PTSD Triggered

Yesterday I got the opportunity to visit a new mum and her now two week old baby girl. They are both healthy and getting to know one another. Mum has plenty of milk, baby is sleeping as newborn babies do, in little spurts, and they are in contact consistently.

When I held the baby yesterday I had the strangest feelings. It wasn’t a feeling that I wanted to have another baby, in fact it was the exact opposite. I felt uncomfortable holding the baby and really tried to get into the warm loving mood with the newborn, but it didn’t really come. I marvelled at how new she was and how perfect her little features were and was able to almost objectively enjoy the situation, but deep down it wasn’t what I thought I would feel. As most of the mums in my mums group are “clucky” I excepted that I may feel like that too, but no.

The interesting thing is that I could feel the feelings of trauma, of hardship, that I associate with that stage of life. They felt incredibly real, and even moreso today for some reason. I came home and told my husband last night that I was officially over that stage of life and that we will not be having any other children. He was agreeable as he usually is, I think he was rather relieved, because it was also quite a traumatic event for him too. The son we do have is an incredible person and I am thankful every day that he is ours and that we get to grow and learn with him. I certainly don’t think we will be missing out by not having another child.

So all day, I’ve been really sensitive. I read a children’s book online earlier to vet it before reading it with my son and I started full on bawling. I mean sobbing and had to lay down, which was good timing since my son was down for a nap. It was a story about a mother who has a child and goes into the childs room at night, no matter how he’s been in the day, and rocks him and says she will always love him. It goes through the different stages of life and at the end, she needs him to come to her house, and she is too frail to pick him up and hold him, the next scene is him picking up his own daughter and singing the same song about loving her forever. I am crying now thinking about it. I feel this strong lump in my throat and my stomach feels upset and a headache is present. Whoa. What an emotional response I’m having.

So this experience of holding a newborn baby has acted as a trigger for me, bringing back the helpless and challenging feelings that I experienced after my son’s birth, when I was fully in a post traumatic stress disorder scenario. I really had thought I had moved past this, but apparently not. It’s eye opening, and I’d like to move on from this wholeheartedly, and acknowledge that I have these feelings.