I have been tired, irritable, and depressed for 20 months and 26 days

How I have loved having my babies and seeing them grow in those glorious first years of life.

And how tired I have been.

Since Anna’s birth, I have been someone I don’t know…someone who is anal and crabby and can’t handle any amount of stress whatsoever.  Someone who gets depressed at the drop of a hat and has crazy thoughts running through her mind, someone who just can’t seem to be the person she used to be before baby #2 came around.  Someone who gets irritated, so very irritated–at her kids and husband whom she loves most in the world.

I hate that.

But I love that I’ve come this far.  I love that in the scope of things, it is getting better.  The light is getting closer and brighter.  Anna’s nights are better, and though I still find myself fantasizing about Cry-It-Out in my weakest moments, I have been able to persevere and not go there.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in these almost-two-years of craziness and hardship; mostly I’ve learned that I have limits.  Sleep is absolutely crucial to my well being.  And not just *any* sleep, but unbroken stretches of sleep preferably between the hours of 12 and 4am.  Since that almost never happens, I’ve learned that I can forgive myself.  I really am only human, and humans can only do so much.

As much as I have loved being pregnant, giving birth, and having babies, I think it’s time for me to let that go now.  I think (with a little pain in my heart) that I am done with this baby business.  And not because I haven’t loved it all, even with its darkest days–but because I think another baby will tilt the scale against my favor and send me into insanity.

I will choose quality over quantity, even though if I were a stronger person with a more stable brain I would probably choose one or two more babies.  But I don’t think that’s the hand I’ve been dealt, and I have slowly come to terms with that.  I will wrap up that delightful box of baby memories and put it away, sell my baby paraphernalia, and lavish in the present.

My first baby, still drugged up from the hospital birth. She instantly became the love of my life. This is the moment I "grew up".

 

 

My second baby, who looks a lot like my first baby, in an oxytocin-induced sleep she got from her drug-free birth at home. The love of my life, again, when I didn't think I could possibly love another human being as much as I loved my first baby. Wow.

 

Life is grand, isn’t it?