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Sunday, July 25, 2004


Baby Weirdness

When I was a baby, I'm told that my Mom was once so stressed that she had to put me in my crib, close the door, and go take deep breaths. This advice was passed onto me when I was pregnant. But I never felt like that. Despite the fact that my daughter hardly slept. In fact, for the first few days I refused to sleep when she was sleeping at night. I had to watch her. In case she stopped breathing. So, for the first week of her life, I was not only in a very weird place in that I was absolutely INTOXICATED with love, I was also running purely on the adrenaline of my situation. It was scary. I'd been so changed in such a short period of time, that I didn't recognise myself. I couldn't separate my needs from hers.

I'd heard of Post-Natal Depression. This was Post-Natal ELATION. I never once felt anything but overwhelming love for this scrap of humanity that needed me. However. Things happened in the news that had an effect.

Sarah Payne went missing during my pregnancy, and her body was found shortly after I gave birth.
Some poor woman had an epileptic blackout, and microwaved her newborn, instead of the chicken she had been intending to cook. Tragically, no, it wasn't an urban myth.

Every time I thought of these things I'd cry. Then I got scared. I was so unfamiliar with the new person inside my head, the one that was now a mother, that I got worried. At the time, we were living on the third and fourth floors of a building, and I'd think "What if I throw the baby out of the window?". It could happen! I've read about it! She was so unbelievably precious that I covered every eventuality in my fears that I would fail to protect her.Including my becoming insane! I still don't understand it, but upon returning to work, I found it was fairly common!

One lady told me that when her first child was born, they had an open fire, and she used to worry that she'd go mad and throw the baby in. Another had her husband remove his ornamental knives from the wall for the same reason! It's just too weird. And I'll stress again, none of these thoughts were bourne out of intention to harm, but the complete opposite!

If anyone has any theories, or stories to share, they'll be very welcome.

Men, you can shake your heads and mutter "hormones..." ;-)


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