Today's post is by Sarah from Family Home Project
Dealing with Mental Health as a New Mum
I had a pretty awful labour. I was already a week late and after starting my labour at one hospital I had to be rushed to another 40mins away, as Oscar had gotten himself stuck bad and his blood pressure was dropping. In total I was in labour for 18 hours and Oscar was finally delivered by emergency C-section.
As awful as it was though, it hasn’t put me off!
My healthcare worker would visit and ask how I was doing and if I felt down, and I would always say fine (which wasn't a complete lie) but I also used to say it for fear of being judged or an unfit mother!
In reality, some days I just couldn’t even face leaving the house!
I remember once finally getting out the door and going for a walk to the shops. After seeing a friend of mine while out on the walk, we was chatting away when all of a sudden a wave of anxiety just came over me and I just knew I had to get home. I managed to excuse myself without sounding rude, got home and cried. I couldn’t explain it and sadly as amazing as Jason is, he just didn’t understand.
Oscar dropped 14% of his birth weight in his first week, going from 7 pounds 6 ounces to 6 pounds 10 ounces and had a little Jaundice. I think this all mounted up and started to put doubt in my head.
To be a new mother, it’s scary your being left with this tiny little person who is completely dependent on you and you're never ready for it.
I was 100% sure I wanted to do breastfeeding but sadly it didn’t go as well as I had hoped. Again I wasn't sure what to expect but with Oscar's weight loss and added visits from the
midwives and healthcare workers I would stress about how much food he was getting and if he would lose more weight. That's when the doubt of being an unfit mother would sweep over me again.
After a couple of weeks I switched to bottle feeding which I felt helped me a lot (even if I did feel guilty about it). However, it was lovely to see my parents and Jason helping to feed him. They also got to form their own bond with him, and for my parents Oscar is the first grandchild, so my mum loved it.
Thankfully I had my cousin Jessica I felt I could really talk to about things. We have very similar personalities and she had had a little girl about a year before I had Oscar. So when I was explaining how I was feeling it was nice to know I wasn't alone. She knew how I was
feeling and had experienced many of the same feelings I had been having, so it gave me hope that they were only temporary and they would soon pass, which they quickly did.
Oscar has now just turned 2, which is such a fun age and I’m definitely in a much better place. There are days when Oscar is having a tantrum and I might not have had much sleep that I question having another one! But as down and alone you can feel, it’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
Anxiety isn’t anything to be ashamed off and I’d definitely recommend talking to someone, maybe even another mum, because they are probably going through the same thing.
Keep going mummies, you are doing an amazing job!
Sarah x Family Home Project x