Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A new life

The past 12 weeks have been quite the journey and I certainly haven't reached the destination. The first couple of months being a Mum were pure survival. Recovering from surgery, sleep deprivation and PND are a lethal combination which I would not wish on anyone. At first I felt like Ella was a mystery to me. I knew what the books said and I thought I knew how I wanted to parent but a newborn is liking having a foreign guest in your house who speaks no English. So much is lost in translation. The worst part of that is that I felt constantly torn between my desperate desire for sleep and the knowledge that she is totally dependent on me and my care.

Very slowly we started to get to know her and her cries, expressions and quirks. Like the fact that she cannot feed while going number 2s. And that even though it may seem that the entire contents of her stomach has been returned to sender, she still grows and is not that upset by it at all. Or that if we tried to put her down to sleep and she screamed it was because she was hungry. I could go on...

Now that we are approaching 3 months together I would say we have developed a rhythm and a dance. We know each other well enough that we can get through the day without a major misunderstanding and can actually enjoy it. I am excited to introduce her to people and watch her learn and develop. All the joys of motherhood are starting to be a daily blessing rather than something for the future.

But it is surprising how hard it is to adjust to this new life, for it to feel normal and fit with me. I have wrestled with lots of advice and am slowly finding a pattern for my day which works for me and Ella. I have been confronted again with the fact that I need to feel competent and I need things to be ordered. I enjoy routine and accomplishing tasks, even tiny ones. Managing myself and my mental health as well as a new baby is a real challenge but I am beginning to love it. There is real pride in such tiny things, like working out how to do a supermarket shop or how to get her out of the car without having to go back to the driver's side door to lock the car. Such simple and possibly blonde things to conquer but each of them help me feel that this new life can become normal and that I can do it.

Now that my time revolves around Ella I am realising how much my identity is built around what I do and how I live. There is so little time for thought or reflection and it seems often irrelevant to the pressing and practical needs in my life. Why spend time in contemplation when a nap could be had or washing folded. I hope that soon I can find more balance but at present, to be honest, I am enjoying not thinking too much about everything and just folding the washing, making a cuppa and learning how to make my wee girl giggle.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Marion, i just happened to wonder this week if you had had your baby and how things were going for you so I checked tonight on your blog and sure enough you are now a proud Mum. Congratulations - you don't know me but I have kept a very distant eye on your blog as something you wrote a couple of years ago resonnarated (sp) with me and then when you lost your precious baby I too had walked that path.
    You are now past one of the hardest parts of having a baby the first 12 weeks. Well done for doing it and now you will start to reap some of the benefits of the beautiful mothering you have been doing as she smiles at you and interacts more. I am so thrilled for you and Nick and wish you God;s richest blessings on your wee family as you cherish Ella and bring her up