This little girl is probably way spoiled.
And without a doubt stubborn.
And bored if she doesn’t have friends over 24/7.
And a tad whiny.
And is quite unable to put outfits together that match.
This little girl is also ah-mazing!
And without a doubt smart, funny, witty, loveable, affectionate, and kind-hearted!
And has a style all her own!
I can’t really remember what I was like at her age but I’d love to think I was just like her.
She’s 7-1/2 going on 13….yet it seems like it was just yesterday she was born.
When we called the hospital the morning before she actually arrived, they told us to just stay home.
But, I’m guessing a lot of you moms out there can relate that when we know….we just know. And, when the closest hospital is 40 miles away, I wasn’t really in the mood to just stay home and see what happened.
So, we left anyway.
When they finally checked us in to stay around noon on March 19, 2010, they told us my water had broke but it was a “high break.” I’m still not really sure what that means….other than they don’t let you go home after it’s broke for risk of infection…and that it’s likely gonna be a while before baby comes.
They ended up having to induce. And, while I did eventually fully dilate, the doctor finally said after several hours of pushing that she just wasn’t gonna come out on her own.
So, we headed for a c-section.
Honestly, by that point, I didn’t really have a care in the world besides just being able to hold her.
But, life doesn’t always go as we plan and I wasn’t the first one that got to hold her. I wasn’t even the 2nd or the 3rd person to hold her.
She was absolutely fine and healthy….but I didn’t get to hold her.
I didn’t even get to see her right away. They whisked her off to a table and I had to wait for what seemed like an eternity to hear her cry for the first time. And, when they brought her to me, I couldn’t really move and it was really hard to see her face.
And, I’m not sure how long it was before I got back to my room and when they brought her to me.
But, when I did get to REALLY see her and hold her for the first time, it was a feeling like I’ve never known and haven’t felt since.
It was the most wonderful feeling ever.
And, also the most terrifying.
All in one.
You see, I was a mess before I got pregnant. If you read my last blog post, you know some of the story. There had been tremendous sadness in our lives, and I was already struggling with feelings of guilt and shame and not feeling like I was good enough. And, pretty sure Daryn, my sister Taryn and my BFF Lisa can attest to the crazy person I was when I was pregnant.
I spent my entire pregnancy worried that something bad was going to happen…and that ultimately it would somehow be my fault. I ate lunch meat before I found out I wasn’t supposed to. I continued to take hot baths until I found out I wasn’t supposed to. I convinced myself something was wrong with her in there. I was driving to Williston to work the D1 schools and every day I just knew I was going to get into a car accident. And, leaving the house became an absolute chore. I. Was. A. Mess. A picture of gloom and doom and FULL of irrational fears. My doctor finally told me at one point to stay off of the internet. She said for every sad and scary story, there are thousands of untold stories where baby is absolutely fine.
And, then we found out we were having a girl.
What was I gonna do with a girl….when I couldn’t figure out my own GIRL life?!? When I didn’t really love myself…know how to love myself. How was I gonna be able to teach a little girl to do what I couldn’t?
I didn’t recognize it then but I likely spent the next several months suffering from post-partum depression.
I was never diagnosed….because I honestly didn’t know. And, if I did mention anything to my doctor along the way, it must’ve come across as normal.
But, what should’ve been a wonderful period of bonding and getting to know her was anything but.
I was beyond stressed about nursing. My milk had come in but we were having a terrible time getting her to latch on. I remember in the hospital, all the rooms had signs on our doors for nursing moms or formula moms. It seemed a bit much. And, my nurses…..bless their hearts….they wanted it to work for us as bad as I did and did everything they could to help. After several appointments with lactation consultants, many sleepless nights, feeding her with a syringe to avoid nipple confusion and ultimately bringing home a scale to weigh her when she started to lose weight, I was at my wit’s end….and I was taking everyone with me.
I was ecstatic when I found online that having a beer in the evenings wouldn’t affect milk for her to still nurse AND in many cases it actually helped increase production and helped moms relax enough that often it could help mom’s get over that hump of when it just wasn’t working. I literally started to look forward to 7 pm at night JUST so I could have that beer lol. #keepinitreal
But, after a week or maybe two of a beer at night….and a handful of other things I also found online to try like herbal teas and different kinds if nipple guards and more lol….she continued to lose weight. It had gone beyond the typical weight they drop when you bring them home.
And, not even pumping worked…..I would pump for an hour and only get like an ounce and a half of milk.
After weighing her one night in her nursery with Daryn and my sister, and me on the verge of tears for the last time, my sister finally said, “Give the baby a fucking bottle!”
I’m not sure why I needed someone else to tell me that.
But, it was like I was looking for someone to give me permission to let go. I was clinging to something so desperately because I thought that’s what she needed the most at the time but really I was only hurting her by my stubbornness.
My hubby pretty much RAN to get that f’n bottle.
And, I had never seen her so content and at peace.
I felt a RUSH of relief come over me! And, pretty sure Daryn and Taryn were close to doing it behind my back if I was gonna keep trying this.
And, while it was the best feeling in the world to see her start to thrive, I couldn’t help but feel like I had failed at the two of the things I was most responsible for. I had had the c-section after I tried and tried and tried to push. And, even though I tried and tried and tried to nurse, I just couldn’t make it work. I felt like I couldn’t give her the things she needed the most.
So, yes, my feelings of failure turned into what I believe was post-partum depression.
I spent the next several months at home with her. And, during the day, it was just her & I.
But, I didn’t spend a lot of time holding her. The minute she was done crying or eating or after a diaper change, I put her back in her swing or bassinet. And, when she would wake up again, it was often all I could do to go pick her up. I’m not even sure I can tell you what I did all those hours home alone with her. I honestly don’t remember and I cry even thinking about it.
I felt like so much of what was supposed to be had been taken away. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I felt cheated. I felt like I wasn’t bonding with her. I felt like a horrible mother and that there MUST be something wrong with me to not wanna pick up my baby! I remember thinking “What kind of mother doesn’t wanna hold her baby…”
It was yet another dark time in my life….and after already having a pattern of carrying guilt and dealing with depression, I took on even more guilt and became even more depressed.
For the longest time, I felt like not only did I miss out on those first months of her life, I couldn’t help but question what didn’t I give her?? Did she not feel love from me? How had my depression affected HER??
It honestly still breaks my heart to think of that little helpless baby with a mom who felt so lost.
Ugh….just when I think the hard parts of sharing my story are over, this was on my heart.
I’m ready to talk about this to find peace and to maybe help another mom out there who is lost in this and doesn’t see it for what it really is.
Because you know what…..
I didn’t have to have that c-section because I was a bad mom.
Having that epidural because the contractions were right on top of each other didn’t mean I was a bad mom.
Not being able to nurse didn’t mean I was a bad mom.
Suffering from depression didn’t mean I was a bad mom.
Those things happened TO us….not because there was anything “wrong” with me.
And, you know what?!?!
That little girl is STILL THRIVING!!!
God bless her she is VERY healthy and vibrant and so smart!!!
She wasn’t sick very often as a baby. And, she is rarely sick now!!!
And, somewhere along the line, we bonded JUST the same and she’s the light of my life!!!
I pray new moms out there suffering from post-partum depression somehow recognize what’s happening and reach out for help.
I pray new moms out there give themselves some grace about nursing! Not only do I believe it’s the mom’s decision whether or not to, if you are trying it and it’s just not working, it’s FREAKING ok. GIVE THE BABY A FUCKING BOTTLE…’cuz I truly think the more you stress and try to force it, the harder it becomes…on EVERYONE.
I pray new moms out there HOLD THEIR BABIES as much as possible!!! YES, you still gotta have a life but I’m pretty sure that if I could go back, I wouldn’t put her down.
We had pics taken by Amanda Magnuson Photography and these two were just a sneak peek! Safe to say they turned out ah-mazing and we’re so happy! I mean how cute is B?!?! And, how awesome is Amanda for what she captures?!? You can check out Amanda’s FB page HERE or click on the images 🙂