Ellery is 12 weeks old. It has been the most intense 72 days of my life. I have always been nothing but honest on this blog and I am going to continue that, although, this is probably the most difficult one to write. Well, actually the second most difficult one.
So…parenthood has kicked my ass like nothing ever has before or probably ever will again. I grossly underestimated how challenged I would be on every level of my being. Physically I am exhausted. Mentally I am a ball of anxiety. Emotionally I am wrung out. Spiritually I am disconnected. I had no idea what I was getting into. It may seem ridiculous but I truly didn’t know how hard it is to have a baby.
WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME!? Or maybe they did and I just couldn’t grasp what they meant. It’s one of those things you can’t understand until you actually do it. At least I couldn’t.
Let me first say that Elle is a wonderful baby. She’s probably even considered an ‘easy’ baby. She’s perfect and so damn cute and I love her to bits.
B U T
Around about week 6 I realized that I had a mean case of Post Partum Depression. It actually manifested more as post partum anxiety. When breastfeeding wasn’t working out despite spending most of my day trying to make and extract more milk I had a breakdown. Elle wasn’t doing that well on formula and that was stressing me out and that sort of spiraled into PPD. So I made some difficult ‘controversial’ decisions:
- I decided to give Ellery breast milk from another woman. I know it sounds crazy but it’s been a godsend and she’s doing great on it. Some moms don’t have enough milk and some moms have a ridiculously excessive amount. The Internet has allowed us to connect and I am grateful. Yes, there are medical tests and milk bank certifications, etc. It’s all very above board Joe and I agree that it is the right decision for her at this time.
- I went on vitamin P. That would be Prozac. I was a high risk for PPD due to my own history with depression. I knew it might come-a-callin but I didn’t know how intense it would be. It is no joke. I was barely able to care for Elle and I wasn’t enjoying it at all. The Prozac has really helped.
- I decided that I am not a stay at home mom. My stay at home mommy fantasies were clearly not based on any knowledge of what mommies do all day. It’s a sobering realization and not one I am proud of but there it is. I believe I will be a better mom if I work. So I will. Starting in January I will join Joe’s team selling real estate. I am SUPER excited about it. We have found an amazing nanny for Ellery who’s been helping us part time for a couple of months.
- We are not having any more children. This may be the most controversial of all the decisions. Joe and I are super clear that we are one and done. This is a young persons game and we lucked out with her. I’m not going to press my luck. Please don’t try to convince me that two is actually easier than one. That didn’t work at the dog rescue and it won’t work now. There’s no way in hell that two is easier than one. Snip snip, honey.
If I am being really honest I must say that having a baby is not fun. At least not yet. It’s so hard, even terrifying at times. My life was much, much easier before and sometimes I pine for the luxuries that I used to enjoy like sleeping in, watching TV with Joe, daily yoga and meditation. All of these are simply on hold right now. My entire focus is on Ellery. I am carving out some Sara time here and there but I will never again have the luxury of just worrying about myself. And that is ok. Frankly, I laugh at the things I used to worry about or focus on. They seemed so important then and so insignificant now. I guess this is all part of the adjustment period. It’s the hardest adjustment I have ever had and I’ve never felt so ill equipped, so in fear, or so in love. What a wild ride!
I am super happy we’ve made it through the first 12 weeks. It’s already getting a little easier…a very little, but I am hopeful now that we will actually live thru the first year. Elle is starting to laugh more and cry less and she really is the sweetest little thing. We are so blessed that we get to raise her and I am looking forward the journey and lessons that I know await us all.
Like my friend and yoga teacher extraordinaire, Hala Khouri told me years ago “Taking care of a child is my spiritual practice.”
Fuck yeah it is.