Last night, I dreamed a dream that was so disturbing, both in its content, as well as my own ability to dream up such madness. I think about it, and I begin to cry.
Now, lately, I've been having a rough time keeping up with life in general. It is tough with an infant, but I would never, ever, place my own child in harm's way. Never. I can't stress that enough [to myself]. This dream disturbed me so much that when Alec woke up for his nightly feeding at around 5:00a.m., this morning, I held him after he was done eating. I squeezed him as though it was the last time I was to be able to hold him. And I cried out of sheer fear.
Luckily, I had my yearly check-up this morning with my ob-gyn. I told him about my dream, and how I have had, in past few weeks, several dreams that were slightly disturbing in nature, such as the one I had last night. I am sure that I would have called for help had I not had this appointment today.
After I answered a few questions, he told me "Monica, I'm afraid you are an ideal example of post-partum depression (PPD), and I'd like you to contact a psychiatrist so that we can get you the therapy and medication you need."
This blew me away, I knew I have been hormonal - obviously...I had a baby almost 4 months ago, and my body and mind are still adapting. But I never realized that what I have been feeling were symptoms of depression.
I can't hold it in anymore at this point. I have tried so very hard to be the strong woman that Keith fell in love with; not to show how I feel, how isolated and lonely I feel 99% of the time and I struggle to maintain a happy face so he doesn't worry about me. I have to admit to myself, to Keith and to Alec, that I am not perfect, that I have my weak points and limitations as to what I can withstand as a human being.
This dream that I had last night, was so real, and so vivid; that when I first woke up, I bolted upright to make sure Alec was still safe and sound in his bassinet. I am still thinking of that image of opening a locker door, and finding my almost-4 month old lying face-down on the cold, hard floor of the locker, still crying, with tears running down his face, having been abandoned by me. I still can't believe that I would be capable of even just dreaming of placing my baby in a locker.
On one hand, I can't get the dream out of my head, but I am glad I had it on one hand. It made me realize that I had to talk to someone.
Never in my wildest dreams, would I have ever thought that new motherhood could be such a painful, isolating phase of my life. Throughout my pregnancy, I always imagined that it would come so easily to me. I sometimes feel as though I am failing miserably - hell, I can't even nurse my child adequately without taking a boatload of herbs and medication to help me lactate so that I can make almost enough milk. I never realized that I would feel so isolated from the world, so lonely most of the time. I barely know what day it is anymore, unless I look at the calendar, and although I have my dear friends whom I see on a semi-regular basis, Alec and I stay at home most of the time. I talk on the phone a lot to some of my friends, and this helps me somewhat, but something always suffers when I do that. Either the floors don't get swept, laundry doesn't get done, or the bed doesn't get made. Alec is always well taken care of, but sometimes I forget to shower and brush my teeth.
I love it when Keith has snow days from school, or when he's home, because I can feel human again, having another adult to talk to. I know he wants the best for me, for us, his family. I know he wants me to speak to somebody about how I feel...I'm proud of myself for admitting that I'm not made of steel, or invincible, and making an appointment to speak to a psychiatrist.