Post-Partum Depression - "I know I should love you but I don’t feel it" // Part 1

November 28, 2018

 

 

Why am I so sad?

This is supposed to be the happiest season of my life, why am I so so sad?

Why can’t I stop thinking about death? 

 

Every single time she looks at me I want to cry.  It is so beautiful and so fleeting. It feels like time is flying by me all of a sudden.

I don’t want her to grow up! I want to savor this moment forever. She is so sweet and tiny and full of potential!

 

I can’t wait for her to grow up! All she does is cry, eat, cry, poop, and cry. I hate the baby stage so much. Do I hate her? Surely not, I’m her mom. I love her. I just don’t like her sometimes. That’s normal right? This is never going to end. Wait, yes it will. Everything will end. She will end.

 

She’s going to die one day. I AM GOING TO DIE ONE DAY.  Is this the beginning of the end of my life? Is it all downhill from here? I am going to die. I don’t want to die. What if I die before I get to see her grow up? What if she dies before I get to grow up? Why am I so scared of getting old? 

 

When will my body look normal again? WILL my body look normal again? I just want to FEEL normal again. 

Why can’t I stop thinking about death?

 

Everything she does is lovely and new and sweet. Every moment that passes is a moment I can’t get back and I want this to last forever.

Everything she does makes me feel inadequate. I don’t think she likes me. FINE THEN, I won’t like her.

I like her, I am just tired. I am lucky to even HAVE a baby! I am the worst. Some women can’t even have babies and I am over here acting super ungrateful for mine.

 

I love my baby. 

So why am I so sad? 

Why can’t I stop thinking about death? 

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???

 

 

For the last 18 weeks these thoughts and thousands more like them have plagued my head & my heart everyday on repeat. 

 

I refuse to say “ I have post-partum depression” because I am not going to claim that crap as my own… I don’t want it, I won’t keep it, and I can’t wait to get rid of it. 

 

Instead, I will admit to you that I am wrestling with PPD and these gross thoughts are the ammunition of the enemy on the battlefield of my mind.

 

Almost immediately after she was born I felt off. I was more relieved to not be pregnant than I was to have my little human. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to have a baby in theory, I was just way more excited to not be pregnant in reality! My first verbal reaction to her was “ she looks like an alien.” Not your typical warm-hearted words of a new mom. I knew I would love her and like her eventually but in the moment she felt more like a tiny, clingy stranger that had just been invited to be my roommate/ hip-ornament for life, and bonus, didn’t speak my language.

 

About a week after Winslett was born I began to notice that I didn’t feel right. The pain meds were starting to wear off and every time my milk came in I would feel a very big emotional downer, a BIG BIG downer.

 

Do you remember your first real break up? Or the first time someone you loved died? Or the moment you realized, truly realized, that you would, in fact, die? 

 

It felt like all of that stomach wrenching, misery combined into one heartbreaking moment.

Like loss, and grief, and hopelessness were all crashing down around me. 

 

EVERY.

SINGLE.

TIME.

MY. 

MILK.

CAME.

IN.

 

But after a few minutes it would sort of pass and I’d go back to being my relatively optimistic and extremely gritty self. “ Just focus on the positive!” I ‘d tell my self. “ It’s just the baby blues, it will pass in a week or two.”

 

4 weeks later I was starting to grow weary but sure it would pass soon.

6 weeks later I was really tired but hopeful that it would end any day.

8 weeks later I was quietly sobbing every two hours, staring out the window, lost in sadness. 

 

One afternoon mid way through my 8th week of motherhood, while I was breast feeding Winnie, thinking how scared I was to love something that I knew would one day die, a quiet question was whispered into my mind… “am I depressed?”

 

I did what any self-respecting new mom does and I hopped onto google and typed in “ Do I have post-partum depression?” Sure enough there were numerous articles detailing the medical symptoms of PPD and I found that I lined up with a fair amount of them.

 

 

Postpartum depression signs and symptoms may include:

  • Depressed mood 

  • Difficulty bonding with your baby

  • Withdrawing from family and friends

  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual

  • Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much

  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy

  • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy

  • Intense irritability and anger

  • Fear that you're not a good mother

  • Hopelessness

  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy

  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions

  • Restlessness

  • Severe anxiety 

  • Recurrent thoughts of death

 

 

I set my phone down and cried.

“ I’m depressed?!” 

“ I don’t want to be depressed!”

“ I want to be happy. This is a happy thing!”

“I don’t want this…”

 

I pulled my dosing daughter closer to me and sobbed.

“ I am depressed."

 

It was this achy mixture of pain, shame, numbness, fear, and mild relief. While I hated knowing that I wasn’t at my best, or any where near it, I was momentarily reassured to know what was going on.

 

A few seconds later the calm passed and I was left with an even heavier question.

“ Now what?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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