I think it’s time to get back to being a “real” blogger. I spent the past 10 or 11 months writing almost exclusively about being pregnant, and then, since her birth, Maggie. Everything was happyhappyjoyjoy.
I loved being pregnant. I loved every minute of it. During the times early on when I felt sick to the last few days when I started to get uncomfortable, I really couldn’t complain. I had difficulty getting pregnant and staying pregnant, so every moment of my pregnancy with Maggie was cherished and never taken for granted. Throughout that time, I learned that it’s not all about ME anymore. I was carrying a life, a precious life, inside of me, and my discomfort ceased to matter. I would have done whatever it would have taken to carry her to term and make sure she was healthy, regardless of how it affected me.
And now that she’s here, it’s easy to write about the wonders and joys of having a beautiful, healthy baby. It’s easy to post pictures of her, to document her milestones, to capture the essence of her NOW, before she changes and grows with the passage of time.
It’s not as easy to write about everything else. It’s not as easy to admit to the changes in my life since Maggie’s birth that aren’t positive, or that I haven’t reacted positively to.
It’s easier to post a picture of a happy baby.
(Even one who is losing her hair in weird patches. Why can’t it ALL just fall out at once and be done with it? It didn’t start falling out until the day I made an appointment to have her pictures taken . . .c’mon kiddo, we’ve got a deadline on the hair loss situation here!)
Anyhow, the bottom line is that I’ve struggled a lot in the past six weeks. More than I expected to. More than I’ve let on to ANYONE, except Mike, because, well, he has to deal with me on a daily basis. It hasn’t had anything to do with being capable as a parent; it’s not that kind of struggle. It’s more of me being an emotional, mental, and physical wreck.
It’s never been so severe that I thought it was post-partum depression. I’m still healing–in a lot of ways–and I expected a certain amount of recovery. And I know that a lot of what I’ve experienced over the past month and a half can be attributed to hormones. I guess I just never realized that hormones can be so . . .powerful.
There have been days that I basically curled up in a ball on the couch with Maggie in the bouncy on the floor next to me for hours at a time. There have been other days where I’ve been a whirlwind of accomplishment–successfully juggling taking care of Maggie with everything else that needs to get done and feeling on top of the world about how capable I am of doing it ALL.
I never thought that the highs would be so high, or that the lows would be so . . .low.
A friend of mine said to me once that she went through what she called a “mourning period” after the birth of her first child. She mourned for the way her life used to be. Independence. Spontaneity. Freedom. They were all gone. She was responsible for another life. Would always think about someone else first. When she said that to me, I first thought “how selfish”. Now I think I have a better understanding of what she meant. And it’s not about being selfish, it’s more about adjusting to the changes that come along with having a baby.
I am not “just myself” anymore. Mike and I aren’t “just a couple” anymore. We’re a package deal. And that package is now high maintenance. Is always at the forefront of our thoughts. Is always our number one priority. Our “go with the flow” lifestyle is a lot more structured than it ever was before. And that’s not a bad thing; it’s just an adjustment.
I’ve always been one to make a decisions quickly and to move on, confident in my choice. But now some of the decisions I have to make don’t affect just me, or just Mike and I. I can’t just adopt my “devil may care” attitude and laugh it off if the decision is the wrong one, shrug my shoulders, and carry on. Because now Maggie factors in, and my decisions will affect her too, and us as a family unit.
[Sorry to be so vague, but I have reasons for not being more specific.]
To complicate things, I’ve never been one to readily admit to a struggle. It’s always been easier for me to play it up that everything’s rosy and that I have everything under control. It’s rare that I would go to someone, even a close friend, and admit that I need any kind of help.
But today, I called a friend. One that I’ve been meaning to call for weeks. One that I haven’t talked to in a few months.
And, somehow, without me asking, and–I think–without her knowing, she helped me.
After talking to her, just having a conversation catching up on each other’s lives and hearing about her experiences after having her son, I feel so much better about some of the things that have been bothering me. I feel . . .refreshed, for lack of a better word. I feel like I can cope a little better, and make some decisions that need to be made with a little more confidence.
Michele has always had that effect . . .she gives me perspective. Always at a time when I need it most.
And she makes me laugh. Always at a time when I need it most.
Michele and I posing as iguanas (inside joke!) 2 years ago when she came to visit for a weekend.