Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Motherhood is not all roses and rainbows

Motherhood is not all roses and rainbows.
You will never sacrifice more than you do the second you become pregnant. Dads sacrifice too - but it's not the same - not even close.

Your body incubates this little being for 9 months and then you have to get it out. Your insides literally shift positions and organs move around to accomodate your little bundle of joy.

(If your jeans don't fit after you give birth it might be because your hip bones literally spread out to allow for more space for the baby to make it's exit)

Your hormones are INSANELY wacked out.

Women who have been vegetarians for years suddenly crave rare cheeseburgers, some women can literally throw up at the first smell of a particular food and you will be exhausted like you have never experience before. I hardly ever made it to 9 pm with my first pregnancy and I had to nap during the day with my second otherwise I would not have survived until dinnertime.

Some women experience nausea so bad they need to be medicated and the same goes for acid reflux. Sleep issues can be present from day one- either needing too much or not getting enough because you can't get comfortable.

At the end of all of this, and hopefully after a mostly painless childbirth (I have heard HORROR STORIES about deliveries gone wrong) you are presented with a slimey, crying, red faced little human to love unconditionally.

Love you will - you will kiss their toes, and their hands and their heads and you will stare at them for hours. You might not even want to let them go back to the nursery when you are in the hospital because you can't imagine one second without them.

Then you go home.

And the baby cries and nothing you do can stop it and you don't remember the words to any nursery rhymes and you smell like spit up and haven't brushed your teeth or showered in days and you haven't made dinner yet and the baby hates his bath and isn't napping like newborns are supposed to and your husband comes home from work looking refreshed and relaxed and you want to punch him because you can't remember the last time you felt relaxed.

In honor of being honest - I figured it was about time we discussed postpartem depression/baby blues.

Not everyone suffers from it and not everyone that does suffer from it, has the same experience. Some feel it right away, some don't feel anything for weeks to months after giving birth.
For some women, it's extreme and debilitating to the point where they can't function and for others, they just need to cry for 10 minutes at the end of a particularly hard week.

ALL OF THIS IS NORMAL - however it doesn't make it any easier.

I don't think I experienced Postpartem at all with my first child which is weird because it was the dead of winter and my husband had to commute so he was out of the house a lot more than he is now. Granted - staying home was brand new back then and a novelty and all I could think of was how lucky I was to be able to stay home with this perfect little being.

Katie also was good in the car seat - took a bottle and slept when we went places.

Fast forward to now where I have a 2.5 year old who is very demanding and too smart for her own good and who NEVER STOPS TALKING - I mean never - not for one second when she's awake and a newborn. My newborn won't take a bottle, hates his car seat and screams bloody murder when we go out places lately. He won't stay in a carrier and wants to be held all the time - but at least he sleeps well at night - only waking me up once to nurse and going back to bed immediately.

Ladies, I'm afraid I am suffering from a mild bout of post partem depression and I don't think I should be embarrassed to talk about it. It's out of my control. My hormones are still running amuck and I've been home for 2.5 years, so I think my claustrophobia from being in this apartment all this time has caught up to me and I'm sure the isolation of being out here hasn't helped either.

I'm overwhelmed all the time and more exhausted than I think I should be at the end of the day and I'm crazy moody and super resentful of my husbands ability to just get up and go wherever he wants - whenever he wants. (he doesn't actually leave me except to go to the gym - but the fact that he can just pisses me off to no end.)

I literally countdown to bedtime some days because I just can't take it anymore. The neediness, the talking, the demands, the breastfeeding, keeping up the house and all of the finances and not even getting 1 hour to myself 2 or 3 times a week to go work out at a gym class because every time I leave, I come home to complete Chaos. It's like my kids want to ensure I never leave because they somehow manage to have complete meltdowns with Dave which just makes me feel more trapped than I already do. It also makes him frustrated because then I'm pissed I can't do anything and he's pissed because he's trying to help me out and the kids are tag teaming him.
It's a miserable cycle and I'm hoping it ends soon.

In trying to help me with all of this, my husband and I were talking the other day and we came to this conclusion - I need a lunch hour. Time JUST FOR ME - to browse the internet or eat a meal at my own pace - or read a book before bedtime. That's what I resent the most - is the loss of time that is truly just for me. I feel like I don't get that anymore and the breastfeeding is a HUGE reason for that. However, as moody as I am and as unhappy as I can be on some days - I honestly believe that breastfeeding is best for him so I will keep on trucking :)

My clothes don't fit at all even thought I'm 10 pounds away from my target weight,
My boobs leak,
I'm exhausted,
My body temperature is still whacko,
My hair is falling out by the handful,
and now due to us moving into a rental house - I'm stressed about not making money. I'm just one of those girls who likes to make her own money - and since I haven't been for 2.5 years - and we are adding to our expenses, it's stressing me out.

Luckily I have an amazing husband who helps me out as much as anyone could ever want and who understands that this crazy version of me is temporary. I am also looking forward to moving into a 3 bedroom house with 2 floors of living. We are thinking of making the kids share a room too so that I can set up an office for my PT consulting work and Dave's guitars and my arts and crafts along with space for guests in the extra bedroom.

I think all of this will help get me back to me which I'm desperate for as I feel like I've been out of whack since my first tri-mester.

And the older Ben gets and the less he needs to eat and the more I can get outta the house alone - the better I will feel - so I just keep trying to tell myself it's temporary and I will one day miss how small they are - and I will keep asking Dave to help me get mini breaks when he gets home so that my feelings and frustrations don't affect the kids and I will make sure that I make time for myself in any way I can so that I don't get resentful.

I love my kids more than I thought possible and I don't regret having them - but like I said, motherhood is not all roses and rainbows and if you suffer from the baby blues or postpartem depression- you owe it to yourself and your family to talk about it and acknowledge it and get help. It's nothing to be ashamed of and in more serious cases than mine, can only be fixed with your doctors help - that's what they are there for.
And if you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and frustrated - ask your friends and family for help and back up and make your husband do stuff. I have absolutely no love for husbands who don't help out at home - I think it's a cop out - this isn't the 50's - put your big boy pants on and be men and help out your wives and spend some time with your kids!!! I'm just saying - marriage and parenting should be a partnership - everyone will be happier that way!

Thanks for listening!


  1. Annie- First thanks for making me laugh and remember all I went through. I had post partem depression but I really didn't know it for awhile. It actually started happening more when I went back to work and Gene became JC's primary care giver along with my dad. My first 13 weeks it was just JC and I (that will of course all change come baby #2 whenever that is). Once I headed back to work I suddenly realized I didn't know my baby as well as my husband did. I didn't know what every cry meant. So I would come home at 5 scoop up my bundle of joy and then after 10 minutes I wouldn't know what he wanted or what to do with him. I spent more time crying about what a horrible mom I was and I started pulling away more and more from him. By the time he was 6 months and I was at my dr's apt I came clean and said I needed help. So from the time JC was 6 months until just 2 months ago I relied on medication to balance me out. I am not saying meds are for everyone. If I had God in my life then like I do now I would have relied more on him and prayer but there is no shame in meds either.
    I think blogging about how you are feeling is great. I applaude you and admire the strength and courage you have.
    Since getting to the gym is hard maybe a long walk or run before Dave leaves for work or after dinner when he gets home before bath/bedtime would be helpful- I know sleep is important but so is getting out some stress. Haven't read a FB post about a playdate in awhile- maybe more adult interaction and a little baby relief. Just saying I have been there with the baby blues and since I am several states away I offer my ear on the phone and suggestions of what worked for me.
    Praying for more peaceful and stressfree days for you.

  2. oh Annie I want to hug you and I hear you. I felt so great in the beginning with the two kids - everything was clicking and then all of the sudden it was not at all. Jake started acting out and ignoring me when I would ask him to do things, Aidan wanted to eat constantly, Mike was going to work or running out to Home Depot or some other silly thing that was so minor but made me feel like "hey, I can't just get up and go out whenever I want" most days it literally takes me two hours to get out of the house with both kids. and then once I'm finally out I get to where I need to be (like the bank or the supermarket or wherever) and the baby starts screaming at the top of his lungs and Jake won't listen and I want to just push them away for a minute and have a good cry (and maybe a nap). I know that sounds awful, obviously I adore my children. But what I have found helps so far is getting a little time to myself (and though it's taken much effort on my part - not feeling bad about having some me time) and having space to myself (totally having a little office space to yourself will probably feel great). and you're right, you have two great kids and a great husband who helps you and loves to be around the kids. I'm sure you will find a way that works for you. Just takes a lot of coordinating. I'm currently in the midst of figuring this all out myself.

  3. Depression runs in my family. My dad, and most of my siblings at one point or another had a bout with it. I experienced it right after having Jack. We hadn't found a place to live so we were living in the den at my parent's house, my mother is a GIANT pain in the ass and almost no help at all and Pete worked all the time. I NEVER slept the first 2 months because Jack lost weight and he needed to be woken up to eat every 3 hours (I started sleeping all of 2 hours a night because once you're done with that first feeding, the next is only a short time a way, what's the point in going back to sleep!) When we finally found a place, it was 30 minutes away from everyone and we were sharing a car. We didn't have a phone or the internet (There was major drama with the phone lines in the new place)and I was stuck. Even when I could call my friends, I didn't want to. I just wanted time by myself but because I was the primary care giver and Pete worked insane hours, I seemed to be the only one who understood my child and I resented not being able to have quiet time for myself. No lunch hours, no sick days, no vacation time. So a whole 18 months after Jack was born, I started to see a therapist. I take a very low dose of an anti depressant and we do talk therapy just periodically now. Because of my family history of it, I stay on the low dose and I started to do better almost immediately. When I had Peyton, everything went much better and I had that newborn experience that I wanted to when I had Jack! You are not alone in all this Annie! We all have our struggles and this is a great forum to get it out with supportive, non judgmental people! I wish we had this when I had Jack! Facebook wasn't even really around then! I could have really use it!