Way back in 2010 I had posted about not knowing what it felt like to be "done" with babies. (Go back and read it. As a bonus, you get to see pictures of when my big kids were just tiny!) I knew I wasn't done, I never had that finished feeling all of my friends had gotten. When I was pregnant with Penelope, I toyed with the idea of another. I had a hard pregnancy at some points but I knew the greater good would outweigh all of that. I could do anything for a healthy baby, none of the pain, exhaustion, uncomfortable nights, or stress would mean anything once I held that sweet babe in my arms.
I don't think I had ever felt like I did in that moment. Sure, she was my third baby and I was a seasoned pro at this mommyhood thing. But this baby... there was something special about her. Even after I had her, I thought, I could do this again.
But as time went on, I felt done. It was a slow realization that I was going to be done and I was totally OK with that. Finally, after all of these years I finally had the feeling I knew I should feel. Our family was full, we were complete. We weren't missing any pieces. I was taking all of the appropriate birth control precautions so that we would have no surprises.
I have struggled since Penelope's birth. I am now doing the stay at home mom thing and while that has it's own way of being fulfilling, I feel like I am getting dumber and dumber every day. I don't feel like I am contributing enough to the greater good of our family. I feel like I could, and should, be doing so much more. I feel like I'm giving my daughters mixed signals- that a woman's place is at home. I don't want my son to grow up thinking the woman takes care of everything. It's really a hard balance for me to find.
Add this to post partum depression. I had it really bad after Olivia and it took me a year to start to feel normal. I find that the longer I go with Penelope, the worse it's getting. I'm going backwards. I'm usually able to keep it together in front of people.
But in late November that has all changed.
I should be happy. And I am not. And I hate that I am not. I know so many who would do just about anything to have a baby of their own. It makes me feel terrible and selfish.
But what I am right now is barely hanging on the edge.
I am barely keeping it together. I am crying every day, most of the time I don't even notice it until the kids ask me if I'm OK. I am having panic attacks when I need to leave the house, but I feel trapped in here. I don't sleep at night. I'm so exhausted and I lay there just on the edge of sleep but it never comes. Then I'm obviously so tired during the day I can barely function. I can't sleep because I have an eight month old baby to take care of but also because if I sleep during the day, I'm really screwed at night.
But the worst, the absolute worst?
The worst is this never ending, overwhelming, sadness. Being sad for no reason is maybe the worst feeling in the world. I feel alone and sad.
Matt has no idea what to do for me. My friends are trying and I just... I can't. I can't hang out, I don't want to talk, I don't want to go anywhere, I don't want to answer my door, I just want to cry. Alone. In bed.
Then I realize I have to hold it together because I need to get the kids to/from school. Penelope is fully dependent on me. I have pets to keep alive. I meals to make, a house to clean, and I have to really make an effort to shower.
On top of ALL of this, we're financially stressed out, maybe the worst it's ever been. And then.... I feel terrible physically. There is nothing in me that feels emotionally (obviously) or physically ready to grow a baby. I don't feel like I am doing a good job for this baby already. I talked to my doctor about an anti-depressant (obviously) just so I can get through the damn day. But I have this irrational fear I will take something and end up with a baby who has a birth defect or health problem. Then I'll feel like the worst mother in the world who couldn't just keep her shit together for the greater good of her baby.
I no longer feel like I am working with a full deck anymore. All of my volunteer positions are precarious- I feel like tossing my stuff at the groups and say screw it. Every time I have an obligation that forces me to leave the house, let alone put on real pants, I feel angry and anxious.
And yet. Here we are. Soon to be a family of six. I'm not ready. I am terrified. I am sad. I am anxious. I feel hopeful I will be happy soon. It all works out. Until then... here I am. Just trying to get through the day without crying the entire time.
Currently 10 weeks
Due: August 8