I remember the day I peed on that little stick. It was probably the 147th stick I had weed on. I had the same familiar butterflies and excitement as I always did but I knew that day would be different. I was at work and bought it back to my desk... and ever so slightly and ever so delicately, two lines appeared.
I wanted that line so badly. I cried from happiness. I couldn't contain myself and sent my husband an email "WE ARE PREGNANT!!"
I was excited! I couldn't wait! I knew exactly the type of parent I'd be. Our family of two was going to become three and it was the best thing I had ever done. I wanted this more than I had ever wanted anything in my life.
That little stick? There should be something, like a little warning bell, or a tiny leprechaun that comes out of that stick when you pee on it... like a little disclosure that says "WARNING! Your life is about to be turned upside down, everything is going to turn to shit. Everything you thought you knew is ALL WRONG!"
I remembered they placed that little newborn into my arms and I thought, "What the hell do I do with it?" It was all warm, soft and foreign. All of the perfect mothering skills I thought I had went out the window.
I remember I actually said to the nurse in my sleep deprived, anxiety driven and shocked state, "Does someone change the nappy? Or do I do it? How many times do I do it?"
To say I felt overwhelmed was an understatement. I immediately felt inadequate, as the lady next to me was on her third child and I heard the nurse say what a perfect labour she had, how perfectly she was breastfeeding and she was the 'perfect' I was supposed to be.
Me? I was stuck with this baby who wouldn't latch, a catheter after being in labour for so long I begged to the devil for my epidural and had stitches in places I had never seen...
And then? This shocked, sleep deprived, milked out, stitched up mother, who felt she had been kicked up the groin, had been sent home. Alone.
Hubby went back to work, the visitors went away and here I was, alone with this baby.
A baby that cried so hard it broke my heart and my ear drums. "What do I do?" I yelled at that little pregnancy stick. "You didn't tell me this was going to happen?" I felt like that smug test played a trick on me and was laughing at me... "Hahaha you thought you had this all under control" it surely mused.
I thought to myself, it'll be okay, I'll just hold him, I'll just feed and hold him, it'll be okay... and it was okay until I realised I couldn't do it every day. My arms were heavy, my eyelids were heavy and my chest was the heaviest it had ever been (and I don't mean from the milk). A newborn wasn't fun anymore. It was difficult. The exhaustion I felt was so strong that I often wondered if I was awake or dreaming.
The books told me the baby would sleep. It didn't.
The books told me breastfeeding was easy. It wasn't.
The books told me that motherhood would leave me glowing and in touch with Mother Nature... if by Mother Nature you mean stinking like a farm? Then sure I can see how that would work.
The books didn't tell me that this would be so hard.
That I would feel utterly alone.
That I would feel like I was doing the worst job in the world.
That I would daydream about leaving my baby on the steps of a fire station with a note that said "Treat him better."
I had felt so guilty because this was all I wanted. I begged every month to that tiny little stick for it to give me two lines, so why did my heart feel like two broken pieces instead? Where was this joy I saw on Instagram? The perfect pictures of motherhood? All I got was a vomited on t-shirt, stinky armpits, bags under my eyes and the blues.
I don't know when the fog lifted but it did, somewhere been 12 weeks and 52 weeks I'm sure, but I got out of it alive, barely, but still...
The hardest thing in my parenting life was the newborn stage. It made me learn things about myself I never knew. I never knew that I craved control and routine, something a newborn doesn't give you. I never knew it made me question myself and all that I believed in. That I would worry so much about the state of the world and where this tiny little human will grow up and how it'll grow up. I never knew that I would feel so many emotions towards something I loved so unconditionally.
I never knew I could love like that. That no matter what and no matter how hard it was, that I felt love, deep love. It was incredible. My heart was so full some days that I just cried for this perfect tiny human being and other days I cried because this perfect human being wouldn't sleep. But he was perfect, he was mine and I loved him more than I had ever loved anything in this world.
Then somewhere between 40 weeks and 52 weeks of his life, I peed on another stick and ever so slightly and ever so delicately, two tiny lines appeared... and I thought "Oh shit, not again."
At least this time I will be prepared, right? RIGHT?!
Laura says: I am currently finishing off my second year in a Masters of Social Work. I hope to use it to work with children and mothers, especially those with PND or PNA. I love writing and blogging. I find my head fills up with so mnay thoughts that it’s nice to let it explode out by typing it up and sharing it with other mothers – who hopefully feel like I do.
Children: Luca is 2 and Sofia is 13 months.
Motherhood in 5 words: Messy, exhausting, fun, lonely and loving.
Fav family friendly place: The Zoo.
Coffee order: A bad coffee ruins my day.
Blog: Mum on the run
I have been described as being absolutely NUTS - in a good way (there is ONLY a good way), so I write about it.
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