Last night I was crowing to Mr Moi about how my bout of the baby blues was nothing more than a few tears on leaving the hospital and being a bit emotional every now and then.
“Rubbish,” he said. “You have terrible cases of baby blues, but for you it’s not sadness, it’s anxiety.”
I pooh poohed him, but it got my brain ticking and now I realise how right he is.
Motherhood the first time around made me a bundle of nerves. The number of calls I made to the poisons hotline or 13 HEALTH in Queensland and HealthDirect outside of Queensland was phenomenal. When we went to Ukraine, I took the Sproglette to every English speaking paediatrician in Kyiv, and even one non-English speaking paed. Everytime there was something that worried me, I ignored anything people around me were saying about my baby being OK, desperate to have the opinion of a health professional. Albeit at times, an anonymous one over the phone.
Prior to having children, the only thing I worried about was flying on Eastern European airlines, and getting killed by a Ukrainian driver. Since having children, I worry about everything from freak accidents, to carcinogens, to germs, to bad foods, to attitudes, to travel, to the Sproglette not sleeping, to me being a bad parent… You get the picture.
Going back to work did wonders for my head space in this respect, which is why I have always advocated that my choice was right for me and our family. I’m not sure what Mr Moi thinks, but I’m pretty sure that I was a nightmare to live with for a good 10 – 12 months after the Sproglette came along. Not that I have a recollection of it, but I know I must have been – considering the thoughts that went through my head, there’s no way that I was maintaining a normal exterior.
Second time around, I think I have been a little more calm, except in instances where I don’t get enough sleep. I did drive myself to a panic attack on my last night in hospital with little Harrie, related to the fact I lost a lot of blood when Harrie was born. Fortunately the midwives were on hand and reassured me that everything was physically fine with me at that point, and I was likely having a panic attack.
Besides that, in the haze of sleep deprivation I’ve been convinced that Harrie or the Sproglette have fevers or are getting sick, but that’s about it. No calls to HealthDirect, no calls to the poisons line, and no visits to the GP or peadiatrician.
I’m a far more comfortable and confident parent – what second time parent isn’t? – and I think this has helped me keep the baby blues at bay.