Kate

Mother of six month old boy

We had been told that we would never conceive naturally after 10 years of trying, thus we faced 3 daunting years of AI and IVF.  At this time we decided (were convinced) that we were “ok” with just us, when we fell pregnant naturally.  It was comically surreal and much to our disbelief, after trying for 13 years!

I had a relatively easy pregnancy, although we were not game to believe it until we hit the four month mark.  At 30 weeks I developed a natural ‘relaxant’ of muscles (pelvic instability) which increasingly made mobility more difficult.  The doctor gave me a pleasant surprise (relief) by inducing me the following day after a weekly visit at 37 weeks.  The doctor strongly suggested a C-section, while I was determined to have our baby naturally – to a certain extent.  The delivery was considered traumatic – 13 hours of labour, labour then stalled , then proceeded to an epidural to find that the baby had turned and there was no way that he was coming out other than by C-section – not quite what we had planned or hoped for.

I felt extremely detached from the whole birth process and baby J who was delivered at the end of it – I believe that I did not actually bond with the baby from that point on – we were so emotionally, physically and mentally drained and unsure of everything we did, even at our age and combined life experience. 

From birth baby J woke every two hours both day and night.  My life was an endless cycle of feeding for an hour, expressing then trying to catch 1 hours sleep before baby J woke again.  The reality of the whole experience, the pregnancy, birth and 1st 6 months of baby J’s life, was thoroughly removed from the text book guides and friends stories. 

I was so debilitated by lack of sleep intermingled with feelings of detachment and resentment – I just became lost, unable to control situations, comparing myself and my parenting skills to those who could cope.  I lost confidence, I felt that I knew nothing and was unable to cope with a baby that cried CONTINUOUSLY and at an extremely LOUD pitch! I was diagnosed with post-natal depression and placed on medication when baby J was 2 ½ months old.  My PND and anxiety were exacerbated by his constant screaming and reduced me by fear to a “paralyzed” state.  I felt like a failure after 3 months and basically gave up all responsibility to my husband, and retreated to a dimly lit corner of our lounge room.  Everyone was giving us conflicting advice – I became confused, disabled and I felt very ALONE.

I went into the mother baby unit for help.  This helped me but the pediatricians and nursing staff could find no reasoning for baby J’s constant crying.  We went through ruling out various baby issues (colic, reflux, twisted internal organs, unable to process milk, and allergic reaction to different types of milk), but he still continued to cry.  We finally came to the conclusion that he was maybe just over stimulated (having difficulty absorbing and processing everything around him) and extremely exhausted, not feeding well combined with parents who were facing the same.  The result was to take baby J home as a “difficult” baby, try and aim to create a routine and endeavour to struggle on for the next year (to 18 months) until he could verbalise problems (with words not just by screaming at us).  I still felt nothing (due to medication) but I was functioning to a simple extent with my husband still picking up the slack, to the detriment of our love for baby J and our combined relationship. 

So at 6 months of age we decided to call Nicole Kingston and try the baby process.  No one can underestimate the significant transformation which Nicole brought to our family within only 1 -2 days of expert teaching, guidance and instruction, after 6 months of trial and error.  My husband and I (as a team) understood, responded and reacted to baby J in a totally different manner.  Nicole explained the relevance and the thought processes behind what we did and why we did it…..the baby’s response to you and your response to the baby is a learned behaviour.  My husband went from 2 hourly feeds to baby J sleeping form 7:30pm until 6:30am within only 2 nights of doing the process, without baby J’s dummy and with baby J self settling! To this day (12 months later), this has not changed, baby J still sleeps all night!

We still are not the perfect family…..but we are working on it…..we still keep in touch with Nicole when small problems arise (such as toddler concerns!).  Nicole has become what I consider a favoured source of unbiased information and support, through phone contact, visits, referral of babysitting services, other likeminded parents and playgroups that support the program, along with her “catch up” courses.  Nicole understands the problems we face as parents.  The dynamic program is tailored to each family’s life experiences, expectations, requirements and needs.  Nicole is able to alleviate your concerns that you are the only “solitary parents” out there (at varying ages and stages in life) who require guidance, support and information. We no longer have the opportunity of our children emerging from a community of carers or the care of extended family.

I am enjoying my life 220% more, with baby J in our lives…….my story does not have a fairytale answer – we still have our situations, moments and we live with our “L” plates up!

However……we could NOW never contemplate or imagine life without baby J.  Our life would not be as rich and our journey would not be as exciting, meaningful or fulfilled without him.

Kate, Michael and baby J

​© 2016 by Nicole Kingston Family Therapist.

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