Remember when I was pregnant I wrote about being concerned about bonding with Kyra? Worrying about just going through the motions and not connecting with her emotionally? Worrying about resenting her a little because our normal would change so drastically? Worrying about not having enough time with Teagan because I was tending to a newborn? All of that happened, just like I worried about. All of that happened until yesterday. Yesterday, it finally clicked. (Honestly, this is going to play out like a scene from cheesey Hallmark movie but pour you a glass of your favorite beverage and bare with me.)
Until yesterday there were many times through the day where I would get emotionally frustrated at Kyra and have to take a deep breath. Knowing I had to do what I was doing to care for her. Only being there for her physically though, not emotionally. Sure, there were probably more times when I was talking to her and loving on her then I can recall but the ones where I was emotionally absent are the ones that stick out in my mind. I would get frustrated and feel shut off from family and friends when I had to go to another room to breastfeed. Partly because I'm still not comfortable breastfeeding under that stupid udder cover and partly because Kyra gets distracted easily when she's eating. I would go and sit in another room by myself and just stew thinking of all I was missing. Not realizing I was missing a whole lot more by not really paying attention to Kyra. Getting upset when Teagan wanted me and I couldn't do anything about it because I had to feed Kyra or calm her down. Thinking Kyra was getting in the way of my relationship with Teagan. Putting on a brave face for everybody because I knew I should feel and act blessed even when I felt more burdened at times. Knowing people would understand if I asked for help but being too full of pride to ask for it. Even from my husband most days. I was just going through the motions.
Then yesterday happened. I was working with maybe 3 good hours of sleep from the night before. I was exhausted and just running on adrenaline. I didn't even have caffeine to put in my system and I was so desperate I almost put Kyra in her car seat and ran out to get some. Anyway, I was on the verge of tears. Kyra had been kinda fussy and nursing hadn't gone as well as I'd liked it to even though she had a full belly I had a full left boob. I decided to slow down. I leaned over Kyra, who was on our bed, and she smiled at me. Full on gummy and bright eyed smile. After the way I'd been most of her life, just doing what I felt like I had to do as a mom, just going through the motions, she still loved me in spite of myself. She loves her mommy and I am her mommy. I lost it. I started sobbing. All I could do was cry and pick her up and tell her how much I loved her. That I was sorry I'd been kinda crappy the last month and that I would do better. I told her I loved her and how sorry I was over and over again.
Have I been struggling with postpartum depression? Maybe? I don't think it was a constant thing. So I think I had more of severe baby blues then full on depression. I've struggled in the past with depression and so Josh watched me like a hawk but I'm even so good sometimes that I can fool him. Thankfully, I think the hormones have finally started to regulate themselves and I'm feeling more happy and emotionally available to both my girls now. I didn't have to go through it alone and I shouldn't have. Being the prideful human that I am I did. If you feel similar to the way I did don't go through it alone. It's hell but it's an avoidable hell. Talk to somebody. Ask for help. Shoot me an e-mail if you need to.