So I've just seen the Three Day Nanny (Kathryn Mewes) being interviewed on the This Morning couch. I have to say, I'd only ever watched one of her programmes because it felt like we'd seen it all before with Jo Supernanny. And actually she seemed a bit prissy (which is probably a bit mean). But she was talking about her struggle with her own new parenthood and loss of control with a newborn. I was hooked!
How brave to go on National TV and tell the UK that actually, when it came to having her own baby, she struggled like buggery to hold it together! She confessed that she even had someone else train her baby to sleep (although this begged the question who and where can we get one?!) whilst she snivelled down the end of the garden! My respect for her has gone through the roof.
One of the first things she said to Eamonn and Ruth was that she felt she had failed little Holly. That's EXACTLY HOW I FELT!
She went on to explain that after a 26 hour labour and emergency forceps delivery (eerily similar to my own first labour experience) she only felt relief that Holly had arrived safe and well, handed her over to her partner and just existed in a daze for the next 3 days. She felt she didn't bond with her at all to begin with. Again that's exactly what happened to me. When I was finally wheeled from theatre to the high dependency ward, out of my mind on sleep deprivation, physical exhaustion, severe dehydration and druuuugz, I just handed Gus to Emlyn and cried and cried before begging for sleep. I wasn't interested in cuddling my beautiful boy. I was so overwhelmed. Even now, thinking about that breaks my heart. How could I not have wanted to clutch this darling thing to my breast and never let him go?! That's how you're supposed to feel, right?! A rush of euphoric love that lasts forever!
NOT feeling like that makes you feel like the worst, most despicable, confused human imaginable. And it stays with you for a very long time. I'd even go as far as to say if it weren't for the fact that my second child's birth WAS all the things I'd expected from the first, I wonder if a part of me would actually believe that birth could be ALL THE AMAZING FEELINGS! And there will always be secret sadness in my heart that my luscious boy's entry to the world was tainted by my inability to cope.
Kathryn going on telly to share the truth of her daughters birth is SO admirable. Because I know we aren't the only mums who felt like that. I think it's very common to mum's who are used to being in control in their everyday lives. I'm sure as a hell a control freak, I can't cope at all in disorder and chaos, although I am learning to through being a parent. Laid back, chilled, roll with the punches people are an enigma to me! And i think perhaps we should talk more openly about how common it is to NOT feel like a "brilliant, loving earth mum" immediately especially for those who do suffer traumatic birth experiences. It can be so lonely and alienating when you think you are the only one experiencing negative emotions about parenting.
Knowing that I wasn't alone, that it didn't make me a terrible, selfish person and actually that someone who has huge respect for her child rearing skillz experienced birth and baby blues in the exact same way is a huge comfort. I think 3 Day Nanny should get a flipping medal. And I'm now going to scour the interwebs for all her old episodes (and stalk her on Twitter obvs)!
Can anyone else relate to this? Did anyone else have that disassociated feeling post birth and terror of keeping the tiny bundle alive BY YOURSELF?!? Or are you one of those enigmas who let it all wash off you? Comments please! Love to hear your stories too!