Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Story of We, Part 4

To catch up check out part one, two, and three.

Before I had kids I wanted to have home births. Then we found out that our insurance covers so much of our hospital bill that it seems unwise and REALLY expensive to stay at home. (I would still love to do that at least once though.) So, when Nathan and I were preparing for Hazel, I let him know I probably wouldn't want to be at the hospital very long after she was born.

Boy, was I wrong!

You just have no idea what having a baby does to you before you've had one. To put it lightly, I was in pain. Plus they have that nifty little nurse button that I just can't seem to get Nathan to install in our house.

We also had this new little person that I suddenly felt nervous about caring for. She was so vulnerable and tiny. So completely dependent on me. When I was at the hospital I just pushed a button and they answered my questions. I knew if I called my pediatrician that much he'd fire me!

Like I said in Part 3, after she was born I felt like I had arrived. And then I went home. We were probably home less than 2 hours when I left Hazel with Nathan and my parents (who were now home from Florida) and went to my room to nap and immediately burst into tears crying. Hazel woke up shortly after that and when Nathan brought her to me he found me curled up with a tear stained face.

How was I to nurture this helpless baby and the growing boy we were adopting? They both needed me so much, and in completely different ways. What if I failed them? What if I didn't measure up? Could I really do this?

I'm sure most mom's have feelings similar to these. I've been told they do.

There was no other option but to do what needed to be done. There was a joy missing in my heart, though. I didn't realize for a long time that I was struggling with depression. I know some of it was postpartum, but I've realized just in the last year that most of it was emotions coming out that I had never dealt with. Disappointments I had never faced. Failures I'd never worked through. Having these little lives, these blank slates, brought out the imperfections in me more than anything else has.

I struggled with knowing whether or not being a full-time mom was really what I wanted. I mourned opportunities I'd missed out on when I was single and before we had kids. I had always made pretty good decisions, but they were safe decisions. Not adventurous or risky. I would replay decisions made and conversations had that I wished I could change. My life seemed dull and monotonous.

This struggle was very internal for me. I didn't have the words to explain. I didn't even understand enough so that I could try to explain.

When Hazel was about five months and Abiah was almost 5, Nathan and I started talking about when we would want more kids. We wanted our kids to be close in age, but had always talked about waiting for at least one year before trying again. I told Nathan that I didn't think I would mind if I got pregnant soon or if we waited until she was older than one. I was nursing and had just had a baby so our chances of getting pregnant were slimmer. We thought. So we decided to just let it happen. If it did or if it didn't, we would be happy.

The next month there were two pink lines on the little stick.


Rachel said...

Yes, all those feelings ARE normal - or if they're not, I joined you in them!!

karissa said...

You're making me laugh, and cry, and smile, and miss you.