156 days ago, life as I knew it changed forever.
(That's 22 weeks, or 5 months, if you prefer)
Motherhood is nothing like I imagined it. Sure, we knew we'd face difficulties due to his heart, but we hadn't bargained on having a preemie with yet more birth defects.
I imagined maternity leave would include many hospital appointments, trips to the doctor and health visitor, and play dates with friends who have babies and making new friends at baby groups. The hospitals and doctors feature for sure, but other than that we are basically stuck in the house.
I'm lonely. I adore my son, but being solely responsible for his complex needs for 12 hours a day is exhausting. Right now I'm so sad that I'm 100 miles away from my mum and my best friends. I'm sure most new mums feel overwhelmed at some point, but for most it gets better with time, not worse. My 5-month-old has to feed every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day because he can't tolerate higher volumes of milk that would allow him to go longer between feeds, and he has to be kept upright for an hour after a feed due to severe reflux. This means we are pretty much enslaved to his feed schedule, and the window of opportunity where we are "safe" in between feeds is as little as an hour - and he's usually sleeping by then. And, of course, he's developed a severe dislike of the downstairs crib so his daytime naps are on me.
There's no time to drink, to eat, to clean, to pee... The laundry pile is never ending; he creates so much with his reflux that there's never time to get our own clothes washed. I'm not a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination but the sight of this chaotic house is driving me crazy. There just isn't time to remedy it.
That said, I love being mummy to my handsome baby boy. Sure, I wish he was healthy and that things were a little easier, but he really is a joy (most of the time!) I can forgive absolutely anything for that smile.