As I get closer to my due date, and my emotional situation declines, I realize this is not how I want to be. I don’t want you guys to think that I’m relishing in my pain in any way. I speak to the people around me, my husband, my friends, my coworkers, but most importantly, my doctors. I mentioned this in previous posts, but I feel like I need to address it more directly.
I spend a bit of my time each day on the subreddits related to my experiences, particularly parenting, the baby bump and beyond the bump, for a sense of solidarity in an otherwise very isolating experience. The thing that I tended to see was husbands whose wives were suffering from prenatal or postpartum depression and/or anxiety. Their posts were heartbreaking, but always carried the same theme: she never said a word about what she was going through.
Some of the women attempted to take their own lives, while some only needed hospitalization. Others had reached a nearly violent breaking point, and started showing abusive behavior towards their children. This was a huge eye opener for me.
As difficult as it was, I began telling people about how I was feeling. Some of it was hard to articulate, but I think I mostly got my point across. To one friend who was saying how much she loved being pregnant (cue gigantic eye roll here) and couldn’t understand why my experience wasn’t similar, citing prenatal depression seemed to shut her up about it.
It’s hard to feel excited about becoming a mommy again when your body feels like it’s consuming itself, when the voices in your mind are screaming all your inadequacies and fears at once, and when your nightmares are filled with all the ways you just know you’re going to fail.
When people ask if I’m going to breastfeed, the answer is no. I’m going to be put on medication. I’m doing this to survive. My baby will get formula and a mother who is coping as best she can with all the tools available to keep her functioning. I think that’s fair. And if anyone wants to judge me, they had better not say it out loud.
I’ve discussed my feelings with my doctors (both my OB and my primary care doctor). Both are kind and very, very concerned with my well being. For this, I am so grateful. I’m hoping to enter counseling again as well. I have referrals, and follow ups scheduled. I am being cared for, and I have to accept that.
I’m doing my best not to isolate from my friends and family, but it’s so hard. There’s an expectation to be a certain way, the me from before I got pregnant, and she’s just not there right now. I honestly don’t even know if she still exists anymore. But, it is my hope that whomever surfaces on the other side of this experience will be a kinder, happier person, less prone to outbursts of anger and tears. Maybe, I hope, she’ll begin to feel human.