All day today I’ve been thinking of writing this post. One, because I needed to remember it for myself on days when I feel like I’m drowning and need to set myself back into reality and two because I think we all sometimes just need that gentle reminder that we will survive, this will probably make my book too.
Many may have known from my Facebook posts that the first 2ish months of Maverick home with us was incredibly hard. We were learning what it was like to transition to a family of 4 here physically at home, but also keeping in our hearts our family of 5. I am an anxious person in general. Always have been even before the loss of Grayson.
I wish my life wasn’t so consumed in anxiety. I’ve tried to cope with it. I think the biggest reason for my anxiety at a young age was to make everyone around me happy. I’m still that way, but it too started in the 3rd grade when I had a fear of dying. I think from that point it just stuck with me. I even took anti depressants at the end of high school into my college career because I was so anxious all the time.
I only knew being a mom would make me more anxious. Because what could be a greater fear than making sure sure you keep your little ones alive. I was always so afraid of that. Little did I know I would lose a child and it make me 100 times more anxious, but now for the rest of my life I will live with anxiety, over protecting my kids. Making sure they take the smallest bites of their food, washing their hands after touching about anything they shouldn’t be touching, making sure they don’t fall from the slide, going to school on their own for a whole day for the first time without me or when they learn to drive for the first time on their own, head to college to spend every night away from me. The worrying will never end and I get that. I know I have to live with it.
But back to now. We brought Maverick home and the crying set it. The poor boy was crying more than I had ever seen a baby cry. As the mom I was trying everything and I felt so incredibly helpless. Colic. Upset tummy. Not being held. Reflux. I had no clue. I was trying all the things. I will tell you those first two months with a newly turned 2 year old and an infant was incredibly rough. I didn’t realize how rough it would.
I felt like I was drowning. Graysie is very independent, but she can be very needy. She’s still learning to communicate with us and I know it was a huge adjustment for her. Her world was changed. I was feeling so guilty not being able to give her 100% attention as I had a newborn crying around the clock, pooping, peeing, eating every 1.5-2 hours. The moment I would sit down for a five minute break one of them would start whining, need another diaper change, a snack, a drink or be held. And that was even more difficult because for 6 weeks I couldn’t pick Graysie up from my csection. She didn’t quite understand why and I would continuously say “we can hold hands, mommy has a boo boo, can you walk with me?” That was a long 6 weeks. You can pick your child up one day then all of a sudden you can’t for almost 2 months. She had no idea and it made my momma heart hurt.
I struggled. I was having incredible anxiety daily. Once Brent went back to work I felt like everyday I was treading water. I will be completely honest and real like I am in every post I share because I know I’m not the only one to feel this way. And I know moms struggle. And anxiety, depression and life can catch up with you. I felt like everyday waking up I wasn’t sure I’d make it through the day. I was tired, exhausted and honestly was counting down the hours until nap time and then from nap time to bedtime. And I hated that. I hated feeling that way. Why would I wish the laughs, the playing, Graysie pulling my hand to get me up to pull me to the kitchen for one more thing away? I cried many times. It was all catching up to me. I was screaming and hollering at Graysie for absolutely no reason at times. She would do the littlest thing and I would have a cow. My house was a disaster most days. I was walking across toys on the floor, because I didn’t even have the energy to mess with bending down to pick them up. My dishes sat piled for days, laundry would get washed and thrown in a massive pile on the kid’s bedroom floor. I was not myself. I like any parent have raised my voice. If my child is doing something that is causing potential harm to themselves I’m going to get onto them not to make them upset or out of frustration, but for their safety. Everyday I told myself I would feel better, I would do better, I wouldn’t freak out about the little things. Everyday seemed to get worse, I was tired. And if I could have slept for days on end I would have. I went to bed crying not even believing the way I acted that day. I was disappointed in myself. I would have rather sat on the couch then play with Graysie. I was in survival mode and I just wanted Brent to get home everyday so I could sneak off and go stand in a steaming hot shower to clear my mind and cry if I needed to. I would text my mom and tell her how difficult my day was going and that I was going to lose my mind between the crying, kids not napping, my house a disaster and so on.
I eventually ended up sending my doctor a message. Telling him I had been sleeping the last 2 months on the couch since Maverick was up so frequent and crying so much, the feeling of overwhelmingness that I felt daily, how I was taking out my anxiety on my child and my husband. I wanted to feel normal again.
I am not one to take medication, especially while nursing. Brent didn’t like the thought either. He tried to help give me other ways to go about handing my emotions. I told Brent I would have the doctor precribe me something and if I felt like I could get over this slump I would pass on the meds. I also even talked to the kid’s pediatrician about what to do at this point in my life because I needed to be a better mom. I needed to be happy. I wanted to be happy. I didn’t want to look back at the first few months of Maverick’s life, the first few months of having two kiddos and be like those months sucked. I thought it would be different. I knew it would be hard, but not this hard.
I got my prescription and to this day it still sits in the pharmacy bag put up. Maverick took a turn for the better. He is crying substantially less, we are more in a routine and I feel like I’ve been able to think more. However once the crying decreased and I started to feel more normal I went through a weird “brain fog” for like a week. I literally felt like my head was in a fog. Like I couldn’t think clearly. Almost like I was detoxing from anxiety. My head just felt kind of weird. My sister in law rode with me to get an oil change a few weeks ago and I told her what I had been experiencing. On our way home I was having that brain fog moment. It’s like I was there I was driving focusing on the road, but having a conversation, I was listening, but I wasn’t really taking anything in. Thankfully that all passed. Maybe that happened that day because I had to carry Graysie out of a store under my arm sideways as I carried Maverick in the car seat on the other because she was having a major meltdown then fought me getting in the car seat. Once I got in the truck I looked at Erica and said I am just going to laugh right now otherwise I am going to cry. Google “brain fog” I had many of the symptoms which all led to anxiety, lack of sleep etc.
Since then I have started taking a probiotic which I think may be helping reduce some of the stress or maybe it’s all a coincidence I don’t really know. I still haven’t taken the medicine as I feel I am doing better. I still have moments of anxiety, but nothing as severe as what I was going through. Yes my kids still cry, get upset, throw fits, need snacks constantly, but I am not on edge 24/7. My house is still a disaster some days, but I’ve learned to breathe and that one day the mess won’t be there, I’ll have a toy free, clean home with no kids laughing asking for snacks, no diapers to change, or mounds of laundry and an excessive amount of dishes and I will miss it all. It actually makes me emotional thinking about it.
Today it came full circle for me. Graysie woke up sick in the early hours Monday morning vomiting. Yesterday she was having loose stools and then once again today. Nasty I know. Sunday I recall saying that she was very clingy and wanted me to hold her all day.
“Mom, hole me, hole me.” I would continually hold her. A few times telling her she was a big girl and mommy’s back hurt from picking her up. No joke she is getting big and my back was killing!
Everyday this week she has been needing me, her mom, to hold her. I’m her comfort and she needed me. I remember telling myself after Grayson passed away whenever my kids wanted something I would stop what I was doing and do it because if I had the chance to be there for my kids I would. I would never take those moments of granted.
So all week, back hurting and all, I’ve picked her up when she looks up at me, grabbing at me, “hole me, hole me”. The smile across her face every time I picked her up meant more than loading the dishwasher or picking up any toys. She hasn’t felt the best, but I could be the best mom to her and be her safe place to help her feel comforted.
Know that if your a mom struggling to balance it all and you feel like you’re drowning. You are not alone. The days will get better and if they don’t for you, talk to someone, family, friends, your doctor. Know that happiness does await. The newborn phase is short, babies grow so fast. And although we think the days are incredibly long, the years truly fly by. So when your little one says “hole me” just do it. Pick them up and hold them because one day we will look back and forget the last time we picked them up and wish we had just held them that one time they asked.
These are pictures I want to remember during those first few months. These are pictures that still show the happiness and love for my kids I had even when I thought I was going crazy. Pictures that show no matter how hard we struggle there’s still love and we survived a rough phase of life and we will survive many more rough patches because we have each other.