9 months. How did we get here? 9 whole months. It sometimes feels like just minutes ago they handed our son to me for the very first time.
There are really no words to describe it. Nothing I can tell you will prepare you for that moment. At last the pain is gone and your baby is placed on your chest. Bliss! Right? Or maybe not. You see, in my 9 months of motherhood I’ve learnt some hard lessons. Fast. The main one being that things rarely go as planned. The next, ITS OK!
When they handed Oscar to me it should have been bliss, right? It was to a certain extent but one second I was in labour and the next they were placing a wet, purple, writhing human inside my pyjamas and he was simultaneously peeing all over me. Bliss? Right? I mean…
Don’t get me wrong, I have loved my son from the beginning and more than life itself. My husband and I would give our last breaths so he could have two more. However, saying it’s been an easy ride would be an out right lie.
We brought our tiny human home and watched in awe as he clenched his tiny fists and wriggled around. We were in love. The thing was, though, we hadn’t a clue what we were doing. Our nappy changing skills were poor, our feeding skills were less than average and our general parenting knowledge was nil. Together we got through those first two weeks simply winging it.
Two weeks in and Daniel was back to work. I was going it alone and feeling like I had got this! Until, as things often do with parenthood, things took a U turn and I was walking blind. The screaming began. Every night from 6pm to 11pm our darling newborn was replaced by a red faced, screeching monster. I’m not talking crying. SCREAMING as though we had tried to hurt our precious bundle. I hadn’t signed up for this?!
We had assumed that baby spit up was normal until this point. At the two week mark he began relentlessly vomiting every feed and in between feeds. He was losing weight and wouldn’t sleep at all. He would arch his back in pain and scream and scream. He would vomit blood and stop breathing from the screaming. We were completely in the unknown and seeking help from anyone who had gone before us. They had. But not to this extent.
I was miserable. I was failing as a mother. We were now 4 months in and I hadn’t bonded with my child. What was wrong with me? The screaming continued. Finally one dark rainy night after many trips like it before, a kind doctor welcomed us into the hospital and diagnosed severe reflux and colic. Our life line. He hadn’t seen a case as bad before. I’ll never forget the drive home, clutching that medicine, feeling hope for the first time in 4 months.
Our 9 month old is perfect in every way. There’s no comparison between him now and his younger self. He is the light of our lives.
Maybe this is you. Maybe you’ve lost all hope and are slipping into darkness like I did. Maybe it’s not reflux, it could be hundreds of issues. Maybe it’s simply feeling overwhelmed. There is HOPE!! At the time I never would have believed it myself. It’s coming. Some day it will feel like a blink in going by.
From the other side and looking back at how far we have come, it amazes me daily. We did it! I thought we would never make it. There are so many parents like us who are the same. Parenthood is a maze at times but when your child is ill it seems even more impossible.
But you are NOT failing as a parent. You are not!! You are doing the best you can.
Cling to your support network. Your husband, your mum, your friends. Whoever it is, cling to them. If you have nobody, message me. I know what it’s like.
Above all, cling to God. He is your strength and your shield and will be with you even on the darkest paths. He never once left our sides and it’s with joy that we know he NEVER will.