A Grateful Heart

Before I go any further into my mom journey I want to take time to appreciate all of the good things in my life. I am in no way saying that my struggle is worse than others, or crying poor me, poor me. I know that I am blessed to have so many great things line up in the universe for me.

First, the fact that getting pregnant was ‘easy’. As many married couples do, we often talked about starting a family and what that might look like. We discussed what difficulties and joys could lie ahead. Would we have a difficult time getting pregnant? I have a few family members and friends who have faced that hardship, and the heartache is all too real. Well, we decided that is a bridge we cross when it is dropped in front of us! But luckily, it was never an issue. I tracked my cycle for one month, and we followed all the suggestions for ‘ensuring’ a pregnancy. And for us it took no time at all…this was the ‘easy’ part and I am grateful for that.

Second, supportive family and friends. I have an amazing support system! My husband is phenomenal, my friends (a small select group) are always there to listen and help if they can and I have family that will bend over backwards to make things a little easier on me. But sometimes that is hard to see and cherish. When battling depression you feel like everyone is fighting you in different ways. You fixate on the negative things instead of appreciating the positives. Well, at least I do anyway. Why don’t they call me? Why won’t they come over or offer to do something? Do they not understand my discomfort? And most of the time that’s exactly what it was…they just didn’t understand. And for them, they thought giving me space was helping. But in actuality, it made me feel so alone in this new journey. Now, my husband never made me feel alone. He was always there; running for my newest craving (something that I could actually eat and digest), rubbing my feet, listening to me throwing up, and trying the newest ‘feel better remedy’. I may have carried our child through pregnancy, but my husband carried me. And he continues to support me through every struggle motherhood has presented me with.- Breastfeeding ‘fails’, postpartum body shaming, exhaustion, and all too often regret…just to name a few! For this I am grateful!

Third, my postpartum healing. I am so grateful that my healing for a vaginal birth was as normal and quick as any woman would wish. Yes, it was still difficult as many new things are. But it was without complications and less than the 6 week time period. What a blessing it was to not have to worry about that as I worried about everything else!

Fourth, I have a healthy and beautiful baby girl. She is a nugget of intelligence, discovery, sassiness, and strength. She is always looking for ways to overcome her obstacles and many people often underestimate her. She will figure everything and anything out! Ohhhh, doesn’t want to take her medicine? We will be smarty parents and put it in a bottle nipple to trick her! One week later, she is refusing to take the nipple! She knows what it contains! Ok, lets try squirting it in the back of her cheek. The nurse insists that doing it this was way it was impossible for her to use her tongue to push it forward to spit it out. GUESS AGAIN! She made a liar out of that man! But, I am often times reminded to sit back and not necessarily see these as negative things. She is intelligent and discovering her world. Her ability to figure things out and ‘out smart’ her parents at a mere 4 months old, is the sign of a bright future!

Finally, I am grateful for who I am. I am a strong, intelligent, educated and determined woman. These are hard things to say and believe, but I need to believe them. Not just for me, but for my daughter. I need to give her a strong female role model. I want her to fight for survival as I have. As any parent does, I hope that she does not face half the struggles I have. But I know that life can be difficult, and I want her to attack it with bravery. These qualities were bestowed upon me by the amazing and strong women in my family that have preceded me. And I hope to continue to pass these qualities along to my children.

I am grateful for the things in my life that have not been a struggle, for the great moments of joy! However small and sparse those moments are, I hope to not overlook them. I want to recognize them and relish in all their glory!

The Discovery

I am going to have to do some backtracking here since my nugget is already a few months old. But I think to understand my mental struggles currently, it’s important to know where this difficult journey started.

It was an extremely early morning in June, and I mean early, like 5 am. My eyes popped open and I immediately felt the urge to take a pregnancy test. It was weird, this has never happened to me before. So I went into the bathroom and did just that, as I waited the 3 minutes to see my results I had all the usual thoughts running through my head and feelings running through my heart.  Are we ready for this? Is this what we really want? How can we afford to support a child? Will my husband be happy? Will I be happy? Then there it was…a pregnancy positive. Inside I was screaming could this be a false positive? I calmly put the test back in the wrapper and hid it in the closet. Why was I hiding this happy and exciting news? I was unsure of its validity and wanted to be sure before springing the happy headline on my husband.

After dealing with the initial emotions of a positive test, I went about my daily activities. Getting ready for work, driving to work, and trying to focus on my work with this bomb hidden in my bathroom closet. I mentioned something to my coworker who suggested that on lunch we get another test just to make sure it wasn’t a false positive. So cut to 3 hours later; there we are, standing in target, staring at the pregnancy tests. Picked my preferred brand, purchased and peed. Lo and behold it was positive. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, I was pregnant. I didn’t know whether to celebrate with tears of joy or tears of terror.

Now, we were not planning on a baby…but we also weren’t doing anything to prevent it either. We felt that if the universe thought the time was right, well it was right then. With a bun baking in the oven being confirmed, I had to figure out how I was going to tell my husband! I didn’t know how he was going to react. I knew he loved me, would do anything for me, but…what would he think about expanding our family? As a young woman I had always dreamed of the adorable way I would announce to my husband that we were expecting. A photo shoot, where we wrote notes to each other. My note would announce the great news and the photographer would catch his reaction on film. Yah know, real pintrest-y stuff! Well…I realized real quick that life can’t be a pinterest board. Photographers require TIME and MONEY. Neither of which I had readily available. So, my search began.

I ended up buying a box with a fish design, putting a gender neutral onesie inside and writing a note that announced we were adding another fish to the sea. I set it up, and was ready to record the exciting reveal. Well to my disappointment, my husband’s reaction was…controlled, lackluster, underwhelming. But what I have learned about my husband is that he takes time to process things, good and bad. So I waited. He eventually came around and was excited, nervous and inquisitive like most Fathers to be!

BUT, this whole finding out process and reveal was my first harsh reality that life never goes how you want…plan…hope for! And from here on out, the lessons were handed to me tenfold… the universe did not hold back!

My Purpose for Blogging

I am about 24 weeks into this whole mom thing. YES, a first time mom here! I have discovered the extremely hard way that this is not a job for the weak! I went through a very difficult pregnancy, labor, delivery and now I am attempting to raise my little nugget. And I say attempting because I am deep in the thralls of postpartum depression. That is my reason for starting this blog. I am sure that others have struggled harder in all of these areas than I have. But for me, this mom struggle is a difficult reality. I hope that by writing my struggles I can help others in similar situations and try to bring myself some healing. I am in no way an expert on anything that I write about, but I want to tell my story, every difficult detail. So here I go…A mom, who has struggled with bipolar depression my entire adult life and now trying to make sense of my new life!