Monday, February 14, 2011

It was a moment

I was laying in the hospital bed after the c-section that delivered my older son. From the time I was lucid enough to notice the world around me it appeared the world had changed. The nurses seemed to be talking to themselves, not to me. I thought my husband was looking at me like I could at any moment evaporate into nothing. I expected to perceive the world differently (now that I was a mommy) I figured it would be all hugs and puppies; this was not the 'different' that I had expected. I was not prepared for the tricks my mind would play on me.

I saw shadows move across the wall and scoot across the ceiling. I saw the baby get out of the bassinet and crawl across the floor. I heard people talking to me but there was no one there. I heard the baby crying, but he was fast asleep. This went on for days, maybe even the first few weeks.

It hurt so much even to adjust my position in bed. I usually needed help. When I say I went to use the bathroom as a means of escape I want you to understand the desperation. I cried in my windowless, sterile, gray hospital bathroom. I cried for my c-section. I mourned my former care-free life. I cried because there was no window for me to climb out of so I could run away. I just wanted so desperately to escape. Like fight or flight, I didn't have any fight in me I just wanted to take flight. To think I could have hoisted myself out a window is laughable, but I was convinced that had the opportunity presented itself I would have tried.

I was dozing in my hospital bed. My mother and my husband were taking turns with sweet Jack so I could sleep. My mother said to my husband "You should watch out for postpartum depression." I wanted to yell "SHUT UP!! I'M FINE!!" Part of me had enough sense to realize she was probably (definitely) right.

Why tell this story? Why bring it up?

Because I should have gotten help. I figured I was tired, and the hospital was just messing with me. I decided I'd be better at home, and I was right- home was better. But I wasn't suddenly whistling Dixie.

I should have taken these feelings more seriously. I figured postpartum depression was wanting to hurt the baby, or feeling detached from the baby or wanting to hurt myself. I felt angry, angry about the c-section. But that wasn't the whole story and I was totally unwilling to admit it. I don't know what my experience was because I never got help. It might have been PPA, PPD or PPP. What it was doesn't really matter though, it was horrible and totally unnecessary.

I tell this story as a means of releasing it, because I don't feel this way not even a little bit. It was a moment in time. I could have done more and learned more but my moment is over I've grown away from that sad, scared new mommy. Someone else might be crying in a bathroom somewhere and they shouldn't have to.


Kate said...


mrs.g said...

I could have written this. (sans c-section). I remember the first few weeks after I gave birth thinking HOW DO I GET OUT OF THIS?? and I did make an appt. much much later. But I am so happy things are much better for BOTH of us now.

Emily said...

You are so right, mrs.g!!

Galit Breen said...

I'm so gad that you wrote this. Asking for help is a skill, and one that's hard to come by!