Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The One About Depression

When my baby was born I grieved.

I'm one of those sick people that actually enjoyed being pregnant... that is after I stopped throwing up. I loved feeling that little dude kick and move inside of me. I felt beautiful, glowy, and special. I even liked it when I started to waddle. When I was pregnant I felt GOOD.

Then I delivered my baby in a way that was not according to my plan, and that made me a little bit sad. I don't do well when things don't go according to plan.

Another part of the plan was that I would bond with my baby. Everyone always tell you the good stuff. For example:
~You'll love your baby immediately.
~Being a mother is an incredible feeling.
~You should be able to breastfeed with no problems, babies naturally know how to do it.
~Motherhood just changes you.

The only one that held true for me was the last. Motherhood did change me, but not in the way I thought it would.

Motherhood made me sad. I felt hollow, empty, like my heart had been scooped out with a spoon. I looked at that hairy, squirmy, healthy, 9 pound baby boy and felt nothing. I didn't want to hold him. I didn't want to see him. When he cried, I cried.

And that was just in the hospital.

Things started to spiral out of control once I went home. I felt as though I couldn't stop crying. I still didn't feel any sort of attachment. I asked my mom to stay with us because I couldn't stand being alone with my baby. I felt like I was working on the world's longest babysitting job. I kept waiting for this baby's real mom to come pick him up. This was not what I signed up for.

I began to grieve in earnest. I mourned the loss of my easy life pre-baby. I mourned the loss of my pregnant self. I was grieving in a way that I'd never grieved for anything before.

And then came the medication. Curious George urged me to get help. He knew that this wasn't a normal thing for me. He didn't like seeing me so sad all the time. So, we went to see the midwives. They told me it was more than the Baby Blues. They told me I had postpartum depression. My heart sank. That wasn't supposed to happen to me.

And then a few weeks later, my baby started to eat. My medications kicked in. And my world started to look a little bit better.

Postpartum depression is a real thing. And I have it.

*(Explanation and disclaimer found here.)



Meg said...

Oh Miss Selkie... I'm so sorry! That is so hard. I'm glad that you are starting to feel a little better. Thanks for being so honest.

Amanda Bj. said...

Well said.

Hilary said...

I thought this was perfectly written -- very honest and open -- there are a lot of women who need to hear about this other possibility after pregnancy, and understand that it is another form of normal out there . . .


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