People always tell you how challenging parenthood is and everyone knows that it's hard, but no one truly knows until they've lived it.
I'm here to tell you It's so hard, it's the hardest thing in the world!
My labour was quite long and not exactly what I expected. My contractions lasted a long time before we ended up at the hospital, so I was going on almost no sleep. I had to wait several hours for the anesthesiologist to place and administer the epidural which faded at the most critical time during labour and the hospital staff were not going to give me anymore! That moment. That was the second scariest moment of my life.
When the epidural wore off, I could suddenly feel everything and as all the medical staff, my doula and Stephen were encouragingly screaming,"PUSH!" the pain was too intense for my brain to even consider pushing. I remember thinking, "If they won't give me medication we might as well go for a c-section or I'll end up dying on this bed" A little extreme, I know, but I honestly felt that I could not handle it. When the nurse told me they were going to give me a fast acting drug, it was as if she told me I won the lottery, never have to work again and will travel the world forever!
The drug kicked in fast! Our doula and Stephen got me to practice breathing and pushing a couple times and then I said to them, "Okay, go get them - I can do this!" I knew that I would need to work hard and fast before this medication wore off also.
Several pushes later, at 3:59pm on Monday, March 13th, 2017 our amazing daughter was born. This was the happiest moment of my life.
One hurdle down. A lifetime to go.
The first week was rough. There was a long list of hurdles we had at that point.
Still no sleep
Trying to heal
Weight loss (baby)
Baby not latching
Milk not coming in
New mom anxiety X 1000
I quickly spiraled into a ball of anxiety and couldn't cope. We ended up staying with Miss E's grandparents for awhile so they could help us out. The help and rest was much needed but once I started feeling more confident the stress of going back home and not having help sent me further into the anxiety spiral. This spiral went deep, deeper than I thought possible.
This was officially the scariest moment in my life.
It's difficult for me to put into words how I felt. I was scared. I was stressed. Every single thing stressed me out. Every single thing was catastrophic. My world was spinning in a circle of stress and depression. The one thing I wanted most in the world; to be a mom - I was failing. I couldn't escape. It felt like these feelings would never go away and I just wanted them to stop.
I knew I needed help. I reached out to my amazing doula who suggested a trip to the hospital to get some immediate evaluation and relief. I hate hospitals for various reasons and the thought of going while in the worst possible state of mind was terrifying; and yet the alternative was much more so.
After hours of waiting, a blood test and an EKG I spoke to a hospital psychiatrist. He was amazing, and gave me a glimmer of hope that I hung onto as I walked out of the hospital with trembling hands and a plan. He set me up with a prescription and an appointment with a postpartum psychiatrist.
I have a fear of medication due to a horrible reaction a few years ago. I almost never take medication, not even for something simple, like a headache. When we got back to the grandparents house, I felt hopeful, but my prescription would take about two weeks to be effective. How could I possibly get by two whole weeks when it hadn't even been that long since I had the baby? Anxiety started spiking again.
My sister, who had driven 2.5 hours to be with me at the hospital, accompanied us back to the grandparents house and conveniently had some situational anxiety medication in her purse. She suggested I take one to take the edge off until my medication started being effective. This too, was terrifying to me but I was desperate for some relief. My irrational fear of medication was convincing me if I took even just one of those pills, I would have another horrible reaction and it might even kill me. This was probably the third scariest moment of my life, but I took the pill.
Best decision ever.
Twenty minutes later, I felt like another person. The person I used to be before I gave birth. It was crazy to think a tiny little pill could make everything better. It was like someone flipped a switch. My eyes began flooding with tears, the happiest tears. I thought I was never going to feel this way ever again. This was the second happiest moment of my life.
Below are some photos taken the day after our hospital trip, when I, for the first time started feeling like a mom.
Click to enlarge