By Guest Blogger Roshnee from Pretty Tidy (@prettytidy_roshnee)
I always wanted to be a mum.
I was 'clucky' from a young age.
Little kids loved me and I loved them. Gowing up with a disabled sister meant I knew how to care. I knew to be patient and kind.
Throughout my 20's and early 30's I was pretty much on the career train.
I worked in client service for many well known Advertising agencies in Sydney and I loved it. I was pretty good at it too (so I was told). I ended up climbing up that corporate ladder, dealing with senior clients and earning a lot of money.
I met the love of my life, we bought our inner city terrace and got married.
Sounds like a baby would be perfect! Let's do this!
I knew it would be hard but still, I had visions of cradling a divine little being in my arms. Having her cosy into me. We would walk through the city with her cooing in her pram while I chatted to her. She would look into my eyes and smile. Happy days were ahead.
I was able to manage teams of people, deal with difficult situations and I spent my days putting out fires. When you combine that with my love of kids, caring for a teeny baby would be easy, right?
Not so much.
After a fairly traumatic postpartum hemorrhage which left me sans a litre of blood I wasn't feeling great. In fact, I couldn't walk up the stairs in our house without having to sit down to catch my breath.
And that little mite who was going to fall asleep in my arms? She screamed. All. The. Time. People would say "oh babies cry" but this was different.
The midwives would take her to the nursery so I could get some sleep. Two hours later they were back ...unable to settle her. My husband Tim would walk the halls of the maternity ward at 1am. She was only quiet when upright.
Eva had silent reflux (and common chucking up reflux too). This was NOT the way it was suppose to be. I had accomplished so much in life ... how could this little person bring me to my knees?
I used to be scared to be alone with her. She never wanted to cuddle, she only stopped crying if I walked at a fast pace with her in the baby carrier (remember the loss of blood .... even walking was hard).
Around 5pm every day I would feel my anxiety rising ... we had to survive another night of two hourly feeds and having to settle her for an hour. And the screaming.
I felt super isolated and lost. None of my close friends had babies.
I had never had 'no friends'. I couldn't attend mother's group because Eva would scream and I would have to walk around patting her the whole time. I did find an amazing online mum's group though, and for that I will be forever grateful.
But we got through it. And at no stage did I think of going back to 'ad-land'.
When I fell pregnant with Luca everyone assured me that lightning won't strike twice. That he will be my 'good' baby. Eva wasn't even two when he was due so I really hoped this was true.
Turns out 'everyone' was a big fat liar!
Luca didn't have SR but he refused to sleep, hated being breastfed and would not let me set him down for even a minute. For seven months he woke every 1-2 hours.
I hated myself. How did this happen? How was I such a failure?
I did everything I had learnt from when Eva and I went to sleep school. I knew all the 'tricks' .... but nothing worked.
I felt like running away. I had a toddler who was struggling to adapt and a newborn whose hobbies consisted of screaming in my face and waking up constantly.
I read books, I researched online for hours on end, I got sleep nurses and lactation consultants to come to our house, and we went to Tresillian.
I drove myself crazy trying to sort this situation out. Why did I end up with two unhappy babies??
I would feel utter jealously when I saw mums at cafes or pushing a pram without their baby screaming. Even now I get a tinge of that.
So what did I learn?
Motherhood is the ULTIMATE lesson in humility. You have no idea how it's going to turn out and however successful you might have been beforehand means zero!
And babies are not a problem to be solved. This was hard for me because I don't believe in just 'settling' ... I feel that if you are unhappy you should work out a plan to change that situation.
If I had my time again i would have wished that someone like me would have talked to me.
Someone who was honest and didn't sugarcoat it.
Someone who let me talk about how I felt.
Someone to tell me that regardless of your old life and your success, this is starting from scratch.
Now I have a two year old and an almost four year old. Life is pretty good. I rarely cry, I have started my own business and my family seems happy. I have a great circle of friends.
But gosh it was hard getting here. And if reading this helps even one lonely mum feel better, then I'm glad.