The baby has arrived. Where do I start? I’ve never felt this way in my whole entire life. I can’t even make sense of this mix of emotions. When we were waiting for the baby to arrive I actually felt a strange sense of excitement. Like I was excited I was going into a new period of how we ‘co-parent’. That perhaps he wouldn’t be able to see the kids as much – i.e. he would quit turning up on my doorstep Mon-Wed of every week. The excitement was also very similar to the times I’ve been waiting to hear about a friend giving birth which gave me a false sense of security. I kind of thought, do you know what, I’m fine with this. When the baby arrives it’s actually going to be okay. I’m not going to be insanely jealous. I’m actually going to be fine. I won’t have to hide how I feel infront of the kids. I will be able to just carry on as I am now and sure I might feel sad sometimes but that’s just like now. How wrong could I be? How deluded was I about my own feelings?
He phones my daughter and I hear “ask mummy if I can send a photo”. How can you say no to such a request? I can’t make the kids feel guilty about how excited and delighted they are. But now I’m going to have to delete the photo as I can’t stop looking at it. And then I went into their house last night. I had come to pick up the kids who were meeting their wee brother for the first time. The door was wide open. I knocked and walked in. I could hear that distinct newborn cry. And I saw her and I felt nothing. No sadness, no jealousy; nothing. I actually felt a bit sorry for her. I remember that feeling of utter desperation when you bring your first born home and you actually have no idea what you’re doing; you’re in a state of complete bewilderment. I also wanted to say congratulations to the pair of them. And not even in a sarcastic fashion. And again I thought, I’m okay – things are going to be okay. So it’s like I’ve tripped myself up yet again because this morning when I dropped the kids off to him (‘why do you have to work during the summer mummy why can’t you be a teacher too?) I got back into the car and burst into tears and I actually said out loud ‘I can’t do this. I can’t handle this’. I cried in the car all the way to work. I cried sitting outside work and when I got into work my colleague asked if I was okay and I burst into tears again. I think it was the intimacy of the situation that got to me. When I dropped the kids to the door he was speaking in hushed tones. The midwife was in. My daughter looked concerned and he explained this was all normal. It was just a check and the baby wasn’t crying.
I don’t even know if I want another baby (or if I could have another baby) but I’ve made the decision that I actually need to be with somebody who has at least contemplated that having a baby with me is a possibility in the near future. So I made the decision to part ways with my partner of a year and a half. It wasn’t just this. It has been building for quite some time. So now I’m striding forward on my own into my 40’s which I’m actually feeling quite positive about. Counselling will start tomorrow and again I’m looking forward to meeting this new counsellor and trying to unpick my feelings and my emotions and working out if there are strategies that I can employ to enable me to handle everything that this life throws at me more efficiently.