Stella at 10 weeks – developmental milestones & growth spurts.
Its been a hard week. My sister left at 6am on Monday morning, the day I turned 33. Birthdays don’t have much meaning or relevance to me since having children. I can’t really get that enthusiastic which is a little sad especially since Ron has a history of great presents and I have a history of throwing some cracking parties in the past. I seem to just channel my enthusiasm into Amy’s birthday which is the week after mine and seeing her joy and excitement is more than enough pleasure for me. Ron has out done himself this week taking care of his family which has been gift enough for me. I have been struggling, a lot.
Saying goodbye to my sister was a lot harder on me emotionally than I was expecting, it was just so lovely having her here and because her visit was such a quick one we had to pack so much into such a short time that we really maximised our time together. Spending time with my sister makes me feel even more happy that Amy has a baby sister of her own, even though Liv and I might have struggled with our relationship as children, the pleasure we take in each other’s company now is one of the most special aspects of my life. Seeing her spend time with my children and develop her own relationship with them is just the icing on the cake.
Stella has been going through some kind of developmental milestone/growth spurt this week and its been very hard on me, physically and mentally and by Wednesday I knew I needed to take action because I was having some very dark thoughts. I remember how at six weeks after Amy’s birth when the excitement and novelty had worn off, I hit a low patch hard and needed some help getting past it. Thanks to the love and support of Ron and some close friends I managed to pull myself clear of the darkness and didn’t look back until we started trying for another baby. I started experiencing anxiety attacks and would lie awake at night in bed with my heart racing, my head full of negative thoughts about everything in my life. I was worried about almost everything, money, our future, conceiving another child and I wasn’t able to enjoy all the positives that I had in my life right then and there. Thankfully this dark period coincided with a visit from Mum and Dad and after a few heart-to-heart talks with Mum and a quiet chat with my GP I was able to see beyond the immediate and sure enough we conceived Stella almost immediately and my pregnancy was anxiety free.
At six weeks into Stella’s life I watched myself closely for any signs of above normal anxiety and was happy to realise that I was doing ok. I was sleeping well and managing my emotions, talking freely about how I felt and I wasn’t experiencing any of the crippling fear I felt after Amy was born. The kind of fear that had me hovering over her bassinet, trying to see if she was breathing and then lying back in bed, heart racing, mind full of desperate scenarios that I never wanted to experience in real life. So I thought I was going to be ok this time because I was over that danger period and I very nearly was ok. Until a combination of things left me emotionally drained and suddenly very sleep deprived.
Suddenly things weren’t fun anymore and I was exhausted. On Monday night Stella fed every two hours and by the time the sun rose I was drained. Tuesday was a bad day and Tuesday night no better and I was starting to feel like I couldn’t cope. Thankfully Ron had a day off on Wednesday and after a round of golf in the morning he came home at lunch and took Amy out for the rest of the day. Stella and I lay in my bed, feeding, sleeping, feeding, watching bad daytime tv, sleeping and when Ron woke me at 5pm to tell me that dinner was almost ready, I felt signifigantly better. Wednesday night was better, Ron did a feed which gave me a good sleep and Stella only woke once and had a great feed and went straight back to sleep.
But the negative thoughts take longer to banish than the sleep deprivation and these feelings are not helped by sad news in the blogosphere where a couple I do not know lost their three year old daughter in her sleep for reasons that are not known to anyone. These strangers and their pain really struck deep inside me and suddenly I was finding it hard to balance how I was feeling (tired, irritable, impatient) with how they must be feeling – devastated, truly and utterly and completely changed forever.
So I have been doing a lot of thinking and its been thinking of the positive kind. Thinking about my beautiful girls and my kind and generous and loving husband. And my husband’s family and my family and all the people we care about. Instead of allowing myself to indulge those scary fantasies where I try to imagine how someone else must be feeling, I am going to focus on what I am really feeling which is very blessed, and lucky and privileged. Slowly I can feel that darkness subsiding again and I am starting to feel motivated and enthusiastic again.