Psalm 127:3-5

Behold children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one's youth.
How blessed are those whose quiver is full of them

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mommyhood at this point...

It has been a really long time since I took the time to actually sit down and write a "real" post on here. Life has been VERY VERY busy for the last... well four years. We had four children in those four years and wow has that been an adventure. I have loved being a mom since the very moment I laid eyes on Anna 7 1/2 years ago. My struggles have been few and my joys have been many. I would never trade this job for anything in the entire world including all the money. However, these last two months since Patience's birth (8 weeks today to be exact) I have experienced a new side of pregnancy and birth I never expected. A darker side that has really thrown me for a loop. I can honestly say that I have experienced true post partum depression. Not that kind where I want to hurt my children but the kind where I feel like I am in a deep dark black hole of sadness that I can't get out of.... UGH... NOT FUN!! Wanting so badly to just play and laugh and have fun with my kiddos yet finding myself sitting on the couch starring at the wall just sort of getting by day after day. This has been an entirely new experience for me and one I hope to NEVER deal with again. I think I always assumed this might be some sort of made up thing but now that I have been down this road, I see how all too real it is. It started about five days after her birth and carried on until about a week ago. I believe that the first step in my getting better was just being honest. I am a very private person and don't like to air my dirty laundry outside of this home. But, thanks to an incredible husband who loved me too much to let me keep going like I was and took it upon himself to contact my midwife, I had to be honest. At my six week appointment I came clean and told my midwife what I was feeling and thinking. It was a real release to be honest and just pour out the thoughts and emotions that were flooding my mind. I am a perfectionist through and through and when I was honest with myself I realized I was depressed because I felt like I didn't do the very best I could have at the birth. Now, side note.... hormones make women feel and think insane things and what I am about to write is going to sound insane but was REALLY what I was feeling. Now that my hormones have been regulated I can see how absolutely ridiculous my thoughts were BUT at the time they truly were devastating to me. I felt as if I was a failure at the birth because I said things like, "I can't do this" and "I'm scared".... now let's think about this. I am giving birth completely pain med free and once or twice I utter the words "I can't do this" and "I'm scared". During those weeks of depression I was devastated that I was not the person I pictured in my head... a strong, stoic, quiet and peaceful women. So, I told these things to my midwife who promptly burst out laughing and said.."Tarrah, I have never seen a women birth who doesn't say those things". To which I replied "are you lying to make me feel better". To which she responded with more laughter and a giant hug and a "OF COURSE I AM NOT LYING TO YOU." I just starred at her in disbelief. I was sure I was the only one to say those things. I love my midwife. She was so sweet and so gracious and told me that saying things like "I'm scared" is just a rite of passage during the birth process. Letting it all out, the fears, the worry, the tears, the inhibitions... "giving in" to the process really becomes a turning point in the birth and gets you over that hump, the last few miles of the marathon. It pushes you to the finish line. Anyone has ever taken a natural birth class knows that they always tell you when you think "I'm done, I can't do this, I'm quitting" that means you are likely minutes from the end. I knew that and in my head I was encouraged that I was feeling those things knowing it was almost over BUT I felt this devastation knowing I had uttered those words out loud.... so strange what imbalanced hormones and perfection do to you. I am so grateful to say that thanks to my midwives "prescription" of Evening Primrose Oil, fish oils, and going on a no sugar diet (not like diet coke.... like no refined in I only eat berries for sweets now), I feel amazing. Probably better than I have felt in years really. My diet consists MOSTLY of meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds... some cheese here and there. Never again will I look at Post Partum Depression the same again. It is so real and so hard to deal with. I hope anyone who deals with these issues will seek help from a trusted practitioner and take care of it ASAP. Motherhood is a WONDERFUL thing.... a job unparalleled by any other. It brings with it such incredible joy and fulfillment. However, I have seen this ugly, darker side now that is such a awful rut to be stuck in. Missing the joy and vibrancy of this precious part of life simply because my body was working against me and not for me. I am so thankful to be out of that black hole I felt I was sinking in and so glad to be on the mend and recovering! I am slowing down and breathing a little deeper. Reminding myself that my perfectionism only seems to cause undue stress and probably a future stomach ulcer. :) Certainly don't have time for that. Just today the kids and I took a Monday Funday break from life. We took about an hour to straighten the house then we just did nothing else productive all day... just fun stuff. This is a huge stretch for me as I feel like every second should be productive and useful. :) It was great though.... we made cookies, we played outside (it was freakin hot), we watched tons of TV shows, etc. In other words, I am stopping to smell the roses a bit more and not letting myself get so worked up over everything. Resting more, relaxing more and freaking out less. Yes my hormones are in better balance but so are my lifestyle choices... which helps keep things in perspective and keeps me sane! Ok, I have to end there... this is really long. Post Partum Depression SUCKS.... don't get it! :)


katy0122 said...

Hugs Tarrah! I'm so sorry you had to experience that. You are definitely not alone with both my med free births I said 'I can't do this' multiple times. I also understand the perfectionism too. You are a wonderful mom!!


Joshua Crispin said...

Totally understand. So happy you talked to someone and found relief. :) I have a new understanding of letting others know what your are going through the moment you start feeling anything other than contentment, peace and joy. It makes a huge difference.