December 20, 2010

Did postpartum depression discredit me as a mother?

I started writing about my problem with postpartum depression, but I only managed to get one post written.  It's hard to talk about, hard to think about and I am unbelievably ashamed.  I wish I had finished it, but I just can't.  Not now.  Maybe i will sometime in the future. 

It is nearing the 2 year mark since I started getting better.  I have been off all medication for about a year and a half.  Today, I am very comfortable with my 3 children, my husband, my job, my life, myself.  I feel like I know what I'm doing (as much as any mother ever does), I feel comfortable with my parenting.  I can't help but wonder, though, if those 11 months have completely discredited me as a mother.  Do I have the right to feel comfortable?  Do I have the right to act like I know how to take care of my children or to feel like I do it well? 

The whole experience was so awful. There was nothing positive about it.  No one ever came to me offering support.  No one suggested that I was a good mother going through a bad time.  No one acknowledged that I had a legitimate problem.  I did spend a lot of time trying to run away, but the truth is that I spent more time staying than I actually did running.  I spent every day and at least 5 nights out of the week at home.  So much focus was put on the time away that even I forget that I was ever home or ever took care of my children for that year.  I have a hard time, even today remembering the good.  There was good, though.  It was the first year of my daughter's life.  How could it have all been bad? 

I have been a mother for 7 years.  Now that we are expecting baby number 4, I don't feel like I can say that I'm not worried.  I don't feel as though it's ok for me to say "I know what I'm doing, I've done this before".  I feel like I should be acting like a first time mother.  I feel like a total fraud.

1 comment:

  1. No way does PPD discredit you as a mother. You did what you needed to do to get through that time w/o harming yourself or your children, didn't you? Even in the midst of your depression you were able to do the right things. I hope that you are spared that trouble when your baby is born, but I also hope you reach out if you need to. I suppose you are much more aware of what to look for and that more women go through this than any of us know.

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