Wednesday, June 6, 2012

jumping in, head first.

 **warning, long post ahead...**

i love my kids :) I love having Jude here, and I love how Hazel seemed to grow up so much in this last month. A month. How has 4 weeks gone by already?? We were busy with visitors and then with trying to get a schedule established, time has FLOWN. He's still trying to adjust to life on the outside, but even through the sleepless nights and tiresome days, my love for him, and even for Hazel (who has been a real trooper through all this adjusting!) has only grown. :) I love spending every moment with my kids, even the tough ones, and I consider that a blessing.

I was a little concerned when I got closer to my due date, and especially right after Jude was born because I went through almost a whole year of post-partum depression with Hazel. I didn't know if I was going to have to deal with that again or not, but I figured being aware of it might give me a bit of an advantage. So far, things have been ok. I've had a couple of bad days, but I really don't think it's hit me. (fingers crossed)
I can't remember if I've talked about having PPD or not, but I figure that there's other moms out there who have dealt with this, and sharing gives awareness and that can be the help that I or others need.
I had dealt with some anxiety and depression in the past, nothing too serious, but enough that I knew we would probably be dealing with PPD once we started having kids. I remember barely leaving my house most of that year (seriously, only for Church and the occasional errand). I felt comfortable and relatively safe in our little basement suite, and I needed that assurance.
One thing that became very apparent when Hazel was born was my attatchment to her. Yes, I know it's normal for mothers to feel a strong bond with their children, especially their first born, but I quickly came to learn that this went a little beyond that. In Hazel's 19 months of life, we've had only 2 nights where we had to get a babysitter, and a couple more where Q's mom or my mom watched her so we could go to a movie. I just didn't want to leave Hazel. No, I COULDN'T leave her. I would have anxiety just thinking of not being with her, and I would either turn down an offer for someone to watch her, or we would just stay at home and rent a movie. It's not that I didn't think it was important for Quenton and I to have date night, or even some time sans kids, but for me, it's not an easy solution of just getting out of the house. Sometimes the simple, easy answer is the hardest to accomplish.
Anyway, I became quite comfortable just hanging out with Hazel and Quenton, and sometimes even going to playdates with friends. I will admit, though, that I often turned down invites because I just didn't feel comfortable leaving, or feeling a little (or a lot) "blue" was enough to keep me home. It didn't take me long to realize that a part of my own PPD was having a form of separation anxiety "issues" (mostly with Hazel, but vaguely with Quenton, even). Even now, with Jude here, I have the hardest time thinking of leaving Hazel at a friend's house for a playdate. I stressed SO MUCH trying to figure out what I was going to do with Hazel if Jude happened to come early and my mom wasn't here to watch her. I thought that it would get easier once Jude was here, but I still feel that connection with Hazel that makes it hard for me to leave her. I think a big part of it is because we waited so long for her to come into our family, and the thought of something happening to her if I'm not there (and I'm not talking about a scraped knee) is enough for me to stay home and watch her. There's more to having PPD and separation anziety with my family than I've mentioned, but this is the jist of it.
I'm sure this probably sounds silly to most people, but, even though I'm working on getting out more (with or without kids), these issues are real. I love my kids, and I love my family. With advice from friends who have dealt with the same things I have, and, for me, turning to the Lord, life is pretty good. I've really been blessed with the experiences in my life, and I know that I am stronger than my situations.

that's it in a nutshell.