Clayton is 5!

Today my baby boy is 5 and I am having all the feels!

A little background story about our journey so far…

I went in for my routine 38-week OB appointment on Monday, April 25, 2016. My doctor told me I wasn’t progressing and that we would talk about inducing at 41.5 weeks (which I was totally fine with). To be honest, I wasn’t ready at all. Not one bit. I felt very content with my baby being in my belly. I knew he was taken care of and happy in there, and I was terrified to take care of a newborn on the outside.

Flash forward to 11pm on Tuesday, April 26. My water broke at home. I remembered my doctor telling me that if my water broke, I had to go straight to the hospital. So, Graham and I got our bags and went to the hospital. Honestly, I thought we would come right back home. I mean, my doctor JUST told me that I wasn’t progressing. I wasn’t really in a lot of pain. I had Braxton hicks contractions, but nothing that felt severe. Long story short, I got to the hospital and they told me I was staying and having our baby boy! I’ve never been so scared in my life. I was supposed to have a May baby. It was only April 26th! We didn’t have a name picked out (I worried a lot about what everyone would think about his name), my family wasn’t there, Graham was exhausted and had an important meeting with his boss in the morning… I was just not ready. But Clayton was. At 10:55am on Wednesday, April 27th our sweet (red head at the time) baby boy was born, and my world has been different ever since.

(A little background on his name… Allyson suggested Clayton to me and Graham’s brother Jordan suggested Clayton to him. It kind of just felt meant to be & I thought other people would like it. Did I mention that I REALLY cared what other people thought of his name?! Clayton’s middle name, Joseph is a pretty special name to us. Joseph is my grandpa’s name and Graham’s brother’s name. At the time Joe (Graham’s brother) was in remission from cancer. However, it came back a couple of weeks after Clayton was born. Clayton got to meet Joe once before he passed away in October of 2016. People always say that Clayton looks and acts just like his uncle Joe. Graham and I think it’s a sign. He was meant to have the middle name Joseph. And now our Clayton has the best guardian angel out there)

I have a really hard time sharing this because it’s kind of like being naked in front of all of you. It is something I have been ashamed of for a long time. Something I am so embarrassed about. When they handed me my tiny 7lbs. 1oz baby boy, I felt nothing. I remember thinking, all of that nasty white stuff that was all over his body when he was born (I’m sure there is a medical name for that stuff) was getting in my wedding ring. Something was just off for me. I wasn’t feeling the way you’re supposed to feel when you hold your baby for the first time. I wasn’t overjoyed or crying… I felt…. nothing.

Before being discharged from the hospital I became really sad. Just constantly crying for no reason. I really tried to keep it to myself. I didn’t tell Graham or any of our nurses how I was feeling. They even brought me that little postpartum quiz thing they bring you before you are cleared to go home, and I just hoped that what I felt (or didn’t feel) would go away- so I lied on the form. I felt like I couldn’t share how I was feeling without being judged. Subconsciously I could feel other people saying… What do you mean you felt nothing when you first held your baby? You should be overjoyed because not everyone is lucky enough to experience this. I felt so guilty. We were discharged on Friday, April 29th. I cried all weekend. I was so utterly exhausted and scared to me a mom. I was terrified something was going to happen to Clay or I was going to do something wrong.  At one point Graham took Clayton from me and told me to go take a nap (he was also beyond exhausted) but all I did during that time was lay in bed and cry. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat…. Basically, I could barely function. Graham was starting to get really worried, so on Monday morning he called my doctor. He got me an appointment for that afternoon. We went into the appointment and I bawled… hysterically. I tried to tell her all of my fears and feelings, but I was crying so hard I was hyperventilating. I don’t think she could understand a word I was saying. She talked to me for at least 45 minutes about my life and her life, and then, of course, we talked about my options. We decided I would start taking Zoloft and (besides going off of it when I was pregnant with Collins) I have been on it ever since.

The medicine slowly helped me get back to a new normal. But, if I am honest, the biggest help was Graham going back to work. It forced me to have to do it myself. I faced my fear and proved to myself that I could do it. Clayton was safe with me. Every morning after we woke up, we would watch the Today Show, I would do dishes and laundry, and then we would go to Starbucks. After that Allyson would come over and visit while she was on her break from work. Adrienne also came over every day (she was in between jobs at that point) and we would go have lunch with my mom at a park or a restaurant near her work. Once I had a routine down, things started getting better. My mood was better. I wasn’t crying as much. I wasn’t panicking as much. I got used to being a mom. But it took time, A LOT of time, for me to feel like “I got this” or “okay, this is my new normal.” If you think about it, being a mom gives you a whole new identity. So, it makes sense that some women would struggle with the change/adjustments that come with being a new mom. And to those moms that didn’t struggle, cry, become anxious, or angry… you are so lucky! I wouldn’t wish PPD or PPA on anyone! That said, I truly believe that my postpartum depression and anxiety only made my bond with Clayton 10x stronger. I had to work really hard to bond with him, and we made it through one of the hardest times (in probably both of our lives) together.

Clayton is sweet and sensitive & the biggest momma’s boy there is! I love our bond so much (I also love my bond with Collins… this just isn’t her birthday post) and would be completely 100% lost without him! His hugs and smooches (even the gross ones) make my day. His sarcasm and jokes make everyone laugh. He is such a bright light in a world (that at times) can be so dark. I cannot believe he is 5 years old and heading to Kindergarten in August. I swear he was just our little chubby bunny (shoutout to Kensey for the nickname) yesterday!

Do you have all the feels when your kid (or someone special in your life) has a birthday?

xoxo, Audriana

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