Friday, February 26, 2010

Emotional Rollercoaster

I have been working on this post over the last three days. Today I feel one thousand times better, I haven't even had the urge to cry! But I felt like I wanted to post this anyway, since it was important enough for me to spend days putting in writing!

This post is full of pregnancy hormone-related emotional activity. Don't say you weren't warned! And if you're going to roll your eyes just do it behind my back because it will probably make me cry otherwise!

When Colt was born, there was so much fanfare around him. Rightfully so! He was our first, we'd been down such a hard path to get to that point, we'd waited for so long, we were all on pins and needles not knowing if we would get to keep him. We'd had 4 showers for him, educated so many people on birthmothers and adoption and waiting, we'd bought the best of the best for him, decorated his nursery with vigor.

And yet, once we had him home and our family and friends had loved on him, John went back to work. And I was on maternity leave. And I remember feeling like it was a very lonely existence. I remember thinking very early on that I wanted to go back to work because at least there I knew what to expect, and I wouldn't feel so lonely. That feeling passed pretty quickly and by the time I DID go back to work I cried for weeks leading up to it because I was not, in fact, ready.

So this time around, I knew there were certain things I HAD to do to avoid that feeling, or at least minimize the amount of time I felt it. I had to shower IN THE MORNING every day, fix my hair and do makeup EVERY DAY, and wear clothes (not sweats) like I was going out EVERY DAY. At the same time, I needed to remember that my job during this time is to bond and love on and care for my baby. If the laundry didn't get done or the kitchen didn't get cleaned or we slept on the same sheets for weeks...that was ok. If I spent the day cuddled in the chair with my son watching TV and taking naps, that was OK because that's what I needed to be doing. But in the meantime, the blinds needed to be open each day, the overhead lights on, and I need to get out, even if it's just a walk or trip to the grocery store, as often as possible.

Well, John went back to work yesterday. I knew it was coming, but it didn't make it any easier. It was even more difficult because yesterday was the first day since Owen was born that I felt GOOD. That I felt like myself, physically I had very little pain. We'd slept well, and the sunshine was out and abundant. And all those things, naturally, caused me to cry ALL DAY LONG. It was the first day I really wanted to get out.

The whole time John had been home, I felt so crummy. Which, thankfully he WAS here during that time because I NEEDED him. Yesterday, I just really WANTED him.

To top it all off, I've been feeling incredibly guilty since the day Owen was born that I didn't enjoy this experience or look forward to his birthday as much as I had with Colt. And once it was all over, I was sad. I realized how amazing this gift of pregnancy and birth really was, no matter how uncomfortable or crummy I'd felt along the way. I also felt bad because, as most second children know, there isn't quite the fanfare leading up to the birth. Everyone is excited, of course! But it's just different. So I've spent time feeling guilty. Wishing we would have spent more time planning and getting excited. I just didn't realize how amazing it would feel once he was here, and how much I would love having TWO sons!

I know a lot of this is just post-partum hormones and emotions. But I sure am ready to be over it. I am LOVING this baby, I am enjoying every second (between the hours of 6 am and 9pm...otherwise it's hard to "enjoy"!). He is so beautiful and special and cuddly and his personality is already beginning to sparkle. Colt is doing so well with him, and Colt is finally starting to hug on me again. It's just an awesome time in our lives and I'm ready to feel like myself physically and emotionally.


Joe said...

Enjoy these experiences. As odd as it sounds, enjoy the "downs" as well as the "ups"! The memories will all end up being "up"! You have a really special family and you are a remarkable mother!

Holly said...

I don't know firsthand, but I imagine this is all very normal and natural. I appreciate the honesty!

Sammy said...

Sending you a big hug Jessica! Thanks again for your honesty xx

Anonymous said...

I feel like I could have written all the parts on this post about your leave with Colt. I felt the same. Even now thinking about having another baby I can't wrap my mind around how there's enough LOVE for TWO. I mean my heart is full and explodey now, I don't know how it will hold another babylove. But it will I know.

I also remember the huge hormonal fluctuations (the freezing/dying of heat cycle at night was the worst part for me). Praying those even out for you, it tends to feel like you're living life under a magnifying glass where everything feels really GOOD or really BAD. Thanks for telling it like it is, I appreciate that. :)