If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that my husband J. and I experienced infertility. By the grace of God, we were able to conceive a child, almost immediately after beginning treatment for my PCOS. My pregnancy was fairly normal, after the first trimester, during which I took sedatives to insure that my body would not attempt to abort my baby.
I also mentioned that I would see my child as a beloved gift, if I was given the chance to be a mother. The remainder of my pregnancy passed by with a loving, attentive husband, who would get up at two in the morning to go get me a cream soda, if I so desired it. I didn’t have weird cravings, but I did want to exercise all the time. We walked everywhere. I was constantly restless, as if I couldn’t sit still for even an instant. If I did, my sweet baby would kick me very hard. I stayed so active during my
pregnancy that I gained a mere nine pounds. However, due to already being classified as overweight (another gift of PCOS) this was a nonissue.
When the big day arrived, I had been packed and ready for about two months. What was a relatively easy pregnancy morphed into a very difficult birth. My doctor had warned me that he thought I should have a C-section, but against his advice, I decided to have a natural birth. My daughter’s shoulder got stuck, and while they rectified that without any injury to her, it resulted in a very long recovery for me. Before I’d left, a nurse had given me the dire verdict that I would never be allowed to have another vaginal birth.
I was in awe of my beautiful girl. She had my blue eyes—they are exactly my color, and from the moment she looked at me, I knew they would stay blue. I loved every inch of her. I remember my mother’s glowing face after she saw the baby for the first time.
“She has all ten fingers, all ten toes,” she said dreamily.
“Oh, my God,” I breathed. “I forgot to count!” In my love-drunk state, it had never occurred to me to look.
My husband was supposed to stay home from work for two weeks. In this time, along with the usual post-birth restraints, I also was not allowed to take a bath, and I have to do a sitz bath, twice daily.
J. could only stare at our little girl sleeping for so long before he was ready to go back to work. With his return, something changed. I heard crying all the time, even when she was asleep. I would hear it, and debate with myself. Should I check on her? After waking her one too many times, I started relying solely on the baby monitor.
It didn’t matter. The sound of crying babies still played in my head like a song stuck on repeat. Even though a glance at the monitor would show me that I was imagining it, I couldn’t shake it from my mind. Every moment became torture. When she did cry, I’d feel panicky, my nerves were always on edge.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I wasn’t sleeping. I felt like a woman on the verge of a meltdown.
Of course, you might have already guessed: I had PPD, post-partum depression.