Tuesday, 11 July 2017

When the birth of a new life means saying goodbye to another...

Back at the start of 2015, having waited 15 days past my due date for the moment to finally arrive, I gave birth to my first child - Arthur. It was a joyous and yet overwhelming experience, filled with awe and wonder and also many, many moments of 'new parent fear'. 

When the birth of a new life means saying goodbye to another

Family and friends came from far and wide to meet this lovely new little person, and watch carefully as we tried to put together some semblance of normal life amidst the sleep deprivation, constant feeding and numerous nappy changes. Feelings of happiness combined with anxiety became the new normal and we shuffled along between us in a state of shock and survival, until 2 weeks later when paternity leave was over and it was time for me to do this mother and baby thing alone.....I'll admit, I got as far as closing the front door behind him, my darling husband, before bursting into tears and sobbing my way back up the stairs, baby in arms, already counting down the minutes until he would be home from work.

 

I didn't realise at the time, but already I was struggling with some symptoms of PTSD following on from labour and birth - this was always worse in those quiet moments of rest or sleep when your mind takes its chance to process the events and inevitably leads to no rest and no sleep - a vicious circle.

We were also days away from the start of a particularly lengthy battle with colic and reflux - One that would keep us up all hours of every night for months. Food usually consisted of crumpets, eaten whilst holding Arthur in a sling, and simultaneously bouncing on a birth ball in order to induce some sense of calm whilst trying to stay awake myself. I still couldn't walk properly after the labour, so getting out and about and meeting friends felt like a single step far too far away.


It sounds gloomy, but it wasn't all bad. The happy moments far outweighed the bad and we were surprised and amazed at how quickly Arthur smiled, laughed, rolled over and developed in other ways - the rollercoaster of rough and smooth almost felt balanced.


Our lives were undoubtedly changed forever though. We had waved goodbye to the ones we had before in a fog of anticipation, excitement and fear. Everything was different. From the moment we started and ended our day, how we ate our meals and, admittedly, how unrecognisable my reflection had become to the image I saw in the mirror before children were even on the cards. These are the kind of life events that can fool you into thinking you are the only ones dealing with change, and difficulties.... becoming so engrossed in your own situation until something happens to remind you that actually, you're not.

When Arthur was less than a month old we were faced with the news that his Grandma, my Mother in Law - an immaculate, manicure loving, red lipstick wearing, perfect hair day every day, 60 something lady had suffered a massive stroke and was in intensive care.

Darling husband boarded a flight over to Holland where his parents still live and we (Arthur and I) waited patiently at home in the UK for news, information and at some point, his return. Emotions, already running high, reached boiling point and survival mode kicked in for pretty much everyone concerned. Suddenly we were thrown into a land of limbo, and my days were spent not being sure about whether we should be feeling happy or sad.

Luckily, she pulled through and we are so thankful every day that she did.

Every single day, in any given moment, whether planned or not - your life can change so dramatically and so unrecognisably from the one you had before...it's all too easy to think about what you have lost, rather than what you have gained...or what you still have.

And so as I approach the arrival of my next child, I am writing this post as a little reminder to myself that yes, things will change. The life, setup and routine I have now will be lost - but this isn't a bad thing. Change always takes time to get used to, it always takes some adjusting and it can feel hard - but ultimately we are made to evolve and the birth of a new life (both literally and metaphorically) is something to embrace as a happy challenge.


Change happens to everyone though. Everyone, everywhere, every day is potentially dealing with something that shifts their feeling of 'comfortable' into something new and unrecognisable. I'm hoping for a less dramatic shift in circumstances this time...but whatever happens I'll try to remember....It's not just me - it's never just me.



Sarah x


Dealing with Colic and Reflux in babies


Having a baby - the things they never told me...

Motherhood - the loneliest of times...

Should I give in and try controlled crying?


Did I have a traumatic birth? Postnatal PTSD...

The diary of a 9 month old escape artist



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25 comments:

  1. Changes make us stronger..or the way we deal with them at least! That's what I tell myself anyway!!

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    1. Yes! I completely agree with you Laura x

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  2. This was a lovely read, it does change and I think we all want to live a little bit in the denial around that. I really want a second kid, but it would be my other half's first, we've talked so much about it but I can't lie to him and say everything will be the same, there will be huge changes to his life and I'm not sure how he feels about that. But I think change is good and it makes us better, stronger people. :) #TwinklyTuesday

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    1. Hope you manage to come to an agreement over what is right for you both - it's good to be prepared for how different things can be x

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  3. Changes can be a frightening thing but often they are positive and we can learn so much from them

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    1. Yes I think it's important to look for the positives, even in changes that we didn't necessarily want to happen x

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  4. What a lovely post ! It is hard when your in the mist to see a way out but it does get better and you find a new normal, we all just need a reminder of this every now and then!

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    1. Thank you - yes, hoping I can keep this in mind in the next few months!

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  5. This post speaks about the life. It speaks the reality. Change happens all the time...everywhere! Awesome lines.

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  6. What a lovely reflective post, life does certainly change sometimes without us wanting it to! x

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    1. Thank you - yes, I think even when we want it to it can still be a shock though can't it?

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  7. Change can be scary but having another baby is definitely good scary! x

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    1. Yes I agree...I think it is the very definition of 'good scary"!

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  8. My friends father died a couple of weeks before my son was born and I think it gives her some comfort at times to see him and think of her father. #kcacols

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    1. New babies do have a way of helping you through difficult moments don't they - I know that the situation with my mother in law would have been so much harder without Arthur being around x

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  9. There are a lot of changes when you have a new baby in your life. So many that I never even expected #KCACOLS

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    1. You definitely don't realise until it actually happens do you?

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  10. Change is scary but often it brings wonderful new experiences. I was so scared before the birth of
    My second but seeing them together now is amazing

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    1. Yes I'm Definitely more apprehensive this time, mainly because I'm not as ignorant as I was to how things would be before I had Arthur

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  11. This is a lovely post. Life really change in the most unexpected ways and throw us a curveball unexpectedly can't it. I'm not big on change but sometimes it is for the best. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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    1. Yes I think I have to admit I do struggle with change, I am a real creature of habit and I can see that Arthur is very similar to me in that respect...it's hard to learn how to be change embracing!

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  12. Brilliant post, the arrival of a first baby brings so much change and what is "normal" varies so much from person to person x

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    1. I think you're right there, it's so subjective isn't it, and things that would really affect me may not even phase another person x

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  13. Life changes / facing adversity is inevitable in life. It is how we choose to overcome them that matters most #KCACOLS

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