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Friday, June 20, 2014

A postpartum update

By this time after bringing Aspen home from the hospital, I was having pretty regular breakdowns. I remember crying at night while holding her, just wishing and begging that she would sleep. She wasn't fussy, she just was WIDE AWAKE. And I didn't realize I could put her down and walk away. I could let her ride in her swing or bouncy chair while I snoozed. I could enjoy her infancy a little more. During the day I remember feeling like my heart was going to beat right out of my chest, and I remember anxiously awaiting Kev's return home every single night. I also remember being so overwhelmed and tired that I almost always chose to lay down and try to sleep rather than eat, even when I felt beyond starved.

This time around, it's still hard. But it's a different kind of hard. It's not the hard of uncertainty or naivety; it's hard because I'm tired. Just tired from the handful of nightly feedings and being awake all day to play with Aspen. But tired is so very normal and reassuring.

I started Zoloft the day after I gave birth. I know that its effects are not in full swing yet, but I think (combined with this being my second baby) knowing that assistance is coming in a week or so makes a big difference. I know that when I'm so wiped out because it's suddenly been a month of interrupted sleep and unexplained baby crying and juggling Aspen's needs with a newborn's, those anti-depressants are going to give me a much-needed boost.

What I'm really struggling to improve is my relationship with Aspen. I keep letting my fatigue govern my reactions to her behavior (like constantly asking me on repeat when the baby's going to be awake so she can "play" with him, or sitting on my lap while I'm nursing him, or following me into his room talking nonstop when I've asked her to be quiet and let me put him down for a rest) and it's not fair to her. She's still just a little kid and needs just as much, if not more, attention than before. And I have to figure out a way to provide that to her and still have energy for Lincoln. We'll eventually find a rhythm, though. And it'll help when I'm feeling more rested and we get out of the house more often again. I think that's probably the hardest part for Aspen right now; we don't leave the house every day like we used to. I know it disappoints her when she asks at breakfast what we're going to do that day. She doesn't exactly think letting mommy take a nap sounds like a good time.

But I have time on my side! I know that this will get easier. Yippy! And it doesn't hurt that I have wonderful, amazing, selfless friends who welcome Aspen into their homes and take great care of her while I enjoy some one-on-one time with Lincoln (and my bed).

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  1. I am so glad to hear things are going a little better this time around. Good luck! You're doing a great job with Aspen + little Lincoln!

  2. Hooray! You're awesome. From my 15 months of experience as a mommy of two I'd say you're totally right when you mentioned it will get easier once you find a new rhythm. I had big time guilt after Claire was born because I couldn't spend as much time with Makai. It was hard at first and I won't lie, he acted out more in an attempt to get that missed attention (heck he still does that). But everyone just adjusts to a new way of life and life goes on… rather beautifully. Best of luck! Lincoln is so handsome with all that dark hair by the way!


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