One thing I have learned is to not write about my experience while I am going through it- because I can sound like a real drag. And yes, even though having a newborn can be a physical drag- it is absolutely wonderful as well.
I am enjoying little Samson so much. He is just so so adorable to me. He smells so yummy and I can't get enough of his little noises. His soft warm skin and little hands wrapped around my fingers...Wow, that horrific pregnancy was so well worth it. The number the pregnancy did to my body- and still all worth it.
I don't think I'm one that deals with post partum depression. I don't think so because even though I go through a really rough time after having a newborn, I know that ultimately I have a choice on how I deal with life at the moment- where I know there are some new mothers who literally can't climb out of the darkness on their own.
Arlene. Arlene was my favorite church teacher of all time. She taught institute and she was also a dear friend of my mother. She taught my mom a vital lesson one time and then my mom taught me the same lesson. Arlene told my mother one day, "When I am sad and feeling miserable, I give myself a certain allotted time- usually three days to feel really sorry for myself. I will cry, eat brownies, and sulk around the house. But when the three days are up, it is time to move on and get over it."
Three days wasn't exactly long enough for me but maybe 6 weeks could be...
Lesson learned: for some reason my body decided to go absolutely crazy after giving birth to Samson. My skin on my belly and all the way down to my feet went numb. I kept getting all these infections I couldn't kick on my own. Then came pain. Tender mercy from above- my baby sleeps a good 6 hours at night. When I would wake up in the morning my body felt like it was on fire. My skin felt badly chapped with pins and needle pokies all over and I could barely walk without shoots of pain shocking me with every step. I think I know what severe all over body arthritis feels like. I knew it was my MS but since I really try to ignore that I even had that diagnosis, I am always so surprised when my body takes me for spin like this. Now as a mother of 4 I can't just stop despite how I feel...I tell myself over and over, "I can still walk and I can still see" (high percentage of MS lose eyesight). I can't just lay down in bed all day hoping to feel better the next day. I still have to chase my 2 year old around, get my 7 year old off to school, make breakfast, make lunch, dinner, change diapers, clean up spills, do laundry so there are clothes to wear, nurse a baby 7 times a day- and that's just the minimum.
So here I am. All these women around me are pursuing all these "extras" in their lives to contribute more to the household income or chasing a hobby as an outlet to mothering. Some are amazing photographers or learning to be one (something I would love), or they are ultra creative and sell their stuff on Etsy, some decorate cakes, realtors, or marathon runners (don't envy the running part), or some women have jobs they find fulfilling- and then there is me on bad days and my body can only do so much and perspective is shoved quickly into my face and I have to literally choose to focus on what is the most important. Everything else goes out the door- real fast.
2 choices: 1. feel sorry for myself and lay on the couch all day (trust me, I have those days) 2. focus on what I can do and focus on what's the most important.
I find myself saying, "If anything I can at least read a book to Julia." or "I can sit down and color with the kids." I can do those things. I have to talk myself into doing the simplest tasks- most valuable tasks- my hurting seems to direct my attention to the one thing I know has the most value, a mother. "I can ask Kenzie to help me make dinner" "I know I can give lot's of kisses right now to Xander." "I can praise Kenzie for her song on the piano." "I can build a castle out of the Trios with Xander." When you can't do it all and can do only a little, you do what matters. This I have learned.
The days have been beautiful lately- perfect spring weather. Sunny spring days like these don't happen very often so no matter what, we go to the park. The park we always end up going to has a 1/2 mile path around it. On this particular day I was in so much pain the tips of my ears even hurt. Everything was throbbing but I was so happy to see the kids play play play in the sun. Kenzie and Xander ran right to the volleyball sand with their shovels and buckets. Julia who doesn't like sand in her shoes wanted to go on a walk with me around the path. How could I turn down such an offer? I was hoping to never get up off the park bench where I could just watch the kids and ignore the pain...but Julia looking at me with those dark eyes, I couldn't resist. "I can walk a 1/2 mile with Julia."
I told her I couldn't go fast. "That's ok Mommy, we'll walk slow together." With Julia's hand on top of mine, we push the stroller and walk together around the path. We had a great conversation and because of the "extra" time we had due to our speed, I was able to answer so many of Julia's questions. It was a priceless time together I will always treasure.
Today I am feeling better. I feel completely different which is why this disease is so frustrating. I don't want to deal with this anymore. There has got to be an answer- something more than what I am already doing to help how I feel at times. I have a choice here...
anyway, better get going on the day- today is Chay's birthday. He is 32. Love that man.