Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Guilt

For a long time I have been carrying around guilt, over many things. Silly things that i know are beyond my control, yet the guilt is still there.

I feel a huge amount of guilt that I got pregnant when friends didn't. I am all to aware that it wasn't an easy ride for the husband and I, and that we got VERY lucky one month when the odds were all stacked against us. Whilst our journey wasn't easy, friends of mine have it tougher.

Because of this guilt I never enjoyed pregnancy. It freaking hurt my body. For the first 15 weeks I was that sick that I have no idea if I had morning sickness or not, as I couldn't keep anything down. It wasn't until I had surgery to remove my band that I felt somewhat human. That surgery brought a whole new type of guilt to the table, as I put my poor little baby under so much stress by forcing her to have major surgery. I owe everything I have to my amazing surgeon and anethesisist. Around 22 weeks pregnant my pelvis gave out and I wished away my pregnancy just so I could walk 100m without being in crippling pain. The guilt of being able to experience pregnancy was not lost on me.

When Eliza arrived the guilt disappeared for a little while, whilst I was lost in the world of sleepless nights and constant feeding. It returned when she was around 3 months and I realised I wasn't really enjoying this gig. I hated being home all day with her, hated how much of an effort it was to go anywhere, and how alone I felt in the world. The guilt stopped me from telling anyone how I felt though, as I had everything I wanted. All I ever wanted was a baby, and here she was. I eventually broke down and got some help, but it wasn't really the help I needed. I needed my baby to start sleeping properly, not to be shipped off to daycare during the day. And as it was, the guilt still stopped me from complaining, so I was discharged from the mental health service as being "perfectly fine". It's easy to be fine for someone once a fortnight for an hour, and to pretend that everything is fine and dandy. It's harder to carry it out at 3am in the morning when nothing you do will calm your screaming child.

As time wore on, and we did our stint at sleep school things started to get better, but the guilt was still there. Right now the guilt trip inside my head is about returning to work full time. Along with having got pregnant, having not enjoyed pregnancy, wishing away the first 9 months of Eliza's life and never wanting to give her a sibling. And that doesn't even include the guilt that everyone else lays on me.

Whilst it might seem like I have everything together, don't assume that I do. I carry this huge ball of guilt in my core that stems from getting lucky one month and actually catching that damn egg. Who knows, maybe by the time I am 80 I will have moved on from the guilt?

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  1. April - please please take lots of big deep breaths and reassure yourself that you're PERFECTLY NORMAL. This mother guilt thing affects everyone. I was miserable at home with the Sprog, I had no friends in Darwin, I was SO DAMN HAPPY about going back to work. Plus it's really really REALLY hard to adjust to life with a child. The loss of your liberty. The fact you essentially will have this child accompanying you everywhere you go for the next 10 or so years. And having to have a set of eyes in the back of your head just to make sure they don't get into any troule… it's all very hard to adjust to. Just before I read this post I was thinking about how before I had Harrie, I found it so hard to travel with the SProg, whereas now we have two kids and it seems way easier. (My kids are three months apart - I had no trouble conceiving either of them, I just was so afraid of parenthood being just as, or even more unenjoyable, the second time around…) Guess what. Number two is so much easier. I'm already used to having kids accompany me everywhere. Eyes in the back of my head is second nature. And I've found a great group of mums around town so I get out and do something almost every morning. I enjoy Harrie so much more than I did the Sprog, and I feel a bit guilty about that, but i really just have to tell myself that there's no point feeling guilty or feeling bad about feeling guilty. It's in the past, and the best thing to do is just take a deep breath and try (and I know how hard it is!!) TRY to focus on the positives… xxx good luck. You're not alone.

  2. April, I felt the same way as you about most of my pregnancy. The managing to get pregnant bit and the feeling crap and not being able to walk and just wanting it all over were exactly how I felt too. Now I feel guilty that I wished it all away and didn't savour it. I also wished away the newborn phase when I wanted to not be stressed about my baby losing weight and feeding and all the other dramas. Now I wish I could have it all back! I don't think there is any way to win. You are doing a great job and inspire me many days.


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