When I think back to the days and weeks after C was born, I don’t remember that much. I was trying desperately to breastfeed, but felt like I was failing. Hubster and I were extremely sleep deprived. C developed colic around his second week of life. He needed to be held in order to sleep. I remember a lot of crying, a lot of stress, a lot of frustration, a lot of uncertainty in my ability to raise a human being.
Some of that, I’m sure, was normal. Becoming a first-time parent is a scary thing. It can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with a colicky baby. I wonder how much of it, though, had to do with PPD. When did it begin for me? I can only pinpoint when things got noticeably worse, but I don’t know when the firestorm started.
This time is different. Maybe it’s because I’m more confident in my parenting ability. Maybe the medication I started last month is doing its job of keeping my brain chemistry balanced. Maybe this time I realize how quickly babies grow and I want to take in every moment.
It’s probably a little of each. I’m thankful to have this second chance to breathe in all of the littleness that is Baby Jo. Her tiny fingers, the noises she makes when she drinks her bottle, the way she sometimes peeks at us through one slightly open eyelid.
Being able to breathe it all in this time is bittersweet. I wish I had been more present with C. The bond that he and I share shows me that I didn’t fail him, but I wonder if my own guilt will always be there. I’m so grateful for the knowledge, preparation and support I’ve had this time around. This time will be different, and it already is.