I remember day one of bringing her home.
I. was. terrified.
We had stayed in the hospital for 48 hours for recovery and it was so satisfying knowing that we had round the clock medical care for myself and this new little soul.
Luckily my husbands Mother had been down visiting and so we had some great help available. Of course my crazy hormone dump wouldn’t allow anyone but me care for this baby, and I know that I did not fully accept the help we had, and for that I feel bad. On baby number two I am sure I will just say – here, take the baby!!
Being that this new tiny little human was no longer on the inside of my belly, it was terrifying to know that now I have to physically take care of her and meet every need because she is no longer attached. Add to the fact that with my recovery I could hardly take care of myself, this was daunting. Top that with the Post partum I was developing and had no idea that was what it was.
Once all of our family left and my husband went back to work, I remember literally staring at the door that first day alone and just bawling. I did not know how to take care of myself and another human. I did not know how to tackle this, even though I wanted this my entire life.
I had longed to be a mother, I had dreams of it and prayed for it. And here it was, staring me in the face and I felt totally incapable. I did not understand it. I loved her so much, more than I could ever have thought possible – yet I also felt so sad and different.
Every time a little bubble would move in my belly (because yes, a lot of air moves around after having a baby), I thought for sure that was her in there. But it wasn’t. She was right here, in my arms. It boggled my mind. I am sure that everyone around me could see that I had struggled and had post partum but probably did not want to point it out right away. Everything gave me total anxiety. When she would cry and cry I would cry and cry. I didn’t know what was wrong! Come to find out- BABIES CRY! Who knew??
I feel totally blessed because we have the most AMAZING community group from church and they blessed us with meals constantly for about 2 months, and several mommy friends would come over any time I called them freaking out which was a complete blessing. You know who you are, and I am eternally grateful for your patience and love toward me in that season of my life.
Post Partum Depression and Anxiety are hard. I was in total denial that I had any of it because let’s face it I did not want to have it.
I had days where I felt I could not function. Days in a row where I would not shower or take care of myself. Days where my husband probably wanted to walk out the door and escape to work because he didn’t want to be around me. Days where I just couldn’t seem to get a grip on the reality of life. Add severe lack of sleep and its a perfect storm to fall to pieces.
When Lily would finally sleep I could not because I was always so anxious. Everyone would tell me sleep when the baby sleeps, but what do you do when you cannot sleep and your mind races for hours?
My post partum got so bad, that I wanted my mom more than anything, and there was a 2 month period of time where I went and visited and stayed with my mom while we prepared to move into a new home in Texas. I had thankfully been able to do some much needed healing from there surrounded by most of our family. I am beyond grateful for my mother who has helped me in my dark moments and my father who walks Lily around in the stroller when I would cry to my mom. I am grateful for my In-laws who have given me some great tips on helping her sleep and things to help calm her down. I am blessed to have 3 moms, my birth mom and 2 mother-in-laws who have dealt with raising my husband (who I am told Lily is a clone of).
I am writing this not only to thank the family and friends who have helped so much in this season of our life, but to apologize to my husband for having to put up with my shenanigans. Post partum is something you hear about but never think it will happen to you. What I had to realize is that it is okay, and there is nothing wrong with me and I am a great mother, my hormones just got my brain confused for a little bit.
I remember something that one of my great mom friends told me, someone that I look up to so much and praise her parenting skills – she said that
You will go through so many seasons, and every day will be different, and one day one thing will work and the next day it will not work. But every season is the best season, and just enjoy what you are in.
I have to admit that I do not fully love that new born stage. It is scary and babies literally just eat, sleep and poop. Really. But it taught me more about my self than life ever has. At this moment I really am cherishing every single moment with this precious little soul. She is the most beautiful little human I have ever seen. She changes every single day and it is incredible to watch what God created. I cry knowing she is getting bigger and one day I won’t be able to hold on to her and squeeze her. So for now, I will hold her tight and not let go (until she wants a new activity which for her is about every 3 minutes)
As I have had time to do some healing and let things balance out, I have learned to allow myself grace. I am not always going to be perfect but I have to always make the best decisions for my daughter and go through every act with love and kindness. So I am currently enjoying this new season, where she has realized she wants everything in her mouth and to scream at the top of her lungs and scoot across the floor. I am grateful for the loving family that we have to share with her, and it has been a blessing to visit Ohio and let them experience her spunk.
are you struggling with post partum illnesses?