Back to (new) normal

So, I want to thank you all for your kind wishes and thoughts – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it all. Well, it’s  A LOT. REALLY.

The thing is, now life is normal. And it feels quite surreal. My days now are spent doing normal Ma things, which at the moment surmounts to changing endless nappies and defending Michael from the loving, but mostly violent advances of his older brother. Let this be noted: trying to explain to a one and a half year old that Michael is just like Baby Alexander out of Peppa Pig and should be minded and petted does NOT WORK.

I am a bit wobbly to be honest. This sounds totally mental, but looking at my perfectly healthy and THRIVING baby has prompted nightly flashbacks of the day and weeks after Michael was born, and they have scared the bejaysus out of me. Add to that, every time I hear Crumlin hospital mentioned on the radio I bawl. I mean BAWL.

I was listening to Tubs this week when a woman wrote in about how her husband and two sons were being super mean to her six year old son who wants to dress up in girl’s clothes and wear makeup. All these people were calling in, talking about how it was a huge issue, and how they had to care for the psychological impact of the child being POSSIBLY gay, and then this woman called in and said “do you know what? I want to tell those parents to COP ON”.

Basically, her one year old daughter who has Down Syndrome had spent the last week in Crumlin getting four holes in her heart repaired and this woman had seen the hell that exists inside those walls. She was so eloquent, and so brilliant at explaining what it feels like to be in it, really in it, that of course I was like a lunatic, ugly crying up the road with the double buggy. Also, I thought she made an exceptional point that if the only ‘problem’ you think you have is that your child might be gay, then you should be feckin delighted with yourself.

I know that you’re probably thinking, ah jaysus, would she ever cop on to herself? She has a healthy, happy family, and all is right in her world. 

You’re right you know. And I am happy, and I’m not lying on the floor, crying silent tears as my kids run riot around me (well, the little fella anyway). I am doing a good job of getting through every day, but at night, when everyone is settled, and I am about to get my power sleep on, I think about what would have happened if it had all gone wrong.

I don’t feel like I am going to have a meltdown; I feel almost like I am downloading these feelings every night into a virtual book of emotions-never-to-be-revisted. Does that make sense? God, I sound a bit mental. The thing is, the real thing is, that I am changed as a result of this experience. My whole outlook on life as it was to be is altered, and I know that I have caught a glimpse of the other side, and how easy it is to get there. Knowing this, and absorbing it and accepting it has changed my life so completely, that the simple normality of raising a family has a far more serious connotation than it had before Michael’s birth.


About Ciara McDonnell

Ouch My Fanny Hurts was born in the late stages of my first pregnancy. I was sick and tired of everyone going on and ON about how brilliant it is to be pregnant, when actually, lots of it was quite crap really. And, my fanny hurt a lot. So, I decided to tell the truth about my experience while I was pregnant, and the journey I have been on since, as our little fella grew a little bigger, and we brought our second son into the world in what turned out to be fairly scary circumstances. It’s my story, and I am delighted to share it.
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8 Responses to Back to (new) normal

  1. Caitriona says:

    Be gentle on yourself. It’s kind of a delayed form of shock. It will get easier I promise.
    When F (now 10 months) was 5 weeks old we nearly lost him after he caught bronchiolitis. For weeks & months afterward the parts of the day when life was most quiet the emotions would sneak up on me. I guess when you’re a mum the day is so hectic you rarely have time to think so it takes a little longer than normal to process what happened.
    If you talk about it it’ll get easier.

  2. I think that when emotions are so strong and so hard to deal with, they creep out slowly. Maybe your mind’s way of only giving you as much to deal with at a time as you are able for. I’ve never been through anything like you’ve just been through, but I can imagine that in a similar situation, I’d probably do a lot of things on autopilot while in the midst of crisis, and then process it later. It sounds like that’s what you are doing now.

    It’s not the same thing at all, but my first wake-up to the reality of how serious this parenting business is was when I got pregnant for the first time. I miscarried a few days after I found out. And initially I was fine. But as time went by, every so often it would sneak up on me – first in a flood about two weeks after it happened. And then occasionally after that. Even now, three years later, every now and again I’ll hear a story from someone else that will bring me straight back to those emotions. So I write about them. And it helps. Just keep writing, and working through it. And try not to feel mental! Your reaction sounds totally normal to me!

  3. andmybaby says:

    Thank goodness you & your baby & family have come out the other side : )
    I’m sure it will be a slow process getting over it all. There’s nothing like the madness of having kids to look after to keep you going at full steam. Hopefully you can take some time to process all you went through for yourself in the midst of it all. X

  4. Maud says:

    What they all said. You have to process it, and it’s probably much better to go through the emotions and get them out there than stick them down inside you and never let them go. Part of getting over a traumatic birth is talking about it, rehashing it over and over, writing it out if that’s what you do – and you do, so well – and by heck was that one traumatic birth experience you had. Take care of yourself, as well as the littles.

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