Sunday, 3 August 2014

Every little thing, gonna be alright

I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy is flying. When I was pregnant with Max, it was the looooooongest 39 weeks and 4 days of my life. Life has been so hectic, all I've thought about, is those day to day things I dislike about being pregnant. I haven't had much time to think about what life is going to be like with a newborn baby again. But when I do stop and think, I realise I'm scared witless.

Newborns are freaky little weirdos who have strokes. It doesn't matter how many times I tell myself otherwise, because this is my reality. People can reassure me all they like, and I fleetingly believe them when they tell me everything will be fine. But whenever I look at baby clothes, all I see is tubes, wires and infusion pumps.

When I decided to take Max to the hospital on the day of the stroke, I had no idea how sick he truly was. I was a paranoid first time Mum, who only took her baby to hospital because he 'wasn't quite right'. When I put him in the car, he was just a little bit pale, a little bit grumpy and a little bit sleepy. It took me less than half an hour to get to the hospital, but by the time I got there, he was unconscious and barely breathing. Only moments later, he was in full blown respiratory arrest. It only took half an hour for him to deteriorate to the point of near death. It still terrifies me, how lucky we were that day.

These days, it's pretty easy to recognise when my 3 year old is sick, but newborns aren't quite so easy. On the morning of the stroke, Max had no temperature, he drank his entire bottle and despite being a little bit grouchy, we still got a few smiles from him. There were no obvious signs that his brain was slowly filling with blood. I've never thought it was 'mothers intuition' which saved his life, it was pure luck.

I've avoided buying things for the new baby and I've had the perfect reasons to do that. We've had no money and we're moving house. Two perfectly valid excuses to avoid looking for things which I never expected to bring so much pain. I've always maintained that the week Max spent in Intensive Care, was actually the easiest week of this entire journey. During that week, I felt nothing, I felt numb. Now, I'm discovering pain I never knew I felt. My family have bought things for the baby, which I've largely avoided even looking at because it physically hurts. I feel horrible because they must think I'm completely ungrateful. But, I'm grateful beyond words, for everything they're doing for me.

I feel weak and pathetic for feeling scared about baby #2. From a rational perspective, I know there are no good reasons to fear any of this will happen again. I feel guilty for being so afraid, when I have so much to be grateful for. Max is an awesome little man and if anything happens to this baby, I know she'll still be awesome too.

We missed out on so many 'normal' parenting moments with Max. We bypassed 'babies first sniffly nose' and went straight to 'babies first coma'. I yearn to experience normal parenting anxieties. I want to sit back a little and watch my baby girl reach her baby milestones without hours of therapy and angst. I'm scared of that being taken away from me again.

The psych nurse in me knows that avoidance fuels anxiety, so I feel ridiculous for not being able to look at a cot, a stroller and a car seat. Which is why I'm writing this post. I've learnt, pouring my thoughts into a blog post is the most cathartic thing I can do at times like this. I've tried things like counselling, but I wind up spending the entire session, mentally critiquing the counsellor and their strategies- "Do you really mean that? Or are you just trying to make me feel validated?". I don't want stupid irrational anxieties to stop me from enjoying my baby girl. I need to remember, if lightening does strike twice, then we will be ok. Life will give me what I need, not necessarily what I want.

Music and song lyrics are two things which I can always rely on, to make me happy. So it seems fitting that I end this post with some words from the great Bob Marley.

Every little thing, gunna be alright.


  1. I suffered PND with my first baby, and was absolutely petrified it would happen again with my second. I was so highly anxious throughout my pregnancy, to the point that when I went into labour I was almost crying for the fear of it (thank goodness I had a great midwife who was able to calm me down a bit). Even during the final push before bubs arrived, I thought 'fuck, here we go, no turning back, I hope it is alright'. I cannot appreciate what you have been through, but I can appreciate your fearfulness. Nothing anyone can say will allay your fears, but I look forward to reading your blog posts in the future, when it is alright! :)

  2. Hi Faith! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1 AT gmail DOT com :-) I greatly appreciate it!