Friday, July 22, 2011

In All Seriousness...

I thank whatever deity is out there daily for my luck.

Since my son's birth, I have been able to shower daily, sleep when needed, and been fed without having to cook every meal.  Hell, for that first week after coming home from the hospital we had family here daily dropping homemade deliciousness or buckets of fried chicken.

That fried chicken was all my doing.  I couldn't help the craving.

Add to all that the fact that the last 3 weeks or so my loving husband has handled the bandage changes here at home, eliminating our having to leave home for a daily doctor's visit, and I can say I am spoiled.

Which is why writing this post has taken me some time to think about how to share the feelings.  Because all the above made life easy.  But my hormones and the changes in life....

I've been an avid follower of Dooce for years.  When my cousin introduced her to me as something I needed to read I became hooked.  I went back through her archives, read everything she wrote, and cried when she talked about her fight with depression and post partum.  Through her, I've read about Gwyneth Paltrow and Bryce Dallas Howard's battle with post partum depression and it had me prepared.

Well, as prepared as you can be.

I knew what to look for.  I knew to be careful.  And when my son came into this world I fell in love with him instantly and felt as if I could do anything.  He was amazing and so beautiful and I had my husband to help me.  Things felt so great, and I was relieved that there didn't seem to be anything standing in the way of my enjoying all that.

And that lasted until June 4th.

I don't know what triggered it.  And I was waiting for it all to hit, I knew it had to, but wasn't expecting to feel as if I was so overwhelmed all at once.  But that day was a rough one.

The baby's schedule had been off that night.  He didn't seem to want to nap during the day.  Some part of me was determined to figure it out without anyone helping me, and by the end of the day I found myself sobbing.

Was I going to be able to be a good mother?  Would things get easier for both of us?  You name it, I thought I'd done it wrong, and there I was with the man I loved trying to tell me it would be okay at a time when he had no idea what he was doing with a newborn.

It was not pretty.

The next morning I felt better.  I'd cried it out, talked to him, and the baby had slept and so had I.

Which is when my mom called.

Now, I preface this by saying that my mother and my aunt love me.  They have their ways of showing that, and I love them both more for it.  But somehow I'd been caught in the middle of a family issue without knowing it, and my mom was calling to give me a head's up.

See, we went in to deliver the baby on May 25th.  My mom wanted to make sure I was in the right frame of mind, was focused on my little family, and basically wanted to protect me from anything that would interfere with that.

So when news that my grandfather - the last grandparent I had - passed she didn't want me to hear it.  My aunt wanted me to know, and this became their battle.  Mom was calling to let me know I might be copied on a mass email from my aunt about the news and she didn't want me to be shocked.

To be honest, I don't know if things ever have been repaired between them.  Since they both read this, I am hoping that seeing my take on it will help.  Like I said, I love them both, and I can see it all from both sides: the need to make sure nothing was kept from me, and the need to let me have some joy in the purest sense before coming back to reality at a later date.

But the timing of that call was not the greatest.

I don't remember staying on the call that long.  I do remember holding my son and sobbing afterwards to the point where A was alarmed something horrible had happened.  Which triggered another bout of hysteria about what I was doing to our son's emotional state and how horrible I was and ......

Yeah, it was not pretty.

Since that weekend I've had two more cases of what my mother has referred to as "The Baby Blues".  None have been as bad.  One happened at the Colonel's office in front of his nurse, who has been like an aunt to me and taken care of us so much.  She let me cry, hugged me, and told me we were doing fine.  All while A watched and smiled, holding a sleeping baby in his arms.

The most recent has been this incredible sense of missing something.  Mainly missing the feeling of being pregnant.

I totally understand why some women have babies one right after the other as a conscious thing.  It's the damn hormones and that nagging feeling of emptiness.

Which, again to be perfectly honest, is why even after I picked up the birth control pills I still didn't start them for a week.  With my not being healed there was no reason to worry about something happening by accident, so I just stared at them each day and wondered if we could manage two children in our lives.

Which is a whole other post for a later date.

Suffice to say that I didn't get hit as hard with all this as I could have.  And we do get out without the baby almost weekly, and that has helped me focus on getting life back in order.  Especially now with work having started again.

But I do realize how easy falling down the rabbit hole could have been.  How some women have had to deal with so much worse than me, and have managed to come out of it in one piece and sane.

And I just wake up each morning and smile at that goofy grinned little boy and thank everyone at every opportunity for just being there for me and helping me enjoy this.

1 comment:

  1. You can prepare for it as much you think is humanly possible, but PPD can sneak up and grab you by the heels and pull you down that hole when you're least expecting it. It's always so great to hear a PPD story that entails healing and hope. Cheers to you and your family!