My Story: I was 14 weeks pregnant when I found out I was having a Boy. I already knew if the baby was a boy, he would be named River. The same day during my ultrasound the doctor came in concerned that Rivers organs were... backward/mirror imaged? It was confusing. We weren't sure what to expect.
Every minute of my pregnancy was stressful. I had a thousand ultrasounds, multiple diagnosis, unanswered questions, and went into preterm labor once. River was born and the labor was fast, painful, but I was in love. It was all worth it. I felt good! Actually I felt great! I didn't feel this good after my first so I was soaking it all in.
While at the hospital river had lots of test done, he was diagnosed with Situs Inversus Levocardia. His tummy is mirrored image to what ours look like.
So, when I brought him home everything felt right, I was with my family and our newest addition - River. But the excitement didn't last very long. I wasn't producing enough milk and he projectile puked whenever I did feed him. River wasn't home for a solid 24 hours before the whole house was down with the stomach flu. It was also the same day my husband started his new job. So there I was, alone. With a sick toddler covered in diarrhea and a screaming newborn who couldn't eat.
I had the flu and it came and went but I definitely feel like that was a small part of what lead to my "Baby Blues". The anxiety and depression came full force. I was googling every little thing I could think of because I was sure the was something wrong with my baby. I'm pretty sure his doctor hated me from all the calls and tears but she never really gave me a reason to feel that way- I was just a wreck.
There I was. A mom, again, to a newborn.
But I couldn't help but feel like he was going to have SIDS or his condition would do something to his tiny body. I didn't sleep for almost 3 days, well-being I had some. But I remember feeling like I was lying there conscious - just my eyes closed or I'd peek to check his breathing.
I felt crazy. I felt horrible. I couldn't appreciate my son without the fear of something terrible happening to him. But I guess, that's love right? I loved this newborn so much I lost sleep over my instincts as a mother. As a mother who wants to protect her baby even if it meant no SLEEP! I'll be honest, that wasn't my thinking at the time. But now, I look back and think it's just my body was of reacting to the adrenaline of labor and being a mom.
I want to add that the PP came and went within a month. But also, that was when River started to get sick. He is now almost 2 and has been hospitalized 7 times.
At 5 months River had surgery for his Malrotation (a condition caused by the Situs Inversus Levocardia) and also the reason he projectile puked from the moment he was born. (I knew I wasn't crazy).
Being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My children are my world and I feel like as mothers, we endure a lot of pain, suffering, dealing with PP for it to be something that we rarely speak about to each other. It is okay to cry. It is okay to reach out to family or even your doctors (or your child's pediatrician). Postpartum depression is real and is one of the hardest things I've ever dealt with. But I got through it! Just hang in there..
JD Pulido | Mama to River, 2