Guest Blog by Tahlia Mammone @bloomandblossom.aus
At 7:09pm on the 27th February 2015 the doctors held up this screaming, tiny human that I had spent the last 40 weeks creating, and announced “It’s a girl”. I looked at this little person, half myself and half the man I loved with her hands outstretched as she took her first breaths in our world and the only thing I could think was ‘now hurry up and close me up’.
My partner looked at me and said “we have a daughter”, I smiled back at him and closed my eyes as I could feel people moving around below the curtain – I just wanted it to be over. The nurse brought my daughter over to my partner and I and I honestly couldn’t even look at her, because of what was happening to me.
This was the last thing that I ever did purely thinking about myself.
The nurse snapped a few ‘first family photos’ and whisked my freshly born daughter and my partner away for the standard health checks. I lay on a cold operating room table for another two hours, all alone, whilst I underwent major surgery for another non pregnancy related complication. During this time, I wondered weather my newborn daughter was ok and if my partner was handling his newly found life with ease.
During the next coming days I smiled as people visited and gushed over my baby only fairing to ask how I was feeling as they scooped her up to get a sniff of that fresh newborn smell while I was struggling with even rolling over in bed. As people visited my protective mother instincts kicked in as I didn’t want people to hold or touch her, yet nor did I. She was content in her crib and I just wanted my loving guests to leave her as she was. At feeding times my stress levels grew and my attachment to my daughter whilst there, the enjoyment was not. I just wanted to sleep and recover from the previous 24 hours. Why wasn’t anybody letting me do this? Everybody kept looking at her and telling me how perfect and relaxed she was; she didn’t even cry! I had the perfect child, she was doing everything right…so I must be wrong!
I honestly remember looking at my perfectly sleeping daughter at 2am before I woke her for food and I thought “What the hell have I done? I am 22. I was meant to travel the world! How can I take it back?” I wanted to break down and cry. There was a screaming baby in the bed next to me clearly dealing with nicotine withdrawals while my angel was sleeping soundly without a peep. This young 16-year-old was gushing over her upset baby yet I couldn’t even bring myself to look at mine. Wasn’t this meant to be natural, the most natural thing you ever do? That first moment aren’t you meant to get this rush of love and for this human being you had created? What had I done wrong?
The day came to introduce my daughter to the big wide world and take her home. Everything that I had been preparing for for the last 40 weeks had finally happened and this was the last major milestone and the final hurrah to my pregnancy. I walked in and settled my daughter in her bassinet in our room and I went and saw my dogs for the first time in 5 days. Within 10 minutes she was awake! What the hell was I doing? I couldn’t be a mum? I couldn’t even look after myself!
Within the next few days my breastfeeding journey came to a close and the next 4 months would be filled with expressing – just to add to my stress of a first time mum, I added pumping to the régime. With each new day my distain for my new life grew and grew. It was no longer a high powered corporate career, something that I had been working on for the past 4 years. My day was filled with mundane schedules that consisted of naps, feeds, changing and repeating, every three hours. This tiny human, who’s arrival consumed my Facebook and Instagram for the past 24 weeks, my thoughts for the past 33 weeks and my body for the past 40 weeks, was here and life wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, it was nothing like I had planned in my head. My partner continued his life, he went to work, he went out, he continued with his hobbies yet my life had not only been turned upside down but it barely resembled what it was before. This was something that took two people yet I was the only one dealing with the consequences.
My relationship suffered because all I wanted was my partner to talk to me and spend time with me and we couldn’t talk because our daughter was asleep in our room and when she was asleep I wanted to sleep. And when she actually was awake it was all hands on deck to get her back to sleep for me to get some rest. It was this endless cycle of a mundane lifestyle that I didn’t anticipate.
I didn’t get the newborn love bubble and I didn’t like my daughter, she was hard work, a lot harder than what anybody had prepared me for.
Was it post-natal-depression? No, it was the reality of dealing with someone other than myself 24/7.
Did I love my daughter? More than life itself. And would I do anything and everything to protect her and give her everything in the world to make her happy? Absolutely, she was my perfect little miracle.
Everybody wants to tell you how amazing life is with a newborn, and nobody wants to accept that it sucks, because how can something so innocent and precious be so horrible? Nobody wants to step forward and say yes it was hard and no I didn’t enjoy it. Because how could anybody be so horrible to not enjoy a newborn baby!
My daughter is currently 6 months old and she is the absolute love of my life! Those first two weeks were the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but how could I not do it all over again to get something so amazing.
She now has a personality, she doesn’t like the wind, but she loves her dogs, she hates lying down but loves to stand up. She is just a miniature adult with the looks of her father and the personality of her mother. She is no longer that little piece of wriggling flesh that got cut out of me at 40 weeks’ gestation, she is my little piece of perfection, my saviour, my little Melody Grace.
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version