If you've been reading my blog since the beginning, then you know my story. But if this is your first time here, this is what you need to know:
I have 2 kids (Jonah who is 2 1/2 and Lily who is 5 months). I have experienced depression and anxiety for a good portion of my life. Being pregnant brought out these issues at a much more enhanced level. The hormone changes caused the depression and anxiety to hit really high levels, levels that were impossible to manage on my own.
With my son, I was able to take prescription medications and attend weekly therapy appointments, which directly resulted in me being able to slightly enjoy the pregnancy and labor and parenting processes. I'm not going to say it was easy, but it was manageable. And since I wasn't blogging or twitter-savvy at that time, I didn't go to the interwebs for help.
Ohhhhhh my daughter. Being pregnant with her was completely different. The medications I took while pregnant with my son didn't work while I was pregnant with my daughter. They did total 360's on me, and forced the depression and anxiety to be worse. And then, we couldn't afford for me to see a therapist on a weekly basis. I was doing this cold turkey. Worse yet, I felt all alone. I felt like no one was there for me or had any idea what I was going through. I felt guilty and ashamed. I reached out and found mother after mother after mother saying "it's gonna be okay" or "i know how you feel" or "it will get better". I could never thank those Twitter mommy's enough for their support.
Many, many nights (and mornings and afternoons....)I was lying the bathtub, tears streaming down my face and sobbing for reasons I couldn't put into words. The hubby would ask what was wrong, and I could never answer. Or if I did, I was very vague. I was ashamed. I felt guilty. I felt insane and crazy. I couldn't breath or move or swallow without thinking about what a horrible person I was. I couldn't speak the words of what was in my heart and my head at that time.
I didn't want the baby.
There, I said it. And now, after the fact. I can say it. It was not my proudest moments.
But they were MY moments, and before I start getting hate mail and judgements made, do me a favor....don't go there.
But one night, while taking my 6th-7th bath of the day, I stumbled upon a blog post that changed my life at that moment....that very second. It answered my prayers.
It saved my baby girl's life.
Someone else felt those feelings I felt. Although I never acted on my deepest, darkest, most shameful feelings, I finally felt understood.
Now.....fast forward to BlogHer '09.
I brought my baby girl with me to the conference. I got us a swank hotel room all to ourselves. I brought her the cutest of clothes and her 2 best accessories were her dimpled-cheek smile and her flower headband/hat. (Let me tell you, no one knew who I was....Lily was simply a HIT!) I carried her, I pushed her in the stroller, I showed her off as the proud mommy I am. Everyone oogled all over her. It was adorable, not to mention, some pretty great pictures were a direct result of it all.
But that's not even where am going with this....
You see, I didn't fall in love with my daughter when I first saw her. I didn't bond with her while she was in my belly. I resented her for taking time away from time with my son. I felt like she hated me. I took care of her out of obligation and duty, not because I wanted to.
These feelings have gone on for months. Again, do not judge. For what you do not know, you probably will not understand.
This weekend, and I can mark the moment and it is forever ingrained in my mind, body, and soul. I FELL IN LOVE WITH MY DAUGHTER. I looked at her and thought about what we were experiencing, together. We were in the middle of something that no one will ever be able to take away from us. It was all in a glance. I looked at her, napping on the bed, with the gorgeous Chicago skyline in the background. Thinking of what we were at BlogHer '09 for. And we were there for THIS MOMENT RIGHT HERE. Not for the swag, not for the parties, not for the networking (although all those things were great!). It was a life changing experiencing that will forever be a part of our lives. It was the moment we connected as a mother and a daughter and not a caregiver and a child. It was amazing and heartfelt and I am now looking at her in a way I never have before.
That moment started the beginning of the rest of our lives.
photo taken by @rbucich