I have post partum depression. I want to put a new picture out there if you will, of this affliction, because for me, I never could really identify with the ladies in the (well-intentioned, dont get me wrong) little pamphlets or magazines. You know, the ones who sit there in their bathrobes, looking down at their baby and sort of snuffling and saying how they thought it was gonna be so different.....or the ones who want to straight-up kill their baby....or the ones who feel no connection to the baby and then feel guilt surrounding that....or the ones who say they have it all, a loving mate, a wonderful support system, a healthy baby, but they just feel blah....
None of that really ever felt like what I was experiencing, so, like so many other things in the media and the popular notions of how we may or might or should be or feel, nothing clicked or connected for me and so I just blew it off, faked it until I made it, etc.
but I cant this time. My depression is one of circumstances, and the fact that there are very real and tangible sucky, hard, mean, nasty, shitty, downright rotten things that I have been through since I had the baby, makes this thing tricky, this labeling, "Is it depression, or just life sucking right now?"
Who cares. Because it is both, it has been both, and I am waaaay outside of my mental health range. So, sure, I have hormones, very real and potent chemical substances at play here. And I have adjustment to a new family member, and I am exhausted, even though the baby sleeps quite well, but it is the events that have occurred, the stuff I havent written about,that flipped the switch for me.
When I posted about my plans to have an elective cesarean, one of the little promises I made to myself was that I was NOT going to be back online in a month or so, complaining about the c section. No, that would be wrong, that would freak out the readers, that would just negate all of the stuff I said about my unexpected, hard fought unplanned cesareans.....no sir, I was gonna do this, I was gonna get the darn surgery, I was gonna set up this big network of people to help me and Steve out, and it was gonna be the nicest darn c section that ya ever did see. Truly. and it was.
I have never written my birth story yet, because it sucks, and there are bad guys and there are wrong doings and there are disappointments and there is strange stuff and because I was not ready to go there at all, I was too tired, too hurt to do anything BUT post some cool little baby pictures and let whatever happened to be on the digital camera's memory card be the "truth" for a little while, maybe forever. So I painted a little picture for you all, I lied to all of you, and for what? You have been the best friends I have ever had, these cyber people who write me these incredibly kind and introspective and thoughtful comments...the names who come up again and again, the anonymouses, and the random new names...I lied to all of you. My story is not wonderful, it sucks. It sucks alot. In many ways this time round in the hospital was shittier and more demented than the first two--but you know what? Because it was SUCH poetic irony, because there was SUCH pressure from immediate family who were just alittle too (?) overjoyed that I was doing this (kinda like the putting our kids in public school thing..there is supportive and then there is jubilance..but I digress) and because I was way, way too hurt and raw to even open myself up for one single teensy comment when and if I tried to even hint at the truth of my own reality, ("NOW, NOW, I HEARD IT WAS A WONDERFUL HOSPITAL!") I just said wow it was freakin awesome, heres some baby pics, ok bye bye.
I was totally abused in the hospital, several of our family and friends completely bailed on us with commitments to help us out, then my husband got all depressed himself and our lives have spiralled into a real bad scene. We have been crawling back out of this for about 2 weeks now, but it has been really, hell. Even with a wonderful baby. When I was pregnant, I just didnt see how that could be possible. The baby, the baby, when the baby comes everything will be awesome...how many weeks left? how many days left until everything will be awesome and perfect?....yes, even five timer moms can fall prey to the immensely powerful pregnancy hormones, thoughts, and dreams. Even mamas who know they are facing major abdominal surgery and have about 5 days of help lined up and then most of that crumbles, even mamas who are not AT ALL healed from the last c section just a little over 2 years prior, yes those mamas too can fool themselves....54 days until everything is perfect and awesome and i have my dear sweet baby in my arms.....53 days.....52 days.....
No. Because you have your dear sweet baby in your arms, for about 10 minutes, and then IT starts up. ALL of IT. The fucking nurses, and the fucking lack of care, and the fucking demeaning ignorance, and the fucking phone calls from the latest person cancelling on their babysitting commitment, (phone calls??? really??? In your hospital bed?? In the bed you are in before you are even in your real bed?? does a newly dissected mother or anyone immediatly post op really need fucking ridiculous phone calls??? about anything??? about how horrible your newborn's name is, or about that news guy who had the sudden heart attack, or about where are the waffles/water shoes/band aids???) Was the part where i was under anesthesia really the only time a Mother gets to rest?? And, last but not least, the fucking pain.
the pain the pain good Lord almighty, the fucking PAIN.
So I am leaving this now, this little prelude to my TRUE birth story, which I hope to compose, tomorrow, while Charlie and Eska nap and the three others are at their school (no luck on me getting used to that one anytime soon). Sorry for anyone I misled if it led to any bad consequences to any Mamas out there, forgive me. Maybe the real story will ring true for others, and my own fake one can blow away like so many frosty pamphlets.