It’s seems a little backwards that when you’ve suffered through loss after loss then a struggle to even become pregnant- postpartum depression shows up. All of a sudden you find yourself thinking: I don’t even like my baby.
What?! How does one simply not like what they’ve longed for? Paid hundreds, heck thousands of dollars to get here, and safely! How does one sit and stare at the beautiful blessing and feel resentment?
I have a feeling the problem lies somewhere between running on 2(ish) hours of sleep a day and the sudden drop in endorphins. For weeks I basked in how proud and accomplished I felt. Wonder Woman didn’t even come close to how amazing I felt. I birthed my baby, and I did it well! He is beautiful, he is healthy, we did good! But then 8, almost 9 weeks has passed and the sleep deprivation sets in, another growth spurt happens, your little is experiencing changes and learning so fast that he doesn’t know what to do with all these feelings. Your weight hasn’t changed in weeks and you realize now your just… Fluffy. You’d exercise but…. Let’s be honest after only sleeping 2 hours you’d rather binge watch HGTV or catch up on laundry, but heaven forbid you lay the little rascal down to have some me time- you sneak away- hallelujah!! He’s asleep. But give it 3 minutes when he realizes he’s not being held- let the screaming begin.
Ok- so I’m ranting, maybe even complaining… But I sit and stare at this beautiful miracle and my joy feels gone. And the guilt sets in. The lack of interest replaces that spunk you had- when just weeks ago I was fearless, I was intoxicated with intense love and joy and so many wonderful emotions.
As I poured out a sliver of my heart to a new friend (which I’m not sure she even knows how valuable and SO needed her friendship and support has been, a true godsend!) I said- I’m embarrassed… Someone like me, someone who’s struggled to get our sweetness here, shouldn’t be struggling… With this. When I told her I wanted to just give up breastfeeding and give up on our current work on schedules she quickly assured me that that didn’t sound like the normal me… And I agree, ask anyone- I’m beyond passionate about breastfeeding. I love my baby- but somethings just not right. I’m ashamed. I’m sad. I’m struggling. And I don’t know why and I don’t like it.
There’s really no reason to feel the way I feel. There is nothing traumatic, nothing wrong. Besides the fact that we’ve been blessed with a more difficult baby. Yes, he’s generally happy and he’s healthy, but boy is he hard, and I strictly blame it on the reflux. The reflux has been our biggest obstacle, and because I am determined and passionate about breastfeeding for, at the very least, one year I have been picking apart my diet. Cutting this or that and perhaps even this out of my diet has left me with very little I get to enjoy. And on occasion when I say screw it, I slather on the ranch dressing or eat some delicious pizza, I regret within minutes. Knowing that it’s not just my body that’s impacting.
It’s exhausting… Everyone warns you, and I knew it would be hard and require sacrifice… The sacrifices it has required are far from what I expected. The “hard” is far from what I expect. It all looks a little different. And that’s ok.
So- when it’s 2am, and my baby needs me once again, I roll my eyes and fulfill his needs, but my heart is bitter. For.no.reason at all. It’s sad, it’s lonely, the guilt is overwhelming.
Repeat Loss wins again. Ashamed for what you feel because you think you shouldn’t be feeling this.
But then I see this… And my heart melts and I am so thankful for the hard. I’d rather it be hard than not have him at all. This is real life. It’s hard, it’s messy, it’s worth it.