My Story: (written Feb 2014) Throughout this pregnancy I have had a really hard time believing and fully accepting that this was happening. I suppose it was a form of self-protection. After everything we had been through on this journey, I couldn’t let myself fully believe that this time it was going to work. That this time we would have a happy ending.
We went to the hospital on Monday, January 27 to start the induction process. By 6:30 p.m. the next night, I still wasn’t progressing. The doctor offered us 3 choices of how to proceed. We went with the c-section option.
Our baby girl, Madeline Kaylea Lipps was born Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:05 p.m., weighing 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 20 inches long.
As soon as they lifted her out of me and we heard her first cries, Todd and I started crying. I cried a little and then I looked over at Todd and he was sobbing. And I thought to myself, “why aren’t I as emotional as he is? What’s wrong with me?”
And that’s how it began.
No one really talks about postpartum depression, but we should.
We ended up being in the hospital for 5 days. Having a c-section automatically put us in for an extra day. Then Madeline was losing weight. All kids lose weight after birth, but she lost a lot. Fifteen percent. And she was jaundiced.
Between all the visitors, the medical personnel coming in and out of the room and the pain meds, our stay was surreal and somewhat fog-like.
(There was one funny moment that I’ll share with you. It was about 5:00 a.m. one night, and by some stroke of sheer luck, all 3 of us were asleep. All of a sudden a loud beeping noise woke me up. I had no idea what it was but I knew I wanted it to stop. I couldn’t get out of bed myself, because of the surgery, so I tried waking Todd up to get him to investigate. What happened next was like a scene out of an I Love Lucy skit. Todd, in a fatigue-induced stupor, sat up in bed, attempted to understand what I wanted from him. He then got up, walked over to the corner and proceeded to walk around in a circle 3 times…WHILE SNORING!!! There’s more, but really, isn’t that enough?)
We were finally released on Saturday. With my mom and dad watching and waving, we drove off, taking our little miracle home with us.
Now, more than two weeks later, I don’t remember that night. I do remember starting to cry at the hospital as we were leaving, as sheer panic and terror set in at the thought of having to go home and take care of this little person. I kept crying all the way home.
On Sunday, my mom came over and settled in for a week-long stay with us.
Thank God. No, seriously, thank god. I don’t know how I would have handled that first week without her.
When I woke up on Sunday, I found myself having full-blown anxiety. And sadness. So much sadness.
Here comes the hardest part to type/admit to you:
I looked at this little girl, lying in her mamaroo, peaceful, sweet and angelic. And rather than feeling overwhelming love, I felt like throwing up. The wave of nausea, a manifestation of the anxiety, was the only overwhelming feeling I was having.
And I felt like an asshole. Who hopes and prays for something for 10 years and then when their dream comes true, wants to run far away from it?
These thoughts were terrifying. Would I never love my child? Would I never bond with her? Would this drive a wedge between me and Todd? Would he be so disgusted with me that he would take Madeline and leave me? No seriously, what the hell was wrong with me?
I had been told a few years ago that I was very likely to have postpartum depression and recognizing that this must be the start of it, I called my old therapist right away. I wanted to nip this thing in the bud as fast as possible. I also called my OBGYN, explained what I was feeling, and they called in a prescription for Zoloft for me.
I also decided to be honest when people asked me how I was doing. And I’m glad I did. First off, I found out that quite a few of my friends had been through similar experiences. Some were friends that were quite close to me and I found myself shocked that they had gone through that and I had no idea.
Also, it resulted in a lot of visitors. My mother-in-law came and stayed with us for a few days and we had a steady stream of friends coming to see us for about two weeks. And for that I am grateful. People really stepped up and were there when I needed them. Having people in the house forced me to engage in life, and distracted me from the negative thoughts. It has been extremely therapeutic.
Now I have been taking the Zoloft for two weeks and have been feeling better. I enjoy holding my baby and taking care of her. I am still scared of taking care of her by myself for the whole day when Todd returns to the office. And of course, if I start thinking too far into the future I get scared about all of the things that might go wrong for Madeline and the sheer responsibility of caring for someone else for the REST OF MY LIFE.
But I recognize that these are fears that most, if not all, parents feel.
I will continue to take it one day at a time. And I will continue to ask for help and lean on friends and hope that they will continue to be there for me.