So this post has been weeks in the making…mostly because my hands are never free long enough to type two sentences, plus the whole hand thing.
Currently I am typing this at 2:45 AM while in the midst of yet another night of what I have started to call “the lonesome nights”…the nights where my beautiful child, who once slept 16 hours a day…
won’t sleep for more than 20 minutes, unless I am holding her. She wakes up and screams like she is dying for hours on end, and nothing I do makes it any better. These are the worst nights. I decided last week that I would not be spending another night on our sofa. Ever. It’s leather, and we live in the 3rd floor. It’s like sleeping on the furnace. I miss my bed, and the ability to spend more than 15 minutes sleeping in it.
These are the nights when the Postpartum Depression starts to rear it’s ugly head. These are the nights when I doubt myself. The nights that I am positive that I can’t do anything right, that I am the worst mother in the world. These are the nights I want to take my screaming child into my blissfully unaware husband and hand her over. And leave.
I’d only go to a hotel for the night, just long enough to get some sleep and be fresh for the morning. Because the next day is always worse than the night. With no sleep, for either of us the day after these nights is enough to make me lose my sh!t. I love to hold my daughter, but I also require food and the ability to use the bathroom on occasion. The day after “the lonesome nights” she only wants to be held, she will scream and thrash for diaper changes and is only soothed by nursing. Meaning I get no food, or bathroom breaks. By the time my husband gets home, I am a blubbering mess. A hangry, exhausted, blubbering mess.
And all I can think is that I don’t want to do this anymore.
I think that I clearly am doing something wrong, that my child doesn’t want me and that both her and my husband would be better off without me. I sit paralyzed in the middle of the night trying in vain to console my screaming child, unable to get up to get help, unable to fix her problem and it kills me. I think that I am only making things worse, and there must be something I am doing to cause her to be this way. So then of course the Mommy Guilt swoops in to remind me that I couldn’t even make a baby properly, she had problems in utero, and it was all my fault.
Now…logically I know that none of this is true. I know my daughter loves me, I can see it in her face every time she sees me. I know that my husband would be lost without me, he has told me as much. I know that I did nothing wrong during the pregnancy, it was not my fault. But when you are going on 3 hours of sleep for months on end, and it’s ten minutes to four…logic goes out the window.
So how do you know if you have PPD?
- You feel restless or moody
- You feel sad, hopeless and overwhelmed (check)
- Crying a lot (check)
- Without energy or motivation
- Eating too little or too much (check)
- Sleeping too little or too much (check)
- Trouble focusing or making decisions (check)
- Memory problems
- Feeling worthless or guilty (check)
- Losing interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy (check)
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Having headaches, aches or pains, or stomach problems that won’t go away
As a new mom many of us experience these on a daily, or even hourly basis. I had started to feel many of these symptoms during pregnancy. This is referred to as Prenatal Depression. I just blamed it on “being hormonal”…but I see now it was much more than that.
The worst part of this…is that I cannot bring myself to approach my husband with the news that “I think I need to talk to someone”. I have wanted to initiate the conversation for weeks now, but I push it off. Mostly because I don’t want him to worry. But also because most of the time I am in denial. I had that “I’m not gonna” moment when it came to the possibility of going through PPD. Clearly it’s an issue for me. 80% of new moms experience it. And since I got the sh!t end of the stick with everything else as far as the pregnancy was concerned I am not surprised that I am experiencing it.
So nearly 5 hours after starting our normal bedtime routine, 10 oz, 2 bottles, 2 boobs, 2 diaper changes, a clothing change, rocking, walking, swaddling, swinging, snuggling, swaying, and 1 meltdown and 1 blog post later my house is silent. But I don’t know for how long.
The one thing I do know: TGIFF…because I am taking the next two nights off.