You may not know this but my first pregnancy with Lilyann was- rough- to say the least. I had hyperemesis gravidarum (the worst morning sickness) along with a host of other serious complications. I was hospitalized several times, the longest stay the entire last few months of my pregnancy on complete bed rest. I gained well over 80 pounds and was over 200 when I left the hospital. I had my family with me then. Most importantly I had my mom, she was there for me EVERYDAY, and helped me get through it.
After I had James (another complicated pregnancy and this time with NO family around) I lost 30 pounds and was pretty small compared to after Lilyann. Now, that's great! I had an amazing starting point to get back to a healthy body, but for some reason it created a tiny crack in my wall between happy and sad.
The few weeks after I had James I felt like I was dreaming. I was in pain, but I didn't ever REALLY feel it. I was going through the motions, like my spirit was somehow detached from myself when I hemorrhaged the day I gave birth. My heart wasn't "in it" at all. Then, one day when I was trying to figure out WHY I was feeling this way, Lilyann walked into my bedroom and said "hi mommy". I looked up and KNEW she wasn't my daughter. I was just taking care of her for her mommy while she was away. Then James started crying, and I KNEW he wasn't my son. I would look at him and know he was my JOB and nothing more.... and that made me sad.
I tried so many times to remember a pregnancy, a labor, a birth, Lilyann as a baby, anything really...and I couldn't. I got out the pictures, and cried. This isn't my life. I haven't done these things! and if I have, why can't I remember them? You cannot possibly imagine how PAINFUL it is to mentally disown your children, not know why and not be able to fix it. I would break down sobbing and praying for something to help me feel like me again. Then, I pushed the thoughts aside and focused on convincing myself that I'd be fine, and channeling my energy towards pumping to feed James breast milk.
Then, as James started getting a little older, sleeping less during the day, I was loosing time like sand running through my hands. I never had TIME. I cannot figure out how my day goes by so quickly! I was in so much pain because I had no time to pump, and my supply that I worked SO hard for 6 weeks to establish was starting to dwindle. Again, another crack.
I knew I had to stop pumping because it was either stop pumping or stop taking care of the kids. It took me 3 weeks of torturing myself with engorgement, trying desperately to keep it up, to finally do what was best for me. I regret it, and I truly wish that I was able to breastfeed, but it's not in the cards for me.
My typical day would be wake up, feed James, change James, put James to sleep, feed Lily, get Lily dressed, play with James, play with Lily, feed James and Lily, make myself food, diaper change, play with James, TRY to clean something, entertain the kids, play with James, oh crap! I forgot to eat...., Jay comes home, I eat, then more taking care of kids till 11pm. Then it's my time. What do I do on my time? I sit and do nothing. I am so overwhelmed that I cannot think.
A few weeks ago I'd wake up before the kids and get things done. Now I can't get out of bed till Jay comes home for lunch. I don't sleep anymore, well I'm up till around 4/5 am. I am worried, anxious, and stressed out ALL THE TIME. I feel, broken, and alone. Even in a room full of people I'd feel alone right now. Something is not the way it should be and I couldn't figure it out.
Yesterday I was diagnosed with anxiety and postpartum depression. I'm going back to the doctor tomorrow to start the journey towards myself again. You know, I never thought ppd would affect me. I planned both of my kids, I thought for sure I'd be the perfect mom and so happy once I had them. While I do love my kids, ppd can affect anyone. People sat things like "you're such an amazing mom!" but I feel like I'm failing them. I can't keep my house clean for my life, the dirty laundry could turn into a laundry monster if something isn't done about it soon. I can think of so much more I could do for them, but I just can't do it. Now, I usually end with something positive and uplifting, but I don't know where this story ends yet. I will say this- I plan on documenting overcoming this right here, and hope you all join me every step of the way. Until tomorrow friends...