You see, I tried for years to have children. It’s been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I’ve had my heart utterly shattered several times over due to recurrent pregnancy loss. I would have given my soul to be a mum during times of epic grief. Being a mum is all I’ve ever wanted and on good days it’s something that I very much enjoy. In fact I so enjoyed raising Little Man we started trying to conceive a sibling once we got the go ahead from our doctor at six weeks. It’s this long and agonizing journey that makes me more confused about why I currently have post natal depression (PND).
Now, this isn’t a logical post really. I, of course, understand why I have it. That it’s an illness, that it could be a chemical imbalance as well as all the PND prone situations I found myself in during and after the pregnancy, but it’s still hard to come to terms with.
IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY.
Those days when I feel numb, when I feel so detached from my children to the point it’s a little scary is the worst thing about it all for me. Admittedly the fleeting regrets I have about even becoming a mother of three just feel so strange. My life now is what I want, it’s what I’ve always wanted, so why do I feel this way?
On those days, when instead of enjoying being at home with my beautiful girls, I feel trapped, helpless and frustrated. How I worry that Hubby and my lives are starting to go in separate directions because of this illness only exacerbates the little things. I wonder how long it’ll last for. I wonder if it’s not really PND, it’s just me being selfish and ungrateful in not wanting what I’ve longed for and finally got.
The guilt and confusion is extraordinary to say the least. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. On paper it shouldn’t be this way. My story is typical magazine fodder: After Multiple Miscarriages and Failed Fertility Treatment, Woman Falls Pregnant With Twins – NATURALLY. Read about her happy ever after on page 46.
Alas, I feel angry that this illness has happened to me – to us.
SEPARATING THE TWO
I suppose what I really need to do is untangle the two very different experiences. I need to stop looking back to my past self and feeling guilty for what she went through all to have it seemingly thrown back in her face. I need to stop telling myself that I should be in a constant state of abject happiness because of what it took to get to this point in my life. I need to acknowledge that while I don’t fear loss as such anymore, I am still fearful that these beautiful little people could be taken away from me. PND makes me feel weak (although not ashamed), perhaps more due to the sheer exhaustion of having depression. But it’s also the fight itself, because it is a fight, and a daily one at that.
I am battling post natal depression. But I fear it’s not with the same plucky stability that I showed on my journey to parenthood.
Just as I could never imagine my home without children, I don’t envision post partum depression in my long term future. I do see happiness and an ability to positively reflect on this period whilst actually coping with and enjoying the challenges of motherhood. So, in realising that, I suppose I am kind of winning the war that is currently waging against my mental health. I may lose a few battles along the way but at least I’m holding my ground. Just like I’ve done before except when grief was my opponent.