Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Not the Best of Days

I'll admit it. Yesterday was not a good day with Max. Actually it was pretty terrible. We think his 12 week growth spurt started a bit early and he has been inconsolable. He had maybe 2 hours total of happy moments and the rest of day was fussing or, even worse, full on screaming.  And when the screaming started, NOTHING I could do would calm him down.  No amount of bouncing, swaddling, white noise, swaying, breastfeeding or vibration would work. He just screamed.  And screamed.  And screamed some more. I'm not a fan of the cry it out philosophy.  Yes babies cry and of that fact I am accepting but when Max gets going, it sounds painful.  It actually sounds like he is being hurt. It's heartbreaking and I just can't take it.

Yesterday though, I had no choice. When I exhausted every resource possible I just had to put him in his crib, shut the door, put the timer on for 10 minutes and give myself some mommy time. Trying to calm him was frazzling my nerves and sending me into a spiral of tears and frustration.  I haven't mentioned this to a ton of people, but after Max was born, I suffered serious postpartum depression.  More than just the baby blues that accompany the hormone soup of just giving birth.  Luckily, my Midwife Group has a psychiatrist on staff and my husband, Saint Brett the Awesome, convinced me to see her immediately.  Working with her, I learned coping techniques and I also learned my warning signs for when it's time to step back. Yesterday I had to step back.

Those ten minutes were the perfect amount of time to refresh. Those ten minutes helped me to remember that Max is just a baby and only knows how to cry when communicating his needs.  Those ten minutes were enough for me to combat the creeping thoughts of "I'm not a good enough Mom" and "Maybe having a baby was a mistake".  I knew those thoughts weren't my true feelings but I needed to just let my son cry while I banished them from my head. 

So, to all other moms out there, especially new moms who have no idea what they heck they are doing, when you have bad days, you are not alone. For some reason, many mom's, myself included feel like they need to put on a happy face at all times. We are expected to spend all day and night staring lovingly at our child and think that each little thing they do, including scream for an undetermined reason is simply precious.  Well, I'm here to admit that sometimes I look at my screaming baby and think "When the heck is he going to stop?!". That doesn't mean I love him any less or that I'm a bad mom.  All it means is that I am human. 

Photo by Teresa Earnest of Memories n More. and {really fun} workshops  Great Photographer.  Great Friend. Great Mom.


Oriyah said...

Thank you for writing these honest words, Laura. You are stronger than you know. Much love to you, Brett and the little screamer.

Angelia Sims said...

It takes honesty and heart to admit when you need a break, and it's not because you don't love your baby, but because you recogonize being a healthy mom is the best mom for Max.

Your wisdom should be applauded and I am so glad you share this on your blog.

It shows how caring you truly are.


teresa said...

I am SO glad I got that pic!! God love your heart. It's tough but you are making the best of it, and are such an incredible mom. If I didn't have major cooties I would rush in and play aunt diva!! Love you!

Deirdre said...

You take the breaks you need, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Your son needs you to be the best you can be, and that means stepping away sometimes. Good luck next week back at work!

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