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Some Things Are Worth It – Part 1

Magoo is in a tearing phase. I suspect he's trying to build a nest. Walking through the house tonight, trying to clean up a week's worth of laziness, I found several piles of shredded junk. There was toilet paper on the bathroom floor, paper towels at the base of the kitchen sink, computer paper in the dining room, fabric softener sheets with the laundry, and Ziploc bags on the family room couch (Don't ask me about that one. I just report the news.). Oh how I love that little muffin-headed mini person!

Muffin Head
What a cute little muffin head

Before he was born, I had a feeling that something would go wrong with the pregnancy or birth. Talking to other mothers, I hear that's a common feeling during pregnancy, the crazy never-ending list of "What-Ifs." But I didn't really have it with my first baby so when nagging fears and worries popped up the second time, I took notice.

Laylee had been so healthy, sweet and easy-tempered. What if the new baby has colic or won't sleep at night? I read everything I could find about calming fussy babies and encouraging quality sleep. What if he's a boy? I bought books about the glorious beauty-joy of raising a male. What if he needs a house with a yard? I started keeping an eye on the real estate market. What if he's not healthy? What if I need to have a C-section? What if he doesn't like hockey? What if he grows up to be a Lion Tamer?

Then the one thing I didn't research actually happened. What if the chemicals at delivery cause my brain to do funny things? What if the problem is with me, not the baby? What then?

I had followed Brooke Shields's problems with a passing interest. "Wow!" I thought, "I'm glad I'm not 'prone' to those types of issues."

A not so very close friend emailed me out of the blue during the pregnancy to tell me she had been diagnosed with postpartum depression after 7 months of wondering what was wrong with her. She encouraged me to get help if things didn't seem right after the baby was born. I thought, "That's strange and a tad intimate. I don't even know her that well. I'm sure glad I'm not 'prone' to those types of issues."

A toddler is born

When all 10 lbs 8oz of Magoo arrived, I was thrilled, if in a great deal of pain. The doctor had been able to deliver him vaginally without "breaking" anything and with the help of a walker, some physical therapy and a special device to lift my legs in and out of bed, I was hopeful of a full recovery. I even got to ride those little battery-powered carts at the grocery store. They're absolutely no good in a race. Dan could beat me walking every time. Show off! I was damaged but happy and my little fat man was in perfect health and he was beautiful. I wore his massive birth weight as a badge of honor.

My mom came out to help with the kids, which was good since Laylee developed an ear infection in both ears and pinkeye in both eyes while we were delivering at the hospital. Her eyes were completely glued shut, her mommy and daddy were gone and she wasn't allowed to touch her much-anticipated baby brother. If a pregnant woman thinks 9 months is a long time to wait, imagine how it feels for the 2-year-old who's begging mommy to pull on her bellybutton and release the infant from his watery prison. Next time I get pregnant, we're not telling the kids until I start giving them black eyes with my massive uncontrollable midsection. That should be at least 3 months into the pregnancy, give or take.

On the evening of my sixth day postpartum, I was sitting up talking to Dan and my mom when I suddenly started to feel very cold and the whole world changed colors for me. I began shaking with uncontrollable fear and panic. My mom said she could see the color drain from my face which turned a dull sort of grey. For a couple of hours she and Dan worked to talk me out of the sudden and irrational terror that had gripped me. The world wasn't so bad. I could certainly protect and care for my children. Magoo was not going to grow up to be some sort of crack-dealing thug. Laylee would not end up living on the streets like the girl from Traffic. Things would look better in the morning.

After a while, the panic slowly left me and rational thought entered my mind once more. How strange! I was normally such a positive person. I'm sure some sleep would do me good. When I woke up having a panic attack several hours later, I started to worry that something was really wrong.

To be continued...


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