The next few posts I'm going to be linking up with Robin at Farewell Stranger who writes a beautifully personal PPD blog. She's doing a series of blog posts which look back at the wonderful moments of the past year despite struggling through motherhood and PPD. I'm doing this series along with her because I desperately want to remember the first year of Natalie's life as something positive and beautiful instead of full of pain, frustration, anger, anxiety and darkness.
THE BIG DAY
I was induced early on a Tuesday morning in March and Natalie was born at 1:43 that afternoon! I expected her to be a seven pound baby just because neither Craig nor myself were large babies and my belly just wasn't THAT big even on the day of delivery at 39 weeks pregnant. I'm six feet tall with long legs and a long torso - maybe she just had a lot of room to spread out....whatever the reason, she totally surprised everyone by being an eight pound, six ounce baby that was 21.5 inches long. Her basketball coach Daddy was pretty proud of his big girl. Natalie's birth was traumatic at the time and obviously didn't go as planned but at the end of the day....she and I were healthy and alive which is all that mattered. It took me awhile to realize it, but just because I had a c-section doesn't make me any "less" of a mother nor was it a sign that my body wasn't "made" for childbearing thus a sign that I shouldn't have been a mother. These were both constant spiraling thoughts that I had running through my brain in the weeks (okay...MONTHS) after Natalie's birth.
Craig and I before I was rolled into the OR for delivery.
First time holding her - I'm smiling, but I'm thinking "how in the hell am I supposed to get her to be quiet."
She looked JUST like her Daddy when she was first born.
Craig was (and IS) still so proud of his beautiful baby girl.
My dad and his first granddaughter. He is absolutely smitten with her.
Three generations of women - my mother (Nonna to Natalie), me and Natalie.
My two brothers Stephen and Michael holding Natalie for the first time. Stephen and Michael are 11 and 8 years older than me and I know that they both vividly remember holding me as a baby. I think it was pretty emotional for them both to see and hold their baby sister's......baby girl.
Now the reminiscing is going to get difficult because up until March things were pretty good - I was nervous about having a baby but I had no idea the roller coaster I was about to get on. The hard work of staying positive and not being drawn into the memories of those harrowing moments is beginning with the next post. This is where I have to start reprogramming my brain to remember the bits and pieces of the good stuff that has happened.....it wasn't all bad, it wasn't all dark. There were moments, hours and even DAYS that I spent in the sunshine despite the fog all around me and I have to access those memories and put them in forefront of my brain. Wish me luck.