of feeds and when the perfect time is for the baby to sleep, timing my whole life and existence by a clock. 
I became angry, and bitter. A rage in me came out, and it was strong. I wanted to smash walls and break chairs and lay in a heap and cry because I was so tired and frustrated that nothing worked.

Why was breastfeeding so hard for ME?

Why didn’t MY child, sleep for me?

Why was everyone around me so happy when I was so sad and lonely? 
How was the best time in my life becoming the worst time of my life? It wasn’t fair. Confined to the four walls every day, didn’t feel like the best time of my life…
Something has happened between then and now and a second child, I started to give a little less of a shit about things that shouldn’t be bringing me down. 
I stopped caring about the state of my house. I stopped caring about making people coffee – there’s the kettle.

 I stopped caring if my baby wailed while walking in my pram… babies cry dude, get over it. The first aid people who wouldn’t give me a refund asked me if I wanted to a review in exchange for a freebee on my blog, and I told them they obviously don’t remember all their customers so they can promptly get fucked. 
I could tell you they get better, and the dark days get lighter, and they do. They must, especially when you go back for more children. There must be a reason why we put ourselves through that torture. I still have the dark days, but I can handle them. I have balls now… or rather, I have a vagina, and damn it they can take a good beating. 

4 Comments

  1. Jay

    Spot on. I gave birth to my first baby nearly 7 months ago and have experienced your post almost word for word.
    In the first few weeks I kept asking myself why had everyone lied to me? My mum, sister, nearly every woman I knew that was older than me had children – why didn’t they warn me?
    Only by talking to my friends and family, did I come to realise that most of them had experienced the same feelings and that they hadn’t found everything as easy or as natural as they made it look. But still I asked myself why they hadn’t prepared me? Why did they make it look so easy without sharing that they were struggling?
    I felt that I couldn’t tell my still-pregnant friends the true reality of how I felt after birth because I didn’t want to scare them, but I also felt bad that I was doing what everyone had done to me and leaving them unprepared.
    We should be sharing post-natal experiences, and talking about this to our children from a young age. It would be a great form of contraception and would hopefully prepare women so that in the first few days and weeks (and months) after birth they know they are not alone.

  2. Jay

    Or better still, we should all be rallying round new mothers. Making them tea when we visit and putting the dishwasher on when we leave. Sharing the nappy changes and having a turn at getting the baby to transfer from falling asleep in our arms to napping in the cot. Letting all new mums know that they are still precious and haven’t been forgotten

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