10 months ago, I was 9 months pregnant. I was getting ready to have a baby that I thought I didn’t want.
I wish that I could go back in time and tell myself then, what I know now. Don’t we all feel that way, at least once in life? You learn a life lesson and think, man if only I knew this before!
I have a confession I need to make. It’s not easy to say, but I need to say it. I need to say it for myself and for all the other women out there that have been through this too. Postpartum depression causes very dark thoughts. As a mom, it’s hard for me to admit that these thoughts ever existed in my head. There’s something’s that I never even told my husband, because I couldn’t bring myself to say them out loud.
I honestly thought that my pregnancy with Sophie was going to kill me. My gallbladder was diseased and I was going through the hardest time in my life medically. I felt like I was failing my oldest daughter. There were times when I wasn’t able to take care of her. There were so many times when I had to leave her with family, so I could rush to the hospital. I felt like I was abandoning her.
I wasn’t there for her at bedtime, which was so very important to me. I was so angry with myself for getting pregnant again. I told myself that I was selfish for wanting another baby. Why couldn’t Elliana be enough for me? I thought that this pregnancy was going to kill me and Elliana would be left without a mother.
The first time I had a gallbladder attack I was home alone with Elliana, I thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn’t breathe, so I called 911. The terrified look on my daughters face, when the EMTs came rushing in our house broke my heart. I wanted to tell her a thousands times how sorry mommy was. She was absolutely terrified and she didn’t understand why there was an ambulance outside, or why these strange men were in our house.
I hated myself for doing this to her. I blamed myself.
Those feelings made me think that I didn’t want to have this baby. I felt so disconnected from Sophie. I didn’t want her anymore. I freaked out and told myself that I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t want anything to change between Elliana and I. At one point I told myself, what if we adopt the baby out? As quickly as that thought came into my mind, I shook it away.
When Sophie was born, I didn’t feel connected to her. I didn’t have that motherly instinct, the pull at your heart strings when the baby cries feeling. I felt like I was a broken mom. I should love her as much as my oldest daughter, I shouldn’t have a favorite.
I blamed myself for so long. I was extremely depressed. I never had experience with postpartum depression until now, and I had no idea that these thoughts and feelings were normal.
10 months later, I want to say that all of those feelings will go away. As time goes on, you will adjust to this new life as a mom of two. It’s not as scary as it seems. You may feel broken now, but you will put the pieces back together again. The first time your children meet, you will feel a little bit more whole. Watching the love and bond grow between them will be magical. Someday this baby will cuddle with you in a way that Elliana never did. She’ll be a dancing queen. As her personality starts to blossom, you’ll fall more and more in love with her. There will be a day where you realize, you can’t imagine your life without her. There will be a day…
Someday the good days will out number the bad. When that day comes, you’ll look into those beautiful baby blues and you will feel whole again. All of those broken pieces will be put back together again.
Postpartum depression isn’t talked about enough. Mental health in general isn’t talked about enough.
For all the moms hiding in the dark, afraid of being judged, know that you aren’t alone. Things do get easier with time.