Aside from the fact that I HAVE been meaning to update this blog, the impetus to write tonight is my diagnosis of postpartum depression.
A switch flipped last week. Why last week? Anders is 19 weeks old in two days. We made it past the difficult first two weeks of breastfeeding and no sleep, six weeks with a touch of colic, returning to work at 10 weeks, pumping around the clock for the last four months. Why now?
I didn't want to go home. I was at work with a pit in my stomach because I didn't want to go home. I knew that wasn't normal, though I take normal with a grain of salt. I looked at my beautiful baby and felt nothing. Except guilt that I didn't feel anything. I knew. Paul knew. And I called my psychiatrist the next morning.
Two months ago, I dropped Lexapro from my med list. I wasn't anxious anymore. I didn't need it. One month ago I decreased my Wellbutrin dose. It took two weeks before I felt like I lost my edge at work, but that was it. I was going to give it a month before calling to schedule an appointment. I didn't make it that far. Last week I wanted little to do with my baby. I didn't want to pump anymore. I suggested we just take out the disposable diapers instead of doing the cloth laundry. This wasn't like me. I knew it and I hated it.
So here I am. Back in the hole not knowing how to get out. Standing still while everything spins around me. I'm sad and angry and frustrated and embarrassed. And trying to figure out how to push these aside to love and care for my baby who needs me.
We caught it early. My Wellbutrin is back up and I'm seeing my pysch weekly until this levels out. Then biweekly. Then monthly. With my history, I'll be on meds for a year and with any future pregnancies/babies. I've had good days in the last week, but today was particularly bad. I don't think I managed to complete anything at work today.
But I did tell my coworker, who is both a very close friend, second mother and mental health ally. She'd been waiting for this. Not in a pessimistic way, but in a watch my back way. She's the same friend who sat with us at the ER with my first miscarriage, when we had no idea what to do or think.
This isn't me. It's my body, brain, chemicals, hormones. An illness. I didn't do anything wrong. It just is. So we're dealing with it. This much I know, though it's hard to feel. I don't want to tell people what is going on with me because I'm afraid they'll ask why. Why when I finally have the baby I've been wanting? [That's so loaded, I don't even want to go there. I don't know why. I wanted the other babies, too. Yes, Anders is a good baby. I don't know what's wrong.] And I spin...
I always knew this was a possibility given my history. My doctors have been vigilant and so has Paul. So have I, for that matter. But I wanted to be okay. To not have to deal with something on my very long list of concerns/complications. I wanted SOMEthing to go right.
Anders is right, so very right. That's what I have to remember. I need to take care of myself so I can take care of him. I don't want Anders to EVER wonder where his mom is or why she isn't hugging him. That thought breaks my heart.
So here it is. Back on this journey. I don't know how to navigate PPD. It's different than the depression I struggled with earlier. It's scarier.
But this is temporary. I'm doing what I need to do. Paul is the best dad and can pick up what I can't give at the moment. Anders is well-cared for. And I'm doing the best I can at this moment, with what I have to give.
But it's hard accepting that. Maybe writing it will help.