Emmalynne was born January 13th, 2016...exactly 5 years (to the day) that her older brothers became angels. In 2011 I was in a bad place. I had lost a pregnancy that meant the world to me. I was in an unhappy marriage. I was quite frankly an absolute mess in many ways.
Today...I am living a beautiful life. I am blessed in ways I never thought would be possible. Superman and I bought a house. I went back to the insurance business so that I can actually be around to watch our daughter grow up. I graduated with a psych degree and then went back for my MBA. He is in nursing school, and working in the ER of a local hospital. In all reality...we are kicking ass at this whole "life" thing. Life is WAY too busy...but it is good. It is happy.
But hey y'all...I have a secret for you. (Well I suppose it isn't a secret to anyone that's "been there done that." But either way...)
Ready for it?
Being a mom is
Make you completely insane, wore two different shoes to work, haven't slept a solid night in 3 months kind of hard.
I have forgotten who I am as a person. Our wedding (that I had essentially finished planning a year ago...) is suddenly this massive blur that is barreling at me in a 2 month countdown.
Confession: sometimes I put the baby in the swing and I walk away. I let it rock her to sleep for the night while I try to make some sense of what I need for the next day. I shower alone. Hell...sometimes I just sit on the couch in the dark for a minute because there's so much running through my brain I can't even being to comprehend any of it.
I have never felt so out of control, or terrified in my life. Our little girl is perfect. She is healthy, happy, and honestly probably the cutest thing I've ever laid my eyes on. But there is a whole new fear in being a mom. The question of "what if" suddenly has 30 thousand new endings that scare the ever living shit out of me. Right after she was born I posted something on Facebook about how my brain worked in the middle of the night. Sleep deprived and all the only thing my brain could think was:
"She should have mittens on while she sleeps so she doesn't scratch herself, but what if she pulls the mitten off, shoves it in her face, and suffocates??? I should take them off. Oh well if I take them off her hands will be so cold. Ok I will leave them on. Well...if I leave them on and she stuffs one in her mouth, she could swallow it. But if I take them off she will definitely scratch her cornea out."
This is what new moms do. Seriously. All day. All night.
And people wonder why new moms are so exhausted...
I've heard that it lasts forever, but I'm happy to report that the total insanity slowly starts to calm down around week 3 or 4. The irrational "what if she crawls out of her bassinet and falls to her death on the carpet" thoughts end. No worries though...they are replaced with bedtime "please sleep through the night tonight"...(wakes at 1 am to realize baby is still sleeping) "OH MY GOD IS SHE STILL BREATHING?!" kind of thoughts.
Now there is good news in all this...I promise. Actually I'm not sure women would continue to reproduce if there wasn't.
Having a baby is the best thing I have ever done.
My daughter is a miracle.
She is proof to me that God exists...and that no medical diagnosis can stifle what He can accomplish.
(No worries now...this blog will never go all "turn to God for all of your problems, He can heal all.")
But for me...I got my rainbow baby. I got a miracle. I got something that I was told would NEVER happen. I got my Emmalynne.
And she is perfect.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
My cousin read me that Bible verse almost 10 years ago...and it has stuck with me ever since.
Suddenly...I can see those plans. Things make sense.
I know this post has been long. I won't judge you if you stop reading now.
But as it is the first official post "back"...you may want to stick around. I have no idea how much I'll be able to post between now and the wedding...but I have some things to say before I disappear again. It's time for some real talk.
Post partum depression and anxiety.
My life is essentially perfect right now. And I deeply mean that. My "stress" is all good stress. I don't have to worry about providing for either of our girls. I don't have to worry about a job. We have a beautiful home. I have a kickass partner in life that loves me and the girls. He's my best friend and my superhero.
Life. Is. Perfect.
Guess what doesn't care about that perfection though? PPD and PPA.
I'm lucky, and I think I am avoiding the actual depression for now. I'm still on the high of being a mom and I have been able to bond with her more than I realized was possible.
But some women aren't that lucky.
Those who have depression or anxiety issues prior to birth are much more likely to deal with PPD or PPA. And it shouldn't be embarrassing. It's something that deserves attention and love.
I am getting hit pretty hard right now with the anxiety. Between massive hormone swings, and all of the stress we have in our lives...I am starting to crack a little bit. I still have it under control...and luckily I know when to wave the white flag...but I won't deny that it is there.
I'm not ashamed to admit that sometimes when Nick leaves for work...I fall apart. I cry a lot...and for no reason. I make lists about making lists...because it helps calm me down. I clean mindlessly for hours instead of sleeping because somehow it makes me feel more in control.
And sometimes I don't handle it quite so constructively. Sometimes I panic at work because I think of the fact that my garage is unorganized. It goes from something that is essentially irrelevant to life...to something that I need to fix IMMEDIATELY. I hear myself talking and I know it's stupid...but it doesn't change the stress level. It doesn't quell the extreme panic I feel knowing that it isn't done.
It's important to realize your "normal" and to recognize your threshold of "not okay anymore." And it's important to call yourself out when you feel the situation get out of control.
You don't have to be perfect.
You don't have to be supermom.
You just need to be okay.
Thank you to everyone who waited patiently for me to come back.
...clearly this world's newest skeptic. Just like her momma.