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Thursday, January 20, 2011

I had a dream...

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.

4 comments:

Jenna said...

It is hard.I still have PPD issues bad.If you need to talk I'm always around.

lissasue3 said...

You're doing a great job. ((hugs))

Kelli said...

I had no idea you were going through this. I'm so sorry! Please know I'm here for you if you ever need to vent.

Melissa said...

Sweetie, PPD is completely normal. I've been diagnosed with it too. When I was pregnant I thought about how perfect life would be, how I would enjoy it and everything would just be easy as 1-2-3. Unfortunately the movies you see on tv are wrong and real life sometimes kicks you in the ass.

Please don't feel alone, and if you need to chat you know where to find me. xoxox