From the Beginning…

“Transformation is not a light switch.  It is a process.”

This is a statement our Pastor made in his sermon yesterday – and I could totally relate.

Just about two years ago, I was still pregnant with Georgie.  I was working full-time and really loved my job.  I had a lot of responsibility and it was challenging, rewarding work.  I interacted with a wide variety of people – and my coworkers were Da Bomb!

Roy & I had been talking about how soon we might be able to manage my being at home full-time.  We had several loans & bills that needed to be taken care of, and we hoped that within a year we could afford for me to stay home.

I developed gestational diabetes during my pregnancy, and despite the concerns, did not experience the energy-draining nausea I’d experienced with Curly.  Just before I was to begin insulin injections at around the 37th week, I went into labor and she was born in July.

She experienced low-blood sugar (which is common for early babies of gestational mothers) for a couple of days and had to have sugar water and formula supplements.  This was complicated by jaundice which was not bad, until she was discharged, and then had to be readmitted for a couple of days for phototherapy.

It was a pretty stressful time.  The first week after she was born, we were pretty much at the hospital.  Curly was almost 2 and was a bit “wild” at the hospital – Greg’s family was unavailable to help us and my family had gone home, too.  I was adjusting to having two children who wanted my full attention – a husband who was trying to spend time with us, but trying to keep Curly from rearranging the hospital, too.

I didn’t sleep much.

Within a few weeks after Georgie’s discharge, we adjusted into somewhat of a routine.  Despite my ability to manage multiple tasks and responsibilities at work – being the mother of two young children had me completely buffaloed.  I felt inept at everything.  Georgie was already weaning herself to formula because she wasn’t getting enough breastmilk.   My return to work was looming large – and while it was something I dreaded, it was also a sort of lifeline for me, too.

Being a mom terrified me.  Whatever books I’d read, seminars I’d attended, babysitting experience I had – Motherhood left me feeling like a total moron.

When I returned to work – I felt more torn than ever.  I found sanity in the routine of my work day – but Georgie did NOT like to sleep, and I was a zombie within my first week.   I faced postpartum depression – and thankfully my doctor was so supportive and prescribed a short-term medication to help.  And it DID help.

Roy was doing everything he could to support me emotionally – and it was comforting that he didn’t just blow it all off and tell me to “Get over it!”  We had lots of take-out and quick meals – and his mom sent food over many times each week.  My boss was extremely understanding and supportive and allowed me to adjust my hours as needed in order to accommodate the struggles I was having.  I could go into his office and cry – I could take naps – I could leave early – it was very helpful and took so much pressure off.

Despite the support and understanding of others – I felt very alone.  Isolated.  I saw every mistake as a total disaster.  I saw every mishap as a reflection of my inability to do things “right”.  In the midst of these things, I was far from patient.  I was far from kind or gentle.  I was exhausted.  I was drained.  I cried.  I had insomnia, which was compounded by Georgie’s odd sleep schedule.  My home suffered.  My family suffered.  My marriage suffered.  My work suffered.

However, Georgie was a much needier baby than Curly ever was.  Georgie cried.  A lot.  For hours.  The whole “just let her cry it out” routine was NOT working with her – because she seemed to consider it a contest and wanted to win!  With a now 2-year old who was impacted by the stress around her – and a baby who couldn’t be put down – I found myself desperate and crying out to God.

I felt inept and worthless. 

When there was nothing else for me to do – I had to cry out to My Maker and beg Him to bring newness into my life.  I was beginning to despise the blessings I’d been given – to resent the gift of motherhood and marriage – and wanted to run away.  Literally.

I had no idea the course God was going to take me on – or how it would bring me so much closer to Him – but that will have to wait for next time…

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6 Responses to “From the Beginning…”

  1. christinnjon Says:

    That is a powerful quote from your pastor – one I tend to forget very often and get frustrated with myself as a result.

    I also know the struggles of postpartum depression – NOT FUN.

  2. Erin Hill Says:

    Wow…thank you for being so honest. I could have written that 2 years ago when I had my son. I just wanted to run away, too, and now I know it was the depression talking. Luckily, I snapped out of it in 6 weeks, but at the time, I didn’t know it was depression. That whole first year was brutal, though, and I felt like a total failure as a mom and as a person.

    We’re under so much pressure to do it all these days. And I think it’s perfectly fine to say, “Ya’ll are insane! You can try to do it all, but for now, so I can stay sane, I will just do what I can do.”

    And you know what I found out? Time fixes everything…but, I’m a little worried to have my second child soon and go through this all again. At least this time, I will know, that this too shall pass.

  3. slamdunk Says:

    You show your strength in the post.

    It is interesting how each baby is so very different. I think our 3 only have one thing in common–none of them are/were good sleepers.

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