Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Postpartum Depression Is...

Long time, no post. A pain flare and a postpartum depression flare have been kicking my butt... which prompted me to post the following. Postpartum depression is going to look a little different for every woman. This was (is) my experience.

Postpartum depression is…

Fatfatfatfatfat. Oh no. I thought I kicked the eating disorder a few years ago. I have to keep eating. I have to feed the baby.

Crying. Crying again. Me, not the baby. Why am I crying again? I'm fine.


Lie awake until three in the morning while babe sleeps peacefully. Not even Nyquil does the trick. Give up. Get up. Clean the house because the house is disgusting I can't stand this the house is disgusting oh God the house is disgusting why did I never clean the baseboards? Clean the baseboards. Pass out at nine the next morning, courtesy of a melatonin-Gravol-exhaustion combination. Wash, rinse, repeat a few days later.

Crying. Crying again. The baby, this time. Me staring blankly while I hold him in my arms. I love the baby. Why is he crying? Oh God, make him stop crying. Please make him stop crying. Husband takes baby and changes diaper. Baby stops crying. Why couldn't I do that?

I want to run away and never come back. Except… I love the baby. How do I run away from everything yet take the baby with me? I'm not allowed to run away, anyway. And where would I go?

I'm lying on the bed wailing. It's been hours, I think. An hour at least. I don't know how long. I can't talk. I have no words. Words take energy. I have no words. My husband lying next to me, only holding back tears because his crying would make mine worse. Could mine be worse? He falls asleep—exhaustion. I make it three steps towards the door before I collapse on the floor and wail some more. Snot on the floor because I have no energy to lift a tissue. I hope that comes out of the carpet. Disgusting.

Wake the baby to change his diaper, because he needed to be changed an hour ago. Failure. No words, still.

Go away, God. God, where are you? Why won't you fix it? Go away, God.

"You need to eat."
"I'm not hungry."
"I made this for you."
"I can't."
Fatfatfatfatfat. More tears. Mine. His.

The baby is crying again. Please God, make him stop. I love the baby. I love the baby, so why can't I just get up and change his diaper? Husband takes the baby and changes his diaper. I love the baby… right?

At the doctor. "My mood is down, but I want to wait it out a little longer." I don't want to wait it out. Why did I just say that? I don't want to wait it out.
"Are you sure?"
"I'm sure." I'm sure I don't want to wait it out. Why did I just say that? I'm sure I'm an idiot.

Seething rage. My husband is making dinner. Why isn't he watching the baby? He offered to watch the baby so I could make dinner. Why can't we just skip dinner? Why isn't he watching the baby? How dare he not watch the baby and give me a break?

Through tears, to my husband. "I'm fine." I'm not fine."You don't seem fine."
"I'm fine! Leave me alone!" I'm not fine. Why do I keep saying I'm fine? Why can’t I just say I'm not fine? I'm not fine!
"You don't seem fine."
"I would be if I didn't just spend time cleaning disgusting bathrooms! I hate this! I hate everything!" I hate you? I'm almost yelling. I'm not fine.
I'm in tears, and "I'm sorry. That wasn't okay. I'm sorry." I love you. Please forgive me. Oh God, what if he doesn't forgive me? "I'm not fine. I'll go back to the doctor. I'll get a referral to the psychiatrist. I'll go to the psychologist. I'm sorry." Finally, I said it. Why was that so hard? He forgives me in the time it takes me to apologise.

On the floor again. The kitchen, this time. The bowl of soup still untouched at my place. I'm wailing. An animal sound. I don't recognise the sound of my own despair. My husband lying next to me. My son in his swing. I'm wailing. Get up. Go do it. Your child needs you to.

The baby is crying again. I stare at him, blankly. My husband rescues me. Rescues him.

I stand. I walk upstairs. I pick up the box of Gravol. Maybe it's enough. I hope it's enough. I don't have the energy. Do it. Your son is better off without you. You owe him this. My husband catches up to me.
"What are you doing?"
"Leave me alone." Don't leave me alone.
"I can't do that." He's almost in tears. Again. Or maybe he is. Mine blur my vision too much to tell.
"Please. Just for five minutes." Leave me alone. Do it. Please.
"Why? Will you be safe?"
"He's better off without me."

Medication in a locked box. My husband in a sleeping bag in front of the bedroom door.

"He's not better off without you."
Yesheis. Yesheis. Yesheis. I failed him. I always fail him.
"Yes he is. You both are."

Ripping open skin with a pair of nail scissors, because they're the only thing I can find. Husband's razors hidden away.  Must hurry, so he doesn't realise I'm not just peeing. Just one more jagged tear. Why did I ever bother fighting the urge? Long sleeves forever now.

Visit from a friend, arranged by a worried husband. She prays I get my Simon of Cyrene. Maybe I will. Maybe I have. When's the last time I showered, anyway?

Fighting over meals. Again. Failed promised submission. Might as well submit. I can just cut away the lost piece of myself.

I'm home alone for ten minutes because I promised not to kill myself before talking to a priest. I didn't promise not to hurt myself. The baby's not crying, but he will be soon. A mad dash through the house trying to find something better than the nail scissors. No success. The nail scissors will have to do. Another jagged slice.

The psychiatrist has a cancellation tomorrow. Can I make it? I can make it.

"This was a stupid idea. What if she commits me?"
"It'll be okay."
"I can't deal with this." I'm jumping-out-of-my-skin anxious. What if she commits me? I can't deal with this.

In to see the psychiatrist lickety split, comparatively. Two weeks wait time, give or take, plus fifteen minutes of eternity. Back on drugs. At least I wasn't committed.

Home visit from a priest. "Will you hear my confession?" Guess that means cutting is back off the table. I should probably eat, too. Anointing of the sick. I suppose I qualify.

The sun seems a little brighter. The snow is melting.

Keep seeing the psychologist—"Pills aren't skills." Get out for a walk. Get up when I want to curl up.

I think I remember how to smile. Maybe the baby is better off with me.

The baby cries. I love the baby. I love the baby!  I change his diaper.


  1. You are very brave for posting this. I, too had horrible PPD and I'm sorry that you and your family went through this. God bless you.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I hope you're well past having to deal with the PPD beast and that you were able to get the support you needed. God bless you and yours!