I am never sure when it began. Perhaps it was when I hit puberty. Or earlier. I thought it started when Soleil was born, but now I know that it has been around much much longer.
Soleil was born after 2 years of trying to conceive, 1 miscarriage(complete with D&C and then getting told that insurance wasn’t going to cover it), and a very long and difficult pregnancy. I knew that I would never be a great pregnant person. The constant nausea, the hernia that sent me to the hospital, the bleeding, the pain, the early drop that put me on bed rest, none of that disappointed. But what I didn’t expect was how HARD it was to be a mother.
Soleil come into the world after 49 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing. She screamed bloody murder for the first 20 minutes. She calmed when warmed up and on my chest. We tried to feed, but she was too upset to do so. The nurses took her up to the nursery for tests and I was taken to a room where I could rest. Within 1 hour, they brought her to me. I was exhausted and mentally shattered. I had not expected labor to be that difficult. I was still fighting off the epidural. I had lost all of my food from the day before and had not eaten yet. And they brought this tiny fragile child to me. And we tried again to feed. And she screamed.
I had a nurse help me, but it was HARD. I wanted to breast feed. I knew all of the research. It was there, I could do this. But what I didn’t know then that I now know is that Soleil is sensitive to textures. She needed a long smooth nipple. Mine are not. We were incompatible for feeding. I even went through many different bottle/nipple combination before I found one that worked. Yes, I gave up breast feeding two weeks in. Because even before I left the hospital, the depression was there.
It crept in. Maybe it was always there. 1 hour break from labor until I had my child with me, alone. Jay had gone home to shower as we had been told to do. It never occurred to me to send her to the nursery so I could sleep. I should have. I cried and cried as she cried and cried. I felt that in less than 12 hours, I had failed my child. The girl I had tried so long to conceive.
Jay came back in the afternoon. The girl and I had slept after a very difficult feeding session. The thunder moved in that evening. The Red Sox were playing down the street and there was a sign up for Nomar Garciaparra, "Happy Birthday". It was Soleil’s birthday too! She spent most of her awake time crying. It was amazing how much she cried. And how much I cried.
We learned to change her, bathe her and we got ready to take her home. I dressed her in her new born take home outfit. She was ready to go. I climbed into the back seat of the car with her….
to be continued