It’s taken me a while to work up to writing this post. I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to 100% admit it, or I feel like in some way all of my reactions or feelings will be blamed on PPD, or it could be because I want to ignore it all. I don’t know.
When I first thought that I was perhaps suffering from/struggling through PPD, I figured that I’d write a post about it after I was all fixed. I’d write about how it felt and how I fixed it, post some links about getting help and some symptoms, and it would all be gathered up pretty succinctly in a magenta bow. However, a little part of me felt disingenuous about doing that. See, if I want to really be helpful (at least in my mind) sharing how I’m feeling in the midst of it, would be most helpful to someone in my position. Also, if I didn’t write about how I’m feeling now, it would be a lot easier to ignore it all. Which is the opposite of helping myself.
So, I compose this post a day after seeing my primary care doctor concerning my ever worsening symptoms. If you’ve given birth recently, as a mother, you are asked to fill out a survey about how you feel (at least in my hospital and at the pediatricians office). The first time I filled out the survey in the hospital, I was apparently too honest (I had an emergency c-section and my Warrior Princess was unexpectedly admitted to the NICU having experience fetal distress. It was such a rough time.) and the nurse said, “If you answer like this, it’s going to be alarming.” I though the whole point of the survey was to be honest. But..ya know. So, being scared into not being super honest, I met with a nice woman, who gave me pamphlets and told me that someone from the PPD network/help center/ would call me once a month and ask how I was. I told her I felt fine.
I really did. I’d say that for sure I’d seek assistance immediately if that ever changed. I felt fine.
All the literature I’d ever read about PPD or any short clip I’d seen on my Facebook feed, any Lifetime movie about some sad woman, made me feel like I would have to be thinking about hurting my child OR looking at her and feeling nothing at all. Looking at her like she was a blank piece of paper. I’ve never once felt like that. Not even a little bit.
What I have felt like is that my Warrior Princess is the only thing that truly brings me joy at the exclusion of everything else. I look at her like she is my world and everything else can kick rocks. This almost sounds idyllic, to be so besotted with your baby that you live in a wonderful world of coos, and baby blinks. But it isn’t.
Think about it, nothing else makes me happy. I feel disconnected from everything most days. I don’t want to talk to anyone, everything annoys me. People keep offering to give me a break from the duties of motherhood when all I really want to do is take my daughter and go. Go where? I don’t know. Somewhere where it’s just me and her. This hurts my other relationships. This hurts me.
How did it get to this? What are some signs that I missed? May is PPD awareness month (I saw a posting somewhere which inspired/forced me to write this entry). I will use this month to explain as much of my story and experience as I can.