Sunday, October 26, 2008

This is.... something I'm surprised I like...

I've been inspired to share after reading what some friends like



I love her but it has taken some time.

Charlotte was a very much wanted, very much planned pregnancy and apart from some revolting morning (all day!) sickness I was well and happy during the pregnancy. I had a plan and this was my initial downfall. We were living in Brisbane at the time and at 30 weeks I went down to Canberra to my parents to work for my mum for 4 weeks then I was planning on coming home and spending a good six weeks at home relaxing, preparing and spending one on one time with Izaak before the new arrival. It wasn't to be.

Three days after I flew home I woke up feeling really off and then started having contractions. I was starting to stress when we called the hospital and they told us to come in - I hadn't packed a hospital bag, Izaak wasn't ready for daycare and ex-partner was at work. Some quick calls, dropped the boy off and headed into hospital where I was sure they would give me some drugs to stop my contractions and send me home - after all, I was only 35 weeks pregnant!
3:20pm and born by emergency c-section my daughter was born into the world.

She was taken to the NICU and I was sewn up. One of my most outstanding memories of the time was laying in recovery after the operation had finished. Charlotte's dad was with her (at my request - I didn't want her to be alone!) and I was laying in recovery crying because it was all so wrong. I had just had a baby but she wasn't with me, she was here too early. It was all just so surreal. Hospital wasn't nice for me - the lady in the bed next to me was really lovely but she had her baby there with her and I didn't. I had to walk all the way to the NICU to see her which wasn't nice post-c-section anyway but I didn't get to have the snuggles, crying, nappies or any of it. We did get her home much earlier than anyone had expected so in the end it all worked out. Or so I had thought.
Fast forward to Charlotte being around 10 months and things weren't going well. I hadn't bonded with her and felt awful. She had interrupted my life and disrupted my plan. She was a great breastfeeder, great sleeper and an all around good baby - for everyone else. I will always remember a particular day when we were at the shops and her dad was feeding her some puree veges while we were eating lunch. He went to get a coffee and handed it all over to me - she refused to eat and when I got 1 spoon into her mouth she blew raspberries all over me. He came back and she scoffed the rest. At that point we realised that I needed some help and I saw a lovely lady from NSW Mental Health. I didn't fit the criteria for PND but was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder - I had so much riding on my 'plan' that went it all went pear shaped I just wasn't able to cope.
Charlotte is about to turn 3 and our relationship has come along in leaps and bounds. I still have days when I find it hard to cope with her but on the whole I think we have a more 'normal' mother-daughter relationship. Thankfully! Love you Cha!

7 comments:

sue said...

I had PND with my daughter and she was my second baby, nothing like the first one. She used to cry nearly all afternoon, but after 8 mths we found out she was lactose intolerant so it upset her and her sleeping routine. She is 7 years old now and still has trouble going to sleep or by herself. I am sure that your experiences make you appreciate her all the more. She is such a cutie pie too.

Deb said...

Bec I can really feel for you. I also failed to bond properly with my daughter, although for different circumstances. It's not nice. I have a memory of when J was about 18 months old - we were at a friends house and she pulled a screen door on herself and gave herself a fright (it was a light door - she was fine, just needed a cuddle). Well she wouldn't come to me - she'd only go to the other mum for reassurance. That was the turning point for me that made me horribly depressed, wondering where and why it had all gone wrong and why hadn't I bonded with my daughter? Where was that delightful mother-daughter relationship that I'd always imagined? Well, a lot of work later and she's now 6 and a half and although we have our moments, I can honestly say I now have that treasured mother-daughter bond and to be honest I think it's even stronger now for all the trials we had in the earlier years. Congratulations to you for reaching the stage for have and for overcoming such an awful start to the mother-daughter relationship.

Kebeni said...

thankyou for sharing this difficult story. May your bonding continue to grow and blossom Bec.

Georgie said...

A frank and thoughtful post Bec. As mums we have all these expectations (our own and those of others) and it's so difficult when things go so differently. Youre such a great mum, and Charli is an independant, outgoing, clever little girl. Nice work ;-)

twitchy fingers said...

As a mum its so hard to admit that you don't have 'normal' feelings for your child - but its soooo common. I'm glad you've worked through it - and believe that those of us with who've lived with three-year-old girls all have those 'i love you but don't like you' moments.

Jeanette said...

Happy birthday Charlotte! I can't believe it has been 3 years since I was scared I would drop her at my birthday dinner! Hope you are well Bec, I miss our little chats . Speak soon!

Jejune said...

I can relate - Dotter was a planned c-section, and I really had trouble bonding with her too ... took ages. Glad things are going better for you both now :)