You’ve brought a new life into the world - but all the normal things attached to that were taken away
When life doesn’t happen as expected, we can be left feeling a bit lost,and a bit ‘meh’. Lockdowns brought about many losses for all of us; loss of normal, loss of routine, loss of income… but what if your loss brought about a lot of conflicting feelings?
You’ve brought a new life into the world. It’s the most amazing feeling. There’s joy in your heart… but all the normal things attached to that were taken away. You brought your child into the world, perhaps alone, or your partner had to leave shortly after the birth.
You had none of what would be normal, no baby shower, no celebrations, no family around, no support groups,and the memory of your first year of motherhood left you feeling lonely and abandoned.
While things are slowly getting back to normal-ish, what about your feelings? Have you buried them? Does anyone really understand?
We wanted to acknowledge the series of losses you’ve been through and let you know your feelings are valid. It would be very easy to compare losses for the past two years, and tell yourself you’ve created a new life, not lost a loved one. However, all loss is allowed to be felt.
A survey by Parent-Infant Foundation showed 68 per cent of parents said their ability to cope with their pregnancy or baby was impacted by covid, with nearly nine in 10 reporting that they were more anxious as a result.
What can you do about it now?
1) Acknowledge your feelings
If you have started going to baby groups again, you can talk to others about their experiences. Avoid comparing and just listen, and hopefully they will offer a listening ear in return. If you haven’t, then talk to your partner or a friend who you trust about how the time affected you.
2) Create a memory box or photo album
Although the first year of your baby’s life might have been isolating at times, creating a memory box or photo album where you can share your thoughts can help you to process your feelings and remind you of shared happy moments.
3) Write a list of all the things you would like to do
As things become more normal, create a plan of what you wish to do going forward, including things you weren’t able to do, such as meeting family members.
We are here to help and listen, too. If you feel you would benefit from more professional support, please visit our ‘Find an Expert’ pages.
Karen Conway is a qualified and experienced Grief Recovery Specialist based near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. Helping people come to terms with the emotions surrounding loss, whether that is the loss of a loved one, the loss of a career, or any loss which has a significant impact on the individual and their family. You can view Karen's profile here.