This weeks Motherhood and Me (M.a.M) Diary features Emma. Emma is a wife, mummy and photographer based in Lincoln and here she shares with us a letter to her beautiful baby girl.
A Letter to my Baby Girl
You arrived on a hot July day, 4 days late, but you made up for that in your speedy exit. Less than 2 hours after my waters went and 6 minutes of pushing this beautiful, red haired baby girl appeared. After months of waiting, you were here and we were all besotted.
Having your 3-year-old big brother at home meant that life continued instantly. Later that same day I was outside playing in the sandpit. Maybe that’s why it was a week later that it finally dawned on me that I had, had a baby. The familiar feelings of elation, anticipation, anxiety, shock and fear engulfed me as I sat sobbing in your Daddy’s arms. In complete disbelief that we now had our beautiful baby girl.
On reflection the signs were there, but admitting that I couldn’t cope was the hardest part. Depression, anxiety or post natal depression were topics that were never spoken about. As the weeks went on and sleep deprivation took hold so did my low mood. Even now, 3 years on (and another baby) I still struggle to say the word ‘depressed’.
Don’t think for a moment that I didn’t absolutely adore you, I did. It was never about having a baby but about dealing with the rest of life 200 hundred miles away from family and friends. I felt completely over-whelmed by everything, every element of my day, no matter how small. But I couldn’t face the reality of what it meant, that the way I was feeling was not how it was supposed to be.
It took a year to finally take that step into the GP surgery and admit I was struggling. A year of epic highs and lows, anxiety, panic attacks, anger and emotional breakdowns. We were still on our breastfeeding journey so I didn’t want to take medication. I had friends who relied heavily on theirs even years later. I was referred for cognitive behavioural therapy. At first, I was apprehensive and skeptical but by my third session things were starting to change. I started to feel like I was gaining some control over life and how I felt. To come to terms with the fact I can’t do it all and the way people perceive me really doesn’t matter.
We’re two years on and I’m still very aware of the triggers, which I guess will always be there. We’ve welcomed your beautiful baby brother and I find myself on edge as soon as I dip, even slightly. Your Daddy is incredible and recognises the signs instantly, even before I do! I’m happy to talk about my journey to anyone and I had no idea how many of us are suffering with these feelings, emotions and state of mind.
So, baby girl when you read this, whether it’s out of curiosity or if you’re going to be welcoming your own baby, know that Daddy and I are here for you. We understand, and talking about it is key. Ask for help. It doesn’t make you any less of an amazing mummy, it just means that you’re human and we need each other. You’re doing an amazing job, be proud of yourself.
Check out Emma’s beautiful photography and website here.
Don’t forget to show her some love in the comments!