So...I'm a mom now. The last time I blogged here on Campbell Patch, I was seven months pregnant. Oh, how much has changed since then. My son, Andrew Steven Joseph Erbil, was born January 9, 2012 at 10:58PM, after 46 hours of the most painful back labor imaginable. He was 22 inches long and weighed 9lbs 5oz. He was (and is) beautiful, with lots of blonde hair and big blue eyes. Yes, it's a cliche, but he was worth every single second of pain I endured to bring him here.
The first few months after Andy's birth were awful. I was diagnosed, post-labor, with preeclampsia. There were signs that I had it during the last two weeks of my pregnancy, but they were overlooked because every symptom tended to be "borderline". As soon as I got home from the hospital, my blood pressure skyrocketed to 160/100. I couldn't walk down the hallway without breaking into a sweat and getting blurred vision. I wound up in the ER and I subsequently spent the rest of that week hooked up to a magnesium drip. I was told that I would need medicine that, while potentially life saving, would make me unable to breastfeed, which broke my heart. I spent Andy's third night of life in a hospital far away from him. I cried on a daily, even hourly basis for months following his birth. To say I was a mess is putting it VERY lightly.
A black cloud of postpartum depression, insomnia, and panic attacks set in as soon as I left the hospital. I couldn't be alone. I couldn't bathe or grocery shop without having visions of awful things happening to the baby or bursting into sobs at inappropriate moments. My husband went back to work when Andy was two weeks old and I had to take care of a helpless human being on my own for the first time. I spent every day staring at my son in terror, unable to rest or relax due to the overwhelming anticipation I felt. I was paralyzed by fear that he would cry at any second and that I wouldn't know how to help him.
At the urging of parents, friends, and my beloved husband, I saw doctors, psychiatrists, and physical therapists. Slowly, the fog cleared. My blood pressure went back to normal a couple months later. My insomnia gradually went away, as did my panic attacks. For the first time since I went on maternity leave, I was able to work and live a normal life again. The best part is that I was finally able to enjoy my little boy, whom I had so desperately loved before I had even seen his tiny face.
Now that I feel good again, I have to say that being a parent is AWESOME.
There are moments of joy and excitement, like the first time my son gave me a high five or when I saw his first little tooth poke through. There are moments of extreme fear, like when he fell off the bed and got a bloody lip (I still feel awful about that).
There are times when I'm deleriously exhausted, pushing myself through work after a fussy, teething baby has kept me up all night. There are moments of sheer bliss, such as the simple perfection of watching him sleep, or the joyous look on his face when he sees bubbles or tastes a food that he loves. Being a parent is an unbelievable, emotional experience.
However, all things aside, motherhood does make me one lazy blogger. My apologies, internet. I am busy working a full-time job and going home to tickle ten little toes and kiss one sticky little face. If I appear to be on a hiatus from writing, know that I am knee deep in diapers, silly songs, and bubble baths. Rather than spending an evening alone with my laptop, my husband and I take our son on early evening walks, cook dinner, change diapers, snuggle, and then fall into an exhausted sleep.
I will try to be better about blogging. I promise. I have a lot of important things to say. Stay tuned, universe. Stay tuned.