Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Progress?

It's incredible how fast she's growing; every day something is different. Freyja is so alert it's a bit creepy. We saw the child health nurse last week and for her age (6 weeks) she's apparently very advanced. All parents probably think their children are, but Frejya has been holding her head up since she was a few days old, focusing well since about 3 weeks, following things with her eyes since 5 weeks and smiling since she was a few days old. Now she giggles (especially in her sleep) and coos and smiles back when you smile at her. Super cute. 

But it's not super easy. As well as struggling with my feelings, which are pretty big, I'm struggling with lack of sleep. Freyja doesn't like going to sleep and until this week has only taken power naps of approx 15 minutes each during the day. Now she'll nap for up to 2 hours, but ONLY if she's worn in a wrap or carrier... Which means I can't catch up on any sleep. The whole "sleep when they sleep" advice is bullshit. People really do spout a load of old bollocks, especially those for whom the memories of the first weeks and months with a baby has faded. I wish I'd written more down, I'm sure my memories will fade fast.

I want to remember everything. The way she looks, how she'll only sleep on me or touching me (even lying beside me she puts her hand on my face), the way she smells (mostly), how she turns into a monster as soon as she's hungry and it's as if we haven't fed her in days, how peaceful she is when she's breastfeeding, her fine features, her blue eyes which are also changing daily (light inside and indigo outside at the moment), how much she loves the shower and the bath and screams when she has to get out, the way she chews in her sleep, her half hour daily bouts of hiccoughs (must ask the GP about this tomorrow at our checkup)...

And so much more. It's not all good stuff either. She has horrible tummy pains and gas, we've one through 4 formulas until now and this one is the best for her digestion so far. She won't sleep in her bed (we built a cosleeping cot for her but it seems sleeping on me or touching me is better. She won't sleep for longer than a couple of hours at a time. She was so full of mucus when she was born that she didn't want to feed; I think this is why I now can't produce enough milk for her. So I breastfeed and formula feed so at least she gets some breast milk, but this is HARD because it takes up to an hour to feed her each time. Then at night she needs to be reaettled which can take another hour.

At the start of my last post I wrote that I don't want to forget how this feels. So I suppose I should try to describe how I feel - it's pretty difficult to put into words. When Freyja was born I felt numb. I don't think it even registered that they were having to force oxygen into her lungs, or that she wasn't crying, or even that I'd cut the umbilical and she'd been whisked away from me. I was exhausted and basically emotionally fucked. Nothing was registering. Until later that night when HN1 had to leave the hospital and go home - I cried then and I cry now. I was left all alone and in pain with our new baby in the last place on Earth I wanted to be. He stayed as long as he could, a few hours after visiting hours were over, and held the baby and let me sleep for a couple of hours. Those first hours he spent holding our daughter feel like some sort of twilight, I remember waking up and watching him watch her and now I feel sad but also like it was the most beautiful thing. 

Sometimes I look at our baby and my heart hurts. I suppose that's the love people talk about. Other times, a lot of the time, I just want to run away, I couldn't eat at first, I couldn't stop crying, I felt so alone and scared and yeah. like running away. HN1 only had a week off work, and I'll never get over that. I needed him, I needed to not be alone, I asked him to take more time off and I should have forced it rather than thinking about how I didn't want to be so needy and put that pressure on him. My mum had to leave the day after he returned to work, and I'll never forget how much she wanted to stay, and how much I wanted her to stay. Had I asked her, told her I needed her, she would have, But again, I didn't want to be needy, wanty, the person that people have to rearrange their lives for. I wish I'd been stronger and asked for help because now I feel like I'm fucked.

Last week I started taking antidepressants again. I didn't want to, and I fought not to for 6 weeks, but then I thought I might drown myself and antidepressants seemed like the more sensible option. I'll probably regret not starting them sooner if they start to work, and then I'll beat myself up for not being the best I could be for the first few precious weeks of Freyja's life. I'll beat myself up for that regardless - I already hate that so much of it is so hazy. I just want to feel better, for me, for Freyja and for HN1. Which I suppose is progress.

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