Amy Davidson's Blog: Finding My Way Through Postpartum Depression
Amy Davidson blogs for PEOPLE about the happy times and challenges of the first eight months as a new mom to son Lennox Sawyer
Amy Davidson is a mom!
Known for her turn as middle child Kerry Hennessy on the hit sitcom 8 Simple Rules, the actress, 37, has also appeared in shows like Bones, Better Call Saul, and Hell’s Kitchen. She is a current lifestyle and fashion blogger.
Davidson married producer and fellow actor Kacy Lockwood in 2010. The couple revealed exclusively to PEOPLE in November 2015 that Davidson was pregnant with their first child, and they welcomed son Lennox Sawyer on March 1.
I can’t believe my son is almost 8 months old. Sometimes I can’t believe I even have a son. A couple of doctors had told me I shouldn’t get pregnant — that it may be too difficult or dangerous for me. But being the stubborn person that I am, I pursued the path of pregnancy until I got the answer that I wanted. This can be a good trait or a bad trait of mine. It just depends on the situation.
Turns out not only did I have a healthy pregnancy, but I had an extremely happy one! I absolutely loved being pregnant. Maybe it was because I thought this beautiful opportunity may not be in my future? Or maybe it’s because I was really able to embrace the changes my body made and all the extraordinary feelings that being pregnant had to offer. Every time Lennox kicked me and wiggled around, I would literally laugh. He has brought me insurmountable joy since I found out I was pregnant. I was lucky, and only felt sick for about one week.
I guess I look at our journey and how long it took us to get pregnant, and I’d like to think it’s only fair that since our path was so long and winding, my pregnancy would be incredibly enjoyable.
My heart goes out to all of you strong mamas who suffer through morning sickness. I know it makes it incredibly difficult to enjoy being pregnant. You all should win an award!
I’m feeling incredibly reflective these days. I find myself looking at Lennox’s newborn photos ALL THE TIME, and I have been focusing on how tiny he was — how squishy and cuddly.
Lennox was born three weeks early because he literally stopped growing inside of me. I had something called intrauterine growth restriction, a condition in which a baby doesn’t grow to normal weight during pregnancy. Because of this, I was forced to induce.
I wasn’t ready for him to come out, not at all. Because I so loved being pregnant, I felt ripped off that he was leaving my womb three weeks early. Of course, I was incredibly excited to meet my baby — it just added to my internal conflict because I wanted both. I wanted him to stay inside and cook longer, but I also wanted to meet him.
The idea of him being on the outside felt unnatural to me. All we knew together was him in my belly. He was happy and safe and comfortable. I knew how to be pregnant. I didn’t know how to do the next step.
Actually, delivering a baby was so scary to me. How the heck was I going to do this? Now of course you can make plans on how you want your delivery to go, or possibly a wish list. Well, let’s just say my delivery didn’t follow any of my birth plan, to say the least.
My entire pregnancy, I told my doctor I did not want a c-section. Well, guess what? I ended up with a c-section after 11 hours of labor and struggling to keep Lennox safe. His heart rate kept dropping with every contraction, and it seemed like eight nurses were always circling me trying to help me find a position where my baby could get oxygen and keep a stable heart rate.
I tried for hours. I wanted so desperately to experience a natural birth — a vaginal birth. But it was just not in the cards for us. My doctor said if I could find a position where Lennox could safely handle continuing labor, he would let me try and see it through.
We never found that position, and it was about 10 hours later that my doctor said, “Okay, it’s time.” I looked at him and I knew what he meant: It was time to go into the operating room and meet my son. For some reason, I was deathly afraid of being cut open. It just seemed so incredibly unnatural and almost inhumane. Being on the operating table was terrifying for me.
How many of you women felt the same way? I mean, I looked around this sterile room and saw probably 20 doctors and nurses running around, as now it was considered a high-risk birth.
I told the anesthesiologist I did not want a play-by-play. I did not want to know when they were cutting into me, I did not want to know anything. I asked him to talk with me and tell me why he chose this profession, why a delivery anesthesiologist, etc. I was basically a reporter — anything to keep my mind off of what was happening.
In between his story, which I found fascinating, I would go internal and pray. I just kept praying for Lennox’s safety and my safety. I prayed that my baby boy would be perfectly healthy and brought into the world in a safe and nurturing way. I knew it was so important for me to stay calm, and honestly, it could have gone either way.
There were moments of primal fear racing through my body where I wanted to leap off the table. And then I would look at my husband, and his strength and love for me and our soon-to-be-born child kept me going. Kept me calm. Kacy was so incredibly amazing. Not only did he stay by my side and help keep me strong, he took a million pictures and videos and seemed to be in 20 places at once.
It seemed like I was on the table forever. Then, finally, I heard my doctor say, “Happy birthday! We have a healthy baby boy!” I burst into tears. I’m crying now as I write this. I heard my baby crying, I heard him. He is real! We did it!
I didn’t get to hold him or see him for about 30 minutes. My husband asked me if he wanted me to go to the baby or to stay with me. I told him to please go to the baby! Finally, they placed Lennox into my arms. I sobbed. He was the most beautiful sight I had ever laid my eyes on. He started sucking on my chin. It’s funny because sometimes he does that today!
I feel like everything after that is pretty blurry. We were in the hospital for five days, and I have to say, that experience was wonderful. I felt taken care of, that Lennox was taken care of, and I felt safe. But in the hospital was where a lot of my worries and fears started to take place. My “plan” continued to unravel. I had trouble breastfeeding and was completely devastated. That wasn’t “supposed” to happen. It was “supposed” to be something that I was going to experience with my son.
I guess you could say I started to tailspin a bit. The first month, I just couldn’t stop crying. Of course, I knew about postpartum depression and I hoped that it wouldn’t affect me, but it did. It hit me hard. Those first four weeks were so incredibly challenging. I was sad and it didn’t make sense, and that made me more sad.
I connected and bonded with my baby instantly; it wasn’t that at all. I was mourning my pregnancy and then my c-section. And on top of that, breastfeeding difficulties just hit me so hard. My husband and I were not seeing eye to eye. He was confused as to why I wasn’t just enjoying the moment.
And, to be honest, that’s what the confusing part was: I was enjoying being with my new baby, but I was sad and missing the experience that we had previously. There was just so much chatter in my head and it got all jumbled up and really clouded me for a while. I did seek help and that was the best thing I ever could’ve done. If Mommy isn’t happy and healthy, then she can’t give 100 percent to her baby. That’s what I kept hearing, and that was the advice that I took.
Things started to change and the clouds started to lift, and I was able to fully experience one of the most amazing gifts I’ve ever been blessed with.
Lennox and I have created such a strong bond. It doesn’t matter that breastfeeding was difficult, or that I had a c-section. It doesn’t matter that my “plan” DIDN’T go according to plan! What matters is the time that I spend with my sweet, sweet son and the ways we communicate. We laugh and smile all day, we play games and roll around on the floor. I give him a million kisses a day and most of the time he thinks it’s fun, but I think it may get a little annoying, LOL! My husband jokes with me that Lennox will be 15 years old and I’ll still be trying to attack him with kisses. I don’t see what’s wrong with that!
This journey has been full of every emotion I could think of. I’ve felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Lennox made me a mommy. A mommy! I look into his big blue eyes and I say thank you every day for that. I thank God for blessing me with such a sweet little boy. I don’t know what I did to deserve him, but I feel so incredibly blessed.
Of course, some days are very monotonous — that’s just a given. But it was extremely important for me to spend the first eight months of Lennox’s life with him and just be Mommy. Now that can be really, really difficult, as most of you know. Some days, I’m lucky if I get to brush my teeth, and I’ll tell you what, some days it just never happens!
What a life-changing time this has been for us. Even when Lennox decides he doesn’t like broccoli and wants to spit it out and it lands all over me, or he’s throwing a tantrum because he’s exhausted and I needed to run some errands and he got off schedule … even in the most challenging of moments, I’ve been able to say thank you. I think that’s one thing that has helped me keep my head on straight these days.
I started off by telling you guys that my postpartum depression was a real challenge for me. Well, I’ve been feeling it creep in and out again lately. I wrote a blog about it as I was trying to make sense of it a couple weeks ago. Like I said, I’m completely happy, and my baby is thriving, but the days have gone by so quickly and he’s already almost 8 months. That makes me sad. I have to be really honest and admit that it makes me sad. He’s not my 5 lb. newborn anymore, and that makes me sad sometimes. I know I’m not falling into a postpartum depression, but I have been feeling melancholy lately, and I’m realizing that that’s okay. It’s okay to have a bad day because without those bad days, we wouldn’t be able to fully experience the really good days.
So, I’d love to leave you all with this: Let’s be grateful for the difficult days as well as the wonderful ones. Why not? They’re going to come anyway, so we may as well learn something from them and be thankful for the lesson.
I’m really going to try and take my advice and slow down and enjoy each moment, good or bad, because this train is moving at full speed and it’s going to keep going with or without us.
Thank you for letting me share my story and all these thoughts that have been flooding my mind. I hope you have a beautiful day!
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