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?

6 thoughts on “I have been tired, irritable, and depressed for 20 months and 26 days

  1. I hear you – lack of sleep for a few days causes everything in life to be a little less enjoyable. Compound that over several years and it shows us how amazing our bodies can be to still function while somewhat resembling our original selves. The time will come when you have good sleep again! In the meantime you are addressing 2 other key pieces to good health, nutrition and the brain/body connection. Your new self, as a result of spending more months and years on this Earth, might be shadowing some of your old self but it’s not a bad thing. You are still bright and shiny and inspirational!

  2. I think you are a remarkable human being for being so aware of yourself and able to understand and express it. I think so many Mom’s feel just like you do, and feel like something is “wrong” with them that they can’t cope, because most everyone else just lies and says everything is “great”. I am glad to know you and be able to read your inspirational words 🙂 Love you! Alison

  3. Thanks for sharing this part of your story Lisa. The bottom line is that motherhood is HARD. It just is. You captured that, and the feeling of done-ness, so eloquently. And those baby pictures? SERIOUS *love*!

  4. You’re so honest, Lisa. You’re not alone. We’re to the “we’re done” point, too. Mike will be having a surgical intervention in the near future 🙂

  5. Have you been hanging out inside my head? I could have written this. I’m maybe struggling a little bit more with letting go of the idea of another baby, but otherwise in the exact same boat. Nobody ever told me how easy it is to lose yourself during this stage, and I can’t even remember what it felt like to say “things are going great, let’s throw another baby into the mix!” I’m surprised by how much more difficult it’s been this time around compared to my first (which was pretty darn challenging.) I’m only 7 months past my second so it’s heartening to be reminded that things will improve, the light will get brighter.

    Your babies are beautiful, and I love these photos of them. Thanks so much for sharing and reminding me that I’m not alone.

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