I never intended for the gap between the last post and this one, but isn’t that how life works? Right now my life is at the mercy of an infant’s demands and the every day cycle of housekeeping and motherhood.
I think that instead of a big lead up into where I am now, I’m just going to come out and say it: I am dealing with postpartum depression.
If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you might remember me saying that I suspected that I had it with DeanBean, but I didn’t realize it until it had lifted when he was about a year old. I was just so angry all the time. I chalked it up to sleep deprivation and being alone a lot, but I saw after the fact that I was in a fog.
During my entire pregnancy with Peanut, I felt like I wasn’t myself. (Ha! Does anyone feel good in pregnancy?) When he was born, I had a momentary burst of loving him so much, but he also felt so much like a stranger. As my milk came in, so did his reflux. So. Much. Reflux.
Here I am, sore and recovering harder than my first two (thank you, thirties), and I am slave to this stranger who won’t sleep and is gagging and choking so much I can’t rest. He’s crying all day every day, and I’m changing clothes and doing a load of laundry every time I turn around. The guilt over how my older kids are being left to themselves is simply crushing me.
After one particular 24 hours where I just laid him down screaming on the mattress and I just cried and cried, and then the next day I made mental plans to leave it all behind, I reached out to some godly women I knew. I was reminded that I was normal, that my baby didn’t hate me (I wasn’t convinced), and encouraged to call my doctor.
The next day, I called him. I was determined to listen to wisdom this time around, but it was still the hardest call to make. He called me back personally and I told him how I wasn’t sure if I was depressed or just sleep deprived. He told me that he thought we should try something and see how it goes. Almost immediately, I felt a difference.
For the first time, I felt more like I did before I got pregnant and I began to see this beautiful, beautiful boy for what he is.
He’s precious. He’s perfect. He’s loved.
I’m tearing up just writing this, because I could have robbed us of so much more. I had already wasted 8 weeks of that time… but it could have been much worse.
The tone of this will likely be my theme the upcoming weeks. I try to be a person who is open and forthcoming with my life, and I am unable to act like things are absolutely perfect all the time. I think it’s likely that more of us are struggling than not, and if someone else can feel like they are not alone, than I feel I’ve accomplished something.
Here I am. A mother. A daughter. Loved by God. Struggling in my blessing.