Happy New Year, honestly...
It has been 6 months since the Siena was born. The time really does go fast; I feel like I just concluded my blog post with her story. At the end of that post I said I was looking forward to telling you how things were getting better. In some ways, they are, but I also realized something really important.
I am happy to report she sleeps from about 8pm- 7am. We are super fortunate that she transitioned into her crib no problem and just gradually showed me her bedtime. I thank God that I didn’t have to go through letting her cry it out and etc. Sometimes I have to go in and give her the pacifier once but that is it. She has also grown out of her reflux for the most part. She still has a little bit, but not where it is a serious factor. I think her digestive system just needed to catch up. She is around 14lbs, she is a little chunk! Although, still petite for her age she is just fine. Siena takes one long nap of about 2 hours in the afternoon which is nice. While cat napping in the morning and evening. We also suspect she is teething already! Some days are a little worse than others. It is so sad when you know their teeth are bugging them! She is always talking, and growling at us. It cracks me up! I am hoping this stage of crying when anyone besides Brian or I approach her passes quickly. It seemed to come out of nowhere! I know it is normal, but I do hope it passes. There are so many of my family members who want to be her new favorite hehe!
With her sleeping, more and showing a little bit of schedule it makes life better. Most people do start feeling back to some type of normal as they approach this time. I noticed I am not, which is a very hard thing to admit. I have been shying away from social situations. I do not feel like being around friends. If I commit to something I instantly feel anxiety. There are still a lot of days although I am laughing and playing with her, I feel really low. Almost like a heavy fog that I can’t lift. It is hard for me to think straight, and organize myself. I am often frustrated and disappointed with myself. I was trying so hard to be “normal” and have “normal” moments. I kept thinking these were normal first mommy feelings. But as I noticed I was refusing to go out and unable to control my emotions even in public I had a feeling something was wrong. I have been trying too hard to feel “happy.” It is hard when in your rational mind you know this is wrong and not making sense. This is what postpartum feels like and I didn’t know it. I thought I could control it and talk myself out of it. It turns out you can’t talk yourself out of a hormonal imbalance. You also can’t ignore the effects of a traumatic event. Although I am “over it” there may be some things that are carrying over into the present. I have to learn about what is going on with me and understand it.
I just started taking steps towards getting help. Postpartum anxiety and depression robs you of enjoying so much. So often we think, as did I, that it is normal. While some of the feelings are, there are also cases where there is more at play. I didn’t know this and it took me some time to accept. I didn’t want to be the person with postpartum. I have always pushed through and handled everything well. But I am, and I hope by sharing someone else will recognize it sooner and realize there is strength in choosing to get help. It is hard to wander in the dark for so long. I want so badly to feel the way I assume people smiling in pictures with their babies feel. No matter how hard this or tired they are, they are still joyful. Also, I need to get rid of feelings of shame or disappointment that I “let this” happen to me. Because again, in my rational mind I know I didn’t cause this. That is what anyone that feels like this needs to know. You are not a bad mom or love your child less because you don’t feel like what you see on Facebook or Instagram. It is just that maybe no one is talking about it and you don’t know. Kind of like me. It can be very isolating even with support.
I recently read Romans chapters 4 and 5. They were all about faith. Believing God is working even when it seems impossible. Then I heard on the radio a short sermon about how God asked the Israelites to take the 7th day to rest. He also said take the 7th year off from harvest and have faith that what you did in the 6th year would carry you through. To practice trusting that God has your future in his hands.
It struck me this is exactly where God has me. I thought, okay Lord I hear you. Now how do I move forward? I felt like he said, you don’t. You wait and learn once again to enjoy where I have you. Because as you wait your faith grows and your focus changes. I can mold you for your next step that I will have you take when you are ready. Although I feel like I have been standing still since I began my pregnancy journey. I also question why must I stand still while others have had babies and are still moving. My only thought is there must be something I am not ready for yet. There is definitely something I do not see and I need to have faith. I need to allow God to mold and shape into what he needs next. It may not even be something that is on my radar. This is not how I am thinking of going to the new year. It is just how I am thinking of going on. I will not be making resolutions, goals, or vowing to change. If anything, I am going in with no expectations, just letting it be. Saying it is well with my soul. For pushing myself to achieve and make plans have proven to be more of a frustration. I need to just let God work and let healing begin. Siena is much stronger than I am already! She has overcome a lot just to be here and I am so thankful. Moving forward I want to focus on where I am at the moment and not where I wish I was. Not just this year, but every year.