29 Jul 2007


Pookie has no mother instincts at all, here it only looks like

A lot of women get post-natal depressions. Today everybody knows it, but 30 years ago it was considered as an abnormal behaviour of a woman. I had this without knowing. I only understood years later. It was terrible at this time because on top of the depression you also feel guilty not to be a"normal" woman . I think this automatic mother instinct has been invented by men. Not all women want to be mothers or are good mothers.

I belonged to the mothers who didn't want to hold their baby imediately and wasn't even aware of that. Maybe it was due to the ceserian, but apparently that had nothing to do with it. I really was afraid of this little thing and I even found him ugly, with his bald head and blond hairs in the middle like a punk. But when I look at the first pictures now, I just think what a cute baby he was !

Of course I didn't want to breast feed and he got his bottle every 4 h. I didn't want to hold him either and feed him I pretended that my scarf hurt and watched the nurse doing it. Until the day a very intelligent nurse was on duty. She probably was very experienced and I was certainly not her first case.

She told me that she had no time to feed him and I had to do it. I refused. She put him back in his little bed and said I will be back later, I have a lot to do if you don't want to do it then he has to wait. Of course this happened while little baby cried with all his heart. That made me angry I didn't want that either, not a poor hungry baby so I told her to give him to me and show me how to feed a baby. She did. I looked down on this little thing supposed to be my son and only had one idea in my mind, get rid of him as soon as possible.

When he had finished his bottle, I rang the bell for the nurse to take him away. Nothing happened. I rang again and again without any success. Finally after a long time which seemed endless to me she finally arrived and smiled. I could have killed her for that. But suddenly I didn't want to give him to her. I wanted to keep him. This was the beginning and after three days I changed completely and became just the opposit. I wanted him for me alone and nobody should touch him, except Mr. Gattino of course.

In my room was another young woman who was the direct opposite to me. She wanted her baby all the time, which was allowed during the day but not during nights and that on purpose because they wanted young mothers to sleep and rest. So every evening it was the same drama, she cried more louder then her baby and didn't want to let him go. I couldn't understand that, I was happy to have some peace and that nobody cried around me.

When I came back from hospital, I locked myself in didn't support anybody but Mr. Gattino and refused any visit. I slammed the door on my mother, as she was step dancing around the craddle pushing ahs and ohs, and I did the same with my photo taking father. Each sentence started whith : "you should" ! They really got on my nerves. Mr. Gattino at least took his son in his arms, fed him, changed him and cuddled him. Which was quite unusual in 1973. My father of course critized this "effeminate" behaviour and told me that a "real" man wouldn't do that and that it is a job for women !

Today fortunately these young mothers can be helped.


Anonymous said...

Bonjour Gattina! On a un vent de folie aujourd'hui et je suis sans voiture jusqu'à vendredi! Cool! Ah! L'Eurostar! Profite en bien! La pluie va bien s'arrêter maintenant. Je viens de réaliser avec ton histoire que tout ce qui nous paraît tout à fait normal aujourd'hui, ne l'était pas il n'y a pas si longtemps que ça! On a fait quand même un bon et il faut continuer dans ce sens et surtout ne pas régresser! En tout cas tu as eu un mari charmant, intelligent et en avance sur son temps!Et même si aujourd'hui les jeunes papas participent il y en a encore qui font de la résistance!
Bonne journée Gattina! Je passerai voir Rosie ce soir!

Puss-in-Boots said...

Oh Gattina, I know just how you feel. In 1970, when I had my youngest daughter, I realise now I had post-natal depression. I couldn't understand why I cried all the time and found even the simplest task too much. I went to the doctor and was told to "get home and pull myself together". So I did. I had no option because my husband told me the same thing.

I'm so happy that Mr Gattino took over without any fuss and just got on with it. Yes, it was unusual, but full marks to him for ignoring what people thought. My husband didn't even cuddle our daughter. That was probably his problem though...he was a flawed individual, more so than the rest of us.

And when I go to Holland, I will do a detour to Belgium. I would love to meet you!

Merle said...

Hi Gattina ~~ A great post about your early experience with your son. It is all so new when we have our first
baby. They terrify us a bit.
Thanks for your comments - it is great to get help in the garden. Now
we are a bit older. Ther is a picture of the tallest hose in the world on my blog tonight. He is a Belgium Draft horse. Take care, my
friend, ove, Merle.

MaR said...

you knew from the beginning Mr Gattino was "a keeper"... so sad to hear you had to go through this, Gattina. But you had wonderful persons around you and your son was always loved and cared for.
I don't like those labels for genders, all what's expected from a person because she is a woman (or for him as a man).
Glad young mothers can be helped quicker nowadays...

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh, I so agree with you...I even have a sister that would NOT be 'mother material' ---even today as we both are either nearing 60 years or just above 60 in age, we both know she wouldn't have made a 'good mother'. Yes!--there are women who couldn't handle it all.

I've often wondered about the suicidal mothers these days who 'do away' with their own babes and then expire....is it that they're getting no help from others?

But....life goes on for us all!

I really appreciate your candor on this. It was very strong of you to say these things, and I definitely admire you for sharing. [Ya, my father was the same ---Bud always helped out with chores and baby rearing...while my dad would give him the 'odd look'.]

GREAT POST today Gattina!!

[and ya, I know some, but not enough of the Nag Hammadi --they had a program about the LIBRARY that contains 'lost Gnostic Scriptures' and how they were thought to be hidden from Christianity. Once again, this boggles my mind. All this makes one wonder----]

Melli said...

What a GREAT post Gattina! What EVER made you think to write about it? I was definitely the mother across the way from you! And they actually had the NERVE to ACCUSE me of having post-partum depression (which I knew completely was a lie!)....How could I be depressed when I loved this little being with ALL MY HEART! ??? But I did want Amanda IN MY ARMS every minute from the minute she was born! And that did not happen because she had a little problem and had to be in an incubator for the first several hours! I cried and cried and cried. And then when they finally brought her to me, I wanted to have "rooming in" which was NOT allowed back in those days! But they did let me keep her all day! At night I would cry... one nurse couldn't stand it and would bring her back to me! UNLIKE you though - I didn't get over it in 3 days! I didn't get over it until 18 years!!! When the army took her and would NOT give her back! How shameful! I cried... and cried!

Dorothy said...

I think we were considered "just hysterical" back then. I'm glad the young mother's today have understanding and help from the doctors.

Pamela said...

I know that everyone reacts different. I was more like your roommate.
However, I did get post-partom depression - and thought I was the worlds worst everything.

(I still am the worlds worst at many things, but don't worry about it so much)

Durward Discussion said...

I lucked out with both of my pregnancies with no depression, but I was also not much of a cuddler. It was a case of do what was necessary to keep the little lump alive until it got interesting. Somewhere around six months they became absolutely fascinating.