Six weeks in to having two children and the pressure of being officially outnumbered has caught up. In one way, being pulled from either side by a toddler who has become increasingly clingy and won’t leave me out of her sight, and a newborn who will cry incessantly until her needs are met, has meant my body and brain has struggled to keep up.
I’ve been blogging somewhat sporadically the last few weeks. Gone is my focus, my routine and my schedule. It’s less to do with the fact that we have a five week old baby and more to do with that fact that a little over two weeks ago I accepted the fact that I was suffering from either anxiety or Postnatal Depression. D was only two weeks old and it had hit me hard. In the beginning I questioned whether it was the baby blues as the pregnancy hormones began to leave my body and sent me into a spiral. But now that I am five weeks postpartum and I’m still experiencing the painful pang of what feels like depression mixed with anxiety and confusion, I realise that I need help. I was nervous about publishing this post because it’s incredibly personal, probably the most personal I’ve written on the blog as it leaves me somewhat vulnerable, but if even one person relates to this post and realises that they too are suffering which then leads them to get help, then this post has been worth publishing.
I missed it, after an entire year of trawling through emotions, stories and ideas about parenting, I missed my One Year Blog Anniversary. I had a pretty good reason though – our newly born baby has been nestled in my arms for the past week and I’ve been revelling in baby cuddles as much as I can with a three year old running around me also looking for attention. Needless to say, I’ve been a little preoccupied and the blog has taken a major backseat. But I can’t let this week go out without recognising what I think is a major achievement in my writing career. Over Heaven’s Hill has been on the go for an entire year. I posted my very first post about “Becoming Momma Bear” on the 30th May, 2016. I’ve been a blogger for a whole year now. It’s zipped past so damn quick and been a bit of a rollercoaster as I’ve shared my experiences with you all. I’ve loved every minute and I can’t see Over Heaven’s Hill stopping any time soon.
Finally, I can almost say that I’m ready to bring Little Bean into the world. I have finished up some DIY that needed doing in the house, thanks to my awesome Dad. Ok, so the DIY didn’t necessarily need doing, but my head and shoulders are a lot more relaxed knowing they are done. I have my hospital bag packed!! I did it, finally, with just two weeks to go. For some reason I kept putting this one off, probably because the reality of the looming and large bump only hit last week. I have Little Bean’s clothes all washed, iron and sorted in little Ikea drawer sorter thingys and I feel so accomplished knowing where all the nappies, wipes and scented bags are. I have five sets of clothes ready for A, for when I’m in the hospital so B doesn’t have to stress about what to throw on the cute three-year old. I have action plans in place if I go into labour, and plans are in motion if all goes to schedule and I get to walk into hospital for the elective C-section. You may have gathered that I’m a planner, an organiser, I like and need to keep control of my personal situations and that of my family. The same goes for the weeks after me and Little Bean get home. For myself, for B and A and of course our new Little Bean, to settle into our new lives together I have rules and plans.
Today marks a very unusual day for our family. A bitter sweet day at the end of an era. Today, is my last working day and technically the start of my year long maternity leave. The start of my year as a Stay-At-Home-Mum. As well as being the beginning of a journey I’m looking forward to and equally terrified of, it’s the end of a time in our lives that admittedly seemed never ending. Three years ago, plus one month, I went back to work after a very, very short maternity leave. I took the standard six months which in reality meant A was a tiny five months old when I wandered back into my office in April 2014. That beautiful, small baby was handed over every day B and I went to work to an incredible woman, B’s Aunty P.
I haven’t been a very good blogger lately for a number of reasons which I suppose I can, hopefully, be forgiven for. Firstly at 33 weeks pregnant… or is it 34? I’ve lost count!.. I’m exhausted and am finding it very difficult to stay up past 10pm most nights. Hell, 10pm! I’m doing quite well there. Secondly, I’m tired of complaining, so I imagine you’re tired of listening to me complain. Considering all I could think to write about was once again my hatred of pregnancy, I’ve refrained from writing a blog post until now. Thirdly, I was on doctors orders to relax more and give the blog a back seat, so blogging once a week has pretty much been my limit. I had intended on taking a break from writing completely this week and leave you all wondering where I was until B sent me an email that triggered a ton of emotions.
They say that when a newborn baby is on its way to a family, that older children may often regress into babyhood. Talking about the impending arrival, buying nappies and supplies and witnessing a whole new level of babyhood can be confusing for toddlers and young children, especially children who have never experienced a new baby invading their space before and don’t know what to make of all this change. We’ve noticed over the past few months, that A has started regressing in a playful manner as she alludes to being a baby again, using a soother, talking in goo-goo gaga language and wanting to be held and cuddled like a baby. It’s quite cute… once we don’t let it get to far and become an issue. So, she’s regressing a little. That’s perfectly fine since her world is about to be turned upside down, but we’ve noticed one other thing. B and I have regressed a little too.
Since A was three months old, we’ve read to her. We’ve always been a family of book lovers and when we moved house in 2015, we had more books in boxes than kitchen supplies. A is no different and she hasbooks to choose from every night to read before bed. And every single night, we read at least five books without fail. It’s a tradition I never see us stopping, even when Little Bean comes along who I’m sure will get in on the act quick enough. In fact, she already has a little library of books started of her own. Personally, I believe that reading books from a young age is so important for so many reasons.
This week on In Conversation With, we are joined by the beautiful Louise who writes a parenting blog at Mummy Miller. Louise is currently on maternity leave and works as a nurse in the NHS. I have absolute admiration for nurses and midwves. Working in a maternity hospital myself, I see how dedicated and hard working they all are. I absolutely love that Louise married her childhood sweetheart. Herself and her now husband met when they were 15 and married after eight years together. I was 17 when I met B and love that I have lived almost half of my life with him already. Remember to check out Louise’s blog and to follow her on twitter and facebook.