Well hi there! Thanks for stopping by. If you’re into raw, real but sometimes fluffy and glittery blogs, you’ve come to the right place. From parenting, to mental illness, to crafting and yoga, stick around and get real with me!
I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog for a while. With my Facebook newsfeed constantly awash with news of pregnancies, births and adorable pictures of friends’ kids. I guess I’m at that age.
This post is based on absolutely NO scientific research, but rather personal experience, anecdotes from friends and is opinion based only. So don’t flog me if you disagree. Some of this may be blunt to some, while others (the people who this post is aimed at) will let out a sigh of relief at the realisation that “aaaaah, it’s NOT just me!”
First and foremost. Mothers to be. DON’T get sucked into the internet. DON’T! You will convince yourself that you are carrying an alien baby with 4 eyes and some kind of one in a billion deadly disease. You will drive yourself insane. Internet=BAD! Google=BAD! If you have a concern, speak to your gynae. He knows you, your history, and is trained further than a Wikipedia article.
You will be bombarded by others who believe they know all there is to know about pregnancy and all things baby. (This will continue even after your child is born, by the way). These people are A: trying to sound smarter than they are or, B: genuinely do have the best intentions, as annoying as they can be. You will be told numerous times what you can’t do; what you can’t eat, what position to sleep in (trust me, you couldn’t sleep on your belly even if you wanted to. Truth be told, when my mom had her pregnancy confirmed, the doctor gave her iron pills and sent her on her way. The rest was up to her to figure out. And I’m sure it’s pretty basic knowledge (and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t be breeding anyway) that doing drugs, drinking like a fish, doing extreme exercise and eating like crap, will probably harm your baby. I craved sushi-SALMON sushi when I was pregnant, and I had it. In copious amounts…*waits for outcries of disapproval*. As a result of the scare tactics, the internet information overload and the horror stories, the first thing I muttered when Jake was pulled out of my gruesomely butchered belly (just kidding, it’s not that bad), was “Is he ok? Is he normal.” And he was. He was perfect. 9 on the Apgar scale and five minutes later, he scored a ten. *shameless boasting*
Speaking of gruesomely butchered bellies, let’s get into the old Caesar vs Natural Birth debate. This is a touchy one. After planning a natural birth (with epidural, which is a WHOLE other debate-to which I answer, would you get your wisdoms pulled without anaesthetic? You see where I’m going..) for my entire pregnancy, I was booked in for a c-section for both safety and personal reasons. After 4 days of preparation and a complete mindset change, at 10:37 a.m on a wintery Monday morning, I found myself lying on an operating table, with no feeling below my waist, having my child rather violently tugged out of an incision in my belly. I had a bad reaction to the epidural, and was horribly ill and fuzzy headed, but was able to pull myself together for the 5 minutes I got to hold my baby, after which he and my husband were whisked away and I was stitched up for what felt like a lifetime. I was pretty much out of it for the next 18 hours and only held my baby alone, without the frenzy of visitors and nurses checking on my low blood pressure, at 5 am the next morning. And it was beautiful and natural and peaceful. We bonded immediately and I felt like a mom as soon as I held his tiny, squirmy body in my arms. It just felt natural.
My point is, all of those pro-natural, anti caesar advocates, need to stop with the whole “mother’s who have c-sections will not bond as easily with their babies.” bullsh*t! Firstly, I know made the best choice for myself and my son, my birth was just as beautiful as natural birth and if I had the choice, I’d most likely go the same route.
In the last 3 weeks I’ve had an ear infection, fallen and hit my head on the corner of a TV stand, fallen down the cement stairs to my flat and sprained my ankle and am currently fighting a sinus infection. People keep asking “why do you keep falling down?”. And I honestly don’t know-I mean I am a clutz but I’m surpassing clumsy heading toward dangerous territory. I could have broken my ankle, or seriously hurt my head (luckily it was just a small but deep cut, that’s faded pretty well.)
But it got me thinking….lately my mental well being has not been great. I’ve totally given up my strict morning and evening routines (meditation, yoga, lemon water, affirmations, journalling), I’m struggling with something I don’t really know how to handle-it’s a big part of my life and a secret I’m carrying that few people know about. Today a friend told me he was worried about my health. Not due to unhealthy behaviours, but due to the sheer stress I am under. Carrying a secret that is draining every ounce of me, trying to put on a brave face so my little boy doesn’t worry about me, trying to keep up with work (I just quit a client that killed me with unrealistic deadlines and not paying me on time), and, of course, my mom who is fighting the big C. I feel like life is currently a big blur and I’m just going along for the ride, on auto pilot really, and I know it’s affecting my physical health as well. My clumsiness I assume is due to the fact that my head is always somewhere else, I’m not thinking clearly, I’m either depressed, exhausted, anxious or all of the above. The 4 hours a day I have with my son are getting more difficult, with my body and mind screaming for a nap. I need help. I’ve seen doctors, I take the medication, but I am burnt out. I am finished. I need a week alone to pull myself together. But with my life consisting of people pulling me in all directions that’s too much to ask. This isn’t a happy post, I know. It’s just a warning to those who can feel burnout is coming. Don’t let it get this bad. Slow down. If you have a routine, you fight tooth and nail to keep it. Don’t take crap from toxic people, don’t be too soft like I am. At 33 I feel more like 66. I’m sore, I’m sick, and I’m tired. Slow down if you can and be selfish. Here’s hoping for better days ahead.
So the other night, I cried for 5 hours straight. I am not one of those people who gets worked up often (at least in terms of crying like a small, annoying child), but, when I do, I think I make up for all the crying I haven’t done, like a burst dam wall. Needless to say, two days later, I am still exhausted and feeling like crap. Crying like that sure as hell takes it out of you. When I get like that, I am not just agonizing over one thing, like most normal(ish) people. I cry for myself, for my family, for friends who have been hurt, for people I have hurt or have hurt me. I cry for every animal that is hurt, neglected, homeless, loveless. I cry for every person that is hurt, neglected, homeless, loveless. I remember reading up about this kind of sadness. It’s called ‘Weltschmerz’- a German word, meaning, in English “World Pain”. Coined by author Jean Paul,
Weltschmerz German [ˈvɛltʃmɛrts]
n: sadness or melancholy at the evils of the world; world-weariness.
Most times, my ‘Weltschmerz’ is triggered by something silly and selfish. Bad day at work, a fight with someone I care for, not looking after myself physically, remembering a traumatic event, or, just a straightforward chemical imbalance. That’s how it starts. Then the other stuff comes flooding in. All of the world’s injustices. The daily horror I encounter with regards to animal cruelty-things that most people would be better off turning a blind eye to. I think about things that don’t even really have much to do with me, and things that are in far off places. Starving kids, beaten wives, sacrificial slaughter, the fur industry. I could carry on, but these are things that are sometimes better left in the dark depths of the human mind. I found myself saying to a friend just the other day that, despite what good old Freud said, sometimes repression IS the better option.
With all this being said, as much as it hurts-and when I say hurt, I mean hurt to the point of physical manifestation-empathy is good. But you need to find a balance. I’ve always said I would take any amount of physical pain over emotional pain. Maybe that explains all of my tattoos. I remember walking into a tattoo parlour once, and there was a little sign on the wall that went something along the lines of “Physical pain has a clearly defined beginning and end, emotional pain is less clearly defined.” This is so painfully true. But, like I said, there is a balance in everything. I think I just need to hone on those skills.
Find a way to be empathetic, but not to the point where my empathy is rendering me so useless that I can’t make a difference to those situations that need my attention. At the same time, find a way to hold back and not let my emotions consume me, but to not become jaded, so that I don’t care anymore. This may benefit me in terms of my sanity, but I would rather die trying to save the world than feel nothing for it.