Thursday, July 16, 2009

Complete

So I have been thinking about this since Hazel was born, and I just feel the need to write it all out.

After Adler was born, I went through a serious case of baby blues. I don't want to go as far as saying it was postpardem depression because I was able to come out of it without meds or any help from a professional. And well, I just don't want to label it that. But I had a pretty hard time the first nine weeks, starting from the first night in the hospital. That first night, as the first visitor left, I remember thinking, "NNOOO, don't leave me alone. I need someone to take care of this sweet little boy, and me too. I can't be the responsible one yet." I think for me, it was just total shell shock from the change in my life. I loved Adler, and loved that he was a part of our family, but I just went through a period of grief over the loss of the life before he was here. During this time, my mom and my big sister got daily unintelligible phone calls of me just crying for 30 minutes. I avoided phone calls from friends and family and offers to help or come for a visit because I just didn't think I would be able to hold it together in front of anyone. I would go to bed with feelings of extreme anxiety wondering what kind of night would be ahead of me. I would wake up in the morning with more feelings of extreme anxiety over the idea of being home alone with the baby all day long. And then when E would get home, I would feel anxious about how I would put on a happy face and keep the baby happy so that E would actually want to come home to us. It was all irrational, but, the first nine weeks were just clouded with anxiety and just feelings of being very lonely. It is hard now, looking back, even to think of this time, because I really feel like I missed something. Those first few weeks should have been so precious, and I should have soaked up every little baby sound and sweet cuddle, but I just wasn't able to do that.

So, basically, I thought that was how every woman's experience with the newborn stage began, but that no one talked about it. I was determined to fore-warn my friends who were pregnant. And warn them I did. I made sure to tell them how difficult it could be, and that it got better though...I am sure I was successful in scaring them half to death!

I was so affected by these first few months, it was the leading reason that I thought I wanted only one child. I just could not imagine going through it again, even if I knew that it was a short period of time in the big scheme of things, that the outcome was so worth it. I just couldn't do it. Obviously, God had other plans and we did get pregnant again; and as I thought about surviving it again, I was really really worried. The whole 9 months, in the back of my mind, I was terrified at the thought of feeling that way again, especially with a toddler added to the mix. Even the day before I went into labor, I called my mom in tears as the prospect.

But then Hazel was born, and I waited and waited for those feelings to come rushing back. And they didn't. Her cries didn't put me into panic attacks. I actually urged E to stay home with Adler so I could just spend some time cuddling in the hospital with Hazel. And albeit there have been some stressful periods with two, for the main parts of the day, we are all happy and calm. And I feel really good. I have been able to enjoy motherhood of a new baby and toddler. I have been able to look over the dirty floors and poorly prepared meals. I know that I can't guarantee what tomorrow will bring- I could very well lose my mind by lunch-time tomorrow; but for today, life is really good. I am not bragging at all; I just am shocked. I really thought that I had it figured out. I had tried to prepare for the worse- and it just hasn't been. I feel so blessed to have my two beautiful healthy children and a husband who loves the Lord and loves us. My cup is running over.

5 comments:

Laura Sue said...

Awesome awesome awesome post. I am so happy that you are so happy.

Sara said...

Don't you feel better to get that all off your chest. Glad this time around has been better for you. Hormones can be a wild crazy thing!

Erica said...

Lovely, Ashley. Thank you for sharing.
Anxiety is so so hard, and I am relieved that things are easier for you now. If the feelings do come back, don't be afraid to lean on those who offer help--they can be a lifeline.

Much much love!

Melissa said...

I bet so many first time moms felt the same and because you shared this thet will not feel alone. It is scary yet with the second child I think you just are at ease so much more and the stress levels stay lower. I doubted myself the first time too. With the second I too like you were so much happier. So glad that joy is filling your heart and home. I am here for those times that come in between, Lord knows it is the moments of pure joy that tide us over through the moments of motherhood insanity! LOL! Love you!

WonderGirl said...

Very sweet post. So glad to see you counting blessings in your life, it encourages me to do the same!! :) Love you, A!!