I had what you may call a problematic pregnancy, an irritable uterus, two hospital admissions for pre term labour from 31 weeks, my daughter being footling breech and waters breaking at 38 weeks which resulted in an emergency C-section. You could say my worries and anxiety for her were heightened during this time? But at the end of the day every mother worries for the safety of her child and a lot of families find themselves in far worse situations than we were. In the end our little girl was born with no resulting issues and that’s all we can ever have asked for.
Before I fell pregnant I never thought this version of me would exist after becoming a mum, I have always been a worrier and I always knew I would worry for my child which is the only natural thing to do but never to the level of lying there at night imagining the awful things that could happen to her. I had visions of accidentally standing on her head whilst walking through the living room, as if I wouldn’t see her or she was just lying on the floor in the middle of the room with nothing around her. I refer to this as the mummy brain, you can’t control it, it takes over within a moment and flows through your veins like you have jumped into the ice cold sea.
If you actually google ‘mummy brain’ websites make lists and give scientific reasoning for this, the haze you have during the first 12 months post baby, you can be very forgetful at times, feeling like a ditz but there’s a strong emotional level to it that runs through not only your mind and body but your heart. Your stomach turns into knots over what is essentially a made up thought or dream but it feels so real. So real that you feel you’re crazy and need locking up or that there is something is wrong with you for being so silly and over dramatic. But you can’t help it.
The mummy brain even affects the logical mum who knows the answer, and would be perfectly able to tell a mummy friend in need of advice what they need to know or hear but then are unable to use this advice for herself or drives herself mad with worry in case she might be wrong. I actually have had to tell myself, don’t be silly your baby is not going to fall out of her pram whilst your walking alongside a tall cliff at the beach, because you would totally not be right the near the edge of a cliff with your baby not strapped in right? The knots in your stomach tell you otherwise? But… what if?! Fyi.. I have not been near a cliff edge with the pram! You might as well be crazy with the random and explosive thoughts and emotions, tears you have over this innocent tiny little human you grew inside you for 9 months and brought into this world.
It was not just in the early months postpartum that this was happening, where those silly hormones are up to no good again, for me this lasted 10 months and may well keep on going, maybe forever!
But It is important to know you’re not crazy, you’re not alone! To be honest this statement ‘you’re not alone’ is a rule of thumb for most mums and topics associated with our little bundles of joy, it took me a long time to learn this.
In fact I experienced a light bulb moment not long before writing this. My mum and friends have told me it’s all normal time and time again, and one day it finally hit and I understood. When I was wishing my baby girl could have a decent night’s sleep because she was exhausted from an irritating cough she had had for 2 months, my mum said, do you realise that you don’t need to sit there worrying about her having a good night’s sleep? She has a cough, that’s not even that bad, she’s healthy, she’s happy, she’s not desperately ill, she’s not in loads of pain, she loves nursery, she’s thriving, she’s full of beans! All the times she wishes she could have taken the pain away for me, one of the worst being when my flat was broken into in London and all she wanted to do jump her car and drive down the M5 at 10pm at night, to do nothing more than give me a cuddle, or the guilt when I rolled off the bed and my head landed on my potty.
That’s nearly 30+ years of the mummy brain, worrying over what is ultimately and completely out of our control! It was at that point it hit, my mum feels like I do about Isla, it had never dawned on me before. You see your mum as this super woman who has it all figured out, she’s a pro! Which she is but also really she’s just the same as us, trying to raise our children in the best way she can and keep them safe.
Its normal to worry as a mum and wish the pain away but the reality is you can’t, so don’t let it take over your life. Ultimately the mummy brain is the undying love you have for your child, nothing more nothing less.
A Guest Blog from Lisa King
Lisa lives in Brockworth with her fiancée, daughter Isla, and two Bengal cats Jasper and Rosie. She is a full time working mum.
Lisa has recently returned to work at Superdry Head Office, Cheltenham from maternity leave. She enjoys family days out, a glass of wine or three and keeping fit in the best way she can. You can follow Lisa on Instagram.