As March approached we were well aware that our lives were about to change drastically. While we anxiously anticipated the birth of Blythe, we also mourned the dwindling days of "just brentandkels". And then March 23rd happened. Blythe joined us. And I think it is safe to say this has been the longest, craziest, fastest, strangest, most emotional, most painful, most joyful month of my life. Yes, month.

I write to decompress. I write to express what is burning inside of me. And I haven't been doing that lately and it is now time. I have a few moments while she is sleeping right now. I have a million other things I could be doing [like getting OUT OF MY PAJAMAS at 2 in the afternoon!], but this is what I think I NEED to do for me right now.

First, before I dive in too far, let me just say that the Lord has blessed us with a truly wonderful and beautiful daughter. She rarely cries, just fusses. She eats like a champ. She is growing perfectly. She is sleeping for a 4-5 1/2 hour stretch at night now. Did I mention she is beautiful? And, though she is still a tiny little booger, Mom and I were just discussing today how I may not buy another package of newborn diapers the next go round! I think she may just be close to 8 pounds now! [Yes, Kali, I know…yours started out bigger than that :)]. She really is a sweet, sweet little girl, with lots of snuggles and love to give.

That being said, I have had my fair share of struggles this past month. Needless to say, my body has been through a traumatic experience [if you don't understand, YouTube "birthing videos" and you'll have a traumatic experience of your own]. I knew some recovery time from this was to be expected. I was around after Kali had Caroline and I understood that I would be emotional and in pain. But I still didn't really get it.

After we came home from the hospital my mom stayed with us for a week. To say that she was a whirling dervish of efficiency would be an understatement. Seriously I don't know how that woman did what she did that week, and still worked half days. I'm exhausted when I think about it. Brent and I were both unbelievably thankful for the time she was here. We also had a ton of wonderful people bring us meals, and Brent's mom also came over and helped out countless days to get us through that first bit. We will never be able to repay them. [I don't know if they are for hire, but if you're pregnant, you should seriously consider looking into it?!]

That first week came and went rather quickly. I was still uncomfortable, but on pain meds. Thank you, Jesus. And I mean that in a very serious way, not sacrilegious at all. Trust me. I remember the day clearly that I decided to wean myself off of the meds. I was so proud of myself. At this point, feeding her was still taking a lot of patience and was still a learning experience, however, I was pretty positive it was all going to be okay.

And then it just seems like my body decided that I had put it through too much, and that it needed to revolt against me. I don't want to go into too many details, but the next three weeks involved a lot of crying from pain and exhaustion, a lot of prescriptions being called in [creams, ointments, antibiotics…you name it!], an intense fever of almost 104, more frustration and pain with feeding her than I ever though possible, a support group for breastfeeding [in which the lactation consultant looked me over and said she couldn't believe I hadn't give up and had stuck with it for so long because of the state my…err…body was/is in. She said I must be really tough, though I don't feel like that right now], several calls to my doctor, the possibility of an outpatient surgery to deal with one of my "issues", etc etc etc. To say I'm a bit emotional about all of this, and exhausted, and frustrated is an understatement.

I know women have been in my shoes for centuries. I know many of you reading this are nodding your heads, reliving your own horror stories from the weeks post-delivery. And I know many of you right now want to tell me, "Hang in there…it gets better, I promise. Soon you'll forget you ever felt this way and you'll be ready to have more." But right now, while I'm living it every single moment of the day-- while I'm still struggling with feeding her, while I'm still in so much discomfort it hurts to sit sometimes, while my poor husband has to go get me yet another kleenex because I'm crying yet again-- it feels all- consuming and never ending.

And then I look at Blythe. So perfect. So wonderful. So healthy. I AM thankful I am the one struggling with issues and not her. I know I should be grateful my body was capable of having a baby naturally, and grateful to feel these pains that remind me of this…but I'm not quite there yet.

I know it all takes time. I do know that. I guess I just want to know exactly what day, what moment, that will happen.

I don't want this post to be a downer… nor do I post it to garner your sympathies. I simply needed to relax today, and this is how I relax best-- with pen and paper, or a keyboard at my finger tips. Also, I have documented this journey for Blythe from the beginning as honestly as I knew how, and I feel in some way she deserves to know this too; in some way, some day, she may want to read this part of my journey so she can best prepare for her own [and I hope she will see me in those days as I have seen my mom].

But I don't want to leave you simply on that note-- it's only fair I give you a few more pictures! :) Enjoy! And this is the reason it is ALL worth it in the end:

Without this man, these past  four weeks would not have been possible. 

Cousins and tutus! How much fun will these three have over the years? 

She of course had to dress the part for Torri's prom! [Thanks for the dress, Ana!]


Anna Mae said...

Breastfeeding my first time was more painful than the birth! Nathaniel was tongue-tied, thus leading to him being unable to latch properly, causing ME terrible pain and issues. before we knew his issue, i was threatened with the possibility of having to re-admit nathaniel to the hospital because he wasn't gaining enough weight. I cried and cried out of pain and frustration. Literally, camped out in the clinic in a little room with a nurse and a male pediatrician "helping" me try to get nate to nurse. Praise God that finally the lactation consult was FINALLY able to see me and figured out his problem. It was still very painful for weeks... and Nate was still only 50% breastfed and self-weaned at 9mo. But now that i've educated myself and have that experience, from Day 1 with Weston, BFing has been a breeze... still painful at the beginning, but if you just grit your teeth through the first few weeks, it's worth it.

Also, emotionally, i was a MESS after my mom left. I actually ended up going to talk to an on-base counselor and talked through some minor postpartum depression... it's a HUGE change in life, and your priorities, emotions, and self-image endure a complete shift... it's hard to keep up mentally. Write, write, write, my dear. And cry as much as you need! Pray and talk it out as well! <3

I am PRAYING with my whole heart that your body recovers and you are able to emotionally find peace. Much love!

Ellen said...

thanks for writing Kelsey. It's good to hear about this side of pregnancy and having a baby. Write as much as you want/ need to.

Nikki Spotanski said...

First, just let me let you know what an amazingly strong woman I think you are for delivering your darling naturally! I wasn't able to do that, but can only imagine how that can mess with your emotions and such, not to mention the extra pain that you're in!

Also, I went through PPD, and didn't realize until I was about 4-6 weeks postpartum that the "baby blues" were something more, and decided to talk to my ob/gyn, and I'm so glad I did :) Just some food for thought if the hormones seem to be out of whack for longer than you think they should!

I am praying for you and that your body recovers quickly, both physically and emotionally :) Finally, your little lady is so precious!!!! Congrats to you three :)

Anonymous said...

2 months. That's how long it took me to feel normal again. BFing was under control and regulated, I was physically better and the emotions were under control. I hope this helps!! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

*carrie* said...

Been there. Am there in some ways. Thanks for being so honest about your ups and downs. My experience is that the ups and downs continue--some of them just change. =)

Love the pix, Kelsey, especially the cousin ones!

Shirley said...

I think I've changed my mind about the best picture EVER again...and again...and again. Now it is the picture of Brent and Blythe. It is so very touching!

Anonymous said...

Nipple shields work wonders.

Aunt Mary said...

Even in the "olden days" when I had my babies I experienced the same things. I remember looking at my beautiful little girl and wondering why I was crying.

Ana-Lou said...

Sweet, sweet Kelsey, Brenters and Princess Blythe, Your last two posted made me shed a tear! First You are very WELCOME for Blythe radiates in PINK as a PRINCESS SHOULD. Next, My heart aches for with our last precious Princess HR, I went through a very rough moment after her birth, mulitple nursing "issues", physical issues and a not so pleasant medical issues until I met the lactation consultant who gave a piece of calmness after receiving my one and only FIRST ticket in the midst of it all.

I will bow my knees for your healing physically through the sustaining of your spiritual strength and of course the Love of you priceless family!

Jeremiah 33:3, Ephesians 3:20 and Philippians 4:8
Love Always, Ana-Maria