The adorable Katie over at Loyal, Loving and Learning wrote this post yesterday and it had me thinking all day. I'm going to write my own take on it.
By the way, if you've never checked out Katie, you should! She's so sweet and has the most beautiful little lady since Rory was born. ;)
Things I never imagined about motherhood: Rory vs Trace
I planned to breast feed, but that was not in the cards. I never really thought I'd be a bottle mommy, but now that I'm here, 19 months since the start, I can't imagine doing it any other way. I do get my feelings hurt quite often by people who are so strongly against bottle feeding and preach so loudly about breast feeding. There is nothing wrong with formula, people. Rory is the perfect example. She's tall, strong, healthy and was quite the little pudge ball until she started walking. :) I anticipate Trace will be the same way, considering he's 6 weeks old today and already gained over 2 pounds since birth.
Rory is a sleeping champ. CHAMP. I used (most of) the principles in Babywise to train her. And YES! It's training! She had to learn. Rory was born May 6 and she slept through the night for the first time on July 3. She's never been a good napper but considering she slept through the night (and I mean 10 hours!) by 9 weeks...no complaining here. She still isn't a fantastic napper. Right now, it's been an hour and 45 minutes since I put her in her crib and she's already singing and talking in there.
Trace...poor buddy. He has had a terrible time getting his sleep in line because of his ears and his belly. I never imagined when I was pregnant that I would have a tough sleeper this time around. I assumed I would just train him up the way I did Rory. Not the case for my little man. I'm still coming to terms with it and reminding myself that it will get better! I'm still using Babywise because it will work eventually and helps me keep my day organized. (Notice I said I the entire way through...poor Dave has to get up at 2:30 in the morning for work, so he doesn't have much of a role in sleep training right now. He would if he could, but he can't!)
Rory was a thumb sucker. HARD CORE. I was nervous about it, only hearing horror stories about trying to get kids to stop. She stopped on her own last Christmas. She got a terrible cold and just quit. I think the taste of her thumb changed because of her cold or maybe she couldn't breathe well enough out of her nose to suck and breathe at the same time. Who knows. The thing is she quite 100% on her own.
Trace alternates between his thumb/hand and a pacifier. (Binkerton, as I call it. Who knows.) I am so surprised to have a binkie kid. It's also kind of annoying! (haha) I can't keep track of the silly binkies no matter how hard I try.
Asking for Help
I rarely asked for help with Rory. (Dave was working on a golf course at that time, Rory was born in May. You figure out how much time the poor guy had to help! He changed jobs in June of that year and it's been the biggest answer to prayer EVER.) I tried to do it all on my own too much. I was beyond exhausted, overworked, stressed out and on edge. All. the. time. I was embarrassed to admit I needed help (why?!) and scared to ask people to help me out.
If you knew my parents and my in-laws, you'd know they'd be more than thrilled to help out whenver they can and I needed it! I have no idea why I was so nervous to admit I needed help with Rory. Even just someone to come hang out here with me so I could get things done around the house...I didn't do it. I tackled it on my own and it resulted in anger between me and Dave and more stress on my shoulders.
I wised up with Trace! I ask for help when I need it. I insist that Dave take some of the night shift on the weekends when he's home. (He doesn't mind!) I let my mom take the kids overnight last week so I could actually sleep. I accepted meals from friends, let my assistants at the studio actually DO things, got help with costumes...I went from 100% self sufficient to 85% and it felt WONDERFUL. I am better able to enjoy my kids because I know I am not standing on the branch alone.
Post Partum Depression
I am a PPD patient. I actually deal with clinical depression, caused by a chemical imbalance, every day of every year. I was diagnosed 6 years ago. Being pregnant and the resulting emotional let down post-delivery aggravated my depression with Rory something FIERCE. I was crying more often than not, I was irrationally emotional. I eventually had to get my perscription altered and amped up some until I was able to get a grip then I could resume my normal coping mechanisms.
With Trace, I saw it coming. I felt the emotions creeping up on me like a shadow. The anxiety, the fears, the irrationality of it all...I felt it. I stopped it. I talked to the doctor and we took care of it before it became an issue. Because of this, my recovery and post-partum time has been so much better this time around!
That being said, I encourage ALL women to be up front with their doctor regarding their emotions before, during and after pregnancy. PPD doesn't always result in medicine, though in my case it did, there's tons of things you can do to help deal with your emotions and keep yourself sane. Talk before it gets worse! Even if you are technically depressed or diagnosed PPD, the coping mechanisms can be used in every day life. (Interestingly, blogging/journaling is highly recommended!)
I'm blessed and I know it. Two different kids, two different paths. No two days are ever the same and I wouldn't change it for anything.