Life as I know it

So, my hubby works offshore and is generally gone for at least two weeks at a time, this has been our way of life for years now and I’m still not used to it, and this past 16 months with a new addition to the family it has been even harder.

I know my two weeks doesn’t come close to ladies whose partners or in the forces etc but to me this is my reality and it’s bloody hard.

I have always suffered with anxiety, but only since having my little boy have I experienced terrible PNA, I remember when my hubby was due to go away for the first time since having bub and I was a wreck, I held it in until I couldn’t any longer. I had a sickly pregnancy and was in and out of hospital with the risk of having to be c-sectioned at 34 weeks. In the end i was just short of 37 weeks and having spent days being pumped full of all sorts of drugs and having nil by mouth just incase, failed induction and cannulas in both hands, arms and one foot, I finally ended up needing a c section and our little girl was soon to arrive (that’s right a little girl, we had been told bub was a girl), so in the midst of all this mess I remembering looking at my hubby when I was led in the theatre and crying I don’t want to die, and trying to process everything that had happened to then be told it was a boy. We were in complete shock, but thrilled, we had no name for the little dude though. My postnatal experience was even more horrid and thinking about it makes me sad, and angry, and really anxious so I’m just going to skim past it, but know that having gone though all this led to my breaking point when hubby went away for the first time.

His job sometimes allows him to stay at local hotels and fly out of our local airport, his two week trip was coming to an end, i was counting them down desperately, and then the night before he was due Home he called to say he was being delayed and had to stay for a few more days. I literally broke down on the phone to him, I couldn’t see for tears, I could hardly breathe, I was shaking and was in the middle of an attack. Luckily hubby was local and came home in a taxi because he was worried, I crumbled to the floor almost bereft, and he picked up our little one and told me to go to bed and he would sleep at home that night and go back early in the am (bearing in mind his check ins are usually 5-6am), he did the night feeds and nursed bub so I could catch up on sleep and calm down. I to this day feel like he saved me that night, I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t been able to pop home.

Since then I’ve been put on medication to help and I’m dealing with it on a daily basis, I still struggle to go out sometimes and I haven’t been to any play groups etc. When hubby goes away the weeks are fine, I work part time and bub goes to nursery then we have a couple of days together before the weekend hits us, and this is when I struggle.

I know it’s silly and I should just go out and do whatever and not worry, but I can’t, the weekends are full of families all doing nice things together, and I feel like a single Mum with no friends or family (my family live 250 miles away). I always thought having children would help me make lots of new friends but instead it has just shown how anti social someone can be when they suffer from anxiety.

It also doesn’t help that I am a terrible scaredy cat, I literally jump at my own shadow and therefore struggle with being alone at nights sometimes. If you looked up a hot mess in the dictionary you would find a picture of me. I feel guilty about my entire mummy persona and try not to show too much of my anxiety to the bub so he doesn’t learn from me, my wish for him is freedom, freedom to go out and explore, freedom to be himself without worrying about what other people think, freedom to not sweat the small stuff/big stuff/in between stuff.

The nights can be so hard, post 7pm and suddenly you have no one to talk to or just be quiet with. But soon the hubby will be back and we’ll fall back into our little bubble for another couple of weeks, until then I’m listening to every podcast of Alison Perry, and watching every series I can on Netflix.

P.S. my hat truly goes off to single mums and dads out there, you are unsung heroes.

If you struggle like I do, I can only send you a virtual hug and say the light will shine through (for some, maybe after a trip to the Docs) xx

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First world mama thinking

So, today I realised two things, first off I am one lucky mama who has up until today never experienced mega projectile puking, and secondly I am not as good at resolving problems in a logical manner.

I am a northerner living hundreds of miles away with my hubby and 16 month old boy in Norwich, since bub was 3 months old we’ve been making the 500 mile journey up and down to see my family as much as possible, we’ve been blessed with a little one who sleeps in the car (really well and I know this can be frustrating for others whose kids don’t, so apologies) we’ve had zero accidents and only a few trips requiring a few rounds of ‘raa raa the noisy lion’ to settle him, the smug reality of toddlerhood got us today though, smack full on in the face. On our journey up to see bubs grandparents he quietly projectiled all over himself and the car seat, daddy and I sat in the front completely unaware until that pungent smell of sour milk and rotting food hit us, and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even realise it was sick, it smelt like a sour bum or as we finally agreed the cows in he fields on our glorious road trip. It wasn’t until ten minutes later when I passed the silent puker a snack that I realised what had happened, and immediately told poor hubby off (who was driving and could see him via the mirror) for not noticing his sodden state. Luckily for us a welcome break appeared and a dash across the lanes to assess the damage ensued.

Part two of my realisations, which I now realise was major first world mum thinking, occurred when I opened the passenger door and a very happy little dude was sat in the biggest pool of sick I’d ever seen him do, and I genuinely stepped out of reality into my head to think where I could get a new car seat from on a service station because this one was so gross and in no possible way could be fixed. Luckily for my frivolous thinking was stopped, and our bank account was saved when the hubby took over and sorted it out, whilst passing orders to me like a newbie sous chef on her first day of work.

Everything got sorted, the car will most likely stink of stale sick for another few days (I’m hoping it’ll be gone before our return journey!) and I realised in this modern world of being a Mum I always try to fix things by replacing them, for ease and for speed, the ability to just click on amazon and get something the next day has truly spoilt my way of thinking. Coming from a large, working class family I understand struggling to get things and for looking after the things you have as we couldn’t replace them. Today has helped me realise not everything needs to be a quick fix, it doesn’t make me a bad Mum that my bub has finally joined millions of other kids in projectiling over the car, and that actually I can’t control everything ( no matter how hard I try and how much I risk having a PND anxiety attack).

First world mama problems really need to just go f themselves!

Helen

Fog or Fear?

Hi, just to briefly get you to the point where I’m at right now; lying in bed, hubby lying next to me and bubbah in his Moses basket. I have potentially less than one hour before our beautiful son wakes up and the next round of feeding, winding, crying and not settling begins, I’m lying here terrified and confused.

I look to social media for someone who is feeling the same or shows a sign of being slightly on the edge, but all I find is mumsy mums who are winning at the balancing act, they’re saying motherhood is difficult but so far I’m struggling to even get dressed before 2pm, I have hardly eaten in 72 hours and my blood pressure tablets which I’ve to take 3 times a day (I had bub 3.5 weeks early due to pre-eclampsia) are pretty much becoming a ‘if I remember to take tabs/hope I don’t die because I don’t remember if I took 1 or 2 just now tabs’.

I always feared doing a nappy, it terrified me, (I could barely handle my own toilet habits let alone a babies) however I’ve soon discovered the nappy is a thing of joy (celebrating the discovery of a major poop after days of bub being constipated), I’d much rather do a bum change than the feed.

My fear of the feed has slowly developed over the last few weeks, you see as bub was in nicu when first born he had a tube feeding him and I hated it, he looked so poorly and tiny and all my hubby and I wanted to do was get him feeding without the tube (which we did after nights of fear and hope in a hospital sideroom, praying he’d put weight on so we could go home and be a family). And I loved feeding him, seeing his weight increase and slowly getting chubbier, that was until he turned into a crying, pained, rigid little bub who was sick and not sleeping. We struggled to help him, googled every symptom, bought every brand of bottle (we went from Tommie yippee, to mam, and settled on Dr Browns) our kitchen is like the bottle aisle of boots! So we soon realised he has reflux, and we changed his formula to one designed to help and we stupidly thought he was sorted, he wasn’t and still isn’t really. Anyone who has a baby with reflux will know that the ‘sleep when they sleep’ mantra doesn’t apply, cause they barely settle before the next round of feeding starts again. My friend popped over the other day, and gave me some respite which I used to do the washing and not eat or sleep, but she also gave me a hint to use Infacol which she kindly went out and got ready for his next feed, she then proceeded to feed him without any issue and he acted like the perfect angel that he used to be. I thought all our prayers had been answered, but naive I was, he still struggles and takes hours to feed each time (occasionally we have one good one and I again think ‘this is it’), and that’s how you find me right now, wondering if I’m just in baby fog and I’ll look back at this period of time with fond memories, or if (most likely) I’m rigid with fear, wondering if this is all my life will be now, and hoping that my little bub will soon get over his reflux and stop feeling his pain, and be a happy little sweet pea that he deserves to be.