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Babies, Parenting, Popular Stuff

The internet’s overwhelming support for a new mum

Carla McConnell by Carla McConnell
January 11th, 2018
post-natal-depression-hero

When I was pregnant the first time I spent hour after hour writing birth plans, scouring baby name books and making sure the nursery was completely colour coded. In my mind I was completely ready for this baby. I was a little bit scared about childbirth, with good bloody reason, but I hadn’t really thought a great deal about how I was going to handle actually having a baby day-in day-out. The reality was nothing like my picture perfect insta pic ideal.

After six months of not sleeping for more than 3 hours in a row, I was a complete mess. My body was completely broken, I couldn’t think straight and I was counting down the minutes till my next chance to lay down. One night after continually trying to settle my daughter without any luck, I closed the nursery door and screamed, cried and actually hit a wall a few times. Don’t get me wrong I loved this baby more than anything, but I was completely unprepared for how incredibly hard being a new mum was.

Recently a new mum posted on Mumsnet with the title ‘I hate my baby.’ Here is her heartbreaking post;

“He is safe with me I would never harm him. I don’t know what to do. He cries all day and all night he sleeps a total of around 4/24 hours all day the rest of it he is crying. He cries when I’m feeding him. He cries when I’m holding him. I’ve tried all the potions under the sun the doctors have given him for reflux etc but nothing helps. Health visitors don’t help, my family don’t help, nobody can help. I’ve tried keeping him close and I’ve tried getting him used to being put down. I’ve tried white noise. I’ve tried a jumperoo. I’ve tried swaddling. I’m always consistent with what I’m trying but nothing helps. I have two other children who he wakes all night long. One has to go to school exhausted every day. It’s been 5 months of torture, I honestly feel like climbing out of my window and jumping, if it wasn’t for my other children I probably would. Help me. I know other people have been through this. What can I do?”

Baby-Colic

After reading more than one depressing comment thread on social media recently I feared for the response this mum would get, but the support that immediately surrounded her renewed my faith in humanity. Hundreds of Mumsnet users answered the struggling mum’s call for help, with strategies to deal with reflux, and pushing the doctors to see her plight as this wasn’t just a case of ‘babies cry’.

They also offered the mum beautiful kind support and understanding. “I remember how soul destroying the endless nights of no sleep felt,” wrote one commenter.  “I really feel for you. But know this, you don’t hate your baby. You love him but you are being driven to distraction by him,” wrote another.”My last daughter was like that. I genuinely considered throwing her downstairs. I was exhausted and just so broken by the endless crying,” one mum empathised.

I love that instead of being attacked, as happens far too easily on the internet, that this woman was surrounded by love and support without judgement. Let’s hope it helped get her through.

Nadia Bartel talks to Monty On The Couch about the tough days of early motherhood when her son Aston suffered from silent reflux. Listen below and subscribe to our pod here.

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