It feels like it’s been ages since I wrote a post. I guess when you take into account how little time I’ve been blogging, it kind of has been ages. I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster in my life lately, so many ups and downs. I’m not even going to try to sugarcoat it, there has been some real shit times. (What a shock, single motherhood, hard?! Who’d have thought it?)
I’ve had a lot to deal with in regards to my mental health, my depression has been very difficult to manage at times, and I’ve felt incredibly overwhelmed frequently. The thought of writing has felt like a chore, rather than something I wanted to do. Until tonight it felt like one more thing I had to do, and I couldn’t cope with the things I had to do already.
The last few days things are finally seeming to settle, I’m feeling balanced and grounded, and tonight I feel like writing. I thought a quick catch up post seemed fitting.
So much has happened. Pickle is rolling over on her own, from front to back (I can’t stop her either, the second she’s on her back she’s rolling. It brings a whole new challenge to dressing and changing nappies!), we’ve started the weaning process which is honestly so much fun. She’s started teething, but no teeth have appeared yet. She babbles her little head off to me, which is so cute and funny. Last week she moved into her ‘own’ bedroom (which is only my front room until I move to somewhere bigger).
I’m faced with a whole load of new things to think about, changes I need to make to the flat now she’s nearly mobile, and of course I need to move to a place with more than one bedroom in the near future (which is unfortunately not as easy as it sounds as a single Mum in an expensive city).
My hormones are still massively out of whack, and I possibly have something called ‘Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder’. Something I can talk about in detail at a different time. Putting it really simply I feel extra shit when I’m due on, the hormones trigger intense depression.
Regardless of it all I’ve kept plodding on because it’s what I do best. I’ve worked really hard on getting back into things that I know help me, like mindfulness practises, yoga, and healthy eating. The biggest thing that needed to change though? Our sleep.
My little one had a dummy in the night. I heard all sorts of great things about how much dummies help babies. I think they can be wonderfully helpful for parents when they work.
Unfortunately for a small minority, dummies really don’t work. Initially dummies did help, they’d settle her and help her sleep. Fairly quickly this shifted, they started to fall out of her mouth, and she would wake up distressed because she wanted it back.
For almost 2 months my nights have been awful. I’ve been woken every 20-30 minutes to pick a dummy back up, and put it into Pickle’s mouth… and it turns out that made me feel fucking awful both physically and mentally.
You may be thinking ‘why not just take it away then…?’. The thing is she had gotten so attached to it, that she would get super distressed without it, and that would end in a fully sleepless and difficult night. My already immensely sleep deprived, fragile, mental state could not cope with a whole night of upset baby and no sleep.
It took my mental health getting pretty seriously impacted by the lack of sleep, and me becoming crazy overwhelmed, to find the strength to finally do it. This past week we’ve gone dummyless(!) and it has been so worth it. I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful Mum being there for me to phone in the middle of the night for the first two nights, when I felt like I absolutely couldn’t do it. She totally stepped up and filled the role of a missing partner I would’ve fallen apart to at those points.
The first night (once we got past the upsets, and with upsets sandwiched in between) she slept for 3 hours and then 2. The next she slept for 3 and 3. We had a couple of nights with no sleep, then a couple more with little chunks, and now the past two nights she has slept for 9 hours. 9 hours with only a couple of little fidgety wake ups, where she didn’t need me to settle her back down.
Typically I’ve still struggled to sleep for fear of her waking up, and it takes me a while to settle after she’s down, but I can’t believe we’ve finally done it. Things are definitely seeming brighter now that I’ve had a little bit more sleep. I’m incredibly proud of Pickle for adjusting so quickly, she’s such a resilient little thing.
We are both doing so much better for getting some decent sleep. She’s way more calm and content, and I’m feeling able to manage life again. I feel like my insane rollercoaster ride may be slowly easing back towards the flat.
Fingers (and toes) crossed that things stay on track for us, and here’s to getting back into blogging. It feels so good to be excited about writing again.