Thank the Lord, It Happened!!

Currently listening to: still Jack Johnson....

This is the post where I reveal what a horrible person I am. Fortunately, most of you already know it, so the revelation won't be such a shocker to you.

What happened is this: A few minutes ago I walked into Judah's room to wake him up from his first nap of the day. In desperation, I'd given up and put him on his stomach to sleep. I know, BAD MOTHER!!! This is what everyone tells you not to do. But guess what? It's how all of our parents had us sleep when we were born, and we're all here today. Bad mother though I might be, the strategy actually worked, mostly because it keeps him from bludgeoning himself in the face with the hands that he can't yet control. Judah slept for well over two hours, letting me make up a little of the sleep I've been missing for 5 weeks now. What a good boy!!! So anyway, I went in to pick him up and he looked just like a little frog with his legs all pulled up under him, wearing his bright green striped bag sleeper. I picked him up and he whined a little without uncurling, and then he nestled right up against me and went back to sleep with his head under my chin. And this is my confession: at that moment, I finally felt connected to this child.

Yes, it's the awful truth. Since we brought Judah home from the hospital I have loved him, but haven't felt particularly attached to him. I'm a super independent person, and having someone be totally dependent on me has been hard, especially when that means that every three hours I have to sit still for 45 minutes so that he can eat, and also I haven't slept more than four hours straight in 5 weeks. Up to this point it's just been HARD. Really hard. It's gotten better the past week or so, as the baby blues seem to finally have cleared up. And for you men out there: when your wife has a baby and is crying every five minutes over one thing or another, don't you dare think it's nothing serious and that it'll clear up. It is usually just hormones, but it's a really scary place to be, when you feel like you've ruined your life and just the sight of a dish that needs to be washed totally destroys you because you just KNOW that you'll never ever have time to take care of those everyday tasks again.

So all those maternal instincts that everyone talks about, the ones that are supposed to be there the second you see that wrinkly little face for the first time, didn't happen for me right away. But I think, as of this morning, they're finally kicking in! I'm so excited.


Eric said...

I could tell you horrible stories about postpartum depression. Horrible stories. But I won't.

What I will tell all the folks in your sphere of influence is that if you feel like bursting into tears several times a day as a new parent, it might be a mild case of postpartum which will resolve itself with time.

It might also be something much more serious. Ask your doc, perhaps a handful of anti-depressants are in order.

And before you think that drugs are a bad idea or only for the weak, take a deep breath and repeat after me: if you have a chemical problem in your brain, sometimes a chemical solution is appropriate.

I'm not a doctor or a pharacutical rep. I'm just a police dispatcher and 911 call-taker who thrives on taking calls from the folks who are the subject of those scary stories I'm not going to tell you about. I also have a panic disorder. Couldn't predict it, couldn't control it, thought I was going crazy,the whole nine. Currently I'm on an anti-anxiety med which has made all the difference.

My condition might never go away. Postpartum depression will. No pill is a magic bullet, but if a couple months of Welbutrin can keep a mother from harming herself or her child - I'm all for it.

Just a thought.

Kristy said...

Thanks for your thoughts, definitely. I am a firm believer in drugs where they're needed. I talked to my doctor when Judah was a week and a half old, and he asked me how often I was feeding him. I told him I was setting an alarm to feed him every three hours at night, even though Judah wasn't waking up himself. My doctor told me to first try getting more sleep (read: stop the crazy nighttime schedule), and to call him if it didn't make me feel better and he'd prescribe something. So he's on my side there.

I'm watching this depression thing very carefully, as I have family members who let it get out of hand and were in a very bad place for a while.

My husband also suffers from anxiety and depression, and is on meds for it. We like drugs around here. He feels tied to them and hates having to take them, but we both realize that without them life would be really ugly. You said that your condition may never go away, and that may be true. But one thing that really has helped Nathan is cognitive behavioral therapy. It's done SO MUCH for him. You may want to check it out! It's been almost miraculously healing for him.