Sunday, July 11, 2010

What Do You Want From Me?

I'm disappointed.  I feel failed.  I know that medication is not a cure for postpartum depression/anxiety.  But I guess I did think it was going to make me "all better" and I would be fine as long as I was taking it.  Yeah, that is totally not what happens.  When I had my medication adjusted a few weeks ago, I had a few bad days.  I was irritable, snappy and I was just in a funk.  It really sucked.  After about 4 days, things were beginning to even out and I was actually enjoying some of the manic episodes.  I was super mom!  Cooking, cleaning, tending to the kids.  There was not a crying child all day because I had attended to every need and was a flipping June Cleaver on speed.  Everything was GREAT!  Until yesterday.

The day started out fine enough.  But I was slightly agitated and I assumed it was because of Big C coming down with a 103* temperature the night before.  This child is 18 months old and has never had a fever higher than 99 and that was only when he got his vaccines.  I know I have 2 babies, but I am still a new Mommy.  Only been one for 18 months and I have a lot to learn and many things I've yet to experience.  I was ready to race him to the ER because I was afraid if it went higher his brain was going to fry.  I might have been somewhat melodramatic but he is my baby!  So don't judge me!

I took Big C to the pediatrician yesterday morning.  After speaking to him the night before and determining it appeared as though it wasn't life-threatening, he asked me to bring him in the next morning.  Everything went well while we were there.  It was even fine after we got home.  But as the day wore on, I found myself getting frustrated and then the moodiness set in.  Let me give you some advice, when this happens, if you have someone else around to take care of your children, let them do it. 

I should probably also tell you that Little C has had two incidences of diarrhea.  They have been isolated and no fever for her.  But she is 3 months old, Big C does have a fever with no other symptoms, so it makes me nervous.  Their issues are probably unrelated since the symptoms are different, but who knows?  I'm thinking this was a trigger for me.  I am naturally a little neurotic, especially when it comes to my kids.  The fact that I am agitated also doesn't help the kids.  They can easily pick up on things like that.  Add to that a cranky toddler with a fever and a fussy newborn with acid reflux, gas pains from diarrhea and an appetite like a bear after waking from a 4 hour nap and you have a very ugly situation about to explode.

I don't even want to recount this because it hurts.  I'm still feeling horrible about it.  Little C was super fussy and literally screaming like a crazy child.  I could hear her swallowing huge gulps of air as she screamed.  I had already fed her about an hour prior.  Had just changed her diaper when she began to fuss.  But it went from mild fussing to full out hysterics in 2 seconds flat.  I didn't know what to do.  I had already fed her, she burped 4 times, I changed her diaper, I rocked her, shushed her, checked her temperature just to make sure she didn't have a fever, rocked her some more and she JUST. KEPT. SCREAMING.

Then I felt it, hot tears welling up and I quickly laid her on the bed.  Was she still hungry?  She just drank 5 ounces and that is normally her limit.  I'll make her some more anyway.  I jumped off the bed and began mixing up a bottle.  I just couldn't make it fast enough.  She just starting screaming like someone was hurting her, killing her.  I then began screaming.  Yelling at her to "just wait a minute I'm going as fast as I can" but she continued to scream and scream and scream.  The bottle was made and I raced over to the bed, snatched her up and shoved the nipple in her mouth.  And....she screamed.  AND SCREAMED AND SCREAMED.  Finally, I just couldn't take it anymore.  I yelled out for K to come help me.  He came in and I gave her to him and told him to walk with her and try to get her under control.

He walked her up and down the hallway and after a few moments she began to quiet.  I could hear her sniffling, sucking in sharp gulps of air as she settled down.  I just sat on the bed, put my head in my hands and I cried.  Silently, shamefully.  I yelled at my baby...again.  I thought the medicine was supposed to stop that?  I thought I wasn't going to flip out and fly off the handle anymore?  What happened?  What do I need to do to get this to stop?  Goddamn it PPD...WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?  I hate this and I hate you!  You are stealing me away from my children.  I'm afraid of causing psychological damage to both of them when I flip out and yell.  I just want to be like everyone else, you know?  Not irritable, frustrated, moody, angry, paranoid, neurotic, over protective, obsessive compulsive, anxiety ridden, self-loathing, guilt-ridden and feeling like a failure.  I am not like this all the time.  But I don't want to be like this at all.

K brought her back into the bedroom and handed her to me.  She looked up at me with red-rimmed eyes, wet and glassy from crying.  Her little nose running a bit and her face flushed from crying.  I offered her the bottle and she took it without protest.  I looked into those beautiful little brown eyes and I told her I was sorry.  That I am a horrible mother and that I wish I could take it back, wished I could be a better mother.  And then I cried sobbed.  Body rocking, deep sobbing.  So much and so hard that my head began to hurt.  None of this was her fault.  It is mine.  I need to get control of myself.  I can't do it alone.  I can't expect medication to do it alone either.  I know this is going to take time, but that is something I feel like I never have enough of these days.  I'll be talking to my doctor again and maybe it is time that I look into finding a postpartum group or therapist.  Right now, I'm willing to take all the help I can get if it means my recovery will be faster and complete.

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