Diary Entries From Early Motherhood
Wednesday 4th July (12 weeks, 2 days)
It seems like these days every time S wakes from a nap she has learned something new. She’s cooing and gurgling a lot more these days and reacts to my presence more, which makes life more rewarding for me. She was weighed the other day and is now on the 25th centile line for a full-term baby. I know her father would get a massive kick out of knowing this; that sort of thing always interests him, but I daren’t contact him to tell him. S is awake more during the day now, which is fun but also difficult. We play together, but I find it mentally exhausting to not have so much time to myself.
Monday 9th July (13 weeks)
Today S is 3 months old. I can’t believe how quickly time has gone by. I’ve been a mother for three whole months. On the whole, I do feel like I’ve come a long way since S’s father left, but I still feel like I’ve failed her somehow. This is not at all what I imagined when I was pregnant. I’m not sure how I ever thought things would work, but this situation never crossed my mind. I am tempted on a daily basis to ignore all advice and common sense and take S to see her father. I know that would be a bad move; I know the people who have advised me are right. I know it’s best to do this now, before S is even aware of what is going on, so that she never has to know what it is I need to keep her away from, before she can grow attached to someone who would no doubt be all sweetness and light and dote on his perfect little girl until the next one came along or his head was otherwise turned. I know I have to stay away and be strong, but it’s difficult. I know the things that are being said about me by certain factions who know only one side of the story, and it bothers me more than it should. I feel like I want to get up and shout at them, tell them my side of it, ask them what they would have me do to keep my daughter safe other than keep her away. Perhaps they have less regard for the way their own children are raised; I know from some of the things I have seen this may well be true, but I find it hard to believe they can condone his behaviour in any way. I don’t understand how anyone can.
Thursday 17th July (14 weeks, 3 days)
We went to the health visitor again last week for S’s 3-month check up and it ended up being quite a boost to my confidence. She was impressed with how S can hold her head up, and how much eye contact she makes with me when she’s in the sling. S was in a good mood and smiled and cooed to the health visitor, which made me giddy with a pride I’ve never experienced before. I feel like I might actually be good at this motherhood lark, despite snide comments by my mother or unkind words from S’s father. He has been in contact again, and I sent him a picture of her. I have asked him to go to counselling, even gave him a website and a phone number. So far he has done nothing though, and I can’t put S at risk by letting him see her until he takes steps to sort himself out. She seems to be doing pretty well without his input though!