Meimango's Pregnancy Journey, STEPS

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Miemango’s Journey – Post Birth

My husband has taken my eldest to his Mum’s for the afternoon, so I can have some time with Bee (the baby previously known as Bump).  Time has suddenly sped up.  The days are gone in a flash.  Between damage limitation of my three year old’s tantrums and his social schedule, Bee hasn’t had all the attention that her brother had at the same age.  So this time is precious , and it’s good to be able to seize the moment and set to this task of taking stock. Right now, Bee’s sleeping soundly on my lap, and occasionally murmuring and giggling; dreaming about a world of milk, I’m sure.
Every day I’m amazed by Bee.  My son adores her and my husband is doting. She dishes out smiles all the time, feeds well, and sleeps beautifully.  A perfect bundle of joy.  No colic, no crying, no fuss. I had no idea that some babies were this easy.   I am very grateful.  There’s no doubting that we’ve bonded well and that she’s slipped into our family with almost no effort.

However, that old black dog has come back to haunt me.  I have tools to deal with the anxiety and depression this time, and I was able to spot what was going on, much earlier.  It’s comforting to know that I needn’t struggle with it this time round.

The first time I experienced depression, I didn’t know what the relentless feelings of inadequacy were. I knew the isolation and sleep deprivation were getting to me, but after many months of denial, I had to admit that it was more than that.   It’s a cruel disease, as just at the time I needed to be strongest for all around me, I was bombarded with paralysing self-doubt and panic attacks.   It’s easy to be caught in a debilitating negative spiral if left undiagnosed.

Again, I am lucky with my caregivers.  My health visitor, a Malaysian Brit, used to run a Post-Natal Depression group before the scheme was cut several years back.  On her first visit she was incredibly supportive, and suggested that for many women the stresses of becoming a mother (again) can throw into relief any existing conditions.  So now it’s my opportunity to re-work unhelpful thought patterns and become a stronger woman than before.

My husband and sleeping son have returned.  I love being a mother to my two children, and now, as they both lay sleeping on me, as I type one-handed, a wave of gratitude overtakes me.  They’ve both taught me so much about life and love.   I want to be a great mother for them, though as my health visitor says, being a ‘good enough’ mother is all you need.  So long as I can love them, and share some of the beauty of this world with them, and be there for them when life throws curve balls, and show them how to be decent people; then I’ll have done my best.

Looking back over my past entries,  I realise how much I’ve since learned about this special time in women’s lives: pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.  Already, many of the experiences have faded from my memory, only recalled because they have been written down.  And in half a year’s time, I wonder whether I will be able to remember the things Bee is doing now.  The way she scrunches up into a ball to be cuddled, how she karate chops the air when she’s having a nappy change, the way she nuzzles into my breast to feed…   Unlike my memory at the moment, my sense of time passing, is acute.   But I am taking refuge in the knowledge, that all of these experiences, whether vaguely recollected or banished to some dusty recess of my mind, will have informed who I am today and in the future.  
And I wish to take this opportunity to thank Raelene of Fishica for giving me the opportunity to capture some of this special time in my life, to remind me of where I have been and glimpse who I may become.