Thursday, August 7, 2014

Motherhood Meltdowns

Just a cute picture from today
During my pregnancy I spent a lot of mental time preparing for motherhood.  Mentally thinking about what everyone says: the public, friends, family, reading materials.  It's a lot to take in.  But at the same time I knew I could only mentally prepare so much.  Their is nothing like motherhood until you actually experience motherhood.  Plus, it's unique for every single one of us mothers.  Just like a baby, no two mother's are alike.
Being mental prepared was a priority for me because of my fear of depression.  I'm prone to depression, and I didn't want to spend my time home with my newborn baby being depressed.  But at the same time, I almost expected it.  I spoke to both my doctor and doula about this fear pre and post-baby so that they were aware, along with conversations with Chris and my Mom.  I knew they would be the ones to see the warning signs, if depression was lingering.  At almost 3 months in, I'm relieved to report that I haven't had a sign of depression.  I've had a couple of meltdowns that  I want to share, because I like to think that's something that all new mom's experience. 
My first one was in the later part of July.  I've been extremely blessed with an "easy" baby.  She has pretty much been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks.  I realize how very rare this is, and that I will most likely not be so lucky if Helena ever becomes a big sister. But after a couple weeks of sleeping through the night Helena decided that 4am was a good middle of the night feeding time.  Then sometime in July she was getting up twice in the middle of the night.  Once around 1am, again around 4am.  I remember rocking her in her room after feeding her, praying she would fall back asleep, but she was just crying.  Usually when she wakes in the middle of the night and eats, she goes right back to sleep.  I had no idea what to do with a middle of the night fussy baby.  So we sat and rocked and cried together.  I didn't know what else to do.  We eventually calmed down, and I was able to put both of us back to sleep, but that was my first big and private meltdown.  I remember thinking "I feel like I have a newborn again."  And really, I still have a newborn, she had just spoiled me with sleeping through the night so early.  Thankfully those twice a night feedings have gone away again.  And thankfully she is again sleeping through the night...for the most part.  She's up at around 4am once or twice a week, but other than that she's an amazing sleeper!  Thank you God!!!
My second meltdown was Sunday.  Baby girl was hungry.  I had a full boob ready to go, but she would not latch.  She just wouldn't.  I think she got herself too worked up.  Thank goodness Chris was home.  I stayed calm the first couple of times, but by the third time of her not taking the boob I flipped out.  I started whaling just as loud as the baby.  I was afraid that our breastfeeding time was over, and that she had decided she wanted nothing more to do with nursing.  Over the past few weeks I've realized how quickly time goes, and how quickly things change, without even realizing.  How milestones are realizing when the last time my baby does something.  And I wasn't ready to stop nursing.  I calmed down, and Chris calmed down Helena, and she eventually did nurse, and everything was ok in the world.
I know more meltdowns are in my future, and I'm ok with that.  I think that's part of the journey.  Overall I'm pleasantly surprised how my mental state has been these first few months.  I was more prepared to be depressed, than to not be depressed.  Sounds weird I know, but now that I know I've gone through these first few months without being depressed I feel so much more blessed and thankful.  I feel strong and capable of taking care of my beautiful little girl and myself

1 comment:

Emily Foley said...

Oh the meltdowns i have had. It must be a motherhood rite of passage. :) Luckily it feels like it's been a long time, like years, since my last one, thankfully. But I'm kind of afraid with this new baby coming that I've forgotten so much what it's like to have a newborn that it's going to happen again and I don't want it to!