Kerrigan will be one month old next Wednesday! So yes, the time does fly by and I’m actually thankful for that. I knew the hormone crashing would take a toll on me with placenta pills or not, but I did not expect me to be that mom yelling at her husband to get her baby out of the room she was in because hearing her noises intensified every feeling that was going through her body. Yeah, like I said, batshit crazy. The feelings lasted from a Thursday to the next Friday, so about eight days. So back to being thankful about time going by fast, what a blessing.
It started out on a Thursday, Adam had a friend over and I suddenly was over come with a panic feeling I knew all too well. With that panic feeling came the impending doom feeling because I knew an attack was on the horizon. With an impending panic attack, you make it 50 times worse because if you’ve had one before, you know what to expect and that makes it so much scarier that your body starts to go into fight mode and your adrenaline starts pumping and soon the tunnel vision sets in, etc etc.
I took Kerrigan back to my room and just cried. Adam came in and I said I just wanted to cry. So he let me be. The next day was okay, as was Saturday even though I was still really on edge and felt very ‘fragile’. Sunday I had my mom, Grandma, aunt, and cousin come to see us and I was doing okay until we went out for lunch and I could just feel it all building up inside of me. I kept chalking it up to just being over whelmed with visitors but I knew what was happening and it scared the living poo out of me.
The next day was Monday and my bladder started to act up. It felt like it did last year when my anxiety was HELL. I of course started bawling and mentally telling myself that “I can’t do this again”. I called up the on call nurse and told her that I was beginning to suffer from the baby blues and I wasn’t okay with it. She took it very seriously and got me into see a doctor. I was and am still limited on the weight I can carry so I called up Adam, crying of course, and told him I needed him to come with me during his lunch break to the doctor. Like the amazing human he is, he said of course and there we were, at the doctors.
They took a urine sample and discovered I had the start of a UTI (probably from my catheter) and I breathed a sigh of relief. However then I started crying again. I just looked at her and told her I don’t want to feel like this. I can’t go through this again, the anxiety and sadness etc. I reiterated over and over that Kerrigan wasn’t the problem. She is an awesome baby, I would never hurt her or hurt myself, I just can’t handle these feelings. She smiled and told me I was the third mom to come in today crying about the same thing and that it will pass. Until then she upped my Zoloft which would start to help in 2-6 weeks and gave me a prescription for Macrobid for my UTI. I hesitated going on more Zoloft because I think it makes me weak. (Adam get’s very upset when I say this) However, managing how I feel is the best thing I can do for myself. Kerr and I went home and Adam went back to work. Sadly, when he came home that night I was beside myself.
I could not stop crying. I was in a panic. Kerrigan was making noises signaling that she needed me and my body and brain started shutting down. I couldn’t handle it. I told Adam to take her away from me as I sat on the couch shaking and crying saying “what do I do?”. We did the safest thing we could do, after calling my OB, he said that we should go to the ER. (We are really good at going to the ER guys) We went in and thankfully they deal with this stuff all the time-new mom’s coming in and not knowing what to do with how they feel. They gave me the green light to take an Ativan as it does not contaminate my breast milk and sat and talked with me for over an hour. It was a mini therapy session. Adam and I both talked about how things were going and I shed a few more tears. Two hours later they sent me home with Ativan and the hope I needed. “This will pass” was what they told me. I was told that even though I didn’t feel like a good mom, coming in knowing I needed help proved that Kerrigan is my main priority. If I’m not okay, neither is baby.
Adam stayed home with me on Tuesday and I was able to sleep all night. I had been running on a couple hours of sleep at night not wanting to wake Adam up because he had to work. Well, that plan was laid to rest and we decided to start taking turns. My nights are Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and his are Monday night & Wednesday night with either of us doing the weekends. My mom then came down on Wednesday so I could rest and my cousin and her friend visited me on Thursday.
Slowly but surely I am coming out of it. I do not take a good day for granted. I know that it can come back at anytime but knowing that I can take something to bring me to a safe state of mind is so reassuring. I also am seeing a therapist once a week and she is AMAZING. We are working on my feelings and doing EMDR which is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Reprocessing my mind to view my past traumas differently and accepting feelings I try to suppress.
Now, are the baby blues the same for everyone? Absolutely not. Some may become sad and down, some may cry for a whole day and snap out of it. I chalk my breakdown to the things after her birth. Recovering from a C-Section was not what I wanted. Having people do things for me drives me insane. I like to take care of others. A week after her birth I developed severe back pain that when I told my OB he became very concerned that I had developed a blood clot in my lungs from the surgery. I rushed down for an emergency CT scan which THANKFULLY showed no blood clot but I did have some issues with my thorasic disc that was causing me shortness of breath and terrible back pain. I’ve since had an MRI and have found there are numerous things wrong with my back. So not being in optimal health and not being able to even carry her in her car seat are things that aggravate me and cause me some of my anxiety. Mix that with a birth plan gone askew, no placenta pills, and hormone crashing you have the recipe for a bat shit crazy new mom.
Where am I now? Well after writing all of this I feel a little anxious again, reliving past experiences is really fun, but I’m okay. I’m not fine, I’m not great, I’m okay. I’m okay with laying in bed till 11 am with Kerrigan and getting up to just go back to snuggling more. I’m okay with not being as active as I thought I would be a month after her birth. I’m okay with seeing a therapist and letting people watch Kerrigan when I need to go do something. I’m okay with my new role as a 24 hour milking cow for my little bean (yes, it is true once you become a breast feeding mom, whipping your boob out in public is just like blowing your nose…not a big deal).
I’m happy to say that I have only resorted to taking an Ativan once since the night in the ER. There have been times when my feelings start to wash over me and I get a little cooped up in the house or anxious, but I tell myself she is only this little once. It’s OKAY FOR ME TO NOT DO ANYTHING BUT SNUGGLE. I was raised to be productive, to keep a clean house, go to work, and be a valued member of society, but since becoming a mom, my only job right now is to be a permanent fixture in Kerr’s life. To let her know, even with her being a month old, that Mom is here for her at all hours of the day. She is loved, important, perfectly imperfect, and not a burden but a blessing in our lives. I look at her and I just tell myself that she didn’t ask to be created, she doesn’t mean to make me anxious, she’s a new human that we are responsible for and as scary as that sounds…it’s actually pretty neat. Adam and I get to raise her how we see fit and watch a new human being make something of themselves.
So let’s end this blog on a more positive note, I know it seems like my posts are always “what’s up with Brittany now” but I genuinely feel that the more I talk about my struggles and don’t sugar coat things and are open with things, the better I can cope. I can’t even put a number to the people who have messaged me and told me “thank you” for being so open about things. So on the day’s that I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything, if someone out there reads this blog and is struggling with being a new mom and finds hope, then I actually did do something today besides watch Family Feud and kiss Kerr 4,523 times.
So lets talk about baby!
Kerrigan, at her last check up, is 22 inches long and 8.5 pounds. She is so healthy and 99% in height, naturally. She giggles in her sleep and smiles at people as she’s dozing off. She wakes up twice in the night for about an hour and a half and usually goes back to sleep. She’s in her own room in her bassinet and loves bath time and getting all ready for bed with essential oils and lotion! Her dark hair is falling out on top of her head due to mean Mommy smelling her and snuggling her so much! She has the digestive system of her dad and yes Adam and I have both literally jumped out of chairs holding her when she decides to unleash. So, so loud. She has an innie and an outie belly button right now, and a long torso-my fault. She has a long/big head-Dad’s fault, and Dad’s toesies! I love her big blue eyes and the small red dot she has over her right eyebrow. She make’s a super silly “O” face when she wakes up and looks at the ceiling. She is an awesome addition to our family and we look forward to every day and night we get to have with her from now on.
Thanks to everyone who has been there for us through these past couple weeks, who listened, stopped by, and gave us encouragement. It really does take a village to raise a child.