Tag Archives: Babies

“Their Cries”

Sometimes my children like to tag team me with what seems like endless crying. It used to overwhelm me, but I have learned how to manage it. My son, who recently turned two, would cry and startle his 8mth.old sister, who in turn would suddenly start crying too. As his cries would get louder so would hers. I don’t believe her tears were compassionate tears for his unhappiness, but instead were tears of concern and fear for herself. But, hey you never know, children have their own language, so I’ve heard from many parents. And then there were times my daughter would cry and because she’s an infant that is her only way to express a need. A need to nurse, a need for a clean diaper, to express that she is in pain, a desire for love and affection, etc. All of a sudden my son would begin to cry. His tears seemed to be based on competing for attention because he feels neglected. So, there were times I would hold my 2yo, who has a build of a 4yo, on one hip and hold my baby girl on the other hip. It was a good workout for my arms, but began to take a toll on my back, so I no longer do it as often. Instead while seated I hold one in each arm and the tears stop.

However before I began “managing it”, I would often feel frustrated, annoyed and inadequate as their mom. I KNOW, I KNOW, my feelings of inadequacy were DRAMATIC, but it’s the honest truth of how I felt. Many moms don’t give themselves enough credit on the exceptional job they are doing, but instead are their own worst critic. I am guilty of this crime, lol, but everyday I make a conscious effort to tell myself something positive,count my children as blessings and declare that I could very well be a better mom, but I am just enough for them right now.

I also remind myself that their cries tell me I am better than blessed. While my children “tag team” me and cry, sometimes they may even scream for what seems to be for no apparent reason, somewhere there are women who are crying and sometimes screaming out because they miscarry:(, they have had a stillborn baby, they have medical conditions that affect their ability to conceive, their partner cannot medically conceive a child, etc. When my children have crying fits that sound like someone is hurting them and are piercing to my ears and sometimes my sanity, somewhere there are women who are hurting themselves even committing suicide because they are overcome with sadness. Sadness that pierces their heart, their sanity because they can’t have a child. When I am straining to hold my son and my daughter in each arm, there is some woman somewhere who would do anything to have a child in their arms that is healthy, breathing and even crying. The tears of my children are expressions, language, their communication to tell momma their heart’s desire and needs. THEIR TEARS REPRESENT LIFE.

Crying never hurt nobody! It does just the opposite, it is a release, it is a form of letting go, and often gets the person who is crying the attention they need to address their problem.

So my way of managing their tears is to say with a smile, “Ok you two, momma only has two hands, one at a time” and they look at me, sometimes the crying stops, sometimes the crying gets louder, sometimes the crying turns to sobs and whimper and then sometimes they surprise me and smile. A woman with tears and cries of pain of no children would trade me any day for tears and cries of a child. Even more so I have 2 children, a boy and a girl, what many people call the best of both worlds. So I am blessed! I am not writing this post to show off, but instead I am saying I am simply grateful, undeserving and favored with my heritage, my rewards, my precious gems from my Lord and Saviour. I won’t sit here and say that I no longer get frustrated, annoyed and sometimes overwhelmed by what seems like endless crying, I’m human after all, and let’s face it, for some interesting reason God has blessed these little people with some powerful vocal cords,lol, so ignoring is often not an option. However, I am saying that children are gifts of God and our responsibility to and/or for them is to take the whole package, the good and the not so good, e.g.endless crying, but God never gives us more than we can bear. Some days I watch what I go through most of the day through my husband’s tiresome and sometimes frantic eyes and stressful expressions, I can’t help but to ask myself “How do I DO IT”?!?!!! And the answer is simply, God’s Grace, He does it through me. Imperfect me. He chose me for such an influential and significant role for these 2 and I ought not take it lightly. I am no different than the childless tearful woman, I have other “stuff” that makes me tearful, so I will embrace my children and their tears because THEY HAVE LIFE!

“Never the Same”

As a licensed psychotherapist I knew about postpartum mood disorders; postpartum blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. I knew that it could happen to anyone, including me. These disorders vary in their impact on a mother’s daily functioning after delivery of her baby. Postpartum literally means after birth (of a child). Postpartum psychosis is the most extreme of the three in the way it is expressed, postpartum depression second in intensity and then postpartum blues. Regardless of which of the three a momma is suffering with, it is a challenging journey to walk on, but can be overcome with social support, therapy and medication if necessary.

And so…

I figured that as long as I educated myself as much as possible about pregnancy, birth and motherhood, with the support of my husband and my extended family I would have a positive postpartum experience. My husband and I decided to take our time before we had children and I thought that would definitely help us transition from being a married couple enjoying “a grown folks only lifestyle” to becoming a married couple with “a settled down family lifestyle”. We had it all planned out, or so we thought. Now, don’t get me wrong, we were not naive about the not so good times that would come along with the good times of being parents and we knew the road of parenthood would not be perfect; but postpartum blues/depression was far from our minds.

Of course our primary desire was to have healthy children regardless of the gender of the baby, but I must admit a part of me wanted my firstborn to be a son. I always said if I had children I would want a boy first, which I believe stems from me having an older brother and the close bond we shared and continue to have to this day. I admired, respected and almost idolized my brother when I was growing up and the good times we had were priceless so I knew I would want nothing less than the same if not similar dynamics between my future children; a boy and a girl. So, I prayed and asked God for my boy and when it was confirmed that I was having a boy I was beyond ecstatic and felt so blessed

And then…..

After having my son, I mean immediately after having him, my world, my body, my mental state changed. I CHANGED! Once I was told that I would have to have a cesarean birth AKA C-section after 16 hours of active labor, I literally went numb. All of a sudden I felt like I was having an outer body experience. This couldn’t be happening to me! What did I do wrong?!?!! And from that point blaming myself and feeling like “I wasn’t good enough” was the central theme of my postpartum disorder. I had postpartum depression that appeared to be postpartum blues in the beginning, but because of the length of time and the magnitude of the emotions I experienced it was definitely postpartum depression. How could I be so excited to have a child, even more excited to have a son, and read articles, books and watch documentaries, but become disconnected postpartum. I had no reference point to return to because I was not the same woman, even more so, no longer was I walking on the same journey because I CHANGED, having my son left me no choice but to change. I couldn’t see clearly through my tears and my feelings of hopelessness to know that it does get better.

The key to getting better was accepting the change and realizing that I could not get better on my own. They say every doctor needs a doctor, so I let go of my knowledge, my title, my credentials and just let myself be me, a new mom who didn’t have it all together and THAT WAS OKAY TO SAY OUTLOUD! It was also more than okay for me to seek counseling even though I am a counselor myself. Although I did not remain in counseling for a long period of time, I went to enough sessions to get clarification on connecting these new emotions to the events that triggered them and obtained the tools that I needed to cope. I never became the woman that I used to be, but how could I, she no longer existed and once I came to terms with that, I began to have an indescribable peace. So, connect the dots and find peace in the change :)..

Here are some articles/websites that go into detail of every facet of postpartum mood disorders. Knowledge is power and it may not be your issue, but because 1 in every 7 women will suffer with a postpartum mood disorder there is a strong chance that you will encounter someone who could benefit from your knowledge and support. Be aware of the signs because sometimes someone is suffering in silence.


http:// www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/depression-pregnancy.html#moreInfo

http:// www.postpartumprogress.com/