It has almost been two years since I last posted on this blog. A lot can happen in 2 years.
I write this two months into a global pandemic.
Our second baby was born December 2nd. A beautiful, healthy, 9lb baby boy. A blessing. Henry James.
However, this time my postpartum experience was not “easy breezy” as it was with Olivia.
I remember the second night in the hospital, after the pain meds from my c section had worn off, and my milk wasn’t in. Laying in my hospital bed with Andrew next to me in and a screaming baby refusing to latch and I was thinking what the hell did we do.
We had a “perfect” life as a family of three, I just assumed as soon as Henry was born it would continue to be “perfect”. It started out pretty far from perfect. It has humbled me.
I came home three days post c section and just could not stop crying every.single.day. I had horrible, horrible guilt about Olivia and how I couldn’t devote as much time to her and I couldn’t pick her up (due to surgery)- she also drew away from me. She told me to “go away”, she only wanted her daddy…my already hormonal/guilty self couldn’t take it.
Two weeks postpartum I developed a bad infection in my c section incision that put me back in the hospital for a day where I received intravenous antibiotics and took a few more days and weeks to heal. This was all around Christmas time- the jolliest time of the year- it felt far from it for me, and I feel it was hard to have a new baby during Christmas, I am not sure why but it just felt like major FOMO for me.
I also felt like everyone loved their baby more than I did, I knew a few people on social media and in real life who had babies around when I did and it felt like they are “loved” their babies and motherhood more than I did…this also contributed to my anxiety and guilt…that is why social media can be a real mind F sometimes…especially when you are already in a vulnerable spot!
Once I healed from my incision and things seemed to have settled down a few weeks later I was hit with a horrible bout of insomnia- it was one of the most challenging times of my life.
Thank GOD for family (moms and sisters) and friends (mostly my nurse friends) who told me I needed to get help. My second “thank GOD” moment is for Lexapro. I feel like a new woman- it has taken time but I am coming out of it. Oh and also therapy, went back to my therapist I saw about 2-3 years ago and it has been just what I needed.
Which leads me to quarantine…
My mom said to me “you’ve done really good with all of this (covid), I am surprised”. I was too to be honest- I figured my anxiety and sleep issues would get worse. However, like my therapist reminds me “anxiety isn’t rational”. It certainly isn’t.
Part of my anxiety when we brought Henry home was not being able to care for two children on my own. I was rarely with the two of my children alone at home- because it scared the hell out of me that I couldn’t do it.
Enter quarantine. I have never felt so confident as a mother. I have also never enjoyed being a mother to my two beautiful babies as much as I do now. I used to dread some mornings on the weekends when I knew it was an entire day with my children and no “work” as a distraction or a break from them. Now I wake up in the morning and I truthfully cannot wait to get my little girl out of the bed- she makes me laugh, a lot. And I can’t wait to hold that soft squishy little man of mine. I have truly bonded with my children and also my husband during this quarantine. We have become a family.
I have realized that God has given me these children to care for and to mother. He has entrusted me to be their mother, he has given me the strength and the skills to care for them. Every day for the last 60 days it has just been me, Andrew, Olivia, Henry and Tucker. No work to “go” to…no places to visit or escape to…just us in our house living our best and most simple lives as a family.
We have gone outside almost every single day, we have gathered A LOT of worms, we have taken a lot of walks, we have played lots of Paw Patrol make believe, we have danced, we have laughed, watched movies, cuddled on the couch, read books, fed the fish across the street, made forts, watched home safari’s on facebook, played games on the ipad, completed puzzles, baked and cooked, done a lot of arts and crafts, zoom called friends and family, we have just been and it feels so damn good to just be. I have truly enjoyed this time with my children.
My children are at an age where this has been the best thing for them…they LOVE having mom and dad both home…when will they ever have months with mom and dad home together??
I needed this time to catch my breath, to bond with my baby, to rebuild my relationship with my little girl, and to laugh and love with my husband and to appreciate all he does and all he is.
We have developed a nice little routine and we respect each other’s time and jobs. I have learned about Andrew’s job and what he does in a work day, and he has learned a little more about mine. We have bridged our professional with our personal, as many have now that we are working from the home. Are some days crazy and we end up with a baby on our lap during our meeting? Sure, but everyone loves to see a cute baby during their zoom work meeting:)
I am reflecting a lot on this as Andrew is headed back to work next week and I am feeling sad. I will miss our European style lunches we have every day gathered together around noon at the table eating and chatting.
We have this beautiful and simple life right now and I am just happy and relishing in it. I don’t really want to go anywhere (except for the beach) I just want to live this slow, simple life where I don’t have to pack a diaper bag and I can just enjoy these children we have created because as they say…babies don’t keep. I will never get this time back with my children, and I know God sent this time to me because he saw I needed it, he knew I needed time to relish in the beautiful and messy parts of motherhood that have been hard for me to embrace until now.
This song is coming to mind a lot recently by Chris Stapleton:
But I love my life man it’s something to see
It’s the kids and the dogs and you and me
It’s the way it’s alright when everything goes wrong
It’s the sound of a slow simple song