We were home! We were overwhelmingly happy… and then the lights went out!
It was like someone had flipped the light switch off for me… and I don’t say that jokingly or lightly. It really was exactly like someone just flipped a switch, and I went from overwhelmingly and perfectly happy to darkness.
Here is where my really real story begins… are you ready to hear it?! Am I brave enough to really talk about this?!
5 weeks old and he was still absolutely perfect! He was an easy baby as far as newborns go~ He slept pretty much on a good schedule. He barely ever cried (only if he was hungry or needed to be changed or he was gassy). He was a really gassy baby but that didn’t seem to be a problem He just needed some attention and a little leg pumping. He was happy and oh such a good baby!
I loved being a new mom… I was so breath-takingly smitten with him!
5 weeks old… and then oh and then!
Anxiety hit, panic even! Tuck had gone back to work and even back to traveling but until 5 weeks, it didn’t phase me. 5 weeks: I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t know how to do anything anymore.
5 weeks: Linc would cry and it had changed. His little cries that were once endearing were like nails on a chalk board and I didn’t know how to calm him! How could I be a good mother and not know how to calm my baby?!
5 weeks and the nightmares set in… the awful nightmares that kept me awake even on the already short amount of spurts I would get to sleep. I would lay awake all night… afraid to sleep. I would worry about all the illness I saw at the children’s hospital. What if that could happen to Linc?! I would tip toe into his room when I thought Tuck was sleeping and I would rock our sweet baby boy and I would silently cry.
What if we lost him?! Life is so short sometimes.
5 weeks and my blissful mother hood turned into a post-partum depression nightmare.
It didn’t start all at once… I would start crying over the silliest things: how cute Linc looked in pajamas at night, a song I would sing to him going to sleep (Dixie Chicks Godspeed… which by the way I dare you not to cry at that if your a mom of a little boy).
Then I noticed that my patience would start getting pretty thin: Linc would have gas and I couldn’t fix it right away and I would become so angry at myself!
I started to shy more and more away from the tasks of motherhood and Tuck stepped up more and more to take the lead. I would then become more upset with myself and feel so incompetent and it would be such a vicious cycle!
Finally…. it hit hard and I had a moment! A very real moment and I called my mom, crying! Tuck was traveling and I needed someone to be there with me right away to help me work through all that I was thinking and feeling.
My mom is amazing and she was amazing during that time for me! She encouraged me to talk about how I was feeling with Tuck and my doula… and maybe just maybe it was time to seek some professional help.
It was pretty emotional for me as I talked things through with Tuck. It was more emotional for me to call and leave a voicemail for a counselor without even making it 5 seconds before sobbing on the message. It was pretty evident I wasn’t suffering from just “the baby blues” and I was scheduled for an appointment right away.
I felt sad and ashamed and weak. Post partum depression wasn’t supposed to happen to me! NOT TO ME! All I ever wanted to be was a mom. I wanted 5 kids… 5 and yet, here I am with only one and I’m depressed about it?! I couldn’t believe what was happening! I didn’t understand it. Tuck and I wanted Lincoln so incredibly much and after all that we had been through (which I know is not much compared to what some couples have been through) how could this also be placed in our lives?
This is the thing though: God places all these obstacles as lessons and here He was giving this to me for sooo many reasons! Reasons that I haven’t been able to see until now… almost 3 years later.
First: I needed to have my pride checked a little bit. Yes I wanted to be a mother so badly, but I also relied a lot on my education and background and assumed I would be really great at it. I assumed and so I judged. Well guess what friends… I am now the LAST person who will ever judge another mother EVER! You never know what situation another person is in: especially a mother! It is HARD. HARDER than HARD when every single second of the day your choices will impact the future. We mom’s need to stick together and stand UP for one another and lift UP one another in encouragement instead of breaking one another down! We judge each other too much in online forums and at the store and in our mommy groups! We need to instead rally around one another and support each other’s choices and celebrate the fact that we CAN make choices that work for our own individual families!
Second: No one really talks about Post Partum Depression, it’s almost like it’s taboo. It’s really out there people and it does happen often! The best way to fix it or feel better is to openly talk about it! There is nothing wrong with you and nothing you did specifically… this just happens! It’s not your fault and it doesn’t make you weak! Talk about it! Get those thoughts and feelings out of your head and air them out to someone you love! Most importantly, don’t be ashamed! Don’t waste too many nights or days feeling too scared or ashamed to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Help is out there and there are so many people who want to be there for you and will understand! Being a mom is an amazing gift and it is waiting for you to enjoy… all you have to do is talk to someone and let them know how you are doing, really doing!
Third: God placed some pretty incredible people in my life during that time who encouraged me in ways I could never explain or express in words! They kept me moving and many of them kept encouraging me to pick up my camera and document life and how I was seeing things.
I don’t remember things as crystal clear probably as Tuck does because let’s face it… it’s a time that was hard and rough and I would rather choose to focus on the days that were upbeat and happy! The one thing though that I feel (thanks to those people) I did get right recording those days with my camera. Even though I may not remember all the little details, I still have them because my camera captured everything!
This is what has lead me to create the Lifetime Experience for my clients! This is why I feel that our story: good, bad and everything in between is absolutely precious!
We don’t get our time back but it all matters!
Having Linc has been the best thing that has ever happened to me and to Tuck! He inspires me in so many incredible ways every single day! Linc is the reason for the Lifetime Experience that I give to my clients. My story behind his birth and my experience with post partum despression is why I truly LOVE my clients and want to capture their true, most genuine moments for years to come.
I know how crazy life can be! I know how wonderfully messy life can be! We need to remember ALL of it… because every second of it is beautiful!
If you are feeling like I was above, please don’t hesitate to get help or check out these resources!
Remember… you are NOT alone but please know that what I was feeling and what you may be feeling isn’t normal either!
Check out these resources or talk to someone you love who truly knows you and can help you sort things out!