Saturday, April 11, 2015

Post Partum Depression

It's about to get REAL. I've known this post has been coming for a long time now. I haven't written it, because I think I was searching still for guidance. I have known that God's been trying to teach me something, but I wasn't quite sure what. Well, here it is, as best as I can describe. 

Post Partum Depression. It's real. It's not something new moms like to admit or talk about. Once you have a baby, (especially one that you've longed for, prayed for, waited for) you're supposed to feel nothing but overwhelming love and butterflies. Gratefulness and adoration are the only emotions, it seems, that should be allowed once they place that beautiful crying squishy baby in your arms. The long nights will pass, and the sleep depravation is "so worth it." "You'll look back and miss this." 

Let me tell you. I had it figured out. I had had a "rough baby" before. I knew what to do this go round. Then Myles came along. He was going to test me, try me, worry me, make me crazy. He's still doing that 7 months later, but let me tell ya...those first 3-4 months were awful.

He would wake up in the middle of the night, only to scream. He wouldn't be calmed no matter what I did. He would only sleep on me. All night. I was exhausted... more exhausted than I had ever experienced in my life. I had Levi to take care of as well, and I think the combination of knowing my relationship with Levi HAD to change, and feeling like my baby didn't love me really just made me sad. My life changed. Levi and I couldn't just go to Barnes and Noble whenever he wanted to anymore. We couldn't head out to the Zoo on a nice day (or so I felt). I felt a little trapped. I had so much help at first (first from my parents, then from Curan's mom) and all of the help was SO appreciated, but I also knew that I had to do it on my own eventually. I really felt out of control, and for what felt like too long. People give new moms a small period of "grace" but then they're expected to bounce back. Get back to life as though nothing has changed. EVERYTHING had changed though. 

Fast forward two months: He wasn't gaining weight well...A little bit of a shocker to this mom who nursed her first baby for a little over a year with no formula supplementation. He'd been screaming because he was hungry, but didn't want to wait for the letdowns. He wanted food, but not the way I had been giving him food. I had to adjust my ideas of what was best for him, to what was actually best for him. I had to realize that his health was not based on him only having breastmilk, but having enough nutrition to grow and be happy. It has taken some time to get used to that idea, and he has been a much happier baby overall. I still get to nurse him, but we need a WHOLE lot of help through bottles. I am thankful for bottles. I'm also thankful for a sweet friend who wanted to help us out by donating to us some of her breastmilk. 

Even after our very rough start, once he was happier, I have still battled my sad feelings. I have felt like we haven't connected like Levi I had by this point. I google way too much. I would go searching for reasons why my baby *fill in the blank*. Myles is different than Levi. While I have known this in my head all along, I am really starting to grasp the concept that it's okay that he does things differently than Levi. He is his own person, and while I'm still trying to figure out who that person is, I love that little person so much.

I've also known pretty much from the start that I have had trouble connecting with him. I've thought that he's the reason we haven't connected like I thought we should have. Last night, after feeding him before his bedtime, he was extra snuggly. While rocking him, I just prayed. I realized that I needed forgiveness. I needed to ask for God's help to connect, and not ask for some doctor's help, or google's help, or a friend's help. While I'm not opposed to doctor's help, I wasn't asking God at all.  God really answered my prayer on the spot. Most of the time when I'd rock him he would be wiggling, pushing me away, or fussing until I'd put him in the bed. Last night he laid his sweet little head on my shoulder, cooed and smiled, and fell asleep. I stayed there with him for over 30 min just thanking God for him, and thinking how I'd go through it all again just to feel his sweet little head on my shoulder right now.