June 15, 2013

Trying to Mend

The newest member or our family is now just over two weeks old.  I've contemplated for the past week on whether or not to write this down, but in the end feel like maybe it will be good to come back to and read in the future.  The internal struggle if I should allow people to see and feel the emotional roller coaster that is my current life, or keep it to myself.  Maybe I have hopes on the therapeutic value of writing it down, that it can heal the crack in my heart I've been working on mending.

I am the mother of four amazing girls.  I am the wife of an amazing man.  Yes, he is in the military and is deployed.  And yes, I spent weeks 10 through 39 of my fourth pregnancy co-parenting our other three through a computer screen.  Yes, it was hard.  No, I do not need nor want anyone to imagine being in my shoes.  We are fortunate that he was given R&R.  We are fortunate that it sort of coincided with my due date.  We are fortunate that I was able to give birth with my best friend standing next to my bedside.

But, no one warned me how hard it would be when it was all over.  I spent an entire day googling military spouse blogs and searching to the end of the internet looking for some emotional respite, to find someone who had previously written down the things I was feeling in that moment of time.  Let's just say that anything related to recovery from R&R had a different connotation to it than I was looking for.  It just made me feel more alone.

So here it is.  The private piece of us that should probably just be for us, but I've decided to write down.  The night before he left....  The night before he left we spent at the beach with the kids, trying to allow them some familial normalcy.  Once we returned to our house, I pulled out my camera and I took probably a hundred bad, low light photos of my husband snuggling on the couch with the kids and the baby laying in her chair nearby.  As he tucked the older two in bed, I curled up on the couch and cried, knowing it would be the last time they would hug him for another five months.  I briefly contained myself for the Boom's sake, because she cries when I cry.  We are sort of emotionally synced.  Him and I discussed on whether or not to let her sleep in bed with us, and I decided it was best to keep her in her bed or I'd have a sleeping buddy for the rest of the year.  I delivered her to her bed and then began sobbing again, all the way back to my bedroom with the baby in arm.  I gently placed her in her crib, crawled into bed in my sweats and hoodie next to him, and bawled like a baby.  I knew when I woke up in the morning, that spot next to me would be empty.  He kissed my forehead and held my hand until I wore myself out crying to the point of exhaustion.  When I woke up the next morning with the baby, he was gone.  He snuck out of the house and had my dad take him to the airport.  He couldn't handle breaking my heart any further than it already was.  Luckily my parents were here, so that he could sneak out.  And also so I could stay in bed and be depressed until the afternoon.

The doctors and nurses warned me that postpartum depression usually had an onset 7-10 days after birth.  All I could think was, great, just in time for him to leave again and then the latter would be just in time for my parents to return home.  Just in time for me to be alone with all four girls.  I can honestly say I don't have a touch of the baby blues, at least not yet.  I'm not depressed.  I love my little girl(s).  I just miss my husband.

I get to talk to him daily.  I get to see his face through the computer thanks to technology.  This doesn't replace his presence in our home.  I find myself feeling very stretched in the past week.  Stretched every day.  I go to bed at night wondering what challenge lay ahead the next day.  How many times will I be caught nursing Everlee, while Addison runs past me screaming she needs to potty.  How many times I will have to put the task of wiping her rear end on one of my bigger girls because I simply am one person.  How many times I will feel guilty for not being able to do it all.  But I am just one person.  One person with a tiny crack in her heart, waiting for her best friend to come home.