Despite my struggles over the past couple of years, I have never given up. I wanted to often enough. I would fantasize about getting in my car and driving away…anywhere…just away. Then I would get a hotel room and sleep for days on end. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel so exhausted, if I could only sleep for awhile, then I would feel better… Thankfully, that never happened, and I decided to go the non-nervous breakdown route and chose western medicine and hope instead.
During even the worst of times, I held onto the hope that things would someday be normal again. I hoped that I could fix things, fix ME, not only for myself, but for my family. Above all, I hoped that my family would not leave me because of the sad shell of a person I had become. Lucky for me, the one person who hoped even more fervently for the return of normalcy was my husband, who did not leave me. Instead he firmly planted himself by my side.
Now that I’m feeling better, I am able to fully comprehend how difficult things were, not just for me, but for my husband. I often worry that my family will have lasting scars from the wounds I inflicted upon them. I feel a constant and nagging guilt for the pain and worry I caused. I’ve been told by several people, including Chris, that I shouldn’t feel guilt. They say that I was sick, plain and simple, and that it was beyond my control to heal myself. Of course this is true, no one chooses to have PPD, just like no one chooses to have diabetes or high blood pressure, but I still can’t shake the feeling that this is all my fault.
It is because of this guilt that I am fearful of having another child. What if this happens again? What if it’s WORSE? Could I put myself, my child(ren), and my husband through that hell again? The guilt that still clings to my shoulders says, “Absolutely not. You can’t put them through that again and if you do they will hate you”.
If I look past the fear, the guilt, the anxiety, I do want another baby. I want Emmett to have a sibling and I want to rock a big baby belly again. So instead of focusing on my fears, I choose hope. Hope is what I hold so close to my heart, scared to loosen my grip on it, fearing that it will slip away and I’ll be, once again, left alone with my guilt. So I cling to it, as tight as I can, afraid speak my hopes above a whisper for fear that they’ll escape from my heart.
I hope that my next birthing experience will be different. I hope that I feel an overwhelming sense of love and contentment in the hospital rather than feeling scared, resentful and angry. I hope that I can nurse my baby without pain and savor those moments of closeness rather than stare at the clock wondering, “How much longer is this going to take?”. Hope is all I have, that and an Rx ready and waiting to beat the shit out of any guilt or anxiety found loitering in my soul. They are such goons.
Pass along the HOPE 2012 torch! Blog about hope, ask others to blog about hope. Ask them to ask others. Let melanie know of your post, and link it up here.