I’ve just started watching “The Cry”…
I’m only 19 minutes in & wow!
I never had any post natal depression or anxiety with my first. I really thought I had motherhood figured out. Oliver gave me a false sense of my own ability as mother.
Then I had a reflux baby.
This photo of Isla was taken the day we left hospital after weeks in the NICU. Before we knew what reflux was…
I think I’ve actually blocked out that period of time & the extreme sleep deprivation. But these first 19 minutes of “The Cry” have bought back a lot of memories.
I actually learnt to block out her screams because they were so constant; sometimes she screamed more than she slept.
I remember once mowing the lawn in an attempt to silence her screams. I remember once losing it in the middle of the night & going to sleep in the car with a pillow over my head. I remember once screaming “shut up, just shut up” to a newborn. I remember thinking is this punishment for my first baby being “good?” I remember Isla falling asleep in my bed & waking up worried I had squashed her. Or worse waking up thinking she next to me & she was gone. Either I had put her back in her bassinet or Greg had.
At the time I didn’t recognise that I cried daily (often along with Isla), or that I blocked out her screams or that a baby who screams ALL day isn’t normal.
I remember trying to put a screaming, jerking baby in the carrier & at the same time take my 20 month old to swimming lessons. The looks of sympathy / pity from other mothers still etched in my mind.
I remember once being out for a coffee when Isla was three months old & she didn’t cry. I remember thinking ahhh this is what it is like? Even though I had that with Oliver I had forgotten what a non screaming baby is like.
It took me eight months before I went & asked for professional help to deal with my emotions. Eight months of saying “I’m fine” & not realising that actually I wasn’t fine. And it’s taken years of therapy to realise that everything I felt, ALL the feelings are 100% okay.
Motherhood is such a joyous & intense time, it opens you up & exposes your all of your vulnerabilities. It’s the greatest of highs & the lowest of lows. And I’m so grateful for those times because they taught me tolerance, patience & how to give unconditionally love.