Motherhood, Pregnancy

Mourning my former pregnant self

This time last year my maternity leave had just begun; I’d said “au revoir” to my work colleagues, we moved out of Brighton and settled into a rather cold house in Lewes. I was pregnant. Very pregnant. And rather fed up of being pregnant. I was a rotund penguin, stuck in a house at the top of the hill, worried to waddle down the hill in case my waters broke or I couldn’t make it back up.

I may have been fed up. I may have been huge. I may have been uncomfortable. But Readers, I was happy. So happy! So excited! The anticipation was almost too much to bear.

I had no idea what lay before me; the pain of childbirth, the fear of the pain, the joy of picking Busby up off the bed and holding her in my arms, swiftly followed by the terror of her turning purple as she stopped breathing! The relief when we heard her cry for the first time, the awe and wonder I felt with her in my arms again; pink and perfect.

The nappy changes.

The sick.

The smells.

The first bath.

The breast feeding issues.

The hormones.

The hernia saga!

The constant worry.

The overwhelming love.

This year I feel lost. There is a distinct lack of excitement. There is no anticipation.

I’m exhausted from juggling the “day job”, the freelancing, the wedding planning and my beautiful baby.

I feel very distant from Busby; she’s angry with me because I’m so tired, so distracted and away for two long days a week. She’s frequently favouring Nick over me; I’m finding it very upsetting. As I write this she has woken up and refused to be comforted by me. I feel betrayed. I feel like the betrayer.

I’m so exhausted that I’ve begun to not care. I’ve lost my mojo. My sense of self. I don’t have time to be “Hannah” at the moment.

I don’t know what suits my new body shape; clothes shopping is such a chore. I can’t work it out.

I’ve lost my best female friend. I got boring. She’s gone.

Despite being a hormonal rollercoaster this time last year, I was overjoyed; a bag of nervous, terrified, unsuspecting energy. Ready to bring my baby into the world.

I miss the excitement. I miss the anticipation of the unknown. I miss being pregnant.
Hannah

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40 Comments

  1. Swazi

    28th November 2013 at 9:27 am

    Oh Hannah love I hear you
    I know how this feels and it’s a period of adjustment after something so completely overwhelming has been going on in your life. It does take time to find yourself again. I am not the same as I was before and it’s taken me time to realise that I won’t be the same shape, or have as much sleep ever again.
    Please be assured that your baby loves you very much, I was convinced my boy didn’t want me, but the mysterious Daddy instead. He is 3 now and when he falls over or is upset he always comes to me. He still says Daddy is his ‘best friend,’ but I don’t take it personally.
    You are still recovering from a massive life change so don’t be too hard on yourself.
    Oh and as for your ‘friend’ – wow that’s not very friendly is it ? xxx

    1. Hannah

      29th November 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you lovely. I’m finding this past month much harder than the first with a newborn!! xxx

  2. Disjointed Jottings

    28th November 2013 at 9:37 am

    I love reading your blog, although I had my baby 3.5 years ago (and am pregnant again) you frequently manage to put into words what I felt back then as a first time mum. My only words of comfort are that it does get a bit easier, your baby will get more understanding as this becomes routine and the juggling is sort of a “practice makes perfect” type situation (I am still battling the clothes war however, so I’m right with you there!)
    Hoping things start looking and feeling a bit brighter soon πŸ™‚ x

    1. Hannah

      29th November 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment xxx

  3. Belle du Brighton

    28th November 2013 at 10:14 am

    Hannah I know I am unable to speak from experience (i’m about 6 months away from probably feeling very similar to you do now) but my advice is to think of the future as much as possible, and that might help you to envision exactly what you want (ie not to work 2 days a week away from home) and maybe it’ll happen sooner than you think?
    You are most certainly not boring and your friend needs a thwack round the head, and as for clothes, every time I have met you I’ve thought you look stylish and gorgeous!
    Chin up my lovely xx

    1. Hannah

      29th November 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Oh bless you – thank you lovely. I just struggle to find anything that suits me at the moment – perhaps it’s just fashion at the moment? πŸ˜›

      Trying to envision the future, but finding it tough at the moment to see past Christmas… xxx

  4. Gracemakes

    28th November 2013 at 11:42 am

    Hi Hannah, I haven’t posted before but I’ve been reading your blog for a while. I had Elsie, my little girl, in May this year and so much of what you’ve written resonates with me. I have a body I don’t really recognise anymore. It is lumiper, wobblier and droopier than before. I have a wardrobe of clothes that are either too small or that I stretched with a pregnant belly. I miss feeling Elsie kicking inside me, knowing that my body was working hard to grow another human being. We spend so long in pregnancy focusing on the pregnancy itself and the delivery that I for one know I didn’t really think about what was going to happen once she was here. I think it’s going to take a while for me to feel happy in my own skin again, which makes me feel pretty sad to admit. Childbirth and motherhood is so overwhelming at times in ways that are both good and bad. Just know that you’re not alone in this struggle.

    1. Hannah

      29th November 2013 at 7:48 pm

      Thank you so so much for your lovely comment (and hi!) It’s completely overwhelming isn’t it? xxx

  5. Kate

    28th November 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Sorry to read that you’re feeling like this. Becoming a mummy is such a big transition, not to mention you’ve gone back to work and you’ve got lots on your mind with wedding planning. Try not to be too hard on yourself, I know its easier said than done xx

    1. Hannah

      29th November 2013 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks Kate. It’s really huge… No one prepares you for it! xx

  6. Mammasaurus

    28th November 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Oh I know how you feel, or I used to should I say. Having been pregnant 8 times now I have to say I often miss it. The months I was pregnant were the happiest of my life, as you say the anticipation and excitement.
    As for your friend, eventually she’ll have a baby and understand. I was the first of my friendship circle to have a baby and wasn’t totally dropped but felt very excluded and people who I thought were friends drifted away from me. But they hunted me back down when they had babies and apologised – now they understood. x

    1. Hannah

      29th November 2013 at 7:50 pm

      I bet you do miss being pregnant after 8 babies! Yes – same here, I’m the first in the group and it’s very lonely sometimes, but I have made some lovely new friends xx

  7. fritha strickland

    28th November 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I totally know what you mean about the anticipation and excitement, I sometimes feel a loss for knowing I will never feel the same way again. Even if we were to have another I would be too busy with Wilf and I would know what was in store! That’s so hard about your friend but like Annie said they will understand when they have one of your own! Becoming a mum is such a massive transition, we all have feeling like this (at least I do!) x

    1. Hannah

      29th November 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks Fritha – it’s very true re busyness, although I hope I’ll feel excited with the next one, even with a LO running around causing mayhem! xxx

  8. Pinkoddy

    28th November 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I am sorry to hear you are feeling like this. I think at this time of year everyone is feeling the strain, never mind with a young baby. I hope it all settles for you soon and you find yourself again.

  9. thereandbackagainamotherstale

    28th November 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Hey Hannah thanks for your honesty here, tonight Daddy was out and Joss didn’t want me when she woke up and asked for Daddy over and over and I felt pretty crap, its such a tough transition but you’re doing great, and for the record you always look good! x

    1. Hannah

      29th November 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Oh love – many hugs! Thank you lady xx

  10. Mummy Plum

    28th November 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I understand the exhaustion, the lack of mojo – don’t be too hard on yourself. Many mums with babies under a year old have days like these (me included). You are not alone!. On Busby rejecting you – I’m with EB every day at home, and I get frequently rejected every time Daddy appears on the scene. I know it’s hard, but don’t take it personally…this is about her building a strong bond with her Dad (which is fabulous) not rejecting you. Enjoy the down time.

    It is hard finding the energy to shop/ make an effort to find your new sense of style after having a baby – I remember that from Pip. I feel in a similar rut to you now since I’ve had EB, but it does come back I promise. Hugs x

    1. Hannah

      29th November 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you so much lovely lady. I’ve never thought of it as downtime before πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to take advantage of it xx

  11. 3yearsandhome

    29th November 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Oh Hannah, I’m sure it’s just a lull and some spark with ignite some excitement in you once again. I don’t think you ever beat the excitement and anticipation of being pregnant with your first child – it’s magical. But you’ll find something else to look forward to and I think it’s just the age for children to start discovering their dads. It was the same with CK when he reached one. You’ll get through it and something wonderful will sneak up on you.

  12. andthenthefunbegan

    29th November 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I went back to work three days a week when my first was 8 months old but he’d been such a fussy, colicky, hard work baby that it was a bit of a relief! He has always had a mixture of nursery, my mum and my husband on those days too so he never really got too attached to any one other person. But I know what you mean about feeling flat like there is nothing to look forward to. As everyone has said becoming a parent for the first time changes everything about your life so much (certainly in the beginning) that you can’t see the wood for the trees but I think, in my experience, life started seeming more enjoyable once my son turned two. I recently wrote a post on degrees of ‘normality’ in parenthood about this, and now I have a four year old and a 16 month old I’ve been able to write another post (just now!) about all the things I’m looking forward to both with and without the kids. Also, lots of my really close friends now are new friends who I’ve met through having children. Its hard to find the time or common ground sometimes with childfree friends but I’m starting to think that if a friendship is worth keeping for life it will be worth re-investing in when your child/children are a little more grown…(and if the friend is not interested in then its her loss I’d say!).

  13. Tanya Corbett

    29th November 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Hi- what an eloquent way to explain the way that I am sure loads of mums feel once the initial euphoria and rush of excitement has died down.
    I hope that you find something to perk you up again very soon. What can I suggest to make you feel a little less humdrum and a little more Han… A bloody good sleep and lots of understanding from friends and family. Also, maybe doing something just the two of you together (you and the baba I mean)

    1. Hannah

      1st December 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks Tanya – I would LOVE a bloody good sleep! We do a music class together every Friday which we love πŸ™‚ xx

  14. CARA GREENFIELD

    30th November 2013 at 1:05 am

    I so agree with all your points about missing pregnancy even though I had a very tough one :/ I miss the kicks & hugging my belly. The excitement brewing with each week past. All very magical. Exhaustion is such a bitch, just try & keep motivated. I feel the winter months always set in a lazy mode with me & always seem far more tired. Keep strong :):):) ps-I just recently lost a close friend after 3 yrs of putting myself & my boy at events, places and circumstances to suit her, never the other way. Then she says she wants her weekends for her & to meet just me for adult time not including my cherubs ,Gutted beyond belief but hey ho ay…xx

    1. Hannah

      1st December 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Oh gosh! She sounds AWFUL!! xx

  15. Jaime Oliver

    30th November 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Hannah, I so so know this feeling. Ollie thought i was mad when i tried to explain it to him when Joshua was about 15 months old and it to me i know it sounds dramatic but i felt a sense of grief πŸ™

  16. Emma Oliver

    30th November 2013 at 2:33 pm

    What strikes me Hannah from an overview of all your comments here, is that every other mum on the planet seems to know how you feel. Me included. It is too easy to lose a sense of self when you become a mum. Hang in kid, it does come back… eventually. In the meantime, take heart that you are not alone!

    1. Hannah

      1st December 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Yes it does – I have to admit I’m thankful that I’m not alone in feeling like this. This is why I love blogging and our community – you never feel alone xx

  17. Victoria Welton

    30th November 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I completely and utterly understand how you feel – I am desperate to be pregnant again. Thinking of you. Thank you for linking of PoCoLo x

  18. Danielle Askins

    2nd December 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Oh no πŸ™ sorry to hear you are feeling like this-if it’s any consolation Alex always favoured James so I know how it feels! Hope you find your mojo again lovely lady πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Hannah

      8th December 2013 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks Dani – I’m feeling pretty low at the moment xx

  19. Kat

    4th December 2013 at 10:17 am

    I just want to say thank you for this post – as a (relatively) new mama, it really resonated with me. Your description of ‘mourning’ your former pregnant self makes SO much sense to me.. I’ve been trying to find the words to explain these feelings to my OH recently and you captured it perfectly. Thank you. I hope you find your mojo again soon. Xx

    1. Hannah

      8th December 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment xxx

  20. Orli D

    5th December 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Both my boys are daddy-boys, and they often wants “D A D D Y will do it. Not you mummy”. I remember when my eldest just started talking and he refused to say mummy. It was all daddy for so long… It broke my heart. Don’t feel so alone and bad about it. I think children know, and if they see the guilt-trip is working they will keep it going. WHy? not really sure. But they will. It will be ok, she really does love you and you really are doing a great job. Hold on πŸ™‚

    1. Hannah

      8th December 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Thanks Orli – it’s blooming tough xx

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