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!