23.10.08 01.50am

After 41 hours of a traumatic labour with a difficult delivery Ana Rose was born … The last time sleep had graced me was 3 days before and Ana arrived into the world bruised and scraped from the failed ventouse and the forceps. Flashbacks of a doctor kicking their white pumps off and putting her foot against the bed to extract her out of me ring back even to this day. Not one person had prepared me for this!

I was too scared to close my eyes through fear she would stop breathing, every time I tried to put her down she cried . The first night home she cried for over 3 hours and neither me or my now husband knew what to do. At one point he asked if we should take her back to the hospital! We were clueless, handed a bundle of crying red baby and sent on our way to cope by ourselves. Night four of no sleep made me see things, I kept staring at Ana and seeing her pull funny faces. I knew it was my tiredness at the time and not that I had brought a possessed baby home from the hospital but the thought did enter my head.

Most days she cried slept and fed repeat, and I held her, sleeping upright with her on my chest then after around a week we gave in and let her co-sleep. Dave would go to the shops for provisions on his way home from work and cook me a meal, id sit holding or feeding her unable to eat my meal and Dave would dutifully cut up the food so I could shovel pieces into my mouth every now and then.

Ana and I would watch box sets on the TV I spent a week watching all the pride and prejudices quite proudly and would report back each evening how many episodes I had watched. There were no baby classes to take her to or none that I knew of - not that I would of gone anyway.

When Ana was around 3 months old I felt a bit more able to go shopping and enjoyed the trip around Tesco perusing the baby aisle and would aim to get out of the house every other day. The supermarket became my best friend, Ana would fall asleep in the car seat on the way home, I would then sit in the car waiting for her to wake up as she slept lightly so attempting to bring the seat in the house always ended in her waking up. She rarely fell asleep in the pushchair so that was my routine. Some days I would just go for a drive waiting for her to fall asleep.

At four and a half months I returned to work, working almost full time hours and Ana went to my good friends who was a childminder so she was in very safe hands. There was little sleep at night as we were still co-sleeping and feeding in the night. Id leave for work at 730am and be home for 6pm life became tiresome, work was no longer enjoyable and at weekends all I wanted to do was sleep and pass Ana to her Dad.

That’s when I realised … I had started to feel different. I was different. I wasn’t happy one bit in fact I felt the complete opposite. I felt dread, sadness and an overbearing feeling of something literally hanging above my head. I didn’t want to socialise , I didn’t want to spend time with anyone. Spending time with Ana was tiring so I almost robotically parented her, handing her over to her Dad whenever I could. I was sad very sad and it scared me to death.

I decided after Anas first birthday to make more of an effort for my husband , Ana and myself. It was hard but I could no longer carry on in this way, it was difficult but small steps helped. I learnt about myself, ate healthier , walked more, got out more , made an effort to socialise more. Small steps, each day and I was able to self manage my sadness, enjoy my family more and the cloud started to lift…

For anyone reading this recognising those feelings feeling scared, reach out get in touch, talk. It does get easier you can feel yourself again. Bloom Baby Classes provided safe, relaxing and welcoming baby classes and know being a mum isn’t always so easy and we love getting to know our mums and their babies.

Vic x