Postpartum hasn't been what I thought it would be. I thought the fact that we struggled to get pregnant was the hard part, and that when we finally were able to get pregnant, we'd have our baby and live happily ever after.
I don't even know that I gave much thought to anything concerning myself postpartum. I planned how the nursery would look and purchased the cutest outfits for Amos. I bought pretty pajamas for the hospital and spent time searching for nursing bras. I thought about our life as a family and how wonderful it would all be, but I never really considered what I would be like postpartum.
Even if I had considered it, I would never in a million years have been prepared for what really did happen.
What happened to me was something that happens to women in third world countries who don't have access to proper medical care when delivering their baby. It doesn't happen here.
So not only are there the normal ups and downs of a postpartum body and mind to contend with. I have to deal with a traumatic experience that occurred with it all.
I can hardly carry the load.
As a matter of fact, I'm buckling under it all right now.
I've tried to be strong and optimistic and even. I've been vigilant to watch for signs of depression sneaking up on me. I recognize them, the life-suckers and joy-robbers, from my past. I'm no stranger to their dark ways. As much as I've tried to fight them off, I haven't been able to squash them. I'm tired. I don't have the energy to keep up.
I went through surgery to repair the complications that occurred during childbirth. I managed a six week recovery during which I required round-the-clock assistance (no easy task for this introvert who likes to do things all by herself). I even went head to head with the guilt I feel over not taking Amos to have all sorts of pictures made or for not documenting every moment of his life thus far like I thought I would because of all of this.
And now? To top it all off, I'm going to need more time for recovery. I'm going to need physical therapy. I'm going to need emotional therapy to help me relax and work through this trauma.
It's just a lot to deal with.
What I have done is withdraw into my little family and give them the best that I have. Some days it isn't much, but I'm trying. I feel bad for it, but I've had to drop so much of my life because I don't have the strength to do it.
I am so incredibly proud of myself on days that I just get dressed. I try to cook occasionally. This week I finally folded about 20 loads of laundry that had overtaken our spare bedroom--laundry done by my husband, not me, mind you. He has really picked up the slack and taken care of me. I love him.
What has sucked the most energy out of me is trying to put on a happy face for everyone else. I'm embarrassed by what happened so I don't want to share details with people, but people don't understand the situation without the details so I feel like, either way, I'll be misunderstood. Therefore I have to just pretend like everything is perfect.
Don't get me wrong, everything with my little family is pretty perfect. Matthew is so supportive and loving. Amos is just pure sunshine to my soul. It's not that. It's the other.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'm in a bit of a dark spot right now and I'm wallowing. I'm really trying to get up and move on, but it's just difficult.
So yeah. Thank you Mrs. Postpartum Debbie Downer.