Friday, August 08, 2014

what lies beneath

Sometimes I feel as though I am not coping.

I can be wondering around a park with a friend, watching my child sleep, and everything on surface level is great. It's a small reprieve from my thoughts and worries.

Underneath, there's a wave inside me that peaks and troughs.
Depending on my emotions (and hormones?) the wave oscillates; swinging my thoughts into wild panic and despair, while at the next moment I am seemingly calmer and more positive about things.

Now, this could 'mommyhood' (is it?), or it could just be Me.

Let's take today. I went to meet The Quiet American at St James' Park for lunch and a stroll with Sebastian. The park was filled with tourists, it's a sunny day, and swans were waddling about, there was a live band playing, and the food was fresh.

But before that, and after, my mind churns.
Molly. How UNFAIR it is. How nobody important at the NHS will ever read my letter. How the pain never dulls. I'm alone in the pain, because no one else can possibly feel it.
Why is my baby battling to sleep in the day again? Why is my fuse so short? Why do I feel like I want to run away from this sometimes, then in a second regret I feel like that, and feel guilty that I had such a thought?
How I am terrified Sebastian will die at any second.Constantly need to check, must check, always check. Imagine finding him dead and lifeless in his cot. My mind is plagued with these thoughts endlessly. I panic and rush to his room.

But he won't sleep, and I want to scream and shout, why, why why won't you sleep? And I want to leave him there to cry, but I can't, I just can't.

How our young marriage has had so many things thrown at it, and how I feel it's taken strain. And how I wish for the day when we can hold each other and experience a moment without panic, anger or sadness about what's happened and how it would be nice to feel safe and secure in each other again.

How my milk supply suffers sometimes, and how I desperately want to feed my child as I have been from the beginning. How I try everything to keep it up, even though it's exhausting. And I fight for every drop of milk I produce.

How our families complicate things even further.
How I am scared to go back to work (only in January, but I am starting to fear it immensely), and how I will need to hand my precious child over to a nanny.

How nobody understands or gets what its like right now.

How we need a holiday away; how I miss home.

Then I breathe. The thoughts are only momentary. I savour the few moments of distraction. My bath time, when I can put a candle on, listen to my music and soak. My lovely friends who I talk to constantly. Have a glass of wine. Disappear into a 9pm movie.

But sometimes, I just wish it was us 3 in the world. Just us 3. It would make life and everything else so much simpler and easier. And perhaps we could address everything much easier. And I could address myself. Most importantly.


Cassey Toi said...

Oh lady. I've got nothing to say that'll help with most of what you said, but with the sudden no sleeping I think I could help. Check out a book called The Wonder Weeks. It helps a little when you're dealing with what seems to be sudden sleep battles.

Coffee and Books Cape Town said...


po said...

Look after yourself Peas. Did you ever hear about post weaning depression? As if PPD isn't bad enough, apparently when you wean your oxytocin levels drop dramatically and it can lead to a severe bout of depression and anxiety that goes on until your hormones go back to pre-pregnancy. And that is without the grief that you are dealing with. There seem to be so many ways of feeling down and anxious after having a baby, and it could partly be a chemical imbalance?

Vannessa said...

I went onto anti-depressants after all my babies and also after my daughter died. I don't know if it helps to know that so many new moms have these feelings and you have a double dose because of Molly. With my son(who I had a few years after she died) I used to also check often that he was still breathing, hell, he slep in our room till he was 4. You also find yourself disciplining them less than you otherwise may have. But the guilt! Whenever his whining and busyness gets too much for me I find myself feeling guilty for wanting time to myself as I then think of his sister not being here. By saying that it's not all the time that you are feeling out of control and stressed, tells me that you must just give it time, the early months are usually quite hard. If you find that you are starting to feel this way all the time and it's getting worse then I would consider going to a doctor. But for now, sending strongs xxx

MeeA said...

Remember that pregnancy is a major, massively physiologically draining process - more so when you carry multiples. As is birth. And bear in mind that the first year or two of marriage is an emotionally fraught time, too, even if you've lived together for years. You've been through so much over the past many months, and had to deal with tremendous loss on top of it all. It is completely normal for your hormones to be a mess, for your mental state to roller coaster and for things to feel completely out of control a lot of the time. It feels out of control because it IS. Your body will take at least as long to return to (more or less) the state it was in pre-pregnancy, as it took to get to where it is now. And shock and grief take a serious toll. Simply put, everything you've experienced over the past year is a pretty fucking BIG DEAL. Take it easy on yourself, accept all the help and support you can get and know that you are not alone. You're getting out of bed, doing the things for your baby that he needs and keeping yourself fed, clothed and functioning = You are doing an amazing job! xx