With my two oldest children, I had postpartum depression. But it was by far the worst after my second son. The combination of a 26 hour long failed VBAC attempt, the weight of failure on my shoulders, a baby intolerant of breast milk that cried for hours, oh and a side of three hospitalization in two weeks starting when he was 4 weeks old was a recipe for disaster.
And a disaster it was. I say to this day… if my husband (who saved my sanity and probably my life) wasn’t laid off during the time Ben joined our family, I don’t think I would have made it through the deep depression I sank into.
Looking back on it I feel like a failure of a mother. And I am talking about this today not to try and make myself feel better about it, but to let other mothers out there know that postpartum depression can, and does happen to anyone, and there is no shame in your battle. You are not a bad mom because of it, no matter how badly you may feel.
The first months after Ben was born turned into a blur for me. A blur of e-mails with support groups that only made me feel worse. A blur of long days in my dark bedroom. A blur of hurtful words I could never take back to my family including my children. And just the thought of it today makes me cry. What sends me over the edge till this day is the memory of holding my crying infant son, the crying that sent me over the edge… and saying three words I will never be able to take back, in that dark hour.
I hate you.
Three words I didn’t comprehend the meaning of in my state. Three words I would never have said, or thought of saying in my state. Three words that will haunt me every day of my life even knowing the depth of my love for my youngest son.
Postpartum depression is a demon. A dark cloud. A horrible disease that turns even the most loving mother into the biggest nightmare for her own family. And it happens more than anyone wants to talk about because of the way society treats any type of mental illness.
Why am I blogging about this? For sure it will give internet trolls more ammunition to harass me about right? I don’t care anymore. I am blogging his today for all those mothers who take a look at their life like I did, and realize there is a problem. Realize they need help. Realize they have postpartum depression.
If I can help just one mother who is in the same boat that I was two years ago… it makes all the backhanded insults on the internet by faceless cowards worth it.
Postpartum depression is real, and if you feel like you are even getting a hint of it, talk to your provider about it, and if they can’t help you… they can refer you to someone who can. Don’t hide it, don’t try and handle it on your own… there is no shame in getting help!
Two years later, looking back on it all… I never hated my son, I hated myself in that state, and I still hate the way I was in those days. But I bet you I would hate myself even more now if I never got help.
Yes, another poop post. Isn’t that what parenthood is all about anyways?
If I said potty training came easy, I would be a giant liar. It has become a day-in and day-out battle with my three year old. If you go back to February of this year, you would have seen my two year old magically potty trained in the matter of a week with the help of Elmo.
I should have known that it was way too good to be true. Within the matter of a month, he started to regress. I am still not certain why, and neither is anyone we know. It was almost like he woke up one Tuesday morning and said to himself… “Wow, I think I am going to start shitting my pants again” and proceeded to do so.
Initially I wasn’t too worried. I know boys are harder to potty train, and when I read another mom’s story of her three and a half year old, and their battle to potty train… I felt slightly better.
I figured I would leave the subject alone, instead of pressuring him… I was worried the more I brought it up, the further it would push him away from being interested in the potty.
Then Christmas started to approach, and I hatched a genius plan. At least something I thought would knock ‘em out of the park. Santa would bring Camden big boy underwear like all the other three year olds! It had to work… right?
Santa brought a plethora of big boy underwear. Car’s, Thomas the Tank Engine… you name it… it was there. And his eyes lit up as bright as our Christmas tree was that morning. Out of everything he got, including the over priced robot dinosaur which is still in the box (Yeah, bright idea Mom!) the underwear made the biggest splash. He wanted them on… so we sat down and had a chat, then gave our big boy undies a try.
One accident on day one. That was it… He got it.
He got the concept of the potty, the underwear and being uncomfortably wet when he had an accident.
It was like a choir of angels was singing at me.
As the days went on, the accidents increased, and we went back to a pull up. I simply explained that underwear are not like diapers, and he couldn’t go potty inside them. A couple days went by in the pull ups, and he was interested in the underwear again. No pee accidents all day… and then yesterday morning while Ben was napping, I took a whole 5 minutes to myself to go to the bathroom.
I heard his little feet pitter-patter by the bathroom, and into his bedroom. No big deal… that is where we put our toys away so it was not like he was doing anything wrong.
I came out of the bathroom a couple minutes later and he was still in there… which was not something all that common.
“Camden… what are you doing?”
“Camden… are you pooping?”
“Yes Mommy… Don’t come in here!”
DAMNIT! He was hiding, and pooping in his underwear!
Why? Why? Why?!?!!?!
Hiding because he was ashamed, and he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he was still doing it. He didn’t come to me and say.. “Mommy, I have to poop” or “Mommy, I have to use the potty” he just hid and went… Why?
I must say I am hitting my wall of patience with the subject of potty training in general. He get’s it but goes to hide and have accidents.
I know a lot of my readers have gone through potty training before, so any advice would be helpful. I am THIS close to buying my son a fish like Diego to bribe him into potty training… I just hope it would work as well as it did for Gina!
Since yesterday marked my 22 week pregnancy mark, and knowing I have roughly 17 weeks left, I started to put thought into working on my birth plan for my upcoming c-section. Both cesarean’s with my boys turned into unplanned or “emergency” c-sections making the planning virtually impossible. I am sure with my VBAC attempt I could have done some planning before hand, but I didn’t want to think about the negative “what if” at the time.
This time around, the situation has taken a different turn, and while I still am not fully comfortable about my choice, I do feel as though I have made the most responsible, and safe choice for myself and baby given our set of circumstances.
One of my first resources has been ICAN’s Family Centered Cesarean, with a couple of my own wants/needs mixed in. Some of which I have already talked to my midwife about, and some of which I plan to bring to the table when I meet with the backup OB/GYN and my midwife in February.
I know I must have an ipod to listen to my favorite and most relaxing music. The sounds of the operating room make me anxious. I am sure I can deal with the noises while I have my baby with me in my arms, and welcoming her with my husband. But when it comes time to putting everything back together, and heading into the recovery room, I will need something to block out all the beeps, pings, and the machine that goes DING!
I also know I would rather have an epidural than a spinal block. I am going to have to set up a meeting to meet with someone from the anesthesia department at the hospital to speak about it though. I have had 2 epidurals with the boys, and I know what to expect from it. It is my comfort level.
I know I obviously want the baby with me as much as possible in the hours after birth. I was able to successfully be kept with Ben in my postpartum hours also until he needed to be brought to the NICU for blood sugar issues. But that is a whole story in itself.
But this is where I need my readers to chime in and help me. I need other tips, and help that everyone else used to help them get through their c-section experiences. Planned or unplanned, all the tricks we have used are worth their weight in gold to others facing the same fate.
Leave a comment, and help me out!