Battle Wounds.

My tears were falling off of my face, one by one, soaking through my daughters outfit that I so carefully picked. I placed my thumb in the palm of her fragile hand and waited for that instant clasp of trust. The voice inside my head was responding back to her squeals, but it was no where near comparable to the whispers that I wanted to hear. How could I love someone so much… this little human being that came from me, but feel so hurt by her reactions to my ways of comforting her? Something wasn’t clicking. The connection I thought we had, hours before being discharged from our poorly lit hospital room, was no longer there. My own daughter didn’t know who I was and wanted nothing to do with the love I was so willing to share.

My milk had barely introduced itself and the anxiety had a head start in corrupting my mind. My nipples were cracked and on the verge of bleeding… but I knew that the more I nursed my daughter, the quicker I’d see results. She was speaking to my body through her own suction, letting it know exactly how much milk she needed to get by. Only at this point, we were both frazzled by a process we were equally new to. Discussions were arising and words were cemented into my brain. I was just not providing enough nutrition for my daughter, my newborn baby whom I thought I had already failed. For some reason, my tribe felt no worry in letting me know so. I was hearing “formula chants” and other suggestions that I truly wanted no part of. But each time I thought I was at my breaking point, I kept pushing to not only prove them wrong… but my anxiety wrong too. It was so easy to say that my situation was normal, and that eventually my daughter would settle comfortably into my welcoming arms. But I wasn’t sure how eager I was to wait for this moment… a moment that every new mother wants to feel.

With each latch, I felt a sharp pain. I bit my bottom lip with anger, even though this was a journey I was so strongly dedicated to take. I allowed my daughter to nurse longer than I thought I could handle… hours at a time with no room to breathe, no fresh air to heal my battle wounds. I was so stuck on the thought of becoming a disappointment, even though she wouldn’t realize the severity of the situation. My body was shutting down and I could feel the tension rising. The uninterrupted cries were draining me as a whole – causing me to lose hair, sleep, and the want to do better. I was deteriorating as the seconds passed… but I wouldn’t let anyone care for her but me. Even though I wasn’t giving her my best, I didn’t trust that anyone else would either. It was me and her versus the world, the very cloudy world of motherhood that I wasn’t ready to be the driver of.

Her crib was within clear range at all hours of the day, yet I couldn’t work up enough courage to leave her in there while I regained my energy. I feared the worst at all times. The sleep I had many opportunities to take advantage of was ignored… mainly because I couldn’t keep my eyes closed. My mind was playing back scenarios that (literally) left me crying in the dark of the night, unable to believe that nothing would happen to her if I looked away for just a second. I squeezed my eye lids so tight together, in hopes that they would fasten themselves shut for the duration of her nap. But within seconds I was creating sounds that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up – sounds that weren’t even really there. The night was still, but my heart was beating loud enough to disturb her dreams. I was losing the ability to give her everything I could offer, all because I was too nervous to sleep.

My daughter, A, cluster fed her way into the break of dawn. I could feel the bags under my eyes weighing me down to the floor. My bra was unclipped, my clothes smelled like the milk that leaked all over me throughout the night… this was something I couldn’t have prepared for. I waited 9 months to shower my daughter with the love I felt since the day I found out about her. 9 months to finally say that I was a mother to a beautiful babygirl. 9 months of waiting to just feel… empty.

We succeeded through milestones that I worked hard to pass, yet I felt myself becoming less happy and more anxious to watch her every move. I knew I was going to be over-protective, but nobody warned me about the depression that hid behind the shadows. I needed to make a change, one that would allow me to take a shower without an extra set of eyes. But was I willing to take the first step? How dedicated was I to become a better mama to my child? Not only better, but happy…

Making the call wasn’t the hard part, it was trying to explain why I felt alone – why I bulldozed my way into a corner of gloom. The words were at the tip of my tongue, but my mind was scattered into pieces that didn’t fit together.

A puzzle that just didn’t make sense.

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58 thoughts on “Battle Wounds.”

  1. Thank you for sharing so much with us! I don’t have any children but I felt so many emotions through your words. As always great post x

    New Lune | new-lune.com

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  2. Such raw emotions. Thank you for sharing this. Motherhood is so hard – especially in the beginning. Mama and baby are learning and it can be tough on both. I appreciate your honesty and openness in sharing your story!

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  3. How beautifully written! You really captured the emotions and struggles of adjusting to new life – so tough, but so worth it. Thank you for sharing so honestly!

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  4. Motherhood is so difficult some days. I find that the first year is SOOO tough. With all the raging hormones, lack of sleep, and a baby that can’t clearly communicate, it’s so easy to feel down about being a parent. I think it’s good for mother’s to know they aren’t the only ones who feel overwhelmed by being a parent!

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  5. Beautifully written and raw! I remember being in your shoes when I had my first baby and I made a promise to myself that I needed to take care of this mama before I could take care of others. Breastfeeding for me was just awful and I was dedicated for 3.5 weeks with mastitis and all. When my lactation consultant gave me her blessing to stop breastfeeding it was the best thing I could have done for both baby and I. With my second child, you didn’t have to ask me twice when I was asked breastfeeding or bottle feeding. I knew bottle feeding was the answer and didn’t feel the least bit guilty about it. Don’t be so hard on yourself mama. You are not alone and are human. Do what’s best for you! xo

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    1. Such a beautiful story! You made the best decision for both you and your baby, and I’m so glad you didn’t feel the slightest guilt… as a lot of mamas do!! Thank you for sharing ♥️

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  6. Wow, just caught up from the last post I read and you continue to have the most beautiful words.. words that I relate with so much, but could never put in writing myself! It’s so great that you are being so open and honest about this journey

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  7. Wow, this is absolutely beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your journey of motherhood with such openness. ❤

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  8. Big hugs mama, I remember going through these emotions and just kept on thinking about this was happening and will I ever get through it. I did and you will too. Motherhood is such a precious journey, we may not always enjoy it, but we will always think back fondly on it.

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  9. Wowsers that was in intense but honest read. Thank you for sharing. Those first few days/weeks/months are not easy. In fact, they challenge you in a whole other way and I’m glad that it’s being talked about xx

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  10. Wow!! I mean that in the most touching way, so raw, so powerful. The words may have not been on the tip of your tongue but they ran out of your fingertips. Thank you for being so open, and vulnerable. Hang in there love

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  11. So beautifully written. It read like a novel with so much emotion. I was going through the roller coaster with you. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. Thank you for being so honest with your post. Parenthood is difficult and one of my biggest fears. Just know that you are not alone and more people feel this way than they let on. I really love this post.

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  13. These moments are so difficult. My youngest is the first I breastfed and I remember those first few weeks. the exhaustion seemed never ending and the frustration was always at a limit. eventually it does get better I promise.

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  14. I like you shared this. I wish I had the habit of documenting all during these phases of life. Great read! Very normal yet very unique!

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  15. So many emotions right now. My daughter is 1.5 so I remember all to well the beginnings stages of breast freeding.. I never thought I’d succeed but we are still going strong!

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