So, what happened at 8 months to help change me a bit? Daisy (not real name) had her baby, Lily (also not real name); and we went out to see them. This trip pulled me out of my comfort zone and thrust me into a situation where I controlled nothing. I had to get on a plane. I had to go to somewhere where I knew where nothing was, had no control over my environment, and generally did not know what to expect. For this first time in 8 months I went somewhere without expectations and only minimally planned. It opened my eyes.
The trip to Daisy’s helped in several ways. The first way, and I am quite sure Daisy will laugh when she reads this, is that her house seemed so calm and serene. I remember watching her breast feed and a felt a twinge. Sure some of that twinge was the desire to have breast fed Eldest, but the majority of it was from the fact that she look so peaceful. At the time I did not know she was a Duck – calm on the surface but paddling like hell underneath. All I knew is what I saw, and what it made me realize. I realized that all my efforts to “create” a calm place had the opposite affect. Instead I made my household a stressful place. I looked at her, and said I want to be like that. I resolved to try and change.
The other thing that had really changed was that a bit of the veil had lifted. A lot of the pregnancy and birth hormones had cleared my system, and it felt like a veil had been lifted. The world seemed a little brighter, a little more manageable. This small attitude change made it easier to work on some of the issues I had. Many issues did continue to hang around, but I did live in ignorance about what they might mean.
By the time Eldest had turned 10 months I was working in a new job, we had moved, and I had let go of many of the stifling rules that I had put in place. Understand, I said I had let go of many of the rules, not all, and probably not some of the worst ones. However, Hubby and I felt I was making progress. By the time Eldest was a year I was better. I was visibly more happy. I felt lighter. Things just seemed to be moving in the right direction for us. Then I got pregnant.
Do not read that sentence and think I did not want the new life I was carrying inside of me. I did with all my heart, but it brought a lot of fears and questions to the surface too. Would I turn into the horrible woman again? Could I handle this emotionally so soon? Could Hubby handle it?
The joy of the new life was overshadowed by the fears of who I had been. Slowly, I got over those fears. Not because I conquered anything, but because I began to educate myself. I worked with a midwife knowledgeable in natural remedies and herbs to help me. I tried to identify my “bad” areas from Eldest’s birth and babyhood. I got the midwife to have a better birthing experience and to aid in breast feeding. We brought in my Mother-In-Law (MIL), with whom I have a great relationship, to help with the kids after Secondus’ birth. I found a non-hospital breast feeding support group to aid in breast feeding. I spent time relaxing, breathing, and generally enjoying my Eldest and Hubby, while eargerly awaiting Secondus’ birth. I never once did anything about the PPMD I had battled. I preferred not to think about it as it only marred a gloriously sunny part of my life.