Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Newborns On My Newsfeed

My facebook newsfeed is jam-packed with pictures of a completely gorgeous newborn baby boy, his ecstatic parents and lots of adorable pictures of them as a brand new family of three. It is so lovely and I am over-the-moon for them and happy to hear that both their little one and his Mum are happy and healthy after the birth.

But it has set me off a little.

There has been a lot of hurt sitting very heavily on my chest the last few days and I feel so guilty that it's there. But it is always there...even three and half years after my youngest was born.

It shows it's face every time I encounter a birth announcement or a picture of a newborn and their happy parents and it's a sudden punch in the chest, shattering my ribs, forcing the air out of my lungs and crushing my heart in it's grip.

I hate it. I hate that it's there. I hate the subtle anger and jealousy tucked away within the overwhelming sadness. I feel awful feeling it, especially towards new parents. I am happy for them, of course I am, but try as I might I can't block out the hurt, and the guilt of that makes me feel dreadful.

There is still a lot of anger inside about the start our youngest was given and all of the things that were taken away from us. It surprises even me sometimes, just how much is still lurking.

We didn't get to do the lovely newborn bit with him. Instead of posing for pictures as a family, hearts almost bursting with happiness, we spent our first moments with our little boy fighting for his life, me unconscious and hemorrhaging and my Husband pacing the hallways of the ward filled with worry and fear for the both of us.

The first time I saw my little boy's face wasn't when he was gently passed to me by a Midwife, all wrapped in a blanket and then laid gently onto my chest. I was given a photograph, his face obscured with tubes and cables and, at first, unsure if he had won his first battle or not. I was lying in a recovery ward next to a lady with her newborn doing all of the things that I should have been doing with my baby.

The first time I held him wasn't when he was passed to me, barely minutes old. It was over one week later, in a busy NICU, wearing a plastic apron and protective gloves. The first thing I did when he was handed to me wasn't smile, as I should have done, but cry with fear and worry and hurt and anger at the start he had been given and everything he had to come.

Those first precious moments where not as they should have been. They were stolen from us.
They were muddied with terror and overwhelming sadness.

All I wanted to do was shout at someone. Make it somebody else's fault instead of accepting the guilt I was feeling inside for not being able to bring my baby into the world happy and healthy. For failing to do my job of protecting him and helping him to grow. My body failed me. My body failed him. And it is so sodding unfair. And no, I don't care if it sounds like I am throwing my toys out of the pram. It is bloody, ridiculously unfair.

Will this bit ever pass? Or is this something that's going to stick around with me for the rest of my days, knocking me back each and every time? Will it fade over time, become like PTSD has done, where things that should set me off have little to no effect and then something completely unexpected, knocks me clean off my feet?

Is this a natural reaction when you've have a baby almost 3 months too early? Or am I just a mean person?


  1. You're not a mean person. I have this thing where when I write about my sons birth or my daughters I always think of people who had a start like yours, or poor care or a horrid midwife and endless things and I feel guilty that my experience was a good one. Not for too long because it's useless.
    I can't say when you'll find acceptance for what happened, i think that maybe acceptance could be the right word? I'm not sure, of hate to upset you or anyone else because what do I know? I have never experienced what you have as a family.
    I hope it fades, I really do because what you have is a grief for what should've been but wasn't. That's how it reads (to me) is there any one who you know of that can help parents come to terms with premature birth? It is like a PTSD isn't it? That's how it sounds. I wish your son didn't have that start in life but I think he has shown amazing strength as a young child, he was born fighting and maybe that's who'll be in life. A fighter :-) xxx

    1. Thank you so much for your comment sweet. And please don't feel guilty for your positive experience!! All births are different, I just seem to have gotten the raw end of the deal :/
      You are spot on. I think acceptance is what I need to aim for. PTSD hasn't helped by keeping my stuck in the past a bit and I think you are right about the grief aspect. There's a lot of anger and hurt about the whole thing..I guess that just takes time to fade like any bad experience does.
      Thanks again for taking the time to comment, your words really help :) x

  2. I know I tweeted but I wanted to stop by and leave a comment too. I'm so sorry you didn't get the newborn start that everyone deserves, life can be so unfair and you have every right to feel exactly how you do. I'm sure I would too. It sounds a very traumatic new beginning and as with many of life's much unwanted twists, I so wish no one had to go through them! Sometimes the most painful experiences take years to lose their grip but I'm sure they will. As Hannah says, at least you can know that your boy is a little fighter! You can teach him this as he grows up and share with him the strength you used as a whole family, it may be a blessing for him later in life. Thanks for sharing xx

    1. Thank you so much lovely, for your tweets & comment. It means a lot to me and your words really help :)
      I think it's something that will just take time to get past, like any bad experience. And you are totally right about sharing it with him as he grows. He's still little so for now, when looking at baby pictures, we only tell him that he was born a bit too early and was poorly so had to stay in Hospital, the tubes & things helped to make him all better again x