My son is getting ready to go into his final year of university classes to achieve a degree in Education. Everyday I give thanks he has grown into a functioning adult. He really is a good kid, and I am so lucky to have him. I also feel blessed to have a younger daughter, who is an amazing young adult. I love them both so very much, and I celebrate because when my son was born I was not so sure I would ever get to this point.
My biggest challenge, as well as my biggest joy, was having my children. This was especially the case with my son, who came first. I found my parenting experience with my daughter to be so much easier. I was 31 years old when my son was born, and his father and I had been married for seven years. We had been trying to have a baby for a long time, but unfortunately I had a few miscarriages. We were so incredibly happy I was able to carry our son to term and he was born healthy. He was a baby that cried a lot. The term used is “colicky”, but I am not sure if anyone really knows exactly what is going on when this happens. He cried non-stop. I lived in a rocking chair.
To add to the misery of the situation I was experiencing postpartum depression. I actually felt like I was going insane, completely and utterly insane. I was immensely miserable. I was incredibly tired all of the time, and my own tears flowed like a waterfall. There is a big change in hormones after delivery, and I was especially prone to the effects. I wanted to feel good and to function in a normal way, but instead I struggled to function at all. I had pictured life with my new baby being so happy, and I felt like a failure as a new mom.
At some point I recognized I needed to work to improve my situation. I was pretty isolated at the time and I did not have much family support. I decided I needed to see a counsellor. I am so glad I did because this was a real turning point for me. I found a female counsellor I liked, and she was very helpful. She connected what I was experiencing to anxiety I have from some of my childhood experiences. It was also just good to be able to talk to someone about feeling so challenged as a new mother.
My son survived his first year of life. Two and half years later we had a daughter, and I found the ‘baby experience’ with her to be much more enjoyable. I am so grateful my son is doing well despite having a mother who fell apart during his first year of life. For me personally, I think it is important to be okay with asking for help when we are struggling. Asking for help is how we help ourselves.
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