Happiness isn’t a prerequisite to birth.
After I’d given birth I felt like I’d been in a car accident. Dazed, traumatised, bloody and in pain, I was handed a tiny, beautiful girl. I was petrified at the thought that I had to care for her, I could barely sit up. I remember sobbing “ Get her away from me!” and handing her to my partner, just before I was sedated by the doctors.
Once home, I alternated between short bursts of bliss, a strung out feeling of hyper vigilance, and a bizarre sense of being under water. The feeding and settling ritual that took about an hour and half, left me only another hour or so to sleep before the whole cycle began again. Mostly I didn’t sleep though. I stared at the ceiling, watched TV or played mindless games on the iPad. I was completely sleep deprived. I was a wreck.
My partner offered to help in any way possible, but I remember constantly pushing him away and wanting to do it all myself. I could see he was confused and very worried about me. After about 10 days of little or no sleep, I began having horrible thoughts, mostly about harming myself or, and it breaks my heart, harming my daughter.
I confided in a friend who sensed something was terribly wrong after I burnt some toast and sobbed for two hours. She convinced me it wasn’t about the lunch, that maybe I was unwell and needed some help. So told her everything.
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