If you follow my social media accounts you will probably have noticed I’m having a bit of re-jig. This blog isn’t going anywhere but it will be more focused on mental health, NICU and baby loss (there is a new blog coming soon for all things routine too so keep your eyes peeled for that), three things that have changed my life in the past 6 years. To reflect that I have a new strap line for Mummy in Training; finding my new normal.
Have you ever noticed the little ‘HS’ in the cloud just for my little Heidi?
Anyway, I feel like this new strap line is more about me now. Anxiety, our Neonatal experience and of course baby loss are the things that have changed my normal. Anxiety left me feeling isolated, frightened and doubting my abilities to be a good Mum. NICU showed me I had more strength than I have ever imagined and opened my eyes to what some parents go through right at the beginning of their parenting story. And baby loss left my heart in two. I am no longer the woman I was before these three things happened to me. Don’t get me wrong though I’m not after a pity party. I’ve learnt to live life with these three things as part of me. We have learnt to live life as a family after some really terrible times. But the most important thing about this new normal is that we are still standing, I am still standing. Sometimes that stand is a bit wobbly and a couple of times I have completely fallen over but getting back up and facing the new normal has always been my goal. But it isn’t a case of waking up one morning and deciding that I’m okay with it all; it is a journey of emotions, new experiences and sometimes digging deep for the only little bit of strength that is left.
You may have read this so far and think how awful it sounds, I can’t argue with you, it does. But I can never wish that I hadn’t have gone through these things because what this new normal gave me is my children.
Let’s take my mental health for example. Anxiety became a huge part of my life after the birth of Little Man. Having him shook my world like I never thought it would, after all I had always dreamt of being a Mum. But I was left crumbled after a few months and unable to function. It’s manageable now but it will always be part of me and this new me I have found myself getting to know. But I simply can’t wish that it didn’t happen because what it did give me was determination, strength and an amazing relationship with my little boy. Me and him became a little team navigating through life together and I will always be grateful for that. Neonatal was one of the toughest experiences I have ever been through; gruelling hours sat by an incubator, no cuddles with my new baby and watching her struggle for breath many times a day left me exhausted but I am so grateful it exists. I am so grateful that I got to experience that with her, be there for her and have the absolute privilege of watching the tiniest little thing fight like an absolute pro. She showed me what it was like to be strong. And baby loss. Baby loss is probably one of the things that defines me the most now. There is a distinct pain that comes with losing your child and that never leaves you. I, of course wish she hadn’t had to leave us but what I am grateful for is her. I’m glad I got to carry her, meet her, hold her if only for a little while. I’m proud to be her Mummy and that will never change.
So my new normal is a tricky one but it is one I am learning to live with and find the positives in. If you are going through a big change right now that is changing your normal, don’t give up. You will find that light at the end of the tunnel one way or another and you will become proud of your new normal just like me.