From Great Highs to Deep Lows

I spent half an hour crying in the bathroom yesterday. Punky woke up from her nap and she would not stop crying. I have no idea what was wrong with her, but she didn't stop for over an hour. And then I lost it myself.

Thank God for the episodes of Peppa Pig I downloaded to the iPad. I plonked her on her lounge with a biscuit and told her to start watching, and then I went and sat on the toilet and cried my eyes out. It was everything and nothing all at once. And the more I cried and the more I thought about how I just wasn't coping the more upset I got. If I couldn't cope with the whinging of one toddler how was I going to cope with a whinging toddler and a crying newborn by myself? How could I feel such anger towards the child that I love that I just wished I could drop her at my Mum's and run away from her?

How could I be struggling so bad when there are people who have it much worse than I do, more than one child, children with illness, behavioural issues, how easy they must think I have it, how easy I do have it, and yet here I am, sitting in the bathroom crying my eyes out.

Friday was a great day. It was my birthday. It was also my first day of maternity leave. I dropped Punky at daycare and I went and had a long leisurely buffet breakfast with a friend of mine. Then I went shopping. I got my new bag and treated myself to a new pair of sunnies. My family came over in the evening and we went out for a really nice dinner. Dave gave me the sweetest card. It was such a good day and I felt on top of the world.

And then 1am came and Punky woke up. And wouldn't stop crying and whinging and sooking until almost 5am. I have no idea what was wrong with her. Food didn't help. Drinking didn't help. Nappy change, more covers, nurofen, none of it made a difference, she just wouldn't go back to sleep and just keep grizzling, the kind with no tears that just grates on your nerves. In the end I sent Dave back to bed with ear plugs, I tried one last time to get her to go to sleep and I ended up just getting in to bed and lying there, listening to her grizzle until she eventually fell back asleep. I think I managed about 3 hours of sleep myself.

So Saturday was a bit of an horrendous day, Punky was in a bad mood, I was in a bad mood. But my MIL bought someone over to measure up the bathroom to give us a quote for renovations and she looked after Punky for me for 20mins, long enough for me to talk to the bathroom guy and have something to eat. She changed her nappy and got her down for a nap. And then I went and had a nap. We both slept for almost 3 hours and when Punky woke up she was the happy, bubbly girl I am used to.

Sunday was a great day. We had our first meeting with J, who will be our Doula and help us through the labour and delivery of PJ#2. J is also my acupuncturist so I've known her for a couple of years and it was lovely to sit and chat about all things birth and my expectations for this one. Things I would like to do differently from Punky's, from different ways to cope with the pain, to the positions I'd like to try for giving birth. The meeting was so positive and I've come away feeling really excited and more relaxed about going through labour and delivery again. And Punky was an absolute angel, all day.

Yesterday Punky and I visited a friend and her daughter and new baby son. It was lovely to get some newborn cuddles, to introduce Punky to a baby, to watch the girls paying together and to just generally catch up. Seeing Punky be so sweet when it was time to say goodbye and offer to give everyone a kiss, she's such a sweet girl.

And then we went home. She napped. She woke up. She cried. I hid in the bathroom. I cried. The mood swings with this pregnancy have been so much greater. High highs and low, low lows. I don't think I'm suffering from pre-natal depression, but I have to watch myself. I can still pull myself together and find my way out of the black mood when it starts to set it. But I must admit, I worry about after PJ#2 is here. I worry that I might not cope and handle things as well as I did after Punky. That having two children will make it harder to identify when I'm on that spiral down and that it will be so much harder to pull myself up when I need too.

All I know is this... That I am trying so hard to make the most of and enjoy these last few weeks with Punky as my only child. I want to soak up her goodness, her sweetness, her cuteness. Give her as much time as I possibly can. Make sure she feels how much I really do love her, despite the fact that I may not be handling her or dealing with her as well I should be.

I know I need to give myself a break, that while I may not have it as tough as others, in my world, at the moment, things aren't perfect. I have, am struggling to cope. My patience is pretty much none existent. My mind is overwhelmed with everything that still needs to be done and its almost paralysing. The more I think about it the harder it is to get anything done. I don't know how to ask for help because I don't know how anyone can help, and I don't want to burden others with having to come to the house to do all the things that I can't because everyone else has so much going on too.

But I know I will get there in the end. That these feelings will pass. That I will figure out a way to get everything done, to make everything work, to cope with two children and to pull myself up. Because there is no other option, failing is not an option and I know, somewhere inside me, is the strength to figure all this shit out.

I just need to have a good cry and feel sorry for myself first.

Edited to add that I read this post by Kevin at the Illiterate Infant and its certainly helped to remind me of a few things and give me a bit of perspective. Thanks Kev, love your work! xxx
Linking up as always this Tuesday for IBOT with Essentially Jess
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Kylie Purtell said…
Oh my heart went out to you reading this. Soooooo much I can relate to. I was very much like that when I was pregnant with Tom. I cried a lot and I cried everyday for months after. My hormones were everywhere. I was always scared I had depression but I was told that if I had depression I would feel down even when things were up.

Punky probably senses the changes. She is going to be such a proud big sister.

Not long to go now. Chin up! Can't wait to see the beautiful pics of your new bubs, I'm waiting! hehe
Kylie Purtell said…
What a rollercoaster of emotions. The unknown can definitely be daunting, but you are a strong Mumma, and I have no doubt that you know yourself well enough to know when to ask for help, should the time come. X
Kylie Purtell said…
oh Kylez :( So sorry to read this - but sometimes all we need is a BIG CRY! And I have the feeling you are going to handle numero duo JUST fine. You are stronger than you know. xx
Kylie Purtell said…
I've read a couple of posts from Mums struggling to cope today - it's nice to know we're not alone isn't it?! Be kind to yourself and when crying's what's needed, go with it! You'll find your rhythm when bub #2 comes along, but feeling daunted is totally normal I think.
Kylie Purtell said…
Sending you BIG hugs, it may not be any comfort to you, but I still hide away and cry my eyes out. My boys are all teens now and yet I still get overwhelmed with the parenting thing. You are doing a fabulous job, don't ever second guess yourself, we all have days when we wish we could stay in bed and ignore the world.
You are an amazing mum to one and you will be an amazing mum to two.
Sending love and hugs your way, and happy birthday for last week xxx
Kylie Purtell said…
Well I had my second baby 4 months ago and remember feeling exactly like you with my toddler. You will cope and you will hopefully find that the hormones will settle once bub number 2 is out. Crying and getting it out of your system is the right thing to do and I have no doubt mums have felt exactly like you. Mothering and being pregnant is a tough gig. Thanks for the honesty in your post. It is so relatable.
Kylie Purtell said…
I remember feeling that way with you lot Kylie and would sometimes sit on the edge of my bed with the door locked and my fingers in my ears and cry with frustration with the five of you banging on the door calling out for me. It's tough. It's frustrating. It's demanding. But it's also the most satisfying, important, wonderful thing you'll ever do with your life. Your father once said to me (once in a while he came out with some words that made sense lol) 'at the end of each day don't look at all the things you didn't manage to achieve, just look at what you did achieve and feel good about it'. There's always tomorrow. And ask!!!! There is nothing in my life that I am doing that is more important than being there for my children in whatever way they need me. So ask. Cleaning, babysitting, washing, listening. Just ask. I just wish I had more time to be there more often. Love you lots
Kylie Purtell said…
Love, thoughts and everything else here Kylez. We've all been here.
I do hope your little Miss is feeling better soon but I always found they got slightly clingier as we got closer to our delivery date. I think they know. ;)
Hugs, love and strength. xxXOoo
Kylie Purtell said…
Go the peppa pig download, she is my friend. Everything is going to be OK and what Kelly said :)
Kylie Purtell said…
You may have it easier than some, but you certainly dont have it easy.... No mother dies, this parenting gig is tough! I felt the same way just before Tully was born ( tho I DID have prenatal depression and saw an counsellor ) and its all turned out much better than I was expecting. Don't worry, I have had plenty of shit house days, and at times I have left Flynn with a family member and had a half hr to myself just to escape, but for the most part its been pretty sweet. My fingers are crossed that it will be for you too xx
Kylie Purtell said…
I wish there was something I could do to help. :(
Kylie Purtell said…
There's nothing wrong with a good cry!
Some days can really be a struggle and I hope you get through okay over the next little while. Don't be afraid to ask for help - even if you think others are busy, if you are having trouble, you should ask.
Virtual hugs
Kylie Purtell said…
Your body is obviously overwhelmed and exhausted, Kylez and being pregnant for the second time while looking after a toddler - it's no surprise! Take it easy on yourself. I know it's hard but try to. The bathroom is a great escape. Mine is the bedroom. Do whatever it takes to get through it. And don't forget to breathe! xxx
Kylie Purtell said…
Oh hun - I remember this time well, and don't for a second feel that you don't deserve to ask for help or to take a break. Try to, if you can. This part is overwhelming and huge. I cried before both babies, torrents, wondering what on earth I was thinking. The body kinda wants you to flush it all out with tears, I think, so you can fill yourself full with all the love when you hold your new gorgeous girl in your arms and know it will be ok, because somehow it ends up that way, even with all the hard stuff on the way. xxxx
Kylie Purtell said…
Oh Kylez, you poor love! It is hard being a parent, I don't care what anyone thinks! And I know how you feel with the mood swings and how you feel like shit, but there are so many out there doing it tougher, then it makes you feel like an idiot for feeling like poo. Don't ever undermine your own shit. If you know what I mean. Everything in perspective.

I've been having a rough time too and I only have one child. I haven't even been able to look after Mala lately, let alone do my best with Ned. But the phase will pass. It has to.

My advice, if you want any, is always ask for help and take it from wherever it is offered. Fuck pride! There's no gold stars for appearing to be the perfect mum because there's no such thing. Punky will love you no matter what.

Love and hugs to you!


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