Yesterday, November 29, at 3:58pm Hadley Marin joined our already estrogen-wealthy family, ensuring Nick's slow yet inevitable descent into Hormone Hell.
I tell you this up front because I'm running on two hours sleep and I have no idea how many posts this momentous occasion might get milked into. I'm most likely going to veer off into some really weird directions and I at least wanted to give you the important information up front in case you decide to bail when I start digging into the details of my spanking new pee bag.
So since you're already here, I think I'm going to start a few months back.
And I say what I'm about to say with the full knowledge that it's impossible to take something back once it's been thrown out into the Blogosphere. And with the full knowledge that one day Hadley will probably read this and I just might want to because she'll realize that I've not always been the world's most perfect Mom she thought I was, despite popular opinion.
But I also say this with the knowledge that I started this blog as a way to get, and give, support from you all. And with the knowledge that one day she might even be dealing with the same emotions that I've been fighting.
So I'll just say it - the past few months I've been having a very difficult time with regard to this pregnancy.
Nick and I knew we wanted to have a third baby, but 14 months after the last baby was not exactly what we had planned.
I think this picture speaks a thousand words.
When I brought Lila home from the hospital, Ellie was 16 months old and the first few months of her life I was definitely off my Mom game. And by off my Mom game I mean I literally almost called the child abuse hotline on myself four times that I can remember.
I was short with Ellie for acting out because she was terrified that I would abandon her in favor of a younger model. I was short with Nick because he didn't get home fast enough. I was even short with Lila, then just a newborn, because she wouldn't sleep enough and she completely thrashed my nipples.
But most of all I was disappointed with myself because I couldn't do it as good as the other Moms. As fast as the other Moms. As smart as the other Moms. As skinny as the other Moms. I wasn't the Mom I had always envisioned myself to be.
Every day I went to bed feeling like a big Mom failure and I didn't have any clue where to even begin to make it better. So I usually ended up taking out my frustrations on my family. And hating myself for it.
As the due date for this baby grew closer, so did my fear that I would be spending the first few months of 2012 again in a dark place. Without the tools to be the Mom my awesome kids deserved. Living every day in survival mode, then waking up one day to find they were six months older and somehow I had forgotten to stop and smell the roses. Completely abandoning the idea of experiencing any joy in parenthood.
My terror - and I don't use that word loosely, terror - for what would happen when this baby came completely overtook the happiness and excitement that should accompany a new baby's arrival. I knew this baby deserved as much fanfare and celebration as the other two, yet I was unable to allow myself to experience the unconditional happiness that good parents should feel toward their unborn children. And the accompanying guilt was all-consuming.
See, I told you I might want to take some of this back once I've slept.
One night I finally had the courage to tearfully admit this to Nick. And together we worked out a game plan, deciding to hire a nanny three days a week once the baby came. A cost that required us to re-finance our house so we could tap into some of the equity, but we both agreed that was a small price to pay to avoid Hannah Mayer landing the lead role on an episode of Snapped.
It wasn't the only solution to our challenges, but it was a very good start. We're trying to work through some other issues, like how to find a balance between his demanding work schedule and his demanding family obligations. And I'm trying to work through some of my own issues, like how to remember that Ellie is only two and she's going to throw a tantrum or two. Or seventeen thousand.
And how to just go ahead and expect Lila to take five massive dumps every day, all when we're either about to walk out the door when we're running really really late or when we're at Oktoberfest and I forgot to put more diapers in the diaper bag after I used the last one the week prior.
So feeling better, though still a little apprehensive, about our impending bundle of joy, on Sunday - nine days before our scheduled c-section - I cracked open my first bag of red raspberry leaf tea. AKA The Send You Into Labor Tea.
And send me into labor it did.