Most women (or men) who want babies before they have them, really have no idea what they’re in for. Believe me, I was there. And I can almost guarantee that any parent can say the same. You might think about how wonderful it would be to have a cuddly loveable thing and how precious it is to have someone calling you “mommy.” You might even think that a child would take you into la-la land with your new husband or boyfriend who you feel you are madly in love with and could live with happily ever after, as long as you have a child with him. Don’t be fooled. Even fairy tales have their “moments” in between all the lovely events.
I’m sure there are women out there who have a really easy pregnancy, but I sure didn’t. After about 6 months, I could barely get from A to B without feeling like a panting dog who just went for a long swim. At nearly 8 months, I was admitted to the hospital because I had major hypertension just from sitting up straight. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and had to have a C-Section about 14 hours later. Of course it took another 48 hours before I could actually see my baby, who was in the NICU, while I was getting through the magnesium sulfate that was in my system.
After only a week, we took home our 5 pound baby as my husband drove about 5 miles an hour most of the way home. He was so small we were afraid he would disintegrate or collapse on a bump. It was really scary, especially since it was our very first time.
We’ve heard of a lot of nightmares about babies crying non-stop and just being really difficult for months after birth. Our little guy was actually no problem at all. He slept most of the time and smiled or just seemed to look around when he was awake. It was so lovely to watch and wonder what this little thing was thinking about, how he felt, what he would do next.
Throughout the first few months, I struggled with postpartum depression. My husband was away a lot due to the demands of his job and so I was tired quite a lot. I didn’t have anyone to help me. So I had to get it together and figure out most of the scary new baby problems I had never known before.
8 days out of the week, I felt exhausted, dirty, and very angry about something. It didn’t matter what crossed my path, I was just angry. My hormones had me completely wacked out and I was just a walking mess. I cried (actually yelled) at my husband about forgetting my chocolate when I asked for it, I cried for having no toilet paper around, and I found everything wrong with everyone who even talked to me. It was a nightmare to have all of the emotions with baggage. The lack of energy, unhealthy diet, and depression really wore me out. It lasted for about 18 months when I finally came to the realization that I was the only person who was going to be able to stop all the horrible things that was happening to me.
Of course, regardless of the changes I tried to make in my lifestyle, there were challenges I was surely going to keep having. My movie watching days no longer happen whenever I want it to. Enjoying my restaurant meals had become a real treat because it had to be planned very carefully. My expenses had gone from treating myself to buying things my baby would need or maybe want. My leisure moments with my friends were taken over by the little amount of nap time I could get.
All of this for a baby?
Guess what? If someone would ask me if I could do it all over again, I would say, “ABSOLUTELY!”
I never realized I could have all the emotions I do now. Whenever I used to get into a car, I would drive fast and not care about road rules, because apparently I didn’t care about my own life as much as I do now. I thought falling in love was the best feeling in the world, but it really doesn’t come anywhere near the feelings I have for the little person who lights up my life. No matter what pain or struggles I go through, I just remember the little guy who smiles and kisses me, wraps his arms around me and says, “Mommy, I love you sooooo much!”