2011 came and went faster than I could blink an eye, with the dawn of many new and great adventures that God presented to us.
I wanted to start off this New Year talking about a very serious health problem that I have been dealing with and felt that sharing my experience would help other moms out there.
With an extremely difficult pregnancy, our baby girl (our second child) arrived on August 15th. Without speaking poorly of our sweet baby girl, she has been the most difficult baby that I have ever encountered! From colic to acid reflux, from incessant unhapiness to wailing in the car, Amelia has been anything but an easy baby.
Noah, our first, turned 2 in November and is such a wonderful big brother to Amelia – kind and loving. Unfortunately, though, he is just 2 and wants and craves the same attention that I have to dote on Amelia in order to create some type of peace in the house.
For a very long time (relatively speaking), though, I was finding it very hard to bond and connect with Amelia, mainly because of her behavior. In addition, she does breastfeed at times, but there are other times that she wretches away from me and refuses to nurse. What a sense of defeat that ripples through every fiber of my being when this happens!
I would find myself crying – or seriously wanting to – because no matter what I did, I could not soothe my own child – could not coddle the needs of my toddler – coud not keep the house clean – could not take any time for my own interests – could not find enough time to sleep – could not have a moment of quality time with my husband before I crashed into the pillow at night……..and the list goes on.
I would go over to friends houses that seemed to be in perfect (or near perfect) order. I would talk to other moms who would have great days planned out weeks in advance and have dinner on the table by the time that their husbands got home.
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME? What was I doing wrong? Why couldn’t I get it together and do the same thing? I’m type A – a former corporate event planner – two kids should be a piece of cake!!!
I was worried. I was not myself. I was beat down and my spirit nearly broken. I finally admitted that I needed some type of help and I didn’t know what to do or even who to talk to. I went to the one doctor that I knew would listen and be able to help me.
I finally called my OB. This OB was not the one who delivered Amelia, as I was not happy with her, her staff or her care during my second pregnancy. I called the OB that delivered Noah, as I adored her and trusted her – despite the 45 minute trip that it will take to go see her.
With a long, heartfelt conversation with her, we decided that it was in my best interest that I start on a low dose of medication to deal with the reality of my diagnosis – post-partum depression and anxiety. As I was breastfeeding, only one form of medication is indicated, so that is what I began.
I have been on the medication now for 2 weeks and I do feel a little more level than I was a few weeks ago. Although the dishes still pile up and the laundry baskets are still forever overflowing, I feel that I am able to get through the day without the anxiety that I felt in the overwhelming expectations that I had set for myself.
I was quite surprised to hear how many other moms seem to have the same daunting feelings that I have – those feelings that are just not talked about. The homes that are in perfect order – aren’t. Those homes have messes behind every closed door! Dinner….well….yes. They are still able to have dinner on the table, but I remind myself that their children are not infants anymore.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I wanted to bring a real life story – my own – to the forefront of my articles for this year for one main reason – to help other moms like me. We are out there. This is a real problem – talk about it! Talk to other moms – talk to your doctor – find other people who are dealing with the same feelings you are – and then learn how to manage them.
In doing so, your life will be infinitely better for the new 2012 year. Be the change in your own life so that you can be a better mom, a better wife, a better you. Make this that year of change for you too!