We are now one month postpartum, and have spent the majority of the past month in and out of labs and doctor’s offices and drive-through pharmacy lines. The baby has emerged on the better side of these obstacles and her GI system is starting to work on its own now without outside help. Watching her first deal with the jaundice that lasted on and on, and then writhing in pain at times was extremely difficult to do. Seeing her more peaceful and alert has been a welcome change of pace.
I have not been faring quite as well. The nearly sleepless nights leading up to her birth, the duration of the birth itself, and the round the clock prescribed care and feeding and light treatment for the baby required in those first couple of weeks has taken its toll on me. Coupled with my body’s reaction (or over-reaction) to the plummeting hormone levels has left me sleepless, anxious beyond comfort, and sad to the very core. I am fortunate to have care and support and a rotating circle of family here to help at home. My husband is carrying far more than his share and is doing it splendidly. Friends have stepped in with meals and with playdates for E and with phone calls of support. We will need more of these in the weeks to come, I am sure. I have been proactive in the treatment and will continue to be so, so that I might at last return to a place of comfort and peace and acceptance.
Postpartum depression is extremely unfair. It robs you of the time and the effort that you want to spend on your baby and your family and forces you to spend that effort on yourself. You feel as if you gave of yourself for those nine+ months, and through the delivery and recovery, and now it is your turn to enjoy the results, and yet you can’t. I am lucky because I’ve caught it early, I have the support that I need (even though it’s hard for me to accept all that help) and I have many, many moments of joy amidst all the difficulty. Continuing with my photographs, my walks and trips to the garden, my daily writings, have all helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know I will get there, I’m just so impatient for that day.
If you’ve been there before, reach out to someone who is going through it right now. If you are going through it right now, reach out to someone for help.