Coming Out of Denial – Part 1

Best Day of My LifeI gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Elizabeth Kate, on October 7th, 2013. It was the most wonderful day of my life. The joy and love I felt for her was better than I had imagined. My dear family (minus my Dad and oldest brother, who were on business trips) came to visit us at the hospital, and it was the coziest, happiest day ever.

I decided I wanted her with us at all times in the hospital. That was mistake #1, since I was already barely functioning due to severe sleep deprivation. Note to mothers everywhere: let the baby be in the nursery so you can get sleep!

Not a Good Day at All
The very day after giving birth, all the feelings of joy and elation had left. Though I was still ever so love with my new bundle, I was too exhausted to feel much happiness. The fact that I had to have huge amounts of antibiotics due to being positive for GBS, I was given a narcotic for the pain from my episiotomy, and the other fact of getting probably no more than an hour or two of sleep in the hospital for 3 days, did not help in my ability to feel that boundless joy I’d dreamed about, while trying to get through a very difficult, or should I say horrendous pregnancy. I waited around for visitors (when I wanted to be sleeping), who took their sweet time, and my in-laws showed up unannounced for the second night in a row (I think calling is a common courtesy, or at least should be). The nurses were overly concerned about breastfeeding, even though Elizabeth was eating fine for a newborn, and the nurses were freaking out about her having some jaundice, though most newborns have it anyway! Thankfully, she ended up being fine, and we were able to go home and have her tested later.

Home Sweet Home?
I was in a terrible mood, but so excited to leave the hospital, I could hardly stand it. In fact, speaking of standing, I was just glad I could stand again. 😉 I’ll never forget leaving the hospital. I was excited, scared, exhausted, and ever-so anxious. I had ANXIETY. I HATE that word.

I was short with my husband, who I felt couldn’t do anything right. The whole world seemed different, but not in a way I felt I could relate to any longer. It seemed like it was still summer in a way, when we were admitted to the hospital, but now all seemed cold, and unfamiliar. I fell into a deep sadness about the simple life I would never have again.

My body was weak, so weak and tired, I could barely stand for more than a few minutes, as my legs felt like rubber, bending to and fro. A weakness I had never experienced came upon me, and a form of exhaustion I had never known, despite my history of chronic insomnia. ‘How did I think I could handle this? Am I fit to be a mother? My husband doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, and he was the one who insisted on kids! What am I going to do? How will I get through this?’

Suddenly, I didn’t know who I was anymore, and I knew something was very wrong with this picture. To be continued…

Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety and Depression: