Dawn Breaks

I haven’t posted here recently.  Post partum depression reared it’s ugly head and the experience was bad enough that I couldn’t bring myself to write about it.  I couldn’t bring myself to write about anything else that was going on because while in the midst of depression, nothing else IS going on.

Oddly enough, I broke the day after an evening alone in a hotel room with my husband without the baby.  My mother and aunt had given us some “12 hour date” coupons for Christmas and had offered to make this one a 24 hour date.  So we checked into a downtown hotel, ordered room service, hung out in the hotel’s jacuzzi and pool, watched a movie…and fell asleep without having sex.  We woke up, ordered room service…and fell asleep.  So our sexy little get away had very little sex.  It’s sad because we can manage to have sex when she’s right there, but given the perfect opportunity, we failed miserably.

Anyway, we came home fairly refreshed.  But over the course of the day and into the night Elanor’s cries were more piercing, more irritating and my response was to grow more apathetic.  I began crying.  I couldn’t stop crying.  Inexplicable misery soaked into my skin and no amount of hiding in the shower and no amount of scrubbing my skin raw with soap and a washcloth could clean it away.

I ended up calling for help.  I called my therapist and went twice last week.  I called my psychiatrist (my therapist can’t prescribe) and set up an appointment and was given the green light to increase my dosage of Zoloft.  I called my aunt who came and stayed for a week.  I asked my husband for help and he gave it.  I shared my misery with my friend who has a son the same age as Elanor and she let me know in every way that she was there for me.

I was not, contrary to the opinions of the voices in my head, alone.

I am lucky, I suppose, that my depression doesn’t overwhelm me to the point where I am unable to see that I need it.  I am also lucky in that I get moments of light breaking through the darkness, moments of happiness in my despair, and those moments give me hope that things can and will get better.

One of those moments of happiness was the first meeting of my New Mom group.  While Elanor’s medical stuff is radically different from what the other mothers are going through, there are things that I am experiencing that they are as well, and I walked away feeling less alone.  I think the class will be worth the money for that alone, even without learning other tricks like the “super swaddle.”

Elanor herself is capable of shooting sun’s rays through the depression.  Her smile, her joy in discovering that she can bat at things, and the way she snuggles against me are powerful.  Even in my worst moments, it’s hard not to smile back at that unrestrained glee in Elanor’s smile.

The last few days have been better.

Today was proof that things are getting better, at least for the moment.  Elanor had her two month shots today, and has been cranky.  She will NOT let me put her down.  Instead of it becoming overwhelming, I held her until I remembered that I had sling options, and then I’ve had her in the MOBY for several hours.

I don’t expect that the day will be without clouds, but at least it feels like dawn has broken and my darkest night is over.

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2 Responses to Dawn Breaks

  1. Kathy says:

    I happened across your birth story, then read more of your entries and got hooked — in fact, I’ve read all your entries from Elanor’s birth until the 12th. I know I don’t know, but I give you all the sympathy I can. You are not alone. After reading how traumatic the birth was, and then everything else you’ve had to endure, I think it would only be a miracle if you did *not* have PPD! Emotions are tricky things — sometimes it’s like you can get wound up so tight that once you relax, it all pops and messes everything up.

    Reading a couple of your early posts about breastfeeding (or not) made me want to dash off a quick note about a book I’ve read recently that I just love, and think would be able to help (you can check it out at http://www.TheBreastfeedingBook.com — it’s a new book); but reading all of your posts made me realize that this goes beyond just being able to nurse your baby, as oppose to pump and bottle-feed. So, I think the book will help, and I will be praying for you and your baby as well (I know you’re an atheist, but I’m not). 🙂

  2. Taking a Chance on Baby says:

    Hi Kathy

    Thanks for the support. I’ll definitely check out the book reference.

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