Read that exactly like Will Ferrell in Elf please.
I’m thinking, whenever I am feeling down I like to express it in a blog, most likely in an attempt to get it out my mind and understand it better. Plus it might help other people to know that they are not alone in their thoughts or struggles. Lately I have been experiencing another strong emotion – Love. So why not share that too?
Well, maybe no one wants to read about how in love someone else is, maybe you are reaching for the sick bucket while closing the post. Maybe I don’t want to jinx my feeling or maybe I don’t want to share incase it looks like bragging or any other form of ‘my life is awesome’ sharing. But I’m going to share it anyway, it’s took me a long time to get here and now I can feel it growing stronger every day.
I’m in love with Jessica, my cute, gorgeous, rage inducing, independent, stubborn, arsehole, awesome, funny, hilarious toddler.
Sadly, it really has taken a long time to get me here. I knew I loved her, what other reason would force me to care for her when all I wanted to do was be left alone, but now, I really love her. I’m in love with her!
I didn’t get the magical pang of love when I gave birth, the only pang I got was when the doctor created a vacuum and punch pushed my stomach to get the rest of my placenta out (you are welcome for that image). I didn’t look over at my bundle of joy and desperately want to hold her, I knew I had to care and protect but I wouldn’t say this was a voluntary choice. I have never experienced such physical weakness as I did after getting that baby out! I was completely done in. For goodness sake, I had been contracting for two days, got the car cleaned, went shopping, visited the midwife – who informed me I was 2cm dilated and she would sweep anyway, signed a mortgage, stayed awake for two nights, almost pushed Jess out on our sofa, screamed in pain as I was carried half naked down two flights of stairs by paramedics, waited for Dave to go back up those stairs for his wallet, pushed a baby out, ripped my vagina 3 times, got it ‘sewn’ (or their ‘best’ attempts) back together – I felt every pierce of that needle BTW – then I’m expected to feed (my choice) this child with my engorged boobs? And be wildly, madly, deeply in love with ‘it’?
Hold on a minute, are you having a laugh?
I certainly wasn’t. The massive parent responsibility cloud took up pride of place over my head, I was a fully functioning mum machine. Of course I cared for my baby, but I didn’t love her. She was a chore, much like the house work. Something I just wanted to be fed and watered so I could sit down and relax. That doesn’t really happen with babies, well some maybe, but not Jess. She ate a lot, I breastfed her a lot. When I think back now, it’s madness. She would feed at 9 pm, 1 am, 4 am, 8 am and all for at least 45 minute stints. Sometimes she would throw it all back at me, over her, over me and the floor and then want another feed. By the time she was asleep it was close to the next feed so I barely slept. There’s exhaustion and then there’s new parent. I remember walking up those 2 long bloody flights of stairs to our flat, telling David I was so tired I could sleep on my feet, but the slightest sound from Jess I was alert, tits out and ready to be milked. Let’s not forget the extreme discomfort of having ‘one of the worst swollen’ yahoos the midwife had ever seen.
Tell me again where I was meant to fall in love?
Thinking back, I can see I over analysed everything Jess done, or didn’t do. We worried so much, a sign of a good parent for sure. But also a sign of someone who might be struggling. Far too much energy was placed on Jessica’s well being, to the point that mine suffered. I had baby book expectations that Jess would nap between feeds, that I would get some time to at least move from her side. I don’t remember it like that, it’s been almost 2 years and it’s only just stopped being so painful to think back to the first few months of her life. I literally hated her some days. That is very painful to say, it makes you feel like a terrible mum, a terrible person. But I’m not. I did everything and more for my baby, I gave her my body, my sleep, my milk, my smiles and my mind.
There is a day that will always be in mind, a day I cried for hours in desperation as Jessica would just not sleep. At a few weeks old he was awake from 6 am to 9 pm. She ate from me all day and would only sleep lying on my chest, every time I moved her, she woke. I was so tired and so confused, angry at this non napping baby. Instead of calling someone, I cried. I hated my baby. What a failure. Now, I would give my left arm for Jess to lie on my chest and sleep all day! I don’t know why I got so upset. I think I was putting too much pressure on myself, trying to mold my baby into what the books or peers thought she should be doing.
It wasn’t long after that awful day that more memorable days popped up, none of them good. Everyone of them was a flashing sign, screaming that I was suffering with post natal depression. I eventually sought help and have been doing so ever since. So when I say I love my daughter, it’s more than me expressing my love. It’s me making peace with those horrendous first few months when people would say ‘it gets better’, it does get better but it’s not a great life line when your tits are thrush riddled and you would happily gouge your eyes out just to sleep for longer than 2 hours. It’s about me being able to say I am a good parent and actually believe it, to say I love my daughter and feel it, not just saying it for the ‘cameras’. It’s about me feeling that deep, powerful, wonderful love that makes parent’s say ‘yes it’s hard, but I wouldn’t change it for the world’.
I love my little buddy! More than I have ever loved anyone or anything – and that’s a whole lotta love just so you know, I adore baked beans. Its true. But I love Jess more, I guess. I’m always excited to see her, even on her 7 am weekend calls. I think about what I can show her, what experiences she would like, what new snacks she might enjoy, what kind of pet she would like…..a hamster maybe? That would like to live in the cage I purchased today….It bloody better, it’s got better digs than me!
So there you go, I said it! I love my kid!
*closes laptop to look through all the Jess pictures on my phone, dawww she’s so cute!