I have been reflecting about when Jack was born. Things are a lot different this time. I am in a very different place.

I wanted to share this story mostly because I need to get it out. I also wanted to share it so if anyone has ever felt this way, they can know they are not alone. It is long, and very personal.
I was due on July 16, 2007, but we found out a month before I was due that Ben was going to have to report to Border Patrol training that same day. We made the decision to be induced on July 10, and on July 15, Ben boarded a jet plane and headed off to the Border Patrol Academy for four months. I was a mess.
My mom came from Germany to help me, but a few days after she arrived, she found out that she needed to have emergency surgery. I felt so alone. Jack cried ALL the time. I had no idea what I was doing. He wouldn't really let anyone hold him, he wouldn't let me set him down, and I couldn't stand to hear him cry. Everyday I felt like I was on the verge of breaking down. Nighttime was the hardest because I knew I wouldn't get enough sleep and when I woke up, everything would start over again. Many people did come to help- my sister and her husband, my brother, my aunt and uncle, and many friends-they all made a big difference. I still felt alone.
Then good news came when after seven weeks of training. Ben was offered his current job, which meant that he was coming home. He would have to go to training without us again, but this time, Jack and I would go to Germany to live with my parents for three months. Things were still hard in Germany, but manageable. I was able to handle the stress most of the time, but in my mind, I still on the verge. After Germany we lived in Virginia for a few months to finish Ben's training, and that is when things were really bad. I lost all desire for the things I loved, I didn't want to exercise, I didn't want to go to church anymore. I wanted to send Jack to my mom's to live so I wouldn't screw him up. I was miserable.
I should have talked to someone. I should have asked for help, but I didn't, I regret that now.
Slowly, things did get better. One day when Jack was about one, I was feeding him lunch, I looked at him, and realized that I was okay. I felt the bond that people talk about having with their kids. It took a year. I was horrified. I knew that I loved Jack, and that I needed to take care of him, but it was at that moment that I felt connected to him in a way I can't describe. I have had that feeling everyday since. Jack helped me figure out how to be a mom. He is a very special kid.
Ben was very understanding and patient during this time. He is a very special husband.
With Thomas, I actually enjoy having a baby. I love having Jack around to share this time with. I am doing a lot better. I know that I can do it, and that we can make it. Life is amazing. I am grateful for the little family Ben and I have. They are mine, and I am theirs, with that, we can make it.


Hello There! said...

Thanks so much for sharing such a personal story. I wish I could give you a hug right now.
I agree, being a new mom is very lonely. There were many nights I sat up feeding Harmony while Doug lie in bed next to me snoring away and I would cry because I felt so overwhelmed, so tired and just so worried that I wasn't doing a very good job. The second time around seems much easier.

Jessica said...

I'm glad you shared that and that you have it recorded somewhere. Its very cathartic to get it out and even though you didn't feel it back then, you can know now that you are not alone. Love ya!!

Anja said...

Em, your such a great mom...I know things can get hard, I'm glad your doing better!!

Janalu said...

Well I only have a dog and 2 cats and that's not really the same as kids. So my comment might not be as effective as others. But I thought you were pretty brave to have that baby and be alone and handle it so well. And I also think you are a very good and cute mom! You and Ben are doing awesome!

Tracy said...

I was so worried in the beginning because I didn't feel that instant bond with Graham that so many women talk about. It took me about 5 months before I really felt like he was mine and that we had a real bond. I always like when other people share these stories so I know that there was nothing wrong with me. I'm so glad it is easier for you this time! I can't believe you had to go through all that the first time around. That would be stressful for anyone.

Emily said...

I remember talking to you periodically while you were going through this tough time in the early days of Jack. I am so glad that things are better and that you have come out strong. I am so happy you are enjoying Motherhood! Thomas is a doll!

The Teeples Times said...

That story made me cry and brought back a lot of "not so fun" memories for me when Dallin was born. I am happy for you guys, but sad for us that you are moving to D.C. area, then Mexico. You seem to be doing well with Thomas, which I am so glad for. You can call me anytime you need to talk. You are a wonderful, wonderful mother - always remember that!!