Post-Partum Depression: Part II
Him: Are you ok?
Me: (Crying) No.
Him: What’s Wrong?
Me: I don’t know, I just feel sad.
Me: I don’t know, I am just not happy.
That night I let all my emotions out. I had been “secretly” dealing with them. I think my husband knew before I did, that something was not right.
When he was at work all I would tell him was, “please come back home,” or “I can’t wait until you get home.” Plus more messages that would leave him asking, “is everything ok?” Or “man babe, I am worried.” I re-assured him that I was ok and that the kids were just being “extra today.” But I was not ok.
As the day came closer to going back to work, I often said, “babe I don’t want to go back,” or “babe can I just stay home?” He was being realistic every time. “Man babe I wish you could stay home with the kids.” I knew that was impossible but I was always hopeful.
I finally went back, sleep deprived 9/10 times. Crabby always but trying to keep my cool because being professional at work has always been at the forefront of my work ethic.
I would come home to chaos, some nights better than others. I would have to wake up to feed the baby and if the kids were sick I would stay up cradling them in my arms.
There were days when I did not want to go home. I do not stay overtime to get work done; I prioritize my tasks and make sure I leave as soon as I can. But those days I would stay as long as I could, until the last patient was gone. I just did not want to go home. That’s when I knew something was really, really wrong.
Appointments For Days
Whether I was tired or not I wanted to know what was going on with my son. To the point where taking my girls to my mom was a hassle, so I decided to take them with me to his appointments.
On one occasion my son got admitted for respiratory distress. I had my two daughters and my son feeling super crappy. The nurse asked me, “do you need help?” I said, “no I’ll figure it out.” She did not let me figure it out. She helped us to our car and buckled my daughter in her seat. I saw her as if she was an angel. I thanked her a million times. My husband got out of work early and stayed with the girls while I took my son to the ER.
After a while of appointments here and there I decided to make excuses to not go. No more speech therapy because, “he eats better.” No more clinic visits because, “they will send us to the hospital and I don’t want him to get admitted.” I was on the verge of getting denied care for my son due to no call no shows.
No. Before you ask, no. My son having Down Syndrome was not a reason for my depression. It was everything surrounding the diagnosis that was exhausting.
If you recall my earlier blogs, we spent the next day of his birth in the hospital. We waited 6 hours in the ER only to find out he was ok. The following week he was hospitalized for two dreaded long weeks.
I was with him the whole time, leaving no room for my body to heal from childbirth. It is so important for the body to heal! Childbirth is amazing but it is also a shock to our bodies.
Parenting three children was not a walk in the park. There was a lot going on prior to our son being born. My oldest was about to start preschool and my little one was not even a year old yet. Once Rodrigo came along everything just took a toll on me. I struggle between, wanting to be the best mother and taking care of myself. Both of which I failed at, badly.
I would take care of the kids needs, the household needs and my relationship. My husband would help me but most of the time I would just tell him, “I’ll do it.”
When my kids asked for food, toys or a bath I got upset; I wanted to be left alone. I did not want them getting close to me or hear them cry because I would loose it. This sounds horrifying but it is the truth. The only reason I can openly say this is because I am not that person anymore.
Before I get in to details, I have to warn you that what I am about to discuss can be a little emotional for some parents. I suggest that if you are reading this and are judging me from what you have read so far, politely exit out. This post gets a little more intense from here.
This is a list of things I stopped doing:
Laundry, kids baths, cooking, cleaning, interact with my kids, interact with family, interact with anyone. I isolated myself from the world and tried to isolate my family as well. I remember several occasions I would tell my husband, “I don’t want to do anything, I just want to stay home with all of you.” Yet when we did that I was not present. My head was somewhere else.
I would often leave my oldest daughter at my parents. I did not want to ruin the relationship I had with her because of the way I would treat her. I would not listen to her, I would yell at her and I was becoming a monster not mommy anymore.
My world was turning upside down and I could not grasp it. My children became a nuisance to me. I isolated myself from the world and tried to isolate my family too. Relationships with family and friends were in a stall. I did not communicate with anyone. At work, I was a completely different person than at home. I kept my work professional but was feeling horrible inside. I cried every night and my anxiety took over.
I laid in bed looking into the darkness, not being able to sleep. My mind had a million thoughts. “What is going on with me? Can I possibly have post-partum depression? No way! That only happens on TV shows, movies, novels. I love my children. But why do I feel dead inside. Emotionless?”
I suffered Post-Partum Depression and I did not know that was possible.