Thursday, May 6, 2010

OK, So Here it Goes

I normally don't discuss very private things on my blog.  But this time, I'm going to.  I touched on it a little in a previous post.  I've been suspicious for a while, but after seeing and talking with my OB today, I'm ready to admit it publicly because I think it needs to be done in order to help others.  I'd like to thank Heir To Blair first though, for giving me the courage to come forward by displaying courage of her own to also come forward in an attempt to help bring about more awareness of this condition.

I have Postpartum Depression.  At first I thought it was just "baby blues" and waited for it to get better.  It didn't.  The more I try to compare my last pregnancy with this one I am realizing that I probably had it to some degree with my first child as well, perhaps I was just not as aware as I am now.  I became pregnant with Little C just 6 months after Big C was born.  During the course of my pregnancy I cried. A lot.  I just thought it was normal pregnancy hormones coupled with the additional responsibility of taking care of my infant son.  I kept telling myself that things would be better after Little C was born.  Boy, was I sorely mistaken.

I've always been somewhat neurotic, a compulsive worry wart.  At times, pre babies it would come on strong, usually when family members were ill or when I had a litter of puppies to raise.  During this pregnancy with Little C, I hadn't noticed how out of control it had become.  I would check on Big C constantly.  While he took naps or at bedtime I was so terrified that he was going to stop breathing that the constant checking in on him would wake him up.  After moving Big C to his crib in his own room, which is right next to ours, I would lay at night with the monitor pressed to my ear listening making sure I could hear him breathe. I kept the lamp on in my room while he was in there so I could see him and make it easier to get up for feedings through the night.  After he moved into his crib, I continued to leave the lamp on in my room.  Months later and I couldn't bring myself to turn it off.  As if leaving that lamp light on would somehow get me to him faster if something was happening in his room.  That lamp is still lit every night.

I won't bore you with every detail, but the idea of having PPD didn't really come to mind until after Little C was born.  I was am still crying a lot.  I just assumed that it was the postpartum hormone crash mixed with all the things I have going on right now that was making me feel like I was losing my mind.  I mean having my dad & brother both with medical problems, a tantrum throwing 16 month old to run after, a screaming baby with unresolved colic issues, a husband who is gone for 14.5 hours a day, in-laws visiting for 2 weeks, the baby's baptism, having my old tub/shower ripped out and new one put in, PECO energy destroying my property value and appearance not to mention my memories by hacking down my tree lined driveway and running to doctor appointments could bring anyone to tears, right?  Oh, and my vet called yesterday to tell me one of my dogs, Martha has lymphoma and a mass in her chest and that it is probably too late to do anything and she'll be dead soon.  Oh!  And I forgot...its also Mother's Day this weekend!  Yeah, it's going to be a wonderful day for me.  My mother will be dead 13 years next month so I'll be visiting her grave this Sunday.  I really could go on, but why?

The continued crying and meltdown moments are draining.  But what really gets to me is feeling so out of control, overwhelmed and inadequate.  This is so hard.  I look at my screaming baby and some days I am super mom and I am rocking her and soothing her with the best of them.  I am so in tune to her needs and cues that I can just about read her mind and it is a really good day.  Other times all I do is stare at her blankly while she screams and screams.  And still there are other times, and these are the most difficult and I am embarrassed to even type it out, that I just can't take the screaming any more and I scream back at her to just stop screaming or shut up already!  I snap at Big C when he is doing something I don't want him to do or if he is whining about something and....the way he looks at me when I yell at him, his little eyes fill up and his bottom lip just kills me inside.  Immediately after I yell at either of them I grab them up and hold them too me crying and telling them I'm so sorry over and over, apologizing for being such a horrible mother.  The guilt is overwhelming and I just crumple into a sobbing mess.

I do NOT want to harm myself or my babies at all.  Those thoughts have not crossed my mind in the least.  I have never felt detached from my babies.  Never had the feelings of disinterest.  In fact, I am just the opposite.  Some might say I am obsessed.  I have to be everything to them, even if that means sacrificing my relationships with others.  My husband & I have not been out alone since before Big C was born.  I just can't bear to leave them.  I know it sounds so cliche to many moms who are out working and don't want to leave their babies.  This has nothing to do with that.  Me personally...I can't leave them.  I want to go do things on my own, have a date with my husband or a night with my friends.  But I can't.  Not without being miserable and worrying the entire time.  And I have tried.  In rare instances I will leave them with my husband to get something done.  And then I'm calling home all the time checking on them and making him insane.  Other times I've left them, I've felt guilty, worrisome and I loathe myself for it.

Speaking of husbands, mine is amazing.  He really is wonderful with our son and he adores his little girl.  When my day has me stretched to the limit and I'm ready to hand Little C off to him after he gets home, I don't.  I need a break from the screaming and I want to spend some time with my son, but when he asks me if I want him to take her I tell him, "No, I'm fine I got her."  Then, I get pissed at him for not taking her and giving me a break.  WTF?  Do you see the insanity I am living with right now?

Is it PPD or something more?  I don't know.  I probably should seek therapy for it.  But for right now, I'm going to take the advice of my doctor.  I've been too proud to admit that I need help.  Or perhaps I've just been too afraid to ask for it.  I hate the idea of taking medication for something I feel I should be able to handle on my own.  It makes me feel weak and inferior as a mother.  But I can't don't want to go another day like I have been.  So I have finally swallowed my pride and asked for help.  I'm hoping that I'll be a better mother for it.


  1. By recognizing can help yourself. I had it with my first child and even being smart, educated and with the resource to do something about it...we did nothing and it was the worst time of my life when it should have been the happiest. I just continually thought tomorrow will be different...I am just tired, I am just this...I am just that, etc. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Do what you need to do to help yourself and your will be so happy you did.

    Bravo to you for speaking out.

  2. Thanks Holly and you described it to a "T". Tomorrow will be better and all the I'm just this or that. Those words were constantly coming out of my mouth. I finally came to the point where I didn't want to continue living like I was. I want to be happy again. Really happy. And I want to be happy with my babies. Not irritable and snapping at them. They deserve a happy, helpful Momma.


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