Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Poor Horse

I know this is a beaten, dead, rotting horse BUT...

Yesterday I took a meal to a family from our church who just had a baby. It's something I have enjoyed doing since meals were brought to me after I had A. Before that I was oblivious to what an act of kindness that was. Anyway. When I brought the meal in the mom was bright eyed and looked happy. The father was sitting on the couch holding baby who was all wide eyed and wiggly. The big brother looked on quietly. I was pretty sure just by being with them for a short while that they were doing okay. And that made me happy.

Then as I drove away I started feeling sad. Whenever I see anyone with a new baby it usually brings back all the emotion from when I first had Baby A. And if they seem to be doing well, although I'm glad, I always start to feel guilty about how messed up I was.

A friend lent me the book 'Down Came the Rain' by Brooke Shields. It has been really good to read it. I see so many similarities in the way we felt after having our babies. Mind you I couldn't afford to hire baby nurses or someone to come in and clean my house once a week and I think that would have helped me out significantly. Mostly what I have found as I've been reading the book is that I have accepted the fact that I had postpartum depression. I accepted it a long time ago but I don't think I really realized the severity until I started reading that book. I have also accepted that it was an affliction that I suffered with and that it had NOTHING to do with my ability as a mother and that I wasn't a bad person. Those things are difficult to forgive yourself for.

I do feel some comfort though. When I think about a future baby (who is not yet on the way) I remind myself how much wiser I am this time around. Although there is no guarantee that I'll have postpartum again if I do I will recognize it and get help instead of trying to tough it out while everyone around me suffers. I still worry about it. I hated feeling that way. What if nothing helps? I'm terrified to feel that way again. I'm also afraid of drugs. But I'd be willing to try them if they provided relief.

Anyway, I wonder if these emotions will always arise in me whenever I am around new mothers? I hope that they fade once I have another child and put these times behind me. Not that I'm wishing my life away or anything. I'm just tired of feeling this way.


Sugarmama said...

It is such a pervasive myth that mothers are instantly smitten with their babies when they're born--you just don't necessarily have that happen! Coupled with a wicked dose of hormones...well, try not to beat yourself up about it too much. Hormones make us do and feel all sorts of crazy things. The thing to do is recognize that you are still a wonderful person, a wonderful mother, and that it is a good thing to get yourself the help you need if you need it. Realizing now that you may need help the next time around is an excellent realization to have had. You're so much wiser and better prepared for next time.

Jenn said...

Also remember that although a person/family appears to have it all together doesn't mean they really do. Not saying the family yesterday isn't happy but you never know, maybe you caught them at a good moment.

elizasmom said...

Oh, I understand where you're coming from. I didn't expect to get PPD — of my family, I am the one who has never had to deal with depression, so I figured I was in the clear. I was completely blindsided by it. Thankfully, my bout was fairly brief, but it continues to haunt me. I don't think I have fully dealt with my feelings that I wasn't a very good mom or wife during that time and it is one of the things that's making me feel like one kid is it for us — because this time if I went off the rails, I'd have a whole extra little person to traumatize.

E said...

I have so much to say on this topic that I can't even organize my thoughts! For me, the jealousy is of people who have a wonderful pregnancy. I was so miserable, emotionally and physically. The 40 pounds I still have left to lose is a contant reminder of that time too.

When Ethan was born I felt fantastic. You would have hated me! It felt so great not to be nauseous and in pain, and actually be able to feel full after eating! And I had this cute little bundle that I wanted to show off. I had expected and prepared for the worst after Ethan was born, but luckily for me reality was much better than what I had prepared for. However, after a few weeks on a high things started to get rougher. On more than one occasion Cam came home to find me in tears with my shoes on and purse in hand, passing him the baby as I walked out the door, no destination in mind, just needing to get out of the house and away from my screaming monster!

I think we all do the best we can, and hormones and lack of sleep really mess with a person. Those mom's who do so well seem to be the ones with those "easy" babies who eat and sleep well. I think the fact that you did struggle will only make you a better mom. The fact that you had so many issues and still pressed through and breastfed is amazing to me, and something that a lot of moms would not ahve been able to do.

I've talked to a lot of moms since having Ethan and every one of them has had at least one moment where they've told their husbands/boyfriends to take the baby before they kill it!

Anyways, I'm just rambling, but I do understand where you're coming from. I know I want another child but I'm terrified of being pregnant again. Not of the physical as much as the emotional, especially with Ethan now. I don't want him to see his mommy as such a mess and I'm afraid of how the depression could affect all of our relationships! But I think preparing for the possibility and knowing what to look for is a huge step towards preventing and treating it!