This post inspired me to write this post...
I ain't fakin' it.
I'm going to tell it like it is.
Well, mostly like how it is...
I probably won't tell you about how I don't wash my hair every day or that our fridge is empty but I don't have the energy to go to the store or that I am no longer able to keep the clothes folded in the drawers of the little ones' dresser. (Three toddlers in one dresser...they're folded when they go in, but in the rifling through to find what they want to wear, it just doesn't stay folded.)
But I'm ready to tell you how it is when I come home with a new baby.
I didn't experience this until Christopher came along. I cried from the time he was about three days old until he was two weeks old.
I felt so out of control of myself. Odd things would set me crying.
Loudness would make me want to just run out of the room.
I tried not to let anyone know. After all, having a baby is a happy time, right?
So why was I so sad??
These feelings eventually passed and I began to feel like my old self.
Skip ahead 14 months to Elijah's birth. A lot of things were going on in our life at that time, too, and the whole time was a rather rocky one.
I cried and cried, but not as long as with Christopher. Elijah was about 2 days old when it started and it last about 5 days.
The crying, that is. The anxiety lasted longer than that...I don't recall exactly how long.
Next was Ruby. We thought that maybe if I stayed in the hospital longer to recover, that that maybe would help for when I came home. Wrong. I stayed the full time allowed and came home and balled and balled.
The house was so quiet, and even though my grandma had been there and had made a pot of soup, I wasn't hungry at all.
Dennis, of course, had to go out to the barn.
There I was, all alone.
And crying and sobbing like everything.
And now with Ivy, well, it's been more of the same. I was so disappointed because I thought I was going to avoid it this time around. A good friend of mine, we teasingly call her Dr. Jen, is a nutritional guru. Her children have some severe allergies and she has learned her stuff, let me tell you!
She suggested I get on some high quality fish oil, so I did.
The bottle said to take two a day, so that's what I did. Along about the last month of pregnancy, I upped it to three per day, anticipating the post partum period.
Turns out, I should have been taking more like 6 per day. Oops.
So that's what I take now and I think it helps.
But what I was taking wasn't enough to ward off the awful post partum stuff I deal with. She was born on a Friday and everything about the birth was so fantastic! (I know that a less-than-ideal birth experience can lead to post partum issues.) Saturday, I felt so good! I was ready to go home.
We got home and I did up all the dishes that were on the counter and got the kitchen straightened up.
And then it hit.
Dennis was going out to the barn, the two big boys with him, the other five were still with my parents and would be coming home the next day, and I was in the house alone with Ivy.
That first night home was terrible. She wouldn't sleep. I nursed her constantly and cried just about as much. I finally woke up Dennis on the couch and asked him for just five minutes...just five minutes. She fell asleep with him and stayed sleeping for about two hours. Thank you God.
Sunday morning when Dennis came in from the barn, he found me rocking Ivy and crying my eyes out. He called Jen. That's when we figured out the fish oil dosage was off. ( I couldn't talk on the phone because I couldn't stop crying...)
Sunday afternoon wasn't so bad...the kids came home early that evening and I only cried a little. I am ok with that in front of my parents now. With Christopher, it took everything within me to keep it together because I didn't want them to see me like that. I'm over that now.
Sunday night and into Monday morning were awful again. Such anxiety and crying and sobbing. I got out of bed, and bless Linnea's heart, she offered to hold the baby. It was earlier than she usually wakes up, about 6:30 or so, but she said she had heard me crying and Ivy crying, too. So she held Ivy while I took a shower and balled my face off.
This lasted about 4-5 days, this terrible post-partum stuff. I hate that they call it "Baby Blues" because it sounds so silly. I know that because it doesn't last longer than 2 weeks that it isn't post-partum depression--I wish there was a name for it.
And so...this time around I am trying to be way more upfront about it. If someone asks me how I'm doing I say "today's a good day" or "yesterday was a better day".
It has helped me a lot to talk with my friend Kim, who has experienced some of these same things. I have found very few others who have gone through this, which adds to the isolated feeling.
One of the things that's hard about letting it be known that I struggle post-partum is the ever present specter of people saying something like "then quit having babies" or "you see...this is why it's obvious that it's just too much for you."
I realize that the only one who's opinion counts is God's. He has called us to obey him...to let Him show us the blessing of children, no matter how many he sends our way. I know that I should just let it roll off my back, all that stuff people say. Some days that's easier said than done.
So today, as Ruby has spent a majority of the day fussing, and Ivy has spent most of the day sleeping--and therefore will most likely spend most of the night awake,
I'll tell you that
yesterday was a better day.