Coming Clean in a Teacup, Volume II

Before you read this blog, be sure to read the one that was posted yesterday. I'm posting in seperate blogs because I have so much to say... :)

So let’s recap here, since this blog is turning into a major undertaking. Let’s add it all up:
-C-section pain and recovery. It’s major surgery, people.
-Very little consecutive sleep in several weeks. Sheer exhaustion.
-Emotional roller coaster due to out-of-whack hormones.
-Uncontrollable crying/irritability as a result of out-of-whack hormones.
-Overprotectiveness and feeling trapped.
-Pain and frustration about breastfeeding.

So here I was, convinced that I was failing as a mother. I thought because I was so emotional and unstable, that I wouldn’t be able to properly take care of my baby. I decided to supplement with formula to take off some stress about breastfeeding and to make sure he was getting enough nutrients. I felt incredibly guilty about our decline in the breastfeeding venture, just like I felt guilty about not being able to give birth to him like I had planned. It wasn’t long before I wasn’t producing much at all and we switched exclusively to formula around week 6.

My emotions did get some relief, aside from the guilt, with the end of breastfeeding. I struggled for weeks about it and when that struggle ended, I felt like I could sit back and take a breather.

The time came for me to go back to work and surprisingly, I wasn’t that stressed about it. I knew I had to go back – we decided that before I even got pregnant. We have a great day care and I don’t worry about JJ. The only thing that got to me about leaving him was… leaving. Several mornings, I would cry on the way to work, wondering what I would miss today.
I think that every working mom goes through the “I don’t want to miss anything!” phase. It didn’t take very long for me to realize that his “first” anything wasn’t a first until I SAW it. Then it was real. I got over the leaving him part quickly when I realized that us being apart all day made our time together very special and meaningful. I appreciate JJ more and he’s generally happier to see me and his daddy.

By week nine or so, JJ was pretty much sleeping through the night. We certainly didn’t get through every night without waking up, but most. JJ also had another ear infection, which kept him awake for several nights. Having a sick child is incredibly stressful, mostly because you want them to feel better no matter what it costs. When there is nothing you can do to help them – it's even worse. I was very stressed about JJ’s health and on top of all of the emotional garbage, I started having disturbing dreams about the day he was born and random flashbacks during the day. This is when I started to worry about my true mental health, which scared me even more.

The holidays rolled around and, like everything else, put more stress on me. I wasn’t motivated to do anything, I threw even more temper tantrums, I cried even more, my appetite waned, and I started to convince myself that there was something wrong with me. There had to be something wrong with me, because here I was with a beautiful baby, a loving husband, a nice (but work in progress) house, healthy pets, a good job, and a supportive family and I was unhappy. How dare I be unhappy! My emotions were so wacked up at this point that I started to feel guilty about feeling unhappy.

See, that's the problem with emotions. Once one grabs you and won't let you go, the others always come to join the party...

1 comment:

Evelyn Louise said...

Kris - you also lost two dear cats while going through your FIRST (if not only) pregnancy. I'm not sure you had time to properly mourn that.

And yes, pumping out a kid - regardless of where they come out - plays a major emotional toll. I tried to tell you that I cried all the time when I was holding her. I don't think you believed me. I don't think anyone believes it (or understands it) until they experience it themself.

It gets so much better & so much easier! You've gotten through 3 months and you're doing GREAT!!

Just think - I am the sole bad guy in Ella's life and she really likes to push the limits. I say "no" a million times and witness the tantrum about once an hour. I've started abandoning Jeff with Ella as soon as we finish dinner. I immediately dive into a book and refresh myself while they play.

You are doing a GREAT job. Keep your chin up.


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