After having Boston, getting married, and all of the holidays, life began to slow down for us, which I was so grateful for. All of the excitement was wearing me out! It had been a whirlwind of events and I was ready to find my new normal. With the time approaching for me to return back to work (Wells Fargo), I knew I wanted to stay home with my baby and be a mom full time. I didn't think that would be possible because I had to work for insurance purposes, but with us being able to get married and have Utah finally recognize our marriage, I was able to gett on Kris' insurance. Yeay! I was so excited that I was going to finally have my dream job and get to be mom full-time! (Little did I know how hard a job it is, am I right?! Rewarding and fun, but hard! And you're on the clock 24/7.)
I thought I was ready for the challenge; everyone had told me how motherhood was no joke, and they weren't kidding! I felt like I was doing everything wrong and was never good enough; my first experiences with mom guilt. (I am well acquainted with it now! Ha!) It was a whole new ball game; new baby, new job, new life, and crazy hormones. I think I had a bit of postpartum, but I didn't realize at the time (it's hard to put my truth out there and be vulnerable, but hopefully some of you can relate.) I was breast-feeding around the clock, experiencing lack of sleep, and I didn't know how to balance my new life, let alone get ready for the day. I was wearing my PJ's all day, no makeup, still in a lot of pain (that lasted well over three months after delivery), my face was breaking out constantly, and I was still swollen and over-weight. I didn't even want to think about exercise; I was way too exhausted! And, eating healthy wasn't a priority. I felt disgusting! It was the middle of winter, cold and depressing - that is how I would describe both the weather and myself. I wasn't myself, and I didn't know why. Postpartum is cruel! I was pretty much an empty box. I had nothing to give, and yet I had to. I had to be there for my baby and my spouse. I was beating myself up constantly and didn't know why. I should have been happy, right? I just had so many great things in my life happen! Some of my biggest dreams had just came true; it was an exciting time! So why did I have these ugly feelings? Why was I so depressed? I knew how I wanted to or should feel and I knew I couldn't give up, but I wanted to, oh so badly! I had to find my happiness, get out of that funk, and fast; but where was the switch? I didn't find it for several months, but I started to realize that looking for the positive and happy moments and trying to capture them gave me a big lift. That's when I started to take pictures; LOTS OF PICTURES!
I knew I wanted to document my baby from the start, but I didn't realize the joy it would bring me. Taking pictures was like a happy pill for me; I loved it! It was creative and kept my mind distracted. It helped me feel busy - like I had accomplished something. I was starting to get the hang of being a new mom, finding balance, and learning to love it, accept it, and be creative with it. It was a big adjustment that took time - becoming a mom seems to happen over-night (because it does, and it's kind of crazy)! You don't know what to truly expect until you are thrown into the middle of the ocean and told to swim! I felt like it was "Mission Impossible". I had no clue what I was doing, but had figure it out - fast! All the while I felt like I was losing a sense of who I was. Not to say that I am a selfish person, but putting myself aside and making my baby and my family my priority was sadly a hard pill to swallow. (Okay, I am a selfish person.) But, that gave me a chance to grow! I was learning so much about myself. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was becoming a much better version of myself and getting closer to who I wanted to become. I was, for the first time, truly learning patience and learning the true meaning of sacrifice! Over time I started to feel like myself, new and improved!
Maybe my hormones were getting back to normal, maybe I was finally getting some sleep, maybe it was the sunshine, maybe it was a mix of them all, but my happiness was returning. My energy was coming back! I felt more like myself than I had for close to two years. (Trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, and recovering after baby had taken its toll, and the hormones didn't help.) Now I felt like a whole new person! I would smile and feel the happiness behind it; instead of smiling so people wouldn't know how I truly felt or see my "ugly". I was finally swimming in the ocean and I could see land! LAND HO!
When I made it to solid ground, it was one of those moments when you look back at the ocean, see how far you swam, and feel like you have survived just barely)! It was a far swim, but somehow I did it - I made it! I'm not even a good swimmer, but like Dori says, "Just keep swimming!" And that is what I did.