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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why I'm Not Ready for Another Baby. Part I {a brutally honest post}

{this is a long, honest post about my struggle with my depression after Claire's arrival. If you don't care to read about my struggle, or are feeling snarky, I suggest you stop reading now. kthx}


Last  Wednesday night, I found myself taking a trip back in time & looking through albums on Facebook from when Claire was brand spankin' new.


Most normal mothers would hear their ovaries chanting "PRO-CRE-ATE M-O-R-E". And think to themselves, "awww, how I miss those days. I miss that teeeeeny tiny baby."


But not me. In fact, I am the complete opposite. I think, "wow, I so don't miss those days." I get a lump in my throat looking at the pictures from those first few weeks that we were home from the hospital. {Don't get me wrong, I don't not miss my baby being little. I just, don't miss those times.}


Those hours sucked. Those days sucked. Those weeks sucked.


I wouldn't go back to the way things were if someone paid me. They were so full of darkness, sadness, and zero interest in the amazing human being, that is my daughter.


I was a robot on auto-pilot for the first month & a half of Claire's life & I am scared to death to have another child because of it. 


If you remember, back when I was about 35 weeks pregnant, I wrote a post about how scared I was that I was going to have PPD {post partum depression} when Claire got here. I have dealt with {& still do} depression since the age of 11 & was on Lexapro {and still am} all through my pregnancy. Sure, being on that little pill while pregnant didn't automatically exempt me from getting PPD, but it sure brought my chances down. So, I felt good about bringing our daughter into the world. I felt positive & excited.


That all changed when I was told, after 16 hours of labor, that I would need a c-section. I was upset, ya, but it was what was best for the health of Claire & I. When they began to slice me open & I could feel everything, the anesthesiologist put me out.


I was unconscious for the birth of my baby. I didn't hear her first cries. I didn't see my husband's reaction when he saw her. I didn't meet my daughter until she was about 15 minutes old. And even when I was awake, I was in a deep fog from all the medication & really didn't know what had just happened.


In fact, I was in a fog for a good month after that too.


I truly think that the fact that I was put out for the birth of my daughter played a big part in my feelings towards her in the beginning. I felt, nothing. I was numb. I was waiting for a big burst of LOVE & EXCITEMENT for her & the fact that she was finally here. I was waiting to cry because I loved her so much & not for other reasons. But that didn't come until about 2 months into Claire being here & that guilt lives with me every. single. damn. day.


The day we were getting discharged from the hospital, I went down to my OB's office & got a progesterone shot, per my OB's recommendation {read: Feel Happy Not Depressed Shot}. "Ya! I'm just going to get this shot & I will be happy and ready to conquer motherhood!!" Not quite. I wish it were that easy. I wish I were able to automatically switch gears to motherhood & be happy & lovey dovey with my kid, but it was so not like that.


Without giving you a day-by-day, play-by-play & bore you to death, let's just say that I dreaded feeding time {I was breast-feeding at the time. This was before we found out she wasn't getting much of anything}. I didn't feel that bond that a new mom should feel with her sweet baby. It was a chore to have to feed her. Not a joy. I wanted nothing to do with her. I wanted to return her to the hospital. Wow. I can't believe I'm saying this on the inter-webs.


My breaking point came on a Saturday evening in September. I don't remember the exact date. Claire was screaming. As always at this time of day. & Dallas sent me upstairs to screamintomypillow relax. "I've got this" he said. "I'll call you when she stops crying" In the meantime, I blared the t.v. to drown out the sounds that were coming from downstairs & I cried. I cried that ugly, nasty, can't catch your breath cry. My palms got sweaty, my heart was racing faster than ever before & I had a complete breakdown.


"I HATE MY LIFE. I DON'T DESERVE TO BE A MOTHER. I DON'T DESERVE TO HAVE A HUSBAND THAT LOVES ME THIS MUCH. I WANT TO DIE." I yelled to myself.


And that's when I contemplated hurting myself. That was the breaking point. I needed help. I knew that there was the normal"post partum blues", but this couldn't be normal. I couldn't let this continue. I couldn't keep thinking these thoughts & living this way. My daughter needed me. My husband needed me...


To be continued.

28 comments:

  1. How awesome you now have the courage to write this... I can only imagine the pain you were feeling. So glad you were able to stop from hurting yourself and get help!! You have a beautiful baby girl and you are a beautiful, wonderful mama!!!

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  2. Such an honest post. You can't feel guilty for having felt that way in the beginning, you love your daughter and would do anything in the world for her, and she knows that. So great that you noticed the signs and reached out for help, that just shows what an amazing mother you are to Claire.

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  3. Oh hun! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS...I know how hard it is to share these feelings! So many women hide this stuff but it needs to be shared to let others know it's okay!! PPD and depression is REAL and I think the more people talk about it the more it will help others feel better and heal.

    I felt EVERYTHING that you said with Luke after this pregnancy. I have always delt with anxiety but the PPD was a brand new ball game and it was NOT COOL! LOL I feel the same way when someone asks us about another baby, I do not think about the cuteness of the newborn stage (althought I LOVED IT), I jump to the horror of my PPD and how hard those days,hours and weeks were (mostly nights is when I was really bad). In the midst of it all I felt like it would NEVER end.

    It got so bad I ended up in the ER where a doctor tried to admit me against my will which turned into me pretty much fleeing the hospital...turned out for a funny story but it horrifies me EVERY DAY thinking about that happening again.

    The good news is that you made it through it once, so you know you can do it again. That is how I cope, I look back and say "HOLY SHIT I made it through that horrible feeling and day", that is pretty much how I get through my feelings when they pop into my head.

    You are an AMAZING mother to Claire and will be to your next child, although it may scare the crap out of you to think about now! lol You have an amazing husband also, and when the time is right you will know.

    Sorry for the novel lol, hugs to you and thanks so much for sharing!

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  4. Thank you for having the courage to write this. You are one strong amazing mama!

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  5. I love the suspense :)Sorry, I had to put a litle humor out there amongst the seriousness of the post. And honestly? I think I went through a little of this too when I had Carly...

    I felt SO guilty because when Lidia was born, I had that instant connection, never wanted to leave her side, etc. But when Carly was born? I loved her yes, but I dreaded many of the things you did; wanted away, hated listening to the crying, etc. I had many nights similar to yours where the hubby had to take over for a bit.

    I think it was because I had two babies in one year. I was exhausted. Not ready for another. Felt guilty about Lidia not having my whole attention, she was a little colicky, etc. This is more normal than most people think and it is AMAZING that you are putting this out there for other people to relate too!

    And just for the record, Carly is my angel baby and so easy NOW... it always gets better and I'm glad it has with you and Claire too! :)

    hugs to you babe!

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  6. This is such a brutal and honest post. Love that you can share this with us. Can't wait for the rest. *hugs*

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  7. I think more woman can identify with this than you think...alot of your feelings were normal for the the few weeks following the birth of a baby. Breastfeeding isn't enjoyable until at least after the first month, and yeah some newborns cry ALOT and it's hard for anyone to stay sane listening to it for the majority of the day. My daughter wasn't even that difficult (the only thing I can complain about is that she didn't sttn until 11 months) and I still didn't start feeling like I wanted another baby until she hit the 18 month mark. Taking care of a newborn is hard as hell, a complete shock to your system no matter how mentally stable you are.

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  8. You are so awesome for writing an honest account of when your daughter was a newborn. I, too, had a hard time when Cailyn was first born. I didn't enjoy being a mom as much as I felt like I should have and was just down all the time. It's therapeutic to write about it!

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  9. Oh hun you are so tough for pouring your feelings out to all of us. What a scary time for you that must have been. I cannot say that I have struggled with PPD, but I def have struggled with depression. I can't say I am 100% fixed but I try. Trust me there are still days of weakness and sadness, but then days of joy come and I feel like it is all worth while! Hang in there. Not everyone wants another baby right away or even years down the road. You will want another when the time is right for you, D and Claire!!!! ((Hugs))

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  10. I remember the post you wrote while you were pregnant about suffering from depression and I always wondered how things went after you gave birth to your daughter. Since you never mentioned it, I had assumed you managed to avoid ppd. I'm so sorry that you went through such a struggle.
    I've never suffered from PPD, but postpartum hormones do a number on every woman, including me, so I can only imagine what you went through.
    This was very brave post for you to write. I think that if more people would talk about ppd, it would be easier for women to recognize and address if they are suffering from it.
    I think you are an amazing mom, for the record! I can't believe that you STILL pump every bottle for your daughter just so that she can have breastmilk. I would have given up breastfeeding long ago if I had to do that. You're a rock star!

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  11. you are such a strong woman for writing this out, and i commend you for that. you are an amazing wife, mother, and person. thank you for having the courage to share something so intimate with us. i sm looking forward to reading the rest.

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  12. You are so brave. I have heard how awful PPD is and it breaks my heart to hear that you had to go through this. I would have never guessed and I appreciate your willingness to share this with all of us. I just want to hug you and say "thank you, Claire is so lucky to have such a brave Mama" So if you ever come to Michigan there's a hug waiting for you ;)

    Love,
    Erin

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  13. Just like everyone else said, how awesome of you to share this, because I'm sure you will help A LOT of women out there who are going through/went through the same thing. I can relate to you on the depression/anxiety. I have been on Lexapro for a few years now, and they just upped my dosage and so far, so good. Can't wait to come back and read more.

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  14. THANK YOU for writing this post. I'm recovering from Post Partum Anxiety...which I didn't even knew existed when I was pregnant. PPD was my biggest fear, just like yours. Mine hit about 2 months after Ty was born...just when I thought I was in the clear. It's such a horrible feeling, but I can't tell you how much better it makes me feel to read stories like yours and know I'm not alone. You are an amazing mom! Your daughter will be a stronger woman because of all the experiences you've endured!

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  15. I have definitely been wondering if you've been going through this, from reading your earlier post on depression. PPD sounds like HELL. I can't even imagine.

    I hope you're feeling better, C, and I hope that writing it all out helps you to heal. Hugs.

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  16. (((hugs friend))) many times I have screamed into a pillow and wanted to die. Especially when I could not anything more than chicken, rice, and vegetables or else his stomach would bleed. I didn't have that ZOMG I LOVE YOU SO MUCHIES!!! burst for oh. months? I did go to my OB, she gave me Zoloft and I took it for 9 days and I had some scary symptoms so I quit it and decided to battle whatever this was myself. The first 5-6 months were hell. HELL. And no one talks about it until after things have gotten better because we are ashamed. I so feel you, Lauren. Things are much easier now that I can eat whatever I want again and he actually sleeps now. Are things better for you? I know it's still hard. Somedays, I'm just like ugh, can I please have a day OFF from this??! You are an awesome mama, Lauren. You are fun, gorgeous, strong, and someone I would TOTALLY want to meet and be IRL friends (not just e-friends). AND you are awesome that through PPD, you did not give up BFing. You are giving Claire the BEST start in life and you should be so proud of yourself. (((hugs)))

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  17. I am so glad your being honest and sharing this with all of us. You are so brave and a wonderful mother. I hope that by sharing your story you can help another new mom who might be having these same problems but afraid to get help. Big hugs to you!

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  18. Bless your heart. I do not think for a second you are alone in your depression those first months. I told my husband I just want to enjoy this next baby in the beginning unlike the way I was with our son. I wasn't extremely depressed no, but I was definitely battling with some ppd.
    I think it takes great courage to share your story. You are helping other women out there going through similar situations. For that be proud.

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  19. I felt the EXACT. SAME. WAY. when my first daughter was born. The entire pregnancy was rough and the birth was no way how we were expecting it to go and I think that played a huge role in it too. Brooklyn was about 6 months before I started feeling somewhat better (with some heavy medication and intense therapy). I have no memories of her birth or the first 6 months of her life. The only pictures I have are ones that other people took and I regret it every damn day of my life. Later I was diagnosed with Postpartum Psychosis. I now have a 6 month old son as well and this pregnancy was completely different!!! I'm getting on antidepressants however it has nothing to do with postpartum depression. Being not ready for another one is perfectly fine but don't rule it out in fear of the same outcome. Every pregnancy is different and your next could go just as planned! Thank you for being so honest! It's nice to know I'm not the only one who went through that hell. Unless you've been through it, you just can't even begin to understand.

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  20. You are so strong to post this for all to read. But in a way it can be healing for you and for others who are going through the same thing. I have a 6 month old daughter and I understand what you mean when you didn't feel the connection when you breastfed. I felt it was gross, I did not feel a bond at all, I felt like a horrible mother at first. I love reading your blog and seeing the pictures of your beautiful daughter. You are an amazing mom despite your struggle. No one should ever judge you! You got help and we all can tell how much you love your little girl. In motherhood/parenthood we all just have to take it one day at a time. Just know you are not the only one that has went through this and your daughter KNOWS you love her.

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  21. Good for you for being honest and not hiding how you felt. I'm so sorry to hear that. It breaks my heart. You are a strong, strong lady and your family is very lucky to have you.

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  22. I love that you wrote this! You said what some of us are thinking!

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  23. Thank you for being honest and sharing this. I know for me writing is so helpful, and your story is important. ((hugs))

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  24. Thank you for being so honest. I too, could feel when I was cut open during my C-section, and was put out. I missed it all. I struggled with some anxiety but nothing compared to what you went through. I am so sorry you struggled with this- but rest assured, you are a GREAT mother!

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  25. Hey lady,

    This is my first time visiting your blog. I think I found it via Mrs. Foreste?? Anywhoodles, this post sounds *exactly* like what I went through. I call the first six months of my daughter's life "The Dark Days" because looking back, I was litterally in the most horrible place of my life.

    Until she was about 15 months old, I swore up an down that I was NOT ready to go through all of that again. I even contemplated making her an only child (something that has Never been in my "life plan")

    But around 16 months, something just "clicked" and I found my groove as a mother. I found myself thinking more and more about having another baby, and now I honestly feel ready.

    I have had to come to terms with the fact that her birth and the months following were hard, and out of the norm. And I've learned that it's totally different with your second one. From what I've heard, you know what to do the second time around and all of the anxiety, fear, and overwhelming feelings are gone.

    I just wanted to give you some hope that although you feel this way now, you probably wont feel this way forever.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story because it helps mamas like me feel normal :)

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  26. Im so sorry love! That is an awful feeling, and of course no one can tell you to feel different. But you seem to have a lot of love and support which is always nice. I didnt go through all you did, in fact, I always felt I had NO reason at all to feel depressed. I wasnt myself either, and I felt that my husband deserved better...I felt sorry for my daughter to not get to choose her mother. Poor thing being stuck with someone like me. As she has grown, I find myself thinking...Im doing okay...She smiles at me, she whines when someone else picks her up because she wants me. Gotta be doing something right...right?
    No one can ever understand fully or endure what you are feeling and going through. Its not easy being a woman, its only that much harder being a mother. I dont know you...you dont know me...but reading some of your blogs...I can tell you love your family more than anything. I dont miss those days either, by the way. LOL! I love my little girl more than words could ever discribe, but I dont want to start over. I dont want another. Babies are not easy. Kylie is just about to turn 1. I cant believe it. This age is my favorite. She is so much fun. She is full of personality and makes me laugh and smile all day. I have a history of depression, and during the first 6 months or so of her life, it was rough...I found myself crying more than laughing. Those times are being made up. LOL! I guess its a way of looking at it anyway.
    Again, no words can take away your emotional times. Its completely understandable with what you have been through to feel the way you do. And sadly, time and strength is what heals it. I hope things get better for you and your family. Blogging is such a wonderful output. Let you heart scream it out.

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  27. I am so proud of you for sharing this! I bet it has helped so many mothers who felt/feel the same way. You are a great mother and wife!

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  28. Thanks for sharing! I know that was hard to do! I am sure you know this but you are not alone. I had the exact feelings about feeding being a chore and not deserving such a great life...I did not reach your point of breaking but it eventually got better, I am glad you sought help and give you props for telling your story and letting it all hang out ;o)

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