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- 22 Mar 16

Dear You,

You, the mum who is crippled with guilt.
Every mum has guilt, there are so many articles to make you ‘accept’ and ‘move past’ your ‘mum guilt’. However, as a mother you will always feel guilty about something it is like it’s added into our biological make up of being a mother.
You, the one who nearly died during labour and has to bottle feed because your to weak to breast feed.
You, who’s baby is in NICU and no amount of breast feeding will fix what is wrong with him.
You, who will still be drawn into the bottle vs breast argument with midwives, health visitors, other mums, family members who if we are honest are not really appreciating your health or circumstance and will continue to say how hard a time they are having such a bad start to being a mother with their numerous breastfeeding problems.
You, who already feels guilty that your bottle feeding, and you who begins to resent the people who only have a few breast feeding problems compared to what your going through. You, who begins to feel guilty at resenting them, its not their fault but surely they should think themselves lucky? You, who feels so guilty that you want to swap with them more than anything to not be going through what you are.
You, who feels guilty that you get to sleep at night while your baby is in the special care unit being looked after by nurses. You, who feels guilty that maybe you are a bit lucky not to be having to wake up every three hours to look after them, as when your partner left after giving birth, before there was a problem you were crapping yourself at the thought of looking after this little human all through the night.
You, who now wishes you can take those feelings away and not have them in the special care unit, not attached to wires, tubes and machines while you sleep in the room on your own. You, who feels the most guilt you have ever felt for even thinking this.
You, who feels guilty that you’re getting frustrated at family and friends not understanding what you are telling them in terms of medical definitions and why do they all keep asking the same questions. How do they not understand? How do they think you can keep update them while you are sitting by your baby all day. Its because they care, and they don’t understand, they haven’t gone through it.
They can empahisise of course they can but unless you’ve experienced no one can really truly understand how you feel. Then you feel guilty for being a bitch. Its okay, it really is. They will understand in the long run, you can then explain how you felt at the time. If they love you they will not care you are pushing them away they will still be there for you. In time, you will see this.
You, who feels so much guilt  that you cant cope at home, that you’ve shut everyone out including your partner but they don’t see it like you do they? Their answer is to send a relative to help you. Do they not understand the shame of admitting you need help, or the embarrassment? You, who feels guilty that you want no one but you looking after your baby. You, whom feels like you are not even being a proper mother as your making your partner look after the baby all through the night even though they have been at work all day.
You, who feels guilt they don’t know how to make their baby drink enough milk without screaming and screaming and secretly wanting to chuck them out the window and wishing you never had them. You, who feels like a unworthy mother for thinking this after what their baby has gone through and what they will go through just to be ‘normal’.
You, who feels guilty when your child’s operation gets cancelled and you know the sheer amount of effort that you will have to go through when you have to back hundreds of miles the next week.
You, who feels guilty for going outside of the hospital whilst your child is recovering in from surgery. When you become part of the ‘hospital routine’ you need to leave and have a break somewhere, anywhere or it will consume you.
You, who is guilt ridden that you chose to stay down the road so you can get some rest rather than by the side of your child’s bedside when they are moved to the children’s ward. With the other kids, there families and the machines and nurses you wont sleep. What good are you to your child with no sleep? You need to look after yourself.
You, who is so tired they physically cannot be bothered to do anything but sit on the sofa an feel guilty that you’ve not taken the baby out to a playgroup or play date or even have an activity set up so they are ‘stimulated’. You, who feels guilty that you’ve sat the baby in front of the telly all day and sat on your phone and let them eat junk.
You, who feels guilty that they are not drinking from a sippy cup, not self soothing, not eating organic trout and veggies for tea did you do something wrong?
You, who feels guilty that your friends baby is reaching a milestone and you feel envious and jealous why isn’t your baby doing that?
You, who feels guilty you haven’t lost the baby weight and look like a tramp most days compared to the glamour mums at nursery.
You, who feels guilty that you don’t pay enough attention to your partner, that you spend days wondering why your not having sex and if its your fault, are you making enough effort? That they are completely put off from watching you give birth and going to hell and back with your child having this operation. That you think they perhaps think you may be unhinged. That they regret having a baby with you in the first place and resent you for suggesting having another.
You, that feels guilty that you ate m & m’s for tea and have been wearing pjs all day and done no housework and the house is a tip.
You, that counts the hours down until your partner comes home then feels guilty for picking an argument with them and going to bed half an hour after they got home.
You, who feels guilty that you’ve spent too much money on things for your baby but they deserve it right? You, who then feels guilty for spending money you don’t really have. You who wants them to have everything that you didn’t to know they are loved.
You, that feels guilty after the baby has been winging all day and snap, or shout and the hurt in their eyes crushes you and you feel like a compete failure as a mother.
You, that feels guilty after not having any patience and looks forward to bedtime.
You, that feels guilty for dropping them off with family just so you can have a break. You should be wanting to spend every minute with them after what they have gone through? I will let you into a secret, you need a break you need to spend some time on your own watching crap TV and eating cheese it will save you and will make you a better mother.
You, that feels guilty for going to work, so you buy a present for your baby in your lunch hour but they don’t really need any more things.
You, that feels guilty that all you go on about is your baby, their operation and motherhood to your family, friends and colleagues for the 100th time. This is so normal, this has been your life and you have gone through the most intense situation you possible can go through it will take a while for you to not try and turn the conversation to it. It will take you a while because this is your life and it wont stop any time soon.
You, who feels guilty when someone announces a birth or pregnancy as you know the familiar feelings of resentment and jealousy resurface. They will get to take their healthy baby home straight away right? Not have to send countless days in hospital or worry that your baby is not going to come back from surgery.
You, who still fells hard done by, and guilty for feeling this even though your baby has survived and come through something traumatic and they are okay.
Honestly, you, will feel guilty something’s will effect you more than others, something’s will play on your mind for a very long time. Does the guilt ever go away? No, I  wont lie or sugar coat it for you it will not help. But it will lessen I promise. There will always be something but after time has passed at least you can try and ‘move on’ and approach it in another way as your not in the situation that caused the guilt at the time.
Its normal and you are human. My advice? Ride it out, if you feel it, you feel it for a reason and in a few months you can acknowledge and process it, or when all else fails say f*** it and start feeling guilty that your child just fell out of their chair and hit their head whilst you were reading/ typing this.
*Sigh* see there is always something.
From a guilt ridden NICU mother who loves a good swear word- try it I find it helps.

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I am co creator of Elijah however the start to becoming a mum wasn't easy. Elijah was discovered to have a serious heart defect 12 hours post birth, admitted to Nicu for 9 days and had open heart surgery at 6m. He is a wonderful and articulate little boy. My aim is to be honest really HONEST about our journey and confess what it is really like to be a NICU mum x

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