The emotional toll in first few weeks

Having a baby is amazing and when there born and placed in your arms, there is no better feeling, however the reality of the hard work which is included with having a baby is draining not just physically but also mentally. With hormones all over the place, it is safe to say it is very easy to become a blubbery mess before you even realise it, small things like just looking at our baby and being so smitten by her was enough to start a tidal wave. With lack of sleep in places which always makes feeling sensitive and emotional difficult, there is the pain from having after birth pains and everything starting to slowly go back into place. Also with the added bonus of back pains, stitches and feeding the baby, at times the emotions were just uncontrollable, there could be absolutely no reason for an outburst of tears. Some of the time it was genuine tears due to the pain I was in, or the lovely creeping self doubt that you are not good enough or capable of doing what you would normally achieve, so somehow in your head, you had become a failure.

I was constantly thinking of my eldest too and worried she was going to feel left out or not part of the family, but there was not much I could do about it all to start with, which was difficult. My partner was making more effort with the eldest at this point however, and took her to a park a few times in the first couple of weeks, and there bond increasing was definitely needed at this time. My eldest did feel left out and every time she was given her sister to hold, she would tend to cry each time, which did not make her feel very good about herself and like her sister did not like her. For years before I met my partner it had just been my eldest and myself for a long time, so having to share me with not just my partner but now a newborn, must of been difficult for her to adjust too. We always tried to make sure she knew we cared and loved her just as much and tried to explain that newborns did require a lot of attention but would not be forever. It did not help that I could barely get about and take her to school and do what I would normally.

My partner had a lot of self doubt creeping in and when it came to changing, dressing and looking after the baby, I seemed to go into automatic mood, remembering what to do with my eldest, however my partner needed to learn all this, so felt he could not do it. He did however do the first few gross nappies and I changed her throughout the night time as tended to be awake at this point in the early days. I had creeping doubts of whether or not I was feeding correctly, feeding enough or whether or not baby was getting what she needed. In the early stages I feel this was one of the biggest doubts, as when bottle fed, you can see what the baby is receiving and drinking, where when breast feeding, it is all blind and having to trust your own body. This is not an easy task when emotions, hormones and lack of sleep is all thrown into the mix and it was very easy to jump on the not good enough train.

There was also some very heated moments between my partner and myself, and though we barely argued it was still tension and one of use would have an outburst at some point. Mine because even trying to have a shower was a task in itself, as each time I went to have one, baby would cry and want feeding, with my partner not knowing what to do, so I would normally end up having to wait even longer and feed baby instead. This made keeping my breasts clean and stitches washed and checked regularly quiet a difficult task at times. I also had found myself becoming quiet envious of my partner and even my eldest who could wash, clean and do what they wanted to do without a second thought. Little things would easily get under your skin, which normally would not even be given a second thought, but it was easy to feel like you were not good enough and that you were failing in every part of your life at that point.

In other moments, simple things such as feeding my baby would make me cry, there was not normally a reason for it, I just found myself tearing up and feeling emotional, obviously the fact it was painful never helped but that was only for the first probably 30seconds of feeding and after feeding it would hurt. Not getting enough sleep would also just cause myself to cry at random intervals, normally throughout the night when no one else was awake. I also tend to try not cry in front of others as want to be strong for them, and support them, which I think would build up throughout the day and all come pouring our at random times of the day. Feeling in pain a lot did not help either and I did not want to always mention it, as felt I may just come across as moaning and annoying, so tried to contain it and keep going. Emotions play a big part in life anyway, so with a newborn, lack of sleep and a mix of every ones emotions circling around, it is a difficult time, but important to remind each other that you still care and love each other every day.

I am hoping that my partner will have a small input to how he felt at this time below 🙂

How the other half felt :

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