You will notice that most of my post or photos will reference Memphis. Memphis is a very important member of our family, and she plays a huge role in our lives. Today I would like to share a little back story on my baby girl.
Right after I had Houston I began to show signs of post postpartum. First of all, post postpartum does not mean that you have this dying urge to kill your own baby. In most cases it presents itself as severe depression. Danny began to notice that something was wrong when I was irrationally jealous of the attention Houston was getting. Things later progressed to me sitting in a dark house for days to a week at the time and not caring about anything in my life. Thank God for my mom, she immediately knew what was wrong and helped Danny make me get the help I needed.
Postpartum is very seriously and can happen to anyone. I was so surprised that through both pregnancies no one ever talked to me about it. With it being so common you would think that a doctor, or friends would give you insight on what to expect.
I believe that women who have suffered from it (or are suffering now) are ashamed to admit it. The image that society puts out there of it is this crazy mom who hates her babies, in actuality it is nothing like that. The only way I know to describe how I felt was hopeless. I felt like I failed as a wife, as a mother. I felt ugly and unwanted. Every woman who suffers from this deals with it differently. Some women party and fill that "unwanted feeling" with alcohol and attention. Others, like me, with draw from society. Either way, it can destroy your life if no one is there to help you.
After my mom, Danny, and my mother in law talked to me I finally went to see my doctor and he prescribed me anti-depressants and told me how long it would take to feel "normal" again. I came home, cried...A LOT. I just couldn't bring myself to start medicating to become "happy". The next day I made another appointment and worked with my doctor to find a way to work through my postpartum naturally. This wasn't an easy road...but I am so glad I chose this option rather than medication.
There is nothing wrong with taking medication, personally taking medication bothered ME. It made me feel more dependent on help, rather than feeling like I over came something. I need to know that I can conquer something, that is important to me.
*EVERY SINGLE WOMAN IS DIFFERENT. Each case will be different, so make sure you talk to your doctor for the best treatment for you! If you are suffering from postpartum DO NOT be afraid to talk about it. It is ok...it is normal...it does get better!
Come November of 2012, I was still struggling. My body was trying to balance itself back out, I was trying my hardest to appear normal to everyone. It was awful! I was having one of the worst days I had in a while, and I get a text message from Danny. It was a photo of the female German Shepherd at the shop. She had this HUGE belly! She was going to have PUPPIES!
Most of you will know the back story here...I had begged Danny for a puppy before we got pregnant with Houston. So knowing that I was FINALLY going to get a puppy brought me so much joy.
On December 28th my phone started buzzing. It was picture messages from my mother in law...of a cute puppy or two! I ran into my bosses office and said "I have to go, my new baby is coming". And I rushed off to our shop.
That was the day that I
met fell in love with Memphis.
Out of the entire liter, my heart was set on this baby girl.(Second best to her was her sister Biggins..but she made too much noise). I looked forward to going to the shop every night to see her! I know my father in law was sick and tired of me coming by there. For the first time in months I was HAPPY!
Now, all you judgmental people out there...I know you are saying "Why does she love the dog more than her own baby". Let me be very clear, postpartum never prevented me from loving my children. It prevented me from being happy. It killed my self confidence, my drive and determination, and my will power. Having something to look forward to helped restore my happiness.
Now, back to Memphis...
Every day we would go visit and love on her. Every day we built a bond with her. She knew our voices, and as she learned to stand and walk she would come to us when we called her. My family loved her, and she loved us.
On February 3rd we brought Memphis home. I can't explain to you how complete my family felt. Having her, Danny, and both boys made us whole.
Shortly after we brought Memphis home, we had to bring Biggins home. She didn't have a home yet, of course it didn't take long for my parents and brother to fall in love with her. For a week or two we had two puppies in our house, that's two puppies crying, pooping, playing. If they weren't so precious, they would have both been finding new homes!
Over the next few months Memphis went from being my tiny small baby dog to a a long legged, big ear, clumsy, sweet dog. She wasn't always sweet, at this point I swear she hated Danny...or loved the taste of anything that belonged to him. She chewed up all of his exercise equipment, a few tools, a pair of shoes...AND the back door to the house.
When Memphis was about a year old I noticed that she started sleeping with Bryson. Of course this made me nervous, because she was just moving out of her puppy stage. I was scared she would destroy something, or worse...lay on top of him and hurt him. During the night I would hear Bryson say "STOP MEMPHIS...ugh" and I would hear her moving around in his bed.
One night before I had fallen asleep I hear her moving around in his room, licking, and shaking the bed. Annoyed, I stormed to his room to get onto her, and what I saw blew my mind. Bryson suffered from sleep apnea, he would stop breathing when he would sleep. Memphis was trying to wake him up when he wasn't breathing. She was shaking him, and licking his face until he was awake enough to fuss at her. His fussing at her was her assurance that she had successfully awaken him. All this time I thought she was just being a pest, and she was protecting my baby. Immediately my eyes begin to water up, knowing that she was willing to watch him all night and take care of him made me fall even more in love with her. She loved him...she protected him...you can't put a price on that.
In April we had Bryson's tonsils removed. This surgery cured Bryson's sleep apnea...BUT they had given me some pain medicine to give Bryson. I didn't realize that he was allergic to it, after the first dose his mouth begin to swell (as he was sleeping). Memphis woke me up first, then started waking him up. I could hear his labored breathing, and when he woke up I saw the panic in his eyes. How she knew, how she sensed that I will never know. We were able to give him Benadryl and a breathing treatment (the swelling scared him and he had an asthma attack). Memphis sat right by his side and to calm him down we kept telling him to just breathe slowly and pet Memphis. It was a horribly scary night...but Memphis was there to calm all of us. Until Bryson was completely healed she followed him around like a nanny. This photo below is not staged, she was his pillow most of the time.
When Houston's knee started bothering him she wouldn't leave his side. She knew, once again she sensed that something was wrong. She would lay her head next to his right knee. Her instincts to nurture blow my mind. Of course she annoyed him by licking his face a few times...and her ears blocked his view of the TV.
(For those of you who don't know...Houston ended up spending a week in the hospital with MRSA in his right leg.)
As you see she isn't just a pet, she is a family member. She tries to take care of all of us when we are sick, when Danny had his surgery last fall she followed him around like a shadow. When I was having a bad day, struggling with postpartum, or just feeling like I couldn't take anymore (see the previous post about our past year) she was there to hold. She provides so much comfort when we need it.
Coming home every day and being greeted by that wagging tail and those crazy big ears makes my heart happy. Her calm demeanor and her sweet spirit has been the saving grace for our family. I am so thankful for God's perfect timing and placing her in our life at the right time.
If you have been to our house, then you have met Memphis. You know that she is always begging for a good belly rub when you first arrive, but calms down shortly after. You also know that the love and companionship she offers is unconditional.
I hope that as the years pass, and you all watch Memphis grow with our family that you all love her as much as we do. To some she may be "just a dog" to me...she will always be my dark eye, dark hair little girl!