Monday, April 26, 2010

postpartum. the nasty, nasty truth.

I have struggled with this post for a while. But then I figured, I was completely shell shocked by how I have felt these last few weeks and if I can give one person a heads up, then good.

Everyone tells you about pregnancy hormones. On more than one occasion, people joked about it with Mr. Perfect, or with me. It's widely known that pregnant women = not the most rational. This is perfectly accepted. It's expected. I got emails all the time from my pregnancy subscriptions warning me of how I might feel. There's chapters in the baby books. I knew that I was being irrational when I was pregnant, but it was ok. The books said so.

What nobody told me is how I would feel after she got here. Yes, I knew I would be exhausted, I knew I would get frustrated. I didn't know that at times I would look at her and wonder how I got here? Most of the times that was at 3 am when she'd been screaming for hours.

Nobody told me that breastfeeding would make me feel like a complete failure. That junk is hard. I honestly thought it would just be something I could do. No one told me that it might not work for the two of us. No one warned me that she might possibly nurse for hours and still not be satisfied. No one told me that formula might be something we just had to do.

Thankfully I have a few friends who just went though this. My friend, KW, just showed up one day after I didn't answer her texts for a few days. She had gone through the same thing after she had her daughter. Sometimes she would just bust into tears for no reason. I couldn't understand back in September why she wouldn't answer my texts. Now I know.

My best friend, KP, couldn't breatfeed and wouldn't talk about it. I didn't understand how it could be that big of a deal. I couldn't understand why it was so hard. Now I know.

My emotions are out of control. I will be absolutely fine and then something will hit me and I am a disaster. I will go a complete day without touching my phone. Ignoring all texts and calls. I know I'm being a craptastic friend, but honestly? don't care.

Motherhood is hard. I prepared myself for the pregnancy. I even (kind of) prepared myself for the labor and delivery. But I never prepared myself for coming home with her. Its just me and her. Day after day. I've said it before, but I'm not good on my own. I get really down without human companionship and daily interaction with adults. So in ways, this is beating me down emotionally.

I was really beating myself up about breastfeeding. I thought it was my fault and I was taking it very personally that this wasn't going so well for us. Then I got an email from an awesome friend that made me realize I needed to chill out. So I'm going to see a lactation person tomorrow and see if she can help us, but if she can't, well, I'm not beating myself up about it. I tried.

Last night as I changed diaper number 300 of the day at 4:00 am I looked down at Baby Girl and fell in love all over again. I do that about 70 times a day. Because the thing is, yea, this is hard on me, but its hormones and it's NORMAL. It may not be talked about as often as the hormones of pregnancy, but its very real. But the fact of the matter is, I can't stop thanking God for this little angel. When I'm up at night feeding her, I remember how long I was afraid I would never have the chance to do the late night feedings, or change my child's diaper. I waited years for this and if I have to take the bad with the good, I will. Because shes so worth it.


Mike and Molly Spivey said...

Oh sweet Megan!

Hang in there girl! I know how tough all of those things that you mentioned are! Lord, do I know how tough it is!!!

But God is faithful and knows that you are the PERFECT (seriously) mother for this sweet baby! God gave you her because he knew you were fit to be her mother and to take care of her and provide for her and love her! God is so good to you!

I had breastfeeding issues out the WAZOO!!!! Just a tidbit of what I had was: mastitis (three times!), Yeast in the breast (twice), cracked and bleeding nipples and WAY. TOO. MUCH. MILK!!! I know that is a problem some woman want to have, but too much can cause many issues! Plus I was trying to figure out how to nurse them at the same time! Sheesh - it was crazy! But, I had a sweet lactation nurse that was so good and patient and worked with me and the babies. She gave me lots of encouragement! After I still had issues my doctor told me "Your kids can STILL go to harvard even if they are not breastfed!" :) You need to do what is best for your family! If it is making you miserable and it is making her miserable, then it is OK if you can't do it!

But here is my two tidbits:
1.) God's grace is sufficient! EVEN IN BREASTFEEDING! :)
2.) Give it 6 weeks! It took me a good 6-10 weeks to feel normal and get things going. A friend told me to give it 30 days... and I once I got to 30 days things were still tough.. so I said I would do 60! By then I figured, "I made it 60, might as well try 90!" I kept setting little goals to get to and ended up at 13 months! Who would have thought it - NOT ME! :)

Hope your appointment goes well! I will be praying for you as you transition into motherhood. It is a joyful, trying, sanctifying process that is so sweet and good!

Kara said...

We are SO on the it, too. Good luck, and if it doesn't work out, join me :)

Miss M! said...

I remember that feeling... I kept telling myself that if a stupid DOG could do it then I should be able to do it too. How's that for "just had a baby" logic? I saw lactation consultant after lactation consultant and they all said I was doing everything right, but that baby just wanted nothing to do with my breasts. It was so horrible and stressful and every feeding ended up with both of us crying.

So I stopped trying to get HIM to latch, and instead hooked myself up to a pump. I pumped my milk for that boy for eight months, and I'd do it all over again too.

You have to find out what ALL of your options are (a lot of people neglect to mention that you CAN pump exclusively then bottle feed your milk) and do what works best for you and your family.

Mandy said...

What a beautifully honest post! Definitely don't beat yourself up over breastfeeding. You have tried your best and it just might not be the best thing for the two of you. I was hoping to breastfeed for 6 months but had to start weening at 4 months because I was just not producing enough and she was starving. We were both happier when we stopped. I did also find though that my hormones got out of control again when I stopped breastfeeding...flying off the handle at my husband, crying, similar to beginning of pregnancy. Just wanted to give you a head's up so you are prepared and know it's totally normal

Maggie said...

Hang in there! Both my sister and sister-in-law weren't able to breastfeed either - it simply doesn't work for everyone, and IT'S OKAY. Really. You are a fantastic mother no matter HOW you feed your baby. And think about all the flexibility that comes with bottles ... not a bad Plan B at all. Good luck!

Belle on Heels said...

very brave and honest post!! sounds like you are doing a wonderful job. hang in there, sweet pea :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Lady!
I know what you mean about the post-pard depression (I went through it when I miscarried)..... you think you relax-- you are a first time momma and things, well some come natural and some need a little work--- you are not the first to go through this, and definately not the last! Dont beat yourself up over what you think you should be doing naturally and what not...... enjoy your time with Ms. Thing (my nickname for her) and really get to know her..... this IS YOUR time to be home with her and really relish in that one on one time!! It is an adjustment period for you both-- and Mr. Perfect too!! I promise, it will get easier!! I SO promise! ( I know you dont know me from Adam, BUT I promise.... it...will...get....easier...)
***Bloggie Hugs***


Kara said...

Found a great blog: Even if you don't go the formula route, there are so many stories about breastfeeding that you will surely not feel so alone.

No Longer Newlyweds. said...

OMG...I am the awesome friend!!!!! Yeah. =)

In this wonderful life... said...

Great post! I'm certain this will help new mommies out there! I'm sure you are doing great! Doing what you can and thanking God is all you can do :)


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