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Saturday, December 19, 2009

baby blues

i don't know how ben and i decided that the timing was right for us to start "trying."  i really don't even remember having a long conversation about it.  it was kind of like, "hey, why don't we stop preventing, and see what happens?"  does that sound like a plan that was well thought out?

when i thought about having a baby, it was a lovely picture.  rocking a little sleeping baby, dressing it up in cute clothes, you know, the things that you do with babies.

my pregnancy wasn't bad.  i was sick the entire first trimester, and completely miserable toward the end of the third, but in general, it was a fun time.  a time for picking out baby furniture, room decorations, bedding, toys, clothes, etc.  a time for gifts and baby showers.  a time to dream about what my baby would look like and be like.  a time to feel her sweet little kicks and hiccups.

labor was scary.  i didn't know what to expect, especially delivering 4 weeks early.  would my epidural take?  would my epidural hurt?  would the baby's lungs be developed?  would she be able to suck? would it hurt when she was coming out?  would i need a cesarean?  would i need an episiotomy?  what would i feel?  what would i not feel?  a bazillion questions, i had, but i pretty much just laid in that bed all day and hoped it would be over soon.  and what do you know... it really wasn't that bad.  God blessed me with a wonderful delivery, and a baby that was pretty much labeled as full term, even being 4 weeks premature. she was perfect.

i didn't feel like i thought i would feel after she was born.  i was hungry, exhausted, and just plain glad that it was all over.  i remember holding her and having such a mix of emotions.  i was a mommy! protective and full of love, wanting nothing but the very best for her, while at the same time wondering why on earth we had decided to have a baby.  i was completely overwhelmed.

the following week was hard.  we stayed in the hospital for 6 days because of austin's jaundice, and my blood pressure.  she stayed in the room with us for the first 2 nights, and we woke up with every little noise that she made.  worry had officially moved in.  every breath that she took i worried about her. when her jaundice was discovered and she had to move into the nursery, i was heartbroken.  i went from having a baby, to no baby.  i could only hold and see her at feeding times.  while being relieved that we were in the care of the hospital staff, i just wanted my baby back.  i was very emotional, and stress didn't help.

so not only was i upset about that, but i cried and cried and cried...  about everything.  about anything. sometimes about nothing!  i figured out that if ben was in arm's reach, i would calm down.  i cried mostly out of worry for austin, i thought.  i didn't realize that i was also releasing hormones through tears.  it was absolutely horrible, and lasted for a good 2 or 3 weeks.

once we got home i was pretty confident in my taking-care-of-baby skills, but when ben went back to work, i cried all day every day.  sometimes standing at the back door or at the window in the bathroom looking across to where he would be working.  i felt like i needed him with me at all times.  breastfeeding hadn't been going good, and i wanted to quit, but i wanted her to have breast milk so badly.  i was so tired and sleepy.  i had zero appetite.  the only thing that i can remember wanting was apple juice.  i had pain from my milk coming in, and i was sore from delivery.  i really thought, "what have I gotten myself into!?!?"  i almost regretted the decision to start a family.  i didn't think that i was ready.  it was a horrible feeling, and made me feel like a horrible mother.  don't get me wrong, it wasn't like i didn't want her.  i just don't think that i was prepared for life to change so drastically, and so fast.  i had my mom to help with housework and cooking, but i thought that i would never be able to make it a day without her here. everyone was right... it just comes to you over time.  it's a whole new way of life, and a quite difficult one, i might add!

after much love and support from my husband, my mom, my doctor, and my cousins, things slowly and surely got better.  i would say by the 6 week mark, i had gotten used to no sleep, my sore body felt better, i got my appetite back, breastfeeding was going great... life was good again.  and all of the negative feelings had faded away.  i was finally comfortable.

so all of you moms out there with the baby blues, just know that you are not alone!!  and there is light at the end of the tunnel!!  i promise.  when it's all said and done, you're left with pure love and joy!

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