In February I became a mother to two very beautiful babies, a girl and a boy. I spent 8 stressful nights in hospital after a difficult delivery. I battled and battled and battled with breast feeding (and lost. I managed 4 weeks before switching to bottle feeding). As parents, my husband and I are still a long way from getting enough sleep. And yet I still feel like the luckiest woman alive to be blessed with two perfect children.
The entire journey, as any new parent will tell you, is one of extreme highs and the lowest of lows. As someone who has battled depression in the past I’ve probably come closer than most to post-natal depression, though I’d strenuously deny it if a health professional were to put me on the spot of course.
The biggest surprise of all, however, is that ‘baby brain’ isn’t a myth. My brain doesn’t work like it used to. I can’t complete tasks and I get really cross with myself for getting halfway through something and moving onto the next thing too soon. (The playful amongst you might question why I haven’t chosen to finish this post at this precise moment – but I’m not sure my sense of humour is what it was).
It’s not just forgetfulness though, I’m just not the person I was. My brain doesn’t process tasks like it used to. I’m always thinking about the next thing. It’s weird – a new level of emotion has caused part of my brain to just stop working properly. That part where things are stored in my short term memory is over capacity and so something has to give. I’ve never had a brilliant memory, but now my the whole ability to process tasks is properly broken.
All of this, plus my desperation to stay in contact with the outside world has been almost impossible to manage. It’s been a very challenging journey to date and I can’t see it getting any easier. (word of warning: NEVER tell a parent of twins that “it gets easier”. It doesn’t. It gets to be a little more predictable, and more fun, but it’ll never be easier.) But my beautiful children are healthy and happy, which despite having a broken brain, ultimately means I’m winning. The low moments are becoming fewer, and the highs are getting higher, and somehow I find myself almost 5 months into parenthood and able to get myself and the two littlies dressed and fed everyday. We even leave the house sometimes.