My gorgeous autumn baby was born a few months ago and since then I have been in love! Well, I was in love with her long before her birth actually, but now I get to hold her in my arms which is even better!
She is content, smiley and lively— an angel! She is healthy and has had no problems. My husband and I adore her and so do our families. I feel so lucky that I have the baby that I have always been dreaming of... she is even more amazing and wonderful than I could have wished.
If you have BPD and are wanting to be a parent then maybe you are curious how it has been for me? Although it started out so beautifully, my birth was not straightforward and ended in complications (for me) with a lengthy and uncomfortable hospital stay. To be honest, it was a traumatic birth and I may write about it elsewhere if or when I feel like it. It has been long and painful recovery with postnatal complications which has been mentally challenging.
My overriding emotions relating to my baby have been love, excitement, joy and pride (I'm a proud mum!). I have had some fleeting anxieties about my little girl, but I think they have been similar to those of other parents:
Is my baby the right temperature?
Is my baby feeding well?
Is my baby feeling happy?
Is my baby sleeping okay?
Is my baby healthy and putting on enough weight?
Am I doing bath time / dressing / nappy changing 'right'?
In a previous post, I described a psychiatrist who recommended that I take sertraline as a prevention for 'postnatal relapse' even though I was completely fine throughout pregnancy (I declined the mediation as it didn't seem necessary to me to take a medication 'just in case' of a possible outcome. In fact, the suggestion made me miserable). I am happy to say I have been managing life with my baby really well and I honestly believe she has had a fantastic start in life. It is normal for any parent to have moments of feeling overwhelmed or worried about their baby. If you have BPD and have doubts over your ability to be a 'good' parent, I hope reading about my positive experience brings you hope. I will write another post as soon as I can detailing the support I've had from perinatal mental health services since my baby has been born.
It has been heavenly (!) to be able to hold my baby in my arms, feed her, see her smile, watch her grow and begin to explore the world around her. Sleep deprivation is hard though, but as the weeks go by it gets easier as babies tend to start sleeping in longer chunks. It is also difficult to have time for yourself when a baby's needs are front and centre 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
I have been exclusively breastfeeding my baby too which has brought it's own share of discomforts, but I'm really happy I've been able to make it through the initial challenges as it does feel really special to be able to feed her from my own body. I know that rates of breastfeeding in the UK are amongst the lowest in the world and I can appreciate why. (I could write at length about everything I've learnt and thought about feeding my baby, but that's another story that I won't publish here!).
Being a mum means that I need to stand confident in my decisions and capabilities. There will always be a million and one different ways of parenting and any interaction about a baby will bring up differences in personal opinions about how things 'should' be done:
Have you done x yet?
Have you joined y group?
You should introduce z before its too late.
So long as my baby is safe and content, then I will do what works for me and my family!
I want to hold onto these precious moments before my baby is too big to hold in my arms. No matter how big she gets, she will always be held in me heart. She is so loved! Completely and utterly adored! I have been able to jot down things I want to remember in my journal so I can look back in years to come.
Anyway, I need to go now but I wanted to write something to let you know how I am doing with my new baby. Please stay hopeful and confident if you have the same dream of having a baby that I once had. I am also thinking of anyone going through difficulties getting pregnant or pregnancy loss.
— Rosie x
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