“Don’t be a baby.” These words come to mind all too easily when speaking to my three year old daughter or when I’m feeling the baby blues. I’m not proud of it, but occasionally she is throwing a tantrum and I’m tired and I forget to empathise with her. Don’t be a bloody baby is what I’m really thinking when I’m crying because I can’t meet my outrageously high motherhood expectations.
I thought that acting like a baby was a bad thing until I had my baby boy five weeks ago. The birth was going well, quick and manageable until the waters broke, meconium was spotted and his heart beat stopped. My blood pressure dropped and we were off for an emergency cesarean section. Ten minutes later he was born and immediately taken to resuscitation and intensive care.
Don’t be a baby was what I was thinking as I was cried my eyes out on the maternity ward; everyone else had their babies. Grow up and think positive is what I felt when I saw him 12 hours later tubed and wired in an incubator. You are the adult was my mantra when I tried not to sob when Teagan came to hospital to see me and her baby brother, but as the week progressed my thoughts changed.
At just one day old he was fighting to breathe. Day three his infection levels were dropping. Day four I held and fed him as he was moved to special care. Day five he had no tubes, wires, monitors or nebuliser. Day six we took him home. He had been a baby. Totally focused on fighting for his life, to get better. No whinging about how bad his lot in life was, no guilt or self pitty just getting on with it.
Now I’ve slipped a disc and can’t breastfeed him. I felt like a crap mum and was full of self pity until I realised that I’m going to have to be a baby. Forget trying to be supermum and crying about what i can’t do and just focus on my recovery. Occasionally we all just need to be a baby.