Thursday, 23 January 2014

It's all about perspective

So its been a while since I've written in this blog - I felt that I wanted to come back to this one, this was my first one and I should keep this one going really - there is a bit of history here.

So I've had my fifth (surprise) baby and it was a pretty good pregnancy.  A few issues with SPD and sciatic pain, but otherwise much more pain free than some previous ones.  I had a traumatic birth, much worse than I could have imagined, and I'm still dealing with flashbacks from it.  I can't go on the parenting forum I used to be on - too many memories.  I especially can't go into the homebirth thread, I just can't make myself do it. I know I should probably debrief to someone about my experience, but in all honesty I can't talk about it in real life without being on the verge of tears.  It is too hard.  So I avoid it.

So number 5 arrived safe and he was the most crankiest baby.  From birth - he was never happy. For 12 weeks I tried my best to do what was best by him.  I (of course) was breastfeeding, even though he grizzled constantly.  Through feeds he grizzled.  Going to sleep he grizzled, staying up, putting him down, whilst sleeping - so much grizzling.  He had a permanent frown on his face.  His fists were always clenched, even while sleeping.

So he got called the world's crankiest baby.  I just didn't know what he wanted, it seemed that I was given this baby for some reason by the universe, but fucks me how I was supposed to deal with him because everything I knew was right - was wrong with him.  I took him to 2 different chiropractors who said that there was no physical reason for him to be so angry.  I dropped dairy and yeast out of my diet because one chiropractor said that might help.   It didn't.  I dropped all vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower out because they are said to cause gas pain.  It didn't help.  We tried medications - colic relief, infacol - nothing helped.  He didn't have reflux but was so incredibly unhappy.

I was so stressed out that I was getting down -  I definitely wasn't enjoying this child at all.  I even said to my friend that I wish I had aborted when I had the chance, because it was all so hard and I couldn't make this child happy. I could feel myself becoming a different person, an angry person and I didn't like it.

So I weaned him and switched to formula.  I felt horrible.  And then I started noticing some differences in him.  He stopped frowning and started smiling.  He woke up happy.  He started putting himself to sleep and sleeping for longer than 20 minutes at a time (and stopped needing to be resettled every 5 minutes!).  He started weeing a LOT more, I never noticed how little he did wee until I noticed how much more he was starting to do it.

And the biggest thing - he unclenched his fists.  The first time he did it I actually took a photo of it.

He was relaxed.  Happy even.  Happy to sit with his siblings, and smile and gurgle at them.

But even with all these changes, I still felt guilty.  I felt like a failure.  Like a quitter.  Embarrassed to tell some of my closest friends, who I felt would be disappointed in me.  Some I still haven't told because I was too embarrassed to admit it.

Then the other day I read a story online about some parents in America who put their 5 month old in a car seat for 8 days.  And didn't change his nappy.  Didn't feed him at all.  Just left him there while they played video games.  8 fucking days.  I cried for that poor little defenceless baby.  I cried for his pain, for his hunger, for the bacteria eating his skin from his soiled nappy.

And here I was, embarrassed and ashamed that I stopped breastfeeding my child at 3 months.  I wasn't a monster - my child was still being fed and thriving.  My child was happy, warm, safe and loved.  Some children don't even have that luxury of a mother feeling terrible about giving formula - some don't get fed at all.

It's all about perspective, isn't it?

No comments:

Post a Comment