The ‘baby blues’ is perhaps the most misleading name used by the NHS website in all of history. Seriously, I suffered big time with the baby blues/ I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus/can’t stop crying with Georgia. In fact, I pretty much cried for 7 weeks solid, until I finally came out of the brain fog and started to see the light, so I felt almost prepared for it when I had Neve. I was actually far more frightened of going through the ‘blues’ again than I was of going through labour! So when Neve arrived and I managed to get through the first couple of weeks feeling pretty damn happy I thought I’d got off unscathed.. we were going out every day, hell we even managed a family photoshoot at 5 days old- I thought I was winning at life! Everyone was asking how I was and I would give an honest reply of how good I was, how great a sleeper Neve was, how chilled out she was and… well… A few days later and I was left feeling a bit of a dick for speaking too soon, looking a lot like a zombie and crying a river! Yay!
Once the two week mark hit my previously great sleeper of a baby turned into a vampire. Day night confusion had officially arrived, as had the wonderful witching hourSSSS! The witching hour, where babies scream their head off for what feels like an eternity while you walk them round the room rocking them like a mad woman at a certain time EVERY DAY, usually hits in the early evening. Annoying but manageable right? At first Neve’s witching hour started off about 1am and lasted till around about 4am. Not so manageable, unless your nocturnal/can cope on very little sleep (I can’t) or have soundproof walls (we don’t). So started a vicious cycle of Neve screaming, Georgia screaming that Neve had woke her up, Danny screaming for us to put Neve in the shed (he was half joking) and me just plain screaming! We were one very tired household.. and that’s when the baby blues hit!
After our first night of the witching hourSSS I cried pretty much all morning. I desperately tried to avoid Georgia seeing it but a toddler is like a permanent shadow and hiding tears from your shadow is not easy, so when she asked what was the matter we told her I felt sick (future reference NOT the wisest idea I now have a toddler who tells me she feels sick all the time or asks me if I’m sick all of the time. I was far too exhausted to think of something more child appropriate). That morning the healthcare visitor arrived, asked how I was, I replied that I felt a little wobbly today (complete lie- I felt as tense as a turkey at Christmas time) and she asked if I was feeling a little blue… A little blue? Mrs healthcare visitor I feel like a full blown smurf.. but of course I replied that yes I was a little blue and she told me it will pass. The thing is pre baby blues you knows it will pass, knows everything’s just a phase, knows how quickly time goes, but current you is convinced you will never ever sleep again, your baby will cry forever more and your toddler will be mentally scarred for life because of the attention new baby demands ALL of the time!
My baby blues this time probably lasted 2 more weeks. By 6 weeks we all started getting a little more sleep, time is going far too quickly, Georgia has become pretty much immune to Neve’s crying and is definitely not mentally scarred. Neve has turned back into a fairly chilled baby, if you don’t count the hours of 6pm-9pm (the new witching hours, the sheds still tempting, one battle at a time…) We’ve almost got into something vaguely resembling a (dare I say it?) routine and we’ve found a new normal in life where I can give both girls the attention they need (often includes having to feed Neve in the toilet while Georgia’s doing a pop goes the weasel-as she likes to call it, or the longest shit in the world- as mummy likes to call it. Bon appetite Neve!)
After suffering the baby blues twice over I’ve come to realise there’s definitely nothing you can to do avoid them but there are things that make you feel worse:
1) unsolicited advice- not so bad when you have your second, but when you have your first literally everyone under the sun wants to advise you on how to bring up your baby , how you should feed them, whether they should have a dummy, where they should sleep. The baby blues make you doubt your own instincts and all the advice just leads to massive overthinking. Then of course you turn to google, which makes the problem even worse because you now have the wealth of Internet forums also giving you advice. Babies are tough, they don’t come with instruction manuals and it takes a good few weeks to decipher what each cry/scream means. Avoid judgey mums at all cost!
2) Feeling guilty- when I was in the blues with Georgia I felt horrifically guilty that I was feeling so low when I should be ecstatic with my new baby. When I was feeling blue with Neve I felt horrifically guilty that I couldn’t give both girls attention without sacrificing time with the other one. It passes. Ish, part of being a parent is feeling guilty! Avoid parents who rave about all the crafts they do with their children every single day, glitters banned in our house!
3) exhaustion- literally nothing you can do about this but accept that you will be tired forevermore and hold back from punching friends who don’t have babies that complain their tired!
Disclaimer: we never actually put our baby in the shed nor do we condone the putting of babies in sheds.