I cussed at her. She threw up for what seems like the hundredth times. She looked at me innocently. I looked back in frustration. She was only one week old. All I wanted was sleep. It was 2:30 AM. I didn’t like this situation. I could not accept motherhood. I thought motherhood was overrated. God knew I did not sign up for this and so why did He put me through this?
“Today you’re going home,” said Dr. Carrillo. It was my fourth day at the hospital after the C-Section. She continued, “If you feel a sense of sudden sadness, or close to depression and it is overwhelming, please contact me or Dr. Guiller, your OBGYN.” I had been feeling fine the first few days, so I said in confident that I didn’t think there was anything to worry and despite the incision soreness, I felt fine. Obviously, I didn’t know what’s coming.
When it rains, it pours.
We came home that day: my husband and I, and our newborn daughter, Bethany Sitompul Nieman. We barely had sleep at all the first night we brought Bethany home. She kept crying and crying. At home, we had prepared a beautiful bassinet for her. It is the same one her Dad used to sleep in when he was a baby. Bethany would not sleep in it. Everytime I put her down in her bassinet, she would cry.
My nipples were sore from breastfeeding. The skin got peeled and I dreaded any time I had to feed her because it was very painful. I also dreaded the night time because I knew I would not sleep. I knew it was going to be terrible.
You know how the media would show us the faces of happy mothers holding their baby right after they’ve given birth? That instant love a mother feels toward the baby? I had none of that. What I had was more of a nightmare. My hormones were so out of control. I had the baby blues. Love at first sight? I didn’t even like my baby. I cried all the time, sometime for no particular reason. Just tired and hormones. When I cried, I’d try to speak some sense to myself, saying, “Count your blessings, Kitty. Count your blessings.” But my hormones know no logic. I could not get them synchronized. It is out of my control.
Let me be frank: I hated everything about motherhood the first couple of weeks. I regretted being a mother. I blamed God. I told Him my life was just fine before, with just my husband and I. The peak of my baby blues was when I started having suicidal thoughts. I thought if I cut my wrist, I could end this misery. My husband asked me to contact my doctor. Thankfully, she wanted to see me and agreed to take me in without an appointment.
When it rains, it pours.
But God. When I thought He was nowhere to be found, He is everywhere. He is everywhere, I see Him through my husband who would always reminded me how much he loves me and that we’re in this together, who would happily watch and feed Bethany whenever I was not mentally capable to handle myself. I see Him through the friends He sent me, such as Kelly Chapman, who would go see me right away, any time I had one of my mental breakdowns. I see Him through the ladies from church, who set up a meal train and sent us dinner for a couple weeks so that Clay and I did not need to worry about food or grocery shopping while trying to take care of our newborn. These actions shown by the people in my life speaks louder than the best of Billy Graham sermon. These actions are God in action.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
My daughter is 6-week old this week. She is the most precious thing. I have felt so much better the past week and my meltdown is getting less and less. All the things that God has put on my way to sustain me, all those things work. Be it the support system from my husband and friends, the medicine, the prayers, all of those things work.
This morning I tickled her when she woke up. She smiled at me. She is the most precious thing.