If there is anything I have learned in this, being a new mommy can be rough. I'd like to think right now we are in the golden stage of "baby", and I'm loving it. Her personality, quirks, desire to "fake" for attention or a funny face from mommy and daddy, and still her need for mommy's cuddles above everyone else is just about too much for my little heartstrings to take. But the last 9 and a half months have been a whirlwind in this life change.
Our first three months were exhausting, and if you have talked to me on this topic, you know how I feel about the first three months with a new baby! Looking back I can't help but think how it really wasn't too bad, listing the things we dealt with. But the emotional toll it was for me seems incredible. I hate to say I was "depressed", because that carries with it the stigma of post pardome depression and the stories that make national news. You know the ones I am talking about. It also gives a sense of defeat for me. I wanted to tackle this with everything I had, and come out on the other side shining. The one people talk about saying, "You'd never even know she just had a baby" or "I hope it's that easy for me". Instead, I found I had nothing left in the midst of it all, counting down days until I knew it was suppose to get "better". Let me clarify, it wasn't my sweet little baby, it was the sleep deprivation, the unavailable first pediatrician, the thrush that wasn't thrush, the unwillingness to nurse, issues with my body healing, the guilt of using a bottle, the incredible pain I constantly had in my chest: during nursing and between, the sleep deprivation, the formula debate, more guilt, the harder efforts to tackle the thrush that ended up not really existing, sleep deprivation, the bad mommy/bad wife guilt, I could probably go on, but I will save you the time.
When I think of having a second, I am not fazed by the months of wearing pregnancy. Bring on the hours of another drug free, bloody scream filled labor. But those first three months....
I guess I've had all of this inside me and just needed to get it out. I guess to process or "debreaf" if you will. It was really a big deal and took a lot from me. Not the type of taking that you can't get back, but the type that lets you see who you really are when your stripped down. Where do you find your strength, who is your core support, are you willing to ask for help from those constantly offering it, without feeling like a failure or an inconvenience? Are you willing to go out or talk to others without putting on that "I'm completely put together 24/7" mask. And then, putting aside the guilt you have with yourself. To stop beating yourself up because you don't have it all under control. That's hard for me.
Some say being a mom is the hardest thing you will ever do... I don't disagree, but I would revamp it a little. I think it comes in stages, because right now, my little girl is the sweetest, thing I could have in my day. Other then my amazing husband of course.
That feels good to get off my chest. Let's move on.
Tidbits of Us
- I am the wife of an amazing man, seeking hard after God's will for his family, and the mother of 3 beautiful little girls and a 4th baby lost in pregnancy, who all pull at my heartstrings continually. Life has been a whirlwind since our wedding in 2008, including seminary, adventures in camp ministry, missions in Kosovo, and countless moves and God's fingerprints are throughout it all. We are blessed and encouraged that He is equipping us continually for the ministry ahead and pray we are great stewards to all he has entrusted to us, in family, friends, ministry, finances, and of course, the gospel.