Is there something wrong with me? This was the constant question I would ask myself during the early days, months of my 3rd baby. I couldn't stand the thought of being intimate with my partner and certainly wasn't interested in snuggles, kisses or anything intimate for that matter. I was all touched out!
It didn't make sense to me at first as I had mixed feelings. I would be really looking forward to him coming home from work to get some adult conversation, to actually talk to someone other then baby goo ga, but at the same time I was craving silence or space for myself. I would crave the conversation, not wanting any cuddles or touch, just a conversation. When he would reach out to cuddle me I would feel myself recoiling, not wanting his affection. I would feel so bad that I felt that towards him. The man I loved so much, the man that has given me this beautiful child. I was worried I was falling out of love with him.
I felt confused, exhausted and stressed. I was caring for a newborn baby that was born with a cleft palette. Breastmilk pump fed baby who had to be fed every 2 hours to make sure she was meeting the weight milestones each day- which led into weeks! I was pumping milk to bottle feed her, whilst fighting off lumpy breasts, trying to avoid the dreaded mastitis!
It was Groundhog Day! There was no space for anything, let alone free time for me to read a book or have a pedicure. I just got on with it, met the needs of a baby that had very high ones!
I use to feel that my other children, my baby and my husband were needy or like a leech that was trying to get something from me. This "neediness" feeling was coming through my filter of overwhelm and my body trying to communicate to me.
I thought not wanting intimacy was all about not wanting to be touched, but it was actually my body sending me the message that I needed a break. Hence all the mixed thoughts and feeling I was getting. I was reaching my limit and I needed connection and care for myself. My lack of care and connection to myself had exaggerated everyone else's needs as "Neediness"!!
Newborns are totally dependent on us at the best of times, but put one that has extra needs or a toddles that tantrums, doesn't sleep, work, or other children's needs into the mix without any care and connection for you...you have one mumma who is all touched out!
So what do you do when you feel your hair is standing on end by the thought of, 'If another human touches me I'm going to scream!?'
Here are some helpful tips on how to support yourself back to feeling loving connections again.
Most importantly remember to be kind to yourself, know you're not alone and that it's "normal" to feel all touched out. It's time for you to take care of yourself like you take care of your babies and family. Create the space for you and accept help, you're worth it!
Take Care Mumma's🌸
Postpartum Depression and depletion are very real conditions, so if symptoms persist please seek further help - PANDA