The things I used to write about made people uncomfortable: to hear, to read, to talk about, anything. That's one of the main reasons I quit writing. I used to receive a lot of comments (that I never approved, because they hurt so bad) that consisted of the following: "What if your daughter grows up and reads this? What if your son reads this? The internet is forever. Your kids will hate you if they find out you ever felt this way. I feel so sorry for them. I want to adopt them. You are so lucky to be pregnant when there are so many infertile couples who would kill for a baby."
Guess what? Fuck that. You know what a depressed woman in the deepest, loneliest hole of her life needs? Support. Love. Understanding. You know what I got? None of that. You know where I found it? Other people's blogs. That's why I'm back, and I'm ready to talk about it. I want to get this out of my system, and if someone out there going through the same thing finds this, I want her to know she's not alone. Because loneliness is the worst feeling ever.
When I found out I was pregnant, even though I had a Paragard (copper) IUD in place, it was both the worst and most memorable day of my life. It's supposed to be memorable, but it's never supposed to be terrible. I was still in the throes of severe postpartum depression. My 7-month old son had just started crawling THAT DAY. My husband was at a golf tournament all day, and I called him as I sob-screamed, "I'M PREGNANT!" I'm not exaggerating when I say I called my OB's office and yelled a string of expletives at the receptionist, the nurse, and him. At my early dating ultrasound the next day, I didn't look at the screen once. I told the midwife, "I don't want it." When she took out the IUD and told me there was a 50% I would miscarry overnight, I said, "Good."
I don't know who I was back then. I love babies. I love pregnancy. This is the severity of depression. It takes over your soul. Hopelessness and helplessness become who you are. The morning sickness that left my son to play with toys in the bathtub while I puked up water didn't help either. I began and ended every day sobbing. "I could never love anyone more than Shepherd. What if I have more seizures and this one has a worse birth defect? We only wanted one kid!" The list of anxieties was a mile long--and growing by the day.
There were highs. There were lows. There were times I wanted to get in my car and drive the neverending roads of New Mexico until I never saw another person again. I wanted to dig a hole for myself and never come out. I curled up in the fetal position in the shower until the water went cold, in the fetal position on the couch until my baby needed something, and even then, I just stared off in space. These are not normal ways of dealing with pregnancy. (Or anything ever.) I don't ever want to feel that way again. I don't want another person to EVER feel like that.
Yes, I was on Prozac. It wasn't enough--we switched to Zoloft and counseling. To try to shorten an already long story, we obviously chose to continue with the pregnancy. My midwife made a comment that I will never forget: "I'm so happy that you decided to stay pregnant." Me too. Because I have high risk pregnancies, I had over 10 ultrasounds with each pregnancy, including 3D, fetal echocardiograms, and over 30 NSTs. Because of my birth experience with Shepherd (I promise I'll tell this story one day), I felt like I didn't know him despite all of this. When Brandon walked her over to me at the operating table, I touched her face, and I said, "SHE IS BEAUTIFUL! Don't you think she's beautiful? Look at how beautiful she is! I love her so much!" I felt like every time I said something like that with Shepherd in the first month or so, it was a lie. It pained me to write Facebook statuses, emails, texts, and know I was lying.
|touching her beautiful face after my c-section|
New motherhood is hard. Postpartum depression makes it harder. Live over a thousand miles away from everyone you know and have your birth control fail when it is supposed to be 99.6% effective? Your feelings are too "real" or "harsh" for people to talk about? LIFE SUCKS.
I'm here to say I've dug myself out of the hole, but not without help. A husband who slept on an air mattress in the baby's room so I could take Ambien and get a full 8 hours. A husband who knows when I'm stressed past my limit and sends me out of the house just to get a breather. Bloggers who have gone through similar situations and weren't afraid to talk about it, despite their critics (here, here, and here). Family who took us in when we had to move across the country when I was 8 months pregnant, and a mom who woke up with my newborn at night so I could sleep. To them, I say: Thank you!
It's important to know that those were some of the darkest months of my life, and although I did experience some postpartum anxiety after Zoey was born, I dug myself out of the hole by the time I was over halfway through my pregnancy. I was excited to name her. To meet her. But I was always nervous--as most new moms are. And I want her to know that her life has a purpose, and God put her here for a reason. She is not an accident. And nobody's perfect--not even Mommy.
|She is the <1%.|