Hi everyone, so as we all know there is a countrywide lockdown on at the moment due to a global pandemic.
This lockdown is hard on EVERYONE, but it's so hard on the likes of us with partners (one person 24/7!) And a newborn, wow this shit is difficult.
Can we start with the mental aspect? Now I'm a very independent person, I lived alone for a good few years before I met my fella and my personal space is VERY important to me. You know, the option to just potter about without having to entertain anyone or talk to them some days and just be. Alone. Well kiss goodbye to that! But throw in... a BABY!
I knew it was going to be difficult being a mum, of course it was even my aunty who has 5 kids told me that even with an easy child sometimes you still want to get away some days and boy was she right.
I wanted the whole first week at home with the baby as just me, him and my boyfriend with the occasional help from my mum. And it worked, I was happy then I was ready for the guests. You know what I mean, family that you hardly speak to and only see at events but pretty much storm the door down to see the baby just to say they HAVE seen the baby and got a picture or whatever. I don't care as long as I get the week, really I don't. People were quite respectful in my case I can't really complain. I mean not a chance I was giving up my seat while I'd just had my baby canon stitched up and constantly had to sit like I'd been shafted with Arthurs sword! That shit stung!
But roll on the baby turning one month, the stitches have healed, both sets of antibiotics have worked and I can finally walk as if my Crabs didn't give me an internal, happy days. We go on a big long walk, our first as a family, we go to this lovely little cafe, the bf has a full English, I, feeling very accomplished have the American pancakes complete with banana and toffee sauce, unreal! What a perfect little day... next day let the lockdown commence. This is where shit gets awkward.
Me and the bf argue about lockdown, I agree with it I mean I'm a paranoid over protectice mother suffering possibly from both post natal anxiety and PTSD from the birth of the baby. But we will get through it. I make sure he's aware we will NOT be going for walks because my son has zero immune system at the moment because he is so young and O'm not chancing him getting sick just so my bf can feel like he's got one over on pointless old Boris. Baby first.
Lets take this in stages.
Week 1 - lots of arguing and I mean LOTS. I'm not used to this much time alone with someone. I feel lonely and smothered all at the same time. I keep telling my fella not to be selfish and the baby is starting to cry and change his sleep up, but he loves his moses basket so things are good.
Week 2 - I've decided that I can eat what I want and not worry about it because I'm only 6 weeks p/p and it is what it is. I start researching how to develop a babies immune system to NO avail and I discover a grey mole on my sons stomach that results in me sitting in a silent living room crying uncontrollably because this anxiety has me fearing the worst. Next day rolls by and I explain suspicious mole to my boyfriend who tells me he has no mole, we later discover I am wrong it was part of his umbilical chord coming off.
Week 3 - we go out, when I say go out I mean we walked to the bottom of the street before I got angry that so many people were walking near me, I shouted at at least 3 people for NOT social distancing and came home after 10 minutes. We try again a few days later and me and the boyfriend have a huge argument whilst out about the fact that I don't think he will have my back if someone comes near us. By now my baby is well asleep. He's learnt to smile a lot now and it's the best thing ever to see that he has some emotion other than fury and upset. We then discover he is teething.
Week 4 - no health visitor, no midwife we are officially on our own with no help or support just us and our cranky baby who is teething and crying non stop because he's too young for teething gels and anything that will help. We realise I may have post natal anxiety and the PTSD from the birth after a friend sends me the information about them and I tick every box. No one can help, we're stuck. I'm stuck. Every day is a constant battle between my head and my heart it's like I'm made up every day that my baby is happy and healthy but then I am filled with angst and this unstoppable thought running through my head that he's going to die. This shit is serious and I'm terrified to do anything or go anywhere but everyone is telling me go out, go for a walk, you need it, the baby needs it. I think my relationship needed it.
Week 5 -we go for 2 walks this week and my boyfriend unwittingly teases me about how long I take getting ready which results in my taking it to heart die to my hormones and my mental health really beginning to spiral, I smack talk his exes and the fact that I take pride in my appearance when I go out at least. Then while we are out he makes a joke about us hardly going out and it happens. All of the weeks of lockdown, of the silent cries in the toilet and the thoughts of throat punching my fella from his sarcy remarks all come exploding out in what can only be described as a silent mental episode! I tell him how selfish he is as he thinks he's the only one with mental health issues but he doesn't understand how I feel. He tells me he does but I KNOW he doesn't. I start laughing part way through because I know how neurotic I sound, the world doesn't revolve around me, but it does. Me and my baby. I'm the only one who can keep him safe but I'm slipping slowly into a black hole that no one can get me out of. Probably due to the sleep deprivation and the fact that he has reflux and a CMPA and isn't adjusting well to his milk, along with the fact that any time I ask for help on facebook relevant to what I ask I get a load of irrelevant answers and people telling me 'we've all been there' NO YOU HAVEN'T. Unless your child was born in 1918 you have NOT been in my situation, you don't understand I can't go out because he may get sick and if he gets sick it's my fault.
Week 6 - my fella finally comes round to the idea that my mental health us taking priority in our relationship and needs some kind of delicate, intricate assistance. I tell him I need to be alone with the baby in the morning, I appreciate him helping but not ALL the time. Me and my son need to bond separately to the family unit. I need to know I CAN do this alone. I have positive mornings when I am alone with the baby without my fellas moods affecting mine, without his words ringing in my ears making me angry and without him interfering or making comments about the fact he hates that I pit the same kids programs on repeat for the baby of a morning, but he likes what he likes. I get up alone with the baby and start setting up for the morning, I play with the babies favourite toy, he's cooing, trying to bat the butterfly, it's quiet except for the babies program on in the back ground and the sun is out shining through our big living room window. Then my fella comes in, I have just settled the baby and he starts playing with him so I start fuming of course! He speaks to me I'm so short with him it's unreal. I mean I get up through the night, I feed the baby and fill the bloody pan with water for his bottle at 4am meaning I get out of bed cold and all I ask for is ONE morning to do things my way. He asks if I'm OK about 3 times and eventually I snap, but quietly I refuse to now wake my little man up. I tell him he's suffocating me, he's disrupting my morning with the baby. It's now that I completely propose the idea of sole parenting mornings. We alternate. One morning I sleep in and he gets up with the baby so I can sleep or watch tele or workout, whatever I get MY own time and I get to sleep and the next day it's my turn and it works, perfectly.
Week 7 - my baby laughs! He laughed. Oh Lord of all that is holy how did you ever make something so perfect and gift it to me. I mean it's only short lived before he gives up, rags my hair and shits on my leg but it's glorious! So amazing there are NO bad vibes. He's shooting up and we have to throw half his wardrobe away and order loads more stuff. My little pudding, he's so clever and getting so big. Me and his dad sit in his room for a moment and just talk about how much he's grown and how lucky we are to have witnessed every single second of it with zero outside interruption. We talk about how difficult it has been, SO difficult, but we've got each other. We're sat on the floor of his bedroom sorting through what clothes we are keeping as momentos and it's one of those really rare moments you get as parents where you realise the moments are flitting so quickly you need to savour every one. I mean I already was due to the PNA and fact I kept thinking I was going to lose my baby. We get his needles this week and I insist I need to go in with him. He's so happy even though everyone is masked up myself included. He tries to play with the dr he holds his hand out for him to fist bump and looks at me disappointedly when he doesn't reciprocate, this is because me and his dad do it about 10 times a day so he holds his hand out for it. He plays with the dr, he even forgives him when the dr hurts his leg and pokes his little round buddah belly. He's so happy and playful, he is finally seeing people and it now dawns on me how scary and upsetting this must be for my baby who knows no better. As I'm playinh with him and his gorgeous big blue eyes stare back up at me as he is cooing and smiling grabbing my finger, the nurse jabs him with his needle. His entire expression changes and I've never heard a cry quite like it. She hurt my baby, and now she's going to do it again. I have to turn him and I stroke his face and wipe his tears away as my iwn are filling my eyes, and she gets him in the other side. I start to shake. I always said I'd never let anyone hurt him. I said I'd hurt anyone who did and here I am helping them to do it tricking my own baby I've never felt a guilt or shame like it in my life. I'm shaking and torn between thanking her for the needles that could potentially save his life and throat punching this bitch for making me an accessory in her child abuse. Because THAT is what it feels like. I get him dressed and she actually asks if I'm ok, I'm so busy consoling my baby that I won't even look at her. We leave and that day and night his temperature was horrific, I've never been so scared for my baby, what if his temp gets too high? And we have to go to hospital. What do I do they have COVID patients there? What is the lesser evil? I just don't know, I'm so scared. I finally whip pit the fan and his temperature drops miraculously. Fuck anyone who says no fans! It saved my baby that night from over heating and having a good nights sleep. The next day my beautiful baby boy was back.
Week 8 - Too much of someone is not a healthy mix. My baby is really getting fed up of me and my partner and we are seeing the effects lockdown is having on him as well as us, we know what's going on, he doesn't, this isn't natural. He starts getting ratty at EVERYTHING we do. His toys aren't good enough, programs aren't good enough, WE aren't good enough. He goes to me for 10 minutes gets bored, screams and his dad takes over. We do these intervals constantly just to keep him from screaming. He isn't happy unless we are standing with him. I can't do it, the kid is now 3 months old and weighs a stone, the epidural fucked my back up he's lucky I don't collapse into a heap on the floor when I grab him the sqwarky little boulder. Days pass in the same dizzying routine. Until... he's babbling, the baby starts babbling. He is talking actual baby talk constantly this is the best ever. He's laughing and gurgling away, he's chatting to anyone who will listen (me or his dad or his nan on facetime) sometimes my mum if she turns up at the window. A day passes and my dad decides to call down with my younger brother. The SECOND my baby sees my dad pop his head through the window, I've never heard a cry quite like it, sheer, TERROR. My dad is laughing but also trying to consol him from the window as the baby cowers into my chest as if to stop the window man from stealing him. It's sly and great at the same time, like the time my little brother used to cry at the singing and dancing christmas tree. It gives us entertainment for 15 minutes. I should mention by now the baby is in a good routine, I've carried on with the diet and exercise and we go on at least 2 long walks a week. The baby is FINALLY taking to tummy time, we have to roll him over after every kinute or si because he gets fed up but loves being rolled over I've just discovered so that's good. Me and the Mr are back to doing the sexuals a couple of times a week so we can stand each other a bit more now and my psycho side has died down so much since stopping that devil pill desogestril!
Week 9 - It's annoying me being stuck in all the time again. It's getting to my head a lot. I'm with my fella 24/7 and if he starts about this fucking hatred for Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock or Dominic Cummings again I'm going to brain him. He uses the baby to say things to me and repeats himself if he thinks I didn't hear his muttering, I did, I chose to ignore it because once again I'm fuming. Every time I say something I HAVE to repeat myself because he doesn't fucking listen and on top of it all hello sleep regression! My lovely blonde haired little cherub has now decided that sleep is for the weak and he isn't about that life. He rolled over this week and it was the most amazing thing since his laughter but now he wont stop. He swan dived off the couch yesterday and I caught him with the back of my knees and my arse, I turned my head to see how he had been caught and his head was inches from the floor, good mumming! I get down massively because my baby is inconsolable and I'm exhausted, emotionally and mentally, I don't have a soul to be spiritual at this point and my body is just not what I want it to be. I refuse to give it time any more I MUST BE THIN NOW! My baby is crying crying crying, I had an emotional episode earlier which resulted in me putting him in his pram in the corner. My auntie and cousin see my status and can very clearly read between the lines. There's a knock on the door about 3 hours after my episode and it's my auntie and cousin. They have turned up with a bag with pink gin, a wax burner and vanilla and pomegranate wax melts, the pomegranate smell incredible by the way but not hugging them to say thank you goes against everything I've been taught my entire life. We talk for about an hour while they are stood in my garden. To fuck with staying away from family. People can rub shoulders with strangers in the supermarket but my family can't come stand in MY garden when I nees them? Get to fuck. I genuinely do believe they turned up just when I needed it, faith in humanity actually restored. But 10 minutes after they leave cue the crying again. He doesn't settle until 12.30 am and gets me up at 5.55 am the next day but I don't mine, and you know why? Because he is smiling! He's smiling and cooing and gabbing away and all the anger from the past 2 days melts away. We stick to a strict schedule and he is the perfect little cherub. We take him for a walk and go to see my nan, yes the 'law' is still stay away until monday but what is the fucking difference? Tell me the difference between seeing my nan Friday and seeing her Monday?! We stand outside her gate and it's as if the whole street feel the same. We end up outside with us, my nan, my uncle, a friend and a man my fella knows. My baby shouted to be out of the pram and kept trying to dive to my nan head first, he does that instead of putting his arms out because he's not normal, but who'd want that 🤷♀️. He is in his element. He's smiling. He is cooing, he is trying to talk to people he is absolutely loving it. And it is here, in this moment only at week 9 lockdown that I realise my baby is OK, he's really OK, in fact he is brilliant. He is flying through every milestone, we have the best bond, he is safe, happy (for the most part) and most importantly he is healthy. He may be spoilt with our attention but now I KNOW he likes being social. He is perfectly perfect and he is going to be just fine.
So I can leave all those negative thoughts of failure at the door because in this lockdown, only positivity is allowed in my isolation.