3 Weeks Postpartum
It's been just over three weeks since Fern made her way into the world.
Presently, I'm sat in Caffe Nero (aka my office) looking across to a pair of well dressed, contented looking mothers breastfeeding their babies over a coffee and a chat. In contrast, I am sat here wearing what can in no circumstances be interpreted as a congruous fashion ensemble; drinking an utterly necessary super-strong coffee, having finally braved the world after spending the last 20 minutes crying in my car, mourning the apparent loss of my social life.
In reality, I don't think my social life was ever that fabulous but when you have spent your entire day indoors with the only adult interaction being with the tree surgeon who is sizing up your overgrown ash trees (not a euphemism) these things can play on your mind and build up.
I'm certain that these feelings are normal when you are in the middle of the sleep-deprived actuality that is having a newborn, though I'm wondering when I will get to be well dressed and contented. Given the fact that I don't think I have ever been well dressed – simple elegance just isn't something I can grasp – there may be some way to go on that one, but the truth is that I have never felt entirely at ease in my role as a mother. My guess is that few people have, and so I'm sure that these mothers aren't as together as they outwardly appear. In any case, comparison is unhelpful at best, though mostly unavoidable.
Many women go through the whole 'loss of self' thing when having a baby and, being the third time I have been here, I sort of knew what to expect. Even so, when you can't bring yourself to go to all the god awful mother and baby gatherings and you don't have your family on hand to palm the kids off on what do you do? It makes it that little bit harder.
Last time I turned to blogging, and I think this time will be the same. I'm rediscovering the catharsis of writing. Essentially letting my thoughts out and making some sense of them is a cheap form of therapy and an effective one whether someone is reading or not. I'm also enjoying the catharsis of documenting how much of a knobhead the dog is via Instagram stories, which helps. Still, it's not quite the same as a tequila-fueled night of carnage, is it?
The thing to remember, I suppose, is that nothing is permanent. The dog is re-trainable and the baby won't forever be attached to my breast. As such, it's important to appreciate the little milestones, as I know I'll be longing for her to be tiny again in no time.
I should probably also remember that the mother and baby groups likely aren't that god awful. If I actually stole myself and went along I might even enjoy the interaction, or maybe even meet someone else who is feeling a bit tequila deprived too. I'm working on that one – perhaps I'll go on a day I haven't started off like quite such a mad bitch.
What lessons have I learned in these three weeks? What can I take away from this?
That sleep deprivation makes for melodrama, and though I think that I hate all people, I should not spend the entire day at home under any circumstances. I've re-learned too that motherhood is fucking hard, so being a mad bitch from time to time is well and truly my hard earned right.
Also…she is totally worth it.
Let's see what the next three weeks bring.