I want to start of by saying that I love my daughters. Both of them. Dearly. Nothing can change that.
But there's an awful part to being a mother that I was NOT prepared for. After having Addie, I was over the moon and thrilled and joyful. Even on the hardest days, I remembered what the pain was to NOT have her, and that kept me going.
Clara...Clara is a different story. When I found out I was pregnant only 5 months after giving birth I was so overwhelmed an thankful! A prayer not yet prayed, was answered. As the pregnancy progressed I was sad to miss out on so much with Addie, due to that ever persistent morning sickness. The pregnancy wore on me, emotionally and physically. I think I was happy. I think I was excited. I wasn't too worried about life with 2 under 2 though.
Fast forward to December 23, when our sweet Clara Grace was born! My first reaction was relief. She was here. She was safe. She was a she! I was prayerful (and asked others as well) to be in prayer for a baby that was able to nurse well, because pumping again seemed pretty difficult with a 14 month old running around and needing me. Again, another prayer answered!
Amidst all this joy and thankfulness, by the second week after bringing her home, I started feeling lost, adrift..drowning. Clara couldn't handle my let down and started throwing up every time I nursed her, but would take a bottle better, even then it was inconsistent of when she would projectile or not. By the second week, something was off. I wasn't happy that she was here. I felt awful. By the second week, I started second guessing everything that is within me on what it means to be "mother". By the second week, I was lamenting that I was again, missing out on so much time with Adelaide. By the second week...I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.
Perhaps there's denial, but I honestly don't think it's post partum depression. I think life is hard. I think anytime new life is added to a family, it gets harder. It doesn't matter if it's 2 under 2, 3 under 3, 1 child, 14 children, or children spaced exactly how you want them. You will, in fact, be the busiest you've ever known you can be no matter what season of life you are in.
Fast forward to now. 8 weeks in; 2 months. I'm starting to pack away Clara's newborn outfits (well, actually pass them on to her cousin instead) and I am lamenting. I wish I could tell you that things have gotten better between this little extension of her father and I, but alas, they have not. I still feel like I am shortchanging her. I still feel burdened by her instead of joyous for having her. And passing on those little newborn outfits reminds me of what I am missing out on.
And this, this my friends is where I am fearful. Every child is a gift from the Lord. I know that this is a season. I know that I do love her. But guys, I am just not ready for her, and that makes me feel like the worst mother in the world. I feel guilty that we have been blessed with 2 girls after having a struggle with even having one and knowing others are in the midst of yearning and grief.
Perhaps it is depression, perhaps it's hormones, perhaps it's simply just the devil finding a weak chink in my armor and exploiting it. Whatever it is, I don't know how to get out of it. I don't know how to be different.
So, why am I writing this? Why am I being vulnerable? For camaraderie, for solidarity, and for prayer. I am writing this so that if you are a mother who is feeling the same way, we are out there. I don't believe this is something to be ashamed of. I do, however, believe it is something that needs to be vocalized. So I am asking for help. Of which kind, I really don't know. I just know I need it.
Psalms 29:11 "The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace."
Psalms 34:6 "In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; He saved me from all of my troubles."