"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

i think i had Postpartum Depression.

i think i had Postpartum Depression.

pork loin, 2 weeks old, skinny loin, before AZ
mainly b/c of all of this:

brennan, 8 weeks of age, before AZ

i was amazed that i had this adorable little bundle, but i remember wishing i could have had someone else's baby.
this sounds insane to me now!
there was a baby born in our neighborhood 2 weeks before the pork loin.
when brennan was 5 weeks old i finally took him to church for the first time.
not b/c i necessarily wanted to.
i guess i did want to.
i wanted to show off my cutie pie.
i wanted to be around people.
i wanted to get out of my house.
i think i was secretly hoping someone would save me.
this couldn't possibly be normal.
doesn't someone have some sort of drug or mommy trick?
i knew someone would tell me something simple to do.
i must have missed something.
there must have been something the nurses at the hospital had forgotten to tell me.
brennan would cry for 4-5 hours a day.
it was awful!
i coped.
i survived by making a perch out of our recliner chair.
everything i needed was within an arms reach.
remotes, water, snacks, burp clothes, blankets, heater, books, binkies.
i would rock brennan for hours to get him to sleep while he screamed bloody murder.
the picture above is very reminiscent of the first 10 weeks of brennan's life.
AND basically reminiscent of how i felt inside.
so when i took him to church at 5 weeks i could barely hold the sobs in.
i just wanted to cry. hard.
but i didn't want anyone to think anything was wrong.
yet deep down i knew something was.
i thought i was just doing something wrong.
that i really didn't have that mothering instinct thing they talked about.
someone else could definitely be doing this better.
but i didn't want to go home.
so for 3 hours of church brennan screamed and i smiled.
trying to not burst into tears.
we have this one hour of church where all of the women meet together and discuss a specific church topic each week. it's this wonderful society of women, and i was terrified of what they would think.
so this baby born 2 weeks before brennan?
he slept. in his car seat. his mom rocked him.
who happens to be my good friend
the entire time, not a peep. i remember wishing i could trade! trade their personalities. trade secrets. how did she get him to do that???????

i think i told her about this? i hope soooo....otherwise reading it on the blog for the first time...awkward!
why me? why did i have to get this screaming one?
this is WAY harder than teaching.
i was exhausted.
run down.
at 3 weeks old i told sean i just wanted to put him back inside for one night.
i was too overwhelmed.
and ready to lose it.
on top of not being able to get my baby to stop crying, nursing was not going well.
i didn't have enough milk. nursing was excruciating.
i had always heard newborns slept all of the time.
you could go to movies, lunches, and basically relax.
my child always cried. always.
he screamed, and i couldn't get him to stop.
so many people had advice.
which made me feel even worse b/c i felt like i had no idea what i was doing.
i was embarrassed.
and i felt isolated.

why did no one tell me that babies don't always fall asleep when they're tired?????
these were my pre-blogging days, although i doubt i would have opened up about it then
thank goodness for grandmothers.
all of the dreams i had of motherhood were not being fulfilled.
when brennan was 8 weeks old we took two trips: iowa & arizona.
arizona saved us!!!
my sister in law saw what was going on and told me in a loving way, "this has to stop."
she helped us sleep train brennan, took me to a breastfeeding store, and helped me begin leading brennan as a parent, rather than just following him.
i began looking at motherhood as something i could do.
i practiced proactive parenting, rather than reactive parenting.
"parent-led" was a phrase we got to know well.
finally brennan was napping in his crib.
this sounds like it was all of a sudden and easy, but it was not.
however, it was SOOO worth it.
by 6 months of age i began to feel well again.
nursing was no longer hurting.
i felt confident.
i knew what my child needed.
i finally got to enjoy him.
which is exactly what i've been doing ever since.
so if you think i'm ultra positive and optimistic, maybe even unrealistic about life and motherhood, you're right.
i am.
b/c i'm soaking up every second.
and when the tough and not so enjoyable seconds happen i have the memory of how challenging things were in the beginning to appreciate how great things are now.
i've realized life is for the taking.
so i am reaching out and grabbing for it.
and i learned far too much about nursing and milk supply. apparently my nickname is "emily, she's your breastfriend."
so if you need help in that department, i'm your breastfriend;-)


Boulant Family said...

I believe all moms have to come into their own and it sounds like you have. Good for you!;)

Sue said...

Another great post, Emily. I had a baby that cried non-stop for three months. She was my second, and it still got to me! Fortunately, I also did the sleep training, and it saved us.

You are a smart cookie! And a good mom.

And, I suspect, a very good breastfriend,


Gilbert Family said...

wow! how wonderful of you to share that. i know it will save someone someday. it really is hard. i always saw moms at church with their happy babies. while, i guess the ones that were suffering didnt come out of hiding, but strength really is in numbers. we need to help eachother. thanks for showing your strength!

Amy said...

I am so sorry you had to deal with that. He seems like such a happy baby now, I would never have guessed. My sister in law gave me a book that teaches sleep training, and i am so glad i read it before mmy son was born. now the breastfeeding... i tried that for six months, and he hated it. my milk didn't come fast enough, so after a feeding session that took three hours, we gave up. I envy anyone who could do it the whole time. Good for you!

Fiauna said...

The first one is the hardest. At least it was for me. I remember thinking some the same things that you listed. While I love newborns, I wouldn't go back.

Brooke said...

i also had a baby that didn't sleep in his car seat- ever! I could never take a walk with him in his stroller during nap time. I feared restaurants and public places because he might start the fussing/ crying that makes people look questioningly. I feel that every mother is entitled to a total emotional breakdown full of questioning and uncertainty- i had one so doesn't everyone?!?!? Thanks for sharing! I relate to it all too much!!!

alli said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog! I don't have kids yet, but my SIL had her first three months ago. She's having a lot of problems with getting the baby to sleep and to stop crying. I think the sleeping training/proactive parenting thing could definitely help her. Was there a specific book you read or website you visited that helped you?

em said...

so glad you are reading!
the book i used is called "baby wise." if you go to the book store it's very well known or can be purchsed online. amazon has it. here is the link:
it talks a lot about being a "parent-led" household and it just made sense to me. the sleep training was the worst the first 3-4 days, and then it got better and better with time. now we lay brennan in his crib and he goes right to sleep with a peep! it is rare for him to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to soothe himself, but those nights still do happen occassionally...like just a few days ago, haha. anyway, i'd be happy to help with info! you can email me at: emilygibson82@yahoo.com also.
love, emily

em said...

i meant to say "without" a peep;-)

Bree said...

i think one of the hardest thing as a mother is not to compare yourself or your kids to other people. though, i may have had a sleeping baby that day in church, i have my own issues that i deal with on a daily basis! i'm sure i had way too much advice that i threw your way those first few months, sorry (though secretly, i was kind of happy i didn't have the screaming baby-i would have lost my mind!)
it's amazing how much we learn about ourselves when we're willing to look back and really evaluate HONESTLY. who knows what baby #2 will bring, but think of all the things you've learned already! you're great!

Bree said...

p.s. i guess now is a good time to tell you that i call you "my breastfriend"! who else does? that became my nickname for you to my family and only a close few friends after i caught you nursing in the foyer at church with your "breastfriend" (which my sister has too and i tease her about!) don't worry...it's completely endearing! :)