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.
BACK TO WORK!
The month of May ushered in the end of my maternity leave and the move to Washington state of my best friend Amy. I had mixed feelings about going back to work - I was happy to return to my job and see my kids and coworkers, but at the same time I felt guilty for being happy about going back to work because essentially, didn't that mean by default I was HAPPY to be away from my child for eight hours a day?
Sometime in May Natalie started giving us big grins which made her seem like more of a "real" person.
This was taken on one of the countless days that my mother and father came over to help out with tasks around the house. At this point in time, my child did not look anything like me and was still a carbon copy of her daddy. As she has grown her face shape and facial expressions are much more like momma's than daddy's. Oh. And there's that whole "top 97th percentile for height" thing that resembles me too.
I was a complete and total water baby (and still am) and my mother first put me in the water when I was about nine months old (I'm an August baby). Some of the best memories I have of summers in Texas while growing up were of my mother, my grandma and myself all spending hours swimming around in the pool as well as playing Little Mermaid with my friend Kate. Unfortunately due to Kate's natural red hair, she ALWAYS got to be Ariel but not to be left out, I was her equally beautiful sister. Craig and I put Natalie into the pool over Memorial Day weekend and she seemed to really like the water! Bath time is a favorite of hers because she loves to splash around so I'm hoping that she'll be a little fish just like me, her Nonna and her Great Grandma.
One of the best things about May was sending Natalie to her baby-sitter Ms. Rebecca and her doing wonderfully while I was at work. I didn't want to be the mother of the child who screamed and cried the entire time that I was away from her so I was very pleased when Natalie was adaptable to all different types of caretakers. Plus, at Ms. Rebecca's house there are lots of older boys to be her "big brothers" during the day who will teach her all sorts of neat (and some not so neat) things.
I think it was around this time that Craig was starting to sense that something was not right with his wife but he never said much of anything about it....he just kept on living life and trying to take care of things around the house the best he could. Sometimes I got frustrated with him because I felt like my lashing out at him was the only way I could get him to understand that something was wrong with me.....and maybe he would do something to save me. I know now that he was just trying to survive the day-to-day but he was also coming from a place of (sorta) understanding PPD and knew that it had to be me to drag myself out of the pit - he couldn't do it for me. I see now that what I perceived as "apathy" towards how I was feeling was more just him trying to be strong and do everything in his power to remain calm (despite my roller coaster emotions) and keep the house together and all three of his women (me, Natalie and Angie) safe and relatively satisfied.