You hear about it, but you don’t really think it’s going to happen to you…
During my pregnancy, I didn’t really have an overwhelming excited feeling. I was thrilled that we were going to be parents and excited to see my little boy, but I never really felt anything but gross. I didn’t glow, I didn’t shine or radiate, I just felt fat and swollen and nauseated all the time. I guess I felt like something was wrong. Why wasn’t I over the moon? Well everyone’s different right?
I had heard about postpartum depression and I know it could happen to anyone but honestly, I thought I would be fine. I have M.S. and I’m blind, so how much harder could having baby be? Haha, do I feel stupid now! It was so freaking hard!
Like I mentioned in previous posts, I had a scary delivery, a hard recovery, and big troubles breastfeeding. Combined with no sleep, I felt like I was going crazy. It didn’t hit right away though; after Marshall was born I felt no different honestly. I was happy he was here and I instantly loved him, but I didn’t feel special or beaming or any of those over rated emotions everyone tells you about. He didn’t do anything other than cry, poop, pee, eat, and in-between all of those I was working my butt off adjusting to becoming a walking McDonald’s. I remember asking my mom if something was wrong with me. How come I didn’t feel anything different? She asked me this question: “could you picture your life without him?” My answer was no. I instantly loved him and would die for him if need be, and she told me not to worry about it. So I tried to forget my lack of feelings and continue with daily life, but things started to get interesting.
Marshall would cry and cry and after changing and feeding him would still cry. I began to get so frustrated that I literally wanted to freak, so I would put him down in his bassinet and yell, cry, scream, and shake a pillow. I felt horrible that I did that, but in my mind it’s a pillow, no harm in that. Now, I would never hurt my child, but this overwhelming feeling of frustration and exhaustion would overcome me, and I had to release it on something or else I felt like I would go insane. A pillow worked out just fine. My husband told me that letting him cry for a few minutes wouldn’t hurt him and suggest that I just take a break and leave the room for 5 min. Now this was when he was still fairly new, and I was still adjusting to becoming a mother.
A few months later December rolled around, and we headed down to Grimsby for my grandmothers 75th birthday, and to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. During our car ride down, we heard the most horrible news that anyone in this world could have ever imagined; a shooting in Sandy Hill had occurred, in an elementary school. My heart sank and I burst into tears. Those poor babies. How could anyone kill those innocent people and children? Right there in that moment my motherly instinct kicked in, and I held Marshall as if I would never see him again. Right then and there I honestly felt a change that I hadn’t felt before. I think finally it sunk in that this little boy was my life and I will do anything for him, be anything for him, and protect him always. It was such a horrible thing but I think it made every parent appreciate what we have even more, it also made me more scared. What if that was Marshall and I would never see him again? Could you imagine rushing there just to be told you can’t go further? Or if you don’t have your children it meant they weren’t coming home? Marshall was just 3 months old and nowhere near close to school, but right then and there it changed everything for me! My heart ached for these people even though their losses didn’t affect me in any way, but on a personal level it affected me deeply. I think it affected everyone.
Then Christmas rolled around. Joyful, wonderful, Christmas. Yeah right. I was so excited for Christmas. Marshall’s first Christmas was going to be amazing. I didn’t care one bit that he had no clue what was happening or could honestly care less. This was for me and Dylan, and it was going to be perfect, or so I thought.
Talk about drama! I had one simple idea in mind, that my husband and I would spend Christmas together alone with our new baby. That’s not too much to ask for. We went to my moms at the beginning of December and had a Christmas celebration there, and we were planning to do the same with his side of the family, but no. We ended up getting comments, that no one from his side of the family has met Marshall and they were all going to be there, so why couldn’t we come? We went to my moms last year. I was so upset because I felt like I was being attacked on all sides and no one was listening. The fact that we spent Christmas with my parents the year before shouldnt have even come up. Marshall wasn’t born yet, and not to mention the year before we spent Christmas with Dylan’s mom. I don’t see it as a competition but it was starting to feel that way. I just remember family getting so upset with me and throwing it in my face that I must hate their side of the family, which is not the case at all. but come on, we are both visually impaired and a low-income family, now we have to travel out-of-town, on Christmas, to see family that can drive? This made absolutely no sense. Why was is our responsibility to go to them all the time? Why couldn’t people come to us? I was getting so depressed. This whole thing ended up blowing up and because I am who I am, I caved in and didn’t get what I dreamed about; spending Christmas alone with my family. Instead we had a very rushed Christmas morning, spent packing last-minute things, and a long bus ride to the train station. To top it off, a grumpy baby and a 3 hour train ride just so we could get there for dinner, sleep, and leave by 6am so my husband had enough time to get home, just to get back to work. It sucked. Now, it was nice seeing everyone and we love everyone, but we weren’t happy. Marshall’s first Christmas wasn’t what I dreamt about at all. Instead it was spent bickering and being over tired, not to mention the gift fiasco! Now, tell me if I’m wrong, but I came up with a cute idea for a way to do presents for our son. He’s just a baby, he doesn’t need tons of stuff and to be honest, not everyone in our family is well off, and sometimes neither are we. So I came up with the 4 gift rule, “something he wants, something he needs, something he’ll wear and, something he’ll read.”
I thought that was so cleaver because he’s a baby, he doesn’t even know whats happening, but this way there was a limit to the gifts and we would actually get things we needed. Well we were wrong. Some members of our family, in particular one or two went way overboard. About 2 weeks before Christmas, they came up with 6 bags of presents, and then still gave Marshall more at Christmas. We (well mainly me) were so upset because it felt like I was being completely ignored and walked over, like it didn’t even matter, or my opinions were stupid. It’s not a hard rule to follow, and im not trying to control everything, but I also don’t want my child to be spoiled. We have a huge blended family, and this kid was going to get massive amounts of stuff, just from the sheer number of people we have. It was honestly ridiculous. Most everyone listened, but they cheated a little, which was slightly annoying, but I just tried to ignore it, it was done with good intentions. Others I just honestly felt like they didn’t respect me enough to even care what I had to say. This started my downward spiral into depression, but again I just hid it inside and told myself I was just really tired, and things had to get better soon.
Things started to look up for a bit though, we had feeding down pat, Marshall was actually sleeping through some parts of the night. He out grew his bassinet very fast. By 4 months he could roll over and almost sit up, so he was moved into his nursery and crib. I slept horrible at first. I was so paranoid he’d die in his sleep and I wouldn’t know if he was ok. It was probably the reason he didn’t sleep well. I kept checking in on him about every 10 minutes and I think I drove my husband crazy asking him to constantly check the monitor; sorry babe. After about a month I was more comfortable and started to sleep better, but it was amazing how I could still hear him. We would have the fan or the TV on, and as soon as he’d cry I just knew it; I could hear him! Honestly I have the worst hearing. You could be sitting right beside me talking to me, and I don’t know if it is due to my M.S. or because I’m trying to concentrate on more than one thing, but man, can I not hear things most the time. It’s probably selective hearing gone slightly haywire, but when it comes to Marshall, I hear him absolutely no problem! Every sneeze, every cough, every giggle, and coo.
Around the 7-8 month mark I found myself starting to change once again. I was so happy I was a mom, and I finally felt that overwhelming joy and proudness to be a mom (is proudness even a word? Well I guess it is now) but I also found myself getting really annoyed and mad. Marshall was on the move crawling, eating solids, not wanting to eat, wanting to be held, but not by anyone other than me, not even his daddy! Yelling for no reason! I felt like I was going slightly insane! What would happen next, I sure wasn’t prepared for.
Stay tuned for part 2!
Until next time!