Tag Archives: postpartum depression

Beg My Partum

Women talk about the joys of becoming a new mother. The moment you hold your child for the first time. The tears, the joy, the overwhelming amount of love that oozes from every pore of your body, every part of your being. You see this in movies, on TV shows, in books. Friends, family members, strangers inform you of this joy of joys.

So, when you are nearing the end of your pregnancy and awaiting the arrival of your precious baby, all you can think about is that moment of bonding. When the doctor/nurse takes that bloody and shat on 8 pounds of pure joy that was made with love between you and your hubs/partner/lover and places him/her gingerly upon your bosom. The moment that your 8 pounds of pure joy suckles on said bosom for the first time.

Every time you think of this moment, you are overcome with emotion. Your eyeballs leak gobs of tears. You start to sob from the joy of it. You cannot help yourself. This is a moment you are anxiously, patiently waiting for. The absolute best moment of your life. You are so sure of it.

Then it comes. The moment you have been anxiously, patiently waiting for. You pop that 8 pounds of pure joy out of your vagina. Well, you don’t pop her out exactly. It’s more like a ripping, tearing, pulling and stretching of your vagina to China and back so that the circumference of a small dinner plate with shoulders can get past your lady bits.

The doctor/nurse/whoever (you don’t really care if it’s the homeless man down on Main Street because you are just so glad the worst pain known to man is finally over) hands your bundle of joy over to you. The moment of truth is upon you. The moment you have been waiting months for. You make eye contact. Well, kinda. 30 second old babies really can’t focus, but you, umm, make eye contact and, and, wait for it…nothing.

Because all those movies, TV shows, books, family members and friends?  Not one of them told you that you could possibly suffer from something called Postpartum Depression.

The LaMaze class that you forced your poor husband/life partner/other to attend so that you can learn stuff to help you during your labor and delivery?  Stuff that completely goes out the door because all you can think of is getting this human out of you so that you can have your life back. They didn’t even warn you. Not. One. Word. Ever.

I hold my newborn as if the guy at the market just handed me a bag of potatoes. Actually, I was more excited about the potatoes because they were on sale. I look at my baby. I look at my husband.

He can see the look on my face, the blankness behind my eyes and because he fears that I could possibly drop his baby on the cold, hard, tile floor — the same floor that shares the afterbirth and whatever else that just spewed from my body — he takes her from me. And bonds with her. Okay, so she doesn’t suckle because that would be weird and a total waste of time. But they bond.

And so it goes. What are some other signs? I’ve broken it down for you:

  • The “midnight” feeding that ended poorly for the unsuspecting nurse whose only crime is being on-duty during this crazed new mother’s stay. That and wheeling the new “breast-fed” baby into said crazed mother’s room while she’s TRYINGTOGETSOMESLEEPDAMMIT!
  • The intense panic you feel when your visiting mother goes home after staying with you for a few days. “Please don’t go, mommy. Please please please don’t leave me. I promise I will make up for all the broken curfews, D’s on my report cards and sneaking out at midnight. I promise. What’s that you say? You didn’t know about the sneaking out at midnight part? Oh.”
  • The night you swear that your sweet little angel is going to turn her head on her shoulders because you are pretty sure you gave birth to the devil herself. Or Regan.
  • The times you spend on the phone with your new child’s pediatrician while you soak on a sitz-bath all but licking the wounds of your poor, sore arse that was ripped to smithereens so your baby could have life. Those times you spend crying to him. Begging what in God’s name are you to do with a baby? You have some experience, but you were twelve and was only paid a dollar an hour.
  • The times you don’t want to hold her. After you nurse your baby, you hand her over to your husband, visiting friend or the homeless man down on Main Street (this last one is just a joke…don’t do that.)
  • IMG_3647

    This. This is the look of the day, err, summer. I wasn’t kidding. I have about 23 more photos just like this to prove it. And that smile? I had to paste it on.

    The same faded, stretched out elastic waist-banded “bike” shorts and breast milk stained t-shirt is your “go to” outfit for three months. Okay, so it’s really your everyday outfit but no one tells you about your fashion faux pas for fear of losing a limb.

I thought I was normal. I did. Didn’t every new mother have maniacal thoughts and act like a complete lunatic?

I make fun of my experience, because I decided long ago that humor is how I would deal with things that aren’t so pleasant. But it really is anything but funny.

Here’s the thing: Postpartum Depression is real. It’s actual. It is not satisfactual. It happens to more women than you think. If you are suffering from this, you are not alone.

The most important thing to remember is that Postpartum Depression is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. So, get on your high-horse or soap box or whatever works for you and scream to anyone who is listening and get the help you need. You will be happy you did. And so will your baby. And your husband. And your mother. And your neighbor. And…get my point?

 

I Beg Your Postpartum?

“Holy crap.  I just pushed a human being out of my vagina, my nether area, my unmentionables.  A freaking living, breathing human being.”  That was my thought after I gave birth to my 8 pound sweet baby girl.

I ripped stuff that doesn’t seem natural to rip (when I was in my way early twenties, a woman told me about this happening and I walked around with my rectum clenched for a year.  It traumatized me so much that I prayed to the birthing gods for 9 months for this to NOT happen to me, but alas).

What happened next?  Nothing.  As soon as that last bit of after-birth fell onto the hospital floor, my feelings were as cold as one of those sub-zero freezers.  I assume (I never was professionally diagnosed) I had what the experts would call Postpartum Depression.

I pretty much self-diagnosed myself.  But not until months later, after I felt better.  How do I know I was suffering from this condition?  It was really just a guess but here you go:

  1. After they handed her to me, I nearly dropped her on the ground.  As if she were a piece of luggage that I carried across the country and just couldn’t go another step with.  I actually hallucinated “Samsonite” written across her forehead.

    samsonite

    See her forehead? I knew it.

  2. When the nurses wheeled her in my room at 2am, I ripped their heads off.  It’s true because they were nice and round and rolled like a couple of bowling balls.  Strike!
  3. I would cry on my sitz-bath while speaking to my pediatrician every day for 2 weeks.  Yes, my pediatrician.  Hey, it saved me a hell of a lot of money on therapy bills — I highly recommend it.
  4. During middle-of-the-night feedings I feared that her head was going to spin on her shoulders like Regan in The Exorcist.  That’s normal, right?
  5. Besides breastfeeding, I didn’t have a desire to hold her.  I had a full out temper tantrum when DH went back to work.  Seriously.  I behaved more like a baby than my baby did.
  6. I had The Kid in June.  It was a hot summer so I rarely left the house.  For nearly 3 months.  It was hot.  Besides it meant I would have had to have gotten dressed.  And clearly that wasn’t happening.
  7. I wore the same clothes for 6 weeks.  Except my underwear.  I changed them at least weekly.  Well, someone did anyway.

    This is what I wore for weeks.  No lie.  Notice the attractive milk stain?

    This is what I wore for weeks. No lie. And my boobs were always leaking.

No one seemed to notice, especially me.  DH thought I was a little off, but no one told us about this possibility so it didn’t enter our minds.  Maybe we thought it was normal?  Well, I remember thinking it was normal.  I felt sad.  But don’t all new mothers feel sad?  I mean, our bodies were practically ripped in half and we had to take care of these people.

Luckily, after about 3 months, I got the spring back in my step.  They really should tell you about this stuff in Lamaze class.  Or somewhere along the line.  I mean, geez.  I was pregnant for 9 months.  There was plenty of time for a warning.  Although, I do have an extremely short attention span so maybe they did and I missed it?

I doubt it.  Anyway, my sweet baby girl is pushing the ripe old age of 16 and all is well.  I fell head-over-heels in love with her in spite of it all.  But I stopped there, at one child.

Would I have done it again?  Sure.  If you take out the blood, ass ripping, blood curdling pain and Cruella de Vil emotions.  Maybe.  But no one could promise me anything so it didn’t happen.  And I’m a better person because of it.  I’m sure.