It happened, I survived lockdown, I survived the second wave covid in Melbourne, I survived pregnancy and here I am, a sober mother of 3. I am currently 4.5 weeks postpartum, my doctor and I opted for an early induction due to my due date being during Christmas, so my baby is 4.5 weeks old, a little boy to compliment my two daughters.
This postpartum period has been unique, I am so much more vulnerable to the emotions of postpartum because I am not sedating myself with alcohol. This is the first pregnancy I went into as a recovering alcoholic, and therefore this is the first postpartum period I have experienced without relying on alcohol as a crutch.
The first few days were so incredibly amazing, I was on such a high, I had delivered my baby completely on my own, I didn’t rely on an epidural to survive labour, I did it all by myself. It was the hugest sense of achievement pushing my little man out all on my own, sure I used gas along the way, and a pethidine shot also gave me a boost, but I did it. there was nothing more incredible than experiencing the pain of my child exiting my body to take his first breaths on his own and letting my body take over and do what it was supposed to do.
The first day of being a mum to my son I was on such a high, it was the highest high I’ve ever been on in my life. I was so full of unconditional love for him that I stayed up all night just to stare at him, I did this for two nights in a row, in fact both my husband and I stared at him all day and night.
My experience this time was so different to previous experiences, where the first thing I asked when I arrived at the maternity ward was a glass of wine. I felt like I had been on famine for 9 months growing this tiny human, and now I had to make up for 9 months of sobriety. This time, my crutch was not there and in the very very early days, I didn’t think I needed it.
Now, 4 weeks into my postpartum journey, I feel like I am running on empty emotions. I’ve been taking anti-anxiety medication throughout my pregnancy, and I’m still taking it now, but I find myself sitting here, and for no reason at all, my heart just starts racing, I will sit still, but I feel so unsettled.
I’m so tired, so exhausted, but so uneasy. I feel lost, I can’t find the words to express how I’m feeling, empty, soulless, lost, uneasy, unsettled, exhausted, failing. At least with booze, it would take away these feelings and take over my existence with other feelings, I would be fun, I would be exciting, I would be entertaining and interesting, I would escape myself and my sometimes reality of being stuck in my own mind.