Sunday, August 3, 2014

Nothing {PPD Part 4}

Here are the previous posts in this series on postpartum depression.

Here's a virtual lollipop >>> --o

And here's the next part in the saga ...

I went into labor at 1 a.m. on August 19, 2012. I'm not super-big on sharing gory birth story details, so I'll just say I dropped more F-bombs than I had in my entire previous existence combined and at 8:14 p.m., Gracelyn Violet Walker entered the universe.

She was not all that impressed.
I can't recall anything that immediately followed delivery, not feelings, not images, nothing. It's weird. I like to think I was happy, exhausted, and a little freaked out about being a newly minted parent of two (like any normal person). I'll never know.
My first concrete memory (other than the epic amount of cussing) is when the nurse laid a freshly bathed and swaddled baby in my arms in the recovery room. I stared into her tiny little face and my only thought was, "Her nose looks weird". Other than that ... nothing. A big giant void of black horrid nothing.

The reason for this, I think, was that I was still completely convinced something terrible was going to happen. The only questions were "when" and "how". I could not connect if I wanted to survive it.

Gracie made this fairly easy. She slept in 20 minute increments around the clock. She cried and squirmed and fussed. She hated being held. And she was a terrible, terrible nurser - gagging, choking, biting, and flat out refusing to eat unless I paced with her during feedings (sooo not fun at 3 a.m.).

I cried and yelled and screamed right along with her. I was irrationally angry at everyone all the time ("You ATE the banana bread? WTF?!?! Banana bread is not for EATING!") Any spark of joy was smothered by a staccato assault of images of my child dead or dying. I blamed it all on the "baby blues" and waited for my worst nightmares to become reality.

I felt so, so, so guilty for disobeying the voice of (what I thought at the time) was God, for not being strong enough to love my child in spite of it, for everything.

Thus began my official battle with postpartum depression.

Unless, of course, you ask the midwife.

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  1. I love twitter...and I'm not even going to apologize for it. :)

  2. RESPECT. I know I'm a few months late, but I found your blog today and I love reading about mothers of small children because it allows me to live vicariously through them and reminds me why I am so not ready for children of my own yet. This day sounds EXHAUSTING and I know it's just one day out of the thousands you will live just like it. Your exhaustion and self-sacrifice do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. You are a super star mom and your kids love you. Also, the days won't always be like this! They will continue to grow and become more independent... soon they'll actually leave the house every day for hours at a time to go to school! Then you'll actually be able to sit down for a whole meal (maybe). Anyway, mothers are superheros and you are obviously no exception.

  3. Thanks, Suzanne! I'm looking forward to those "whole meal" days, but trying to enjoy the moment as well. :)

  4. Twitter is my back-up drug when Facebook is slow. Vicious cycle identified. ;)


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