I never thought I would be a wife, much less a mom.
I didn’t really want that life for myself plus, for some reason, I thought it would be biologically impossible for me to get pregnant. I had dreams of traveling the world, becoming a lawyer, and not having to worry about anyone besides me. However, I married my husband in November of 2016 and realized I was pregnant on March 6, 2017. I cannot forget that day. I took eight pregnancy tests! I remember looking at all eight laying on the counter and thinking,” Oh, my god what now?” I’m pretty sure I was happy, but I was so shocked I really had no clue what was going on. The minute I left the doctor’s office, I started googling momma things: strollers, car seats, healthy foods during pregnancy, books to read, famous mommas to follow on Instagram, Pinterest boards, gender reveals … yikes, everyday it was something new to learn. I thought I was becoming a momma, but little did I know that I wasn’t ready at all.
I can remember the day Charlie was born like it was yesterday.
I was so nervous I wanted to vomit. I just wanted to meet him and see his face up close. I got to hold him for a few minutes, and then he was taken off to the NICU for breathing issues (it all turned out fine.) As the numerous doctors and nurses talked to me that week, I smiled and said how happy I was, but inside I was screaming to get me out of this hospital, get me back home. I don’t want this baby! Horrible things were going through my head and I couldn’t figure out why. I made excuse after excuse for the way I was feeling and did a really good job at justifying it all.
I did all of the things a mom would do in those first few months: I tried to breastfeed him, I stayed up at night rocking him, I changed his diapers, I cleaned spit up, etc. I was in a fog, but I thought that was normal. Having a baby isn’t easy, so this feeling must be okay. I went back to work and found myself swept away by it. I went to work early and stayed late; I was so consumed with getting the work done that nothing else mattered. I would go home on my lunch breaks to see Charlie, but it was only a motion, I wasn’t present at all. I remember late one night while I was rocking him thinking to myself, “I can’t do this! I am not a mom! I want to die! Charlie would be better off without me!” WHOA! WHAT … ok now you have my attention, what the heck is happening to me? This isn’t me at all! I knew being a mom would be hard, but I am not a mom who doesn’t care. I decided the next morning to call my doctor, whatever this feeling was it wasn’t okay at all.
I was diagnosed with postpartum depression.
My doctor tried to manage it, but it was so bad I needed a Psychiatrist. So, I made an appointment with a different doctor and began the year long uphill battle. This new doctor loaded me up with medicine, after all that is what I needed, right? I must have been on 10 different pills for my depression and anxiety.
I feel that the medicine did work, but I needed something more. I needed something to balance me, something to keep me grounded and that is when I found my faith again. I went back to church, attended a lifesaving retreat (in my eyes), found a bible study, found other mommas, but most importantly found myself. I can remember sitting in the Adoration Chapel on my lunch break and crying my eyes out. The other people in that room must have been thinking, “Oh Lord, what is she going through? Is it time for me to leave yet?” But there I sat almost daily sobbing, begging the man or woman upstairs to send me a miracle, get me out of this funk! Please help me!
I have amazing people in my life, but not everyone understood what I was going through, and some even blamed me for it and still do to this day. I am not angry about it; it was their feelings and I can’t fault them for that. While all this was going on my marriage started to suffer, and my husband and I split up for about 9 months during this time frame. My son no longer called me “Mom” (he called my mom that), and I made some decisions that make me cringe when I look back. I was hanging on by a thread and I honestly had no idea which way was up. At this moment I couldn’t be a mom, because I couldn’t even take care of myself. I relied on my parents, my husband, his family, friends, anyone but me to help with Charlie. I don’t think I will ever be able to say thank you enough, especially to my parents, who picked up most of the burden. They taught Charlie so much during that first year of his life and started to shape him into the child and man that he will become. I will be forever grateful for them and the help that they gave me and continue to give me.
I saw the rainbow after the storm!
Slowly but surely things started to come together in my life. My relationship got better, I quit my job to stay home with Charlie. He started to call me Momma again, and we became connected as a mom and son should be. I spent the next year of his life making up for every moment I lost, for everything I missed out on, for the love I didn’t know how to give him. I watched him grow so much in a year and was present (I was actually there physically and mentally). In February of 2019, I found out I was pregnant again and that is when I really became a MOM! I now had two children who needed me and I am all in, 100% percent this time. I am scared to death of going back to the dark days but I prayed, physically on my knees, to keep me from going back down that road.
I have been blessed with two amazing children and a story to tell. I choose to embrace the mess of my life and wake up each day with a goal to be a better person than the day before. No one should ever have to feel the way I felt, but if you do, please ask for help. Don’t think you have to deal with it alone! You don’t! The one thing I would change if I had the chance to do it all over again is asking for help in the hospital and not waiting three months to say something. Maybe if I had said something sooner, I wouldn’t have missed so much but then again, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.