Rory and I are finally home!
I could never have imagined that when Duncan, Rory and I left on Good Friday for a long weekend in Dunsborough that I would also journey to Bunbury and Perth and wouldn't be home for over a month. Yet, God in His loving wisdom knew that was what I needed.
I have mixed feelings about being home. It is a place associated with unhappy memories over the past few months. I just remember days of being unable to calm an unsettled baby, feeling like I just wanted to lie down and never wake up, that I was trapped in a nightmare. Then there was the anxiety. I felt like I was tiptoeing around, jumping at small noises and shaking randomly. I just wanted to shut myself away from the world where nobody would be looking at me and Rory with curious smiles on their faces, wondering if I was going to sink or swim as a parent.
Things have changed for the better since I've been away. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not the same person I was before. I'm armed with medication, new skills and confidence to fight my depression. Home seems eerily quiet after the hustle and bustle of the MBU. Whereas before the noise, people and crying babies would have elevated my stress levels, I miss the staff, patients and babies, the full days and the parks, shops and activity of Subiaco. I asked Duncan if we could move to Subi and he just laughed and asked me if I'd seen the price of houses there recently. I think Rory might be a city bubba. He loved the excitement and the noise and having lots of nurses to fuss over him. He is now quite the little charmer! Instead of being a hermit, I'm determined to get out more with him.
I'll be continuing therapy to help rid myself of unhelpful thinking styles. I realised that the reason I was shutting myself away from people was that I feared they were judging me for having an unsettled baby. I now realise that 'mind reading' is terribly unhelpful. There is no way I can presume to know what people are thinking.
Today Rory and I had our first day alone together while Duncan was at work. I enjoyed the time I spent with him. We went for a lovely long walk with the dogs. We had cuddles. I loved seeing him look at his reflection in a mirror and smile and giggle. Although I'm so very glad the newborn stage is over and I'm enjoying having a three-month-old, I can now see how stressed I was becoming because I worried too much about housework and resented Rory for keeping me from it. I still buzz around doing a few things while he sleeps (he still catnaps a lot unfortunately), but I've drastically lowered the high bar I'd set for myself. I might not have much to show for my day, but at least I will have some good memories.
The first time I brought Rory home from a hospital, things didn't go so well. I'm sure there will be still be days that won't. But I no longer wish the days away in despair. I have new hope and I'm thankful for a new chance to grow in my role as Rory's mum.