Everything is OK.
I am writing to you to try and wake you from your slumber.
This is the first year with your precious gift and you don’t realise this, but you are losing these moments to a state of numbness, anxiety and worry.
You will regret this in less then two years time, when you look at photos and realise that you can’t remember any small moments with your tiny infant. You will feel like you were there in body but not in mind or spirit.
I know how you are feeling right now but trust me, all will be well again. I know you think this is it forever, but it’s not.
Some unsympathetic people will tell you what you are feeling is normal but please don’t listen to them. They are the same kind of people who tell depressed people to ‘just get on with it like the rest of us’. You need to stop talking and sharing your vulnerabilities with the small number of people who do not empathise with you and who have no intentions of nurturing you.
Maybe you could go to counselling or healing? You know, your dog just died and you really did have a labour from hell. Do you think that maybe you have some kind of PTSD? If I could go back in time to where you are now I would search for a lovely maternal woman who would lovingly nurse you back into the present moment. Oh wait! That is your own mother. Don’t wait another year to break down to her, when your body starts aching. Do it now.
Laura, your labour is a bad memory and it is still too raw but please seek help to overcome the anxiety it has left you with. I am glad you went back to our homeopath. Believe me, 20 months on I can tell you it works but maybe you could get there a bit quicker if you stop fighting it and go get some help- the talking it out kind.
Since we have had Elfie, I have met a couple of other first time mothers who are taking it in their stride and being so… happy. I have felt there is light at the end of the tunnel. And guess what? There is.
You will feel happy again. You will bond withElfie in a way you can’t even imagine. She will be just another part of your soul. Do you know what? One day- you will put her to bed, and go down to the couch and actually miss her. You may shake your head now, because you are struggling to cope with the lack of headspace and independence but trust me, one day you will forget what it was like before she came along.
You will get your health back. You will work hard and I swear to you girl in 20 months time you won’t believe it but you are still consistently exercising, enjoying every minute of it. You will take a long long time to get back to your pre-pregnancy self so take it easy on yourself.
I know you say you don’t want another baby. I know that when others say ‘Ah but you’ll wan’t a little pal for Elfie you feel smothered and terrified. But guess what? You will. You will realise, when Elfie is about 18 months old that it is so so worth it. But you will achieve a half marathon and (hopefully) enjoy one Summer in your pre-pregnancy clothes before you go in for no2.
Please please stop what you are doing. Stop cleaning, stop walking the legs off yourself (I swear to you it makes no difference- you won’t start losing weight until after Elfie turns 1), stop trying to set up a business. Just STOP. You will very soon realise you are happy at home, for now. In a while you will enjoy taking clients again but for now you are actually happy. Please just stop distracting yourself and enjoy the time. It gets so goddamn busy once she turns one and starts walking around.
You will never ever experience enjoying just one baby again because next time around you’ll have an energetic toddler to get up for each morning; so why don’t you take Elfie upstairs for her next nap and lie in bed with her (I know you want to) and stare at her little alien face and watch her folds uncurl. Please do it, so in 20 months from now I can look at that photo and have at least one memory beyond broken breasts, broken sleep and the constant stressing over whether or not my routine is OK (which, by the way, is OK).