Naomi and George (Hylan's Favorites)
I asked myself which is more difficult: the last two weeks of pregnancy or the first two weeks postpartum and taking care of a newborn. While both have been exceptionally demanding physically and emotionally, hands down, these past two weeks have been way more difficult in so many ways. Needless to say, I think I've just experienced the hardest month of my life so far!
I can honestly say that I've never felt so overwhelmed and out of control of my emotions lately than I have at any other period of time in my life. I've had black and blue moments and experiences in the past, some of which lasted for long periods of time, but this has been different in so many ways. Before it was only about me and just me; now it’s about me and a helpless little person who needs the best me to take care of her.
That’s why I decided to open up about this topic, because I know for sure I’m not the only woman who has ever felt this way, has dealt with the “baby blues.”
Because I know myself and my tendencies and susceptibilities, I actually prayed quite hard during my pregnancy that I wouldn't experience the baby blues or anything close to postpartum depression, but I guess it has been my lot to grow in understanding—in faith and patience—so that I can empathize with other women, including my own daughter someday!
I have had these moments where just a thought would trigger and inconsolable sobbing. Last Friday when Hylan called in the morning to tell me he wouldn't be home at 3:00 pm like he thought he would, I immediately started to weep. Obviously exhaustion, feelings of being overwhelmed, physically still healing, adjusting to a new circumstance, feelings of inadequacy, and feelings of loss of a former life/body, and wacko hormones all contributed to this. It has been difficult but I've learned that I have to talk about it. I’m not one to cry a lot and I don’t even like to cry in front of Hylan, but it doesn't do me any good to try to bear the burden alone.
All of these emotions have been confounded by the complications of breastfeeding. I know it’s important. I've read everything on the subject ten times over, but after many tears, prayers, and another blessing, we've decided that Naomi needs formula. It has been frustrating and I have definitely felt like a failure, although I know I’m not, but it just wasn't working. She was never getting enough milk from me. We were supplementing with a syringe and she still wasn't getting enough. On Sunday, I nursed her for an hour and a half and that was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” I was emotionally exhausted.
After that, I've pumped and pumped and pumped some more. It took 4-6, 20 minutes sessions to get about 2 ounces of milk! It’s frustrating when everything you read says that every woman thinks they have low milk supply but it’s usually because of a supply and demand issue, or because your not drinking the right teas or taking the right herbal supplements, drinking enough water, too high of stress levels, or that you need to take a two day nursing vacation in bed and do nothing but nurse and pump…blah blah blah. Well, that’s all fine and good, but at some point enough is enough. I have cried a thousand tears over this but have also realized that my baby can be healthy on formula and I need to embrace the modern convenience for both my mental sanity and Naomi’s physical growth!
And that's as far as I got in my original post. Like I mentioned above, I am adapting better. Talking about it helps so much. It's hard not to feel alone but because of family, friends, and even this blog, I do feel like I have the tools to be happy in spite of middle-of-the-night feedings, etc. I have mourned enough over breastfeeding and now have started to embrace the convenience of formula.
It has been hard work, especially now that my parents are gone from their two week baby vacation in our home, but I still have good support and yes, those sweet smiley--I recognize you mom--moments make it feel worth it. So, here are some pictures from Naomi's first couple weeks of life to make you say, "aww."
(Totally Staged) Kingo, Leopard, and Naomi!
(Hylan took all of these and yes, they are staged; Kingo is still jealous/scared of Naomi)
Sleeping Strawberry Girl
Thank you for all of your kind comments! I so appreciate them.