It’s not my actual birthday but in a way I think it is exactly how the title of this blog says “Happy Birthday Mummy”. It is exactly seven years since I became a mummy and seven years since me and my husband became parents for the first time. I often reflect on my time as a mummy and find it particularly poignant at this time of year as this is birthday week for both my children. Yes we had them within 2 years and a week apart. This despite the jokes of “only doing it once every two years” to fall pregnant at the same time of year! Having them close in age and birthdays at the same time of year has had its positives as well as its hindrances. Yay for the double party, over in one sitting, boo for the stress that it brings. I like to do things big and see nothing of organising a joint party for 40 children. Not unlike the one we are having this weekend. I vow every year that I’m not going to do it, and then find myself booking a hall in July!
That said it has taken me a while to not have my blips of postnatal depression and since I’ve recovered from my pnd I have had small blips of depression around this time of year. Particularly when, with my first daughter, it brings back memories of her induced birth and subsequent operation she had to mend a blockage in her small intestine at 36 hrs old. This is something that I haven’t even found the strength or the right words to blog about yet. But as you can imagine a very traumatic time for all of us as a new family.
Although I think about my journey through postnatal depression as having really started when my babies were 2 months old. I think with hindsight the signs began to creep in as the nights drew in and got darker earlier. It is understandable that when it came to my daughters first birthday that I was in the full throes of postnatal depression, having only acknowledged it by the time she was 4 months old. I was also having triggered memories of the traumatic experience we had. The fact that I spent most of the time wandering to neonatal and the maternity ward and not spending the time holding my baby girl. Or sitting by her bedside whilst she was wired up to machines and tubes for the first 6 days of her life. Seeing her smiling, laughing, crawling and walking and hitting all her milestones within the year I always saw as bitter sweet. I found it hard to relate to others who hadn’t experienced the worry we had been through whilst feeling guilty that I wouldn’t want to wish that experience on anyone.
Fast forward and I had my second daughter one week before my first daughters second birthday. Again feelings of guilt. I got to hold her without her being whisked away. I got to stay in the ward and have the official photographs which I didn’t get with my first. I got to change her first nappy. I got to establish breast feeding without it being sucked out of the nasal gastric tube to check how much she had taken. I got to go home and be there to receive the flowers, gifts and cards which arrived daily through our letterbox. All those things came with that bitter sweet guilt of not having that the first time around. My first daughter got to celebrate her second birthday with her new baby sister.
Fast forward again and this year they are celebrating their 5th and 7th birthdays! It seems cliche to say “where did that time go?” But seriously although it feels like a lifetime ago I really do feel that I am stepping forth blinking into the light.
I have overdone it again with the party planning this year but think that I always will do, despite me telling my friends to remind me of all the stress I out myself under with the organising. I see it as a celebration of heir birthdays as well as me becoming a mummy.
On that note I will raise a glass of bubbly and bask in the glow that I’m celebrating 7 years of parenting.
Right now I’m off to pack 40 party bags……