Growing up I have always loved children and knew one day I wanted to have three children of my own. I wanted three because I come from a family of three children. When I say a family of three children I mean generations of three children. My mother and father both came from a family of three children, and my mother also had three children of her own. So, I also thought I would have three children of my own.
My boyfriend and I thought we wanted to start having children at 18 so we wouldn’t be too old to play with our children. So basically we were not the smartest kids! Thankfully we did not get pregnant until I was 20. When I became pregnant it was three days before my wedding, and I found out after returning from my honeymoon. The new chapter of my life became very quickly overwhelming. I was newly married and soon to become a mother.
As my friends were going out to party and celebrate their 21st birthdays, I was working, sleeping, and getting fat. On my 21st birthday I was almost 5 months pregnant so my celebration was a couple sips of wine with my husband and a few friends. As the months dragged on I started to lose touch with my friends who were able to go out on their own and started to resent my unborn child. I would lie on the couch rubbing my belly and think about my life. I was 21 years old, newly married, employed full time on a midnight shift, still taking college courses, and I was pregnant. I had a tiny human being growing inside me. It was so surreal I never gave the unborn child much thought.
My mother threw me a baby shower where hardly anyone could be bothered to show up and I started to accumulate stuff for this thing… this child. People kept giving me clothes, diapers, and all the other necessary things for the kid. I had a whole closet full of things and a crib bought by my mother in law. I was set to welcome this child into the world. Well, I had the stuff for the kid, but I did not have the mindset.
Born July 16, 2007 my son was that wiggling, crying, red looking thing they removed from my body. They took it out, weight it, wiped it off, and stuck it on my chest. My husband and I gave him the name Talan Kain as we had agreed upon a couple months into my pregnancy. I thought there would be this instant connection that people talk about. Instead I was just looking at it for a couple minutes before the rest of my family came in. Talan was passed around from family member to family member and I was glad I did not have to hold him again.
I was tired and ready for some sleep but the nurses brought in the baby and said he would have to sleep in my room so I could learn how to get up with him. They were not kidding about having to get up with the kid. He would cry every couple of hours and my husband would just continue to snore in the chair next to the bed. So, I got up with my “too many to count” stitches, bulging hemorrhoids, bleeding vaginal area, and a bladder that could hold no more than a sip of water to feed this wailing thing. The nurses came in the next day to get him so I could get some rest, but sure enough they brought him back again the next night. It was the same thing that night too.
By the third day it was time to go home. Home, where I could not call a nurse if I needed help. Home, where my snoring husband would sleep through everything. Home, where I had to have this kid by myself. My anxiety level was through the ceiling but I told no one. I plastered a smile on my face like I was happy to be a mother and headed home. I still had 5 more weeks to be off work before I needed to return to help with the family income. Within the first couple of days of being home I dropped 30 pounds instantly. I went to the doctor who thought I had a thyroid problem, which was not the case. He gave me a list of symptoms for post-partum and I took them home. When my husband got home from work we went over them and I told him I thought I was suffering from several on the lists. He assured me I was not so I kept on trying to be a mother.
I would feed him when I was supposed to and change him when he needed it. Sometimes I would sit on the couch and hold him but mostly I put him in a swing or bouncer seat. I still did not feel the connection I was supposed to. I would sometimes have dreams about him dying of SIDS and what I would do without a child. Then I would wake up in a panic and check on him.
When he we almost 6 weeks old I returned to work. I was ready to be away from the baby! Instead of getting the break I so desperately needed I got less sleep and less help. I would work from midnight to 8am then come home to take care of the baby. Usually he would sleep til 9 so I had about an hour of sleep before I had to be up with him all day. My husband would get home at 4 something, but was usually unavailable to watch the baby, so I continued on with little sleep. Most of the time when I finally got the baby down for the night I would get a couple more hours before having to be back at work.
My husband then started to tell me the baby never woke up and slept through the night. I was very excited he was sleeping through the night at only 6 weeks old because I needed sleep on my days off. As I soon came to find out, he was not sleeping through the night, my husband was. So even on my days off I averaged a couple hours of sleep a day. It was the most exhausting time.
It took several months for me to form a connection with my son, but once it was there it could never be broken. Endless feedings became a time for me to snuggle him and changing his diapers were a chance to try and make him smile instead of cry. Motherhood began to take on a new light and that light keep me going on the little sleep I was continuing to get. The years began to pass and the time began to fly. To remember all of the little things I began to scrapbook and make notes. My son became my whole world and my constant source of laughter.
Although things started out a bit rocky and required some deep soul searching, they have turned into the best years of my life.