Or should the happily pregnant just enjoy the anticipation without more worry?
I'm talking about post natal depression. Being a new, first timer, alone with a tiny, needy, fragile baby. Your baby. Your responsibility. That terrible feeling of, 'Oh my God, what the fuck have I done?' Of being trapped and frustrated and confused and angry. Of wanting to just walk away. Of wanting my old life back. Of grieving for our old just-the-two-of-us relationship. The insanely strong feelings of love combined with confusion, frustration, tiredness and guilt.
I think had a mild case of it with my first. It lasted for about ten months, maybe longer. I can't really remember when the fog lifted. It just did. By the time Miss L was born I was myself again.
Reading Eleanor Limprecht's book,'What Was Left' has brought it all back to me. I haven't finished the story yet, but I'm really enjoying it. I can really relate to the main character and understand a lot of what she feels... I'd recommend the book to anyone who struggled a bit in those early, lonely days of motherhood.
Looking back at photos and videos of that time, still fill me with an uncomfortable sense of dread. Guilt that I didn't just relax and enjoy my sweet baby more. Pity for my sad, sorry, tired, zombie-like self. And a overwhelming relief that I got through it.
As I have said before, I thank my dear Mr S for getting me through. It was just the two of us in a new country, in a new city, in a new apartment, with no family or support. At all. Never. No one to call on. No one to take the baby for an hour or two. Just us. I can't imagine what it must have been like for him. Coming home from a new job, to a wreck of a wife and a little needy baby. But we did it. Together we got through and I'm proud of the job we've done. I guess as the saying goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.