About Dear Bex

This is my place to speak to my daughter. She won't remember these early days in her life, and I want to make sure that I do! Plus, there's just so much I want to say to her and be sure she knows.

September 7, 2011

The dark days.

Dear Bex,

This post is going to be really hard for Mommy to write. It is something I'm not proud of, but something that I could not control.

In the days after a baby is born, it is normal for mommies to feel overwhelmed and very emotional.  Normally that subsides within a few weeks, but with Mommy, it didn't.  For some reason I stayed very overwhelmed, very emotional, and very anxious.

I can look back and pin it to the cholestasis which led to the emergency induction a week early, or to the spinal headache which had me laying in bed for five days after you were born, unless I was trying to breastfeed you - something I so wanted to do so very much, but which required me to sit up which gave me a horrendous headache, and therefore made me dread doing so.  I can pin it to you not getting enough milk from me and being so hungry that you cried, or to you not being able to fall asleep and crying even more because of me drinking Mountain Dew since caffeine was supposed to help my headaches.  I can attribute it to having to get another epidural in order to fix that problem, and the terror I had going through that process.  But none of it matters, because at the end of the day, it's no one's fault and there's nothing I could have done to prevent it.

Because I didn't do anything to cause or deserve the depression that I had, I can't say that I regret it or what it did to me, but I can say that looking back on it makes me so, so, SO very sad, even now.  I was not able to take care of you.  I changed your diapers, yes, and gave you baths, and fed you, but missed out on many things during your first two months.  I was there for them - but wasn't mentally myself at all.  I wasn't the Mommy that I am now.  I couldn't make myself sing to you, or do voices for you, or just generally be the kind of Mommy that I knew I could, and wanted to, be.

Luckily, I knew that something was wrong quite quickly, and so did the Daddy and my family and friends.  They all came to visit and knew that something was wrong.  I was so completely the polar opposite of how I should have been that I got help within a few weeks. I am so thankful that I did, because it made the road to getting better so much shorter, and made me know that it would get better - as little consolation as that gave me at the time.

We got more nurses to help out for the next 5 weeks - Debbie came for two weeks after Karen left.  She was not our favorite to say the least... then came Angela.  Our own Mary Poppins, she sang to you night and day, hung out with you outside and in the lobby all the time, made crazy noises and faces and you LOVED her.  You stared at her glasses all the time, especially when she would yell "CUCKOOOO!" in her high pitched voice.  She loved you too, and would pretend there were fishies in your bath, and read you so many books.   Angela helped us during the time that you were the most fussy, while we tried to figure out and fix your reflux issues.  We eventually did, right at the same time that Mommy started to feel better - and when you were about nine weeks old, we finally hit our stride together and it was magical.  But more about that next time...

I love you, baby girl!

Love,
Mommy

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