So it’s been a month since I was “promoted” to being a mother of two. It’s definitely a joy and a privilege to be able to stay home with the kids and care for them. Watching them grow every day is something I will never exchange for anything in the world.
Of course, having just delivered Breyen one month ago, my emotions can swing from one end to the other pretty fast. It doesn’t help that I am still coping with the loss of my father.
Last night was probably one of those really bad nights.
Ben was not back from work yet, so I was alone with the kids. It was dinner time and Phoebie was in one of her “take forever to eat” modes. She was also “in” the TV. She barely answered me when I talked to her and only responded when I threatened to switch off the TV.
Breyen refused to sleep and wanted to be carried. I could only carry him momentarily and then put him down so that I could feed Phoebie her dinner.
This went on for about one hour and I was losing it. I wanted to switch off the TV but I knew Phoebie would throw a hissy fit if I did, and I might lose control and hit her when I didn’t mean to if she had thrown a hissy fit.
Eventually, I told Phoebie that if she didn’t want to eat, I didn’t care. I left her in the living room and carried Breyen into the room to feed him. By then, I was already in tears.
A couple of minutes after I went into the room, I heard the front door open and I knew Ben was home.
When he came into the room, Ben told me that Phoebie had her head on her hand and looked very sad. When Ben asked her, she said that Mummy was upset with her.
I didn’t really want to talk because I knew I would cry even more if I did. I didn’t have much control of my emotions and was simply feeling very down. What helped a little was that I was texting my group of mummy friends and they were empathizing with me.
Breyen continued to cry and refused to sleep the moment I was done feeding him. I knew that he want to comfort suck but I knew he had too much milk because he was spitting up. I was frustrated and decided to take a new pacifier out of the store room and sterilized it.
Ben must have sensed that I didn’t want to talk because he didn’t ask much. He took over the kids and got them ready for bed.
I took the chance to make myself a cup of chocolate chip frappe. I knew I needed something nice to drink and give myself some sanity back.
I was sitting in the living room, enjoying my drink when Phoebie was done with her bedtime routine. She came to me and said, “I’m so sorry Mama, please forgive me.” I asked her if she liked it when she talked to me and I didn’t answer her and she said no. I told her that was how I felt when she didn’t answer me when I was talking to her. While this was going on, Ben told me that Breyen seemed hungry. I passed him the sterilized pacifier and said he was spitting up from drinking too much milk.
Ben tried for a while to give Breyen the pacifier but Breyen spat it out the moment he realized there was nothing coming out of it. I knew Phoebie was waiting for Ben to tuck her into bed, so I took over from Ben and went on a pacifier mission with Breyen.
For a brief moment, I felt sane again in the quiet of my room. My chocolate chip frappe certainly helped too.
It wasn’t long before Breyen refused the pacifier again and started crying. I knew he was hungry this time and simply latched him on. After that, he was still fussing, so I swaddled him tight, put him on his bed and climbed into my own bed. Breyen fussed for a while more and fell asleep.
Waking up this morning, I felt so much better. I did my two night feeds lying down and for the first time, felt a lot less tired. Previously, I refused to do my night feeds lying down because I was worried that I might roll over the baby. Last night, I was too tired to think and thankfully, I didn’t roll over Breyen.
Phoebie came to my room when she woke up said apologized again for what happened last night. I hugged her and told her I love her.
The craziness of post natal blues coupled with grief can be really scary. I’m just thankful I didn’t do anything crazy. I’m even more thankful that I have an understanding and helpful husband who, despite having a long and tiring day at work, took over the kids when he saw the state I was in. I’m also thankful for my mummy friends who empathize and encourage me.
Post natal blues can be scary, but as long as I am aware that I have a lot to cope with, and I am still affected by hormonal changes, coping well with post natal blues is possible. I encourage all mummies who just delivered to find a good support network and take good care of your emotional needs. Another important thing is to educate or keep the husband well informed about post natal blues and get him to provide the support and help you need.