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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 


6 responses »

  1. ♥♥♥

    I have hope too.

  2. “…afraid speak my hopes above a whisper for fear that they’ll escape from my heart.” It’s amazing how fragile hope is, even while being so sustaining. Thank you for the beautiful contribution to HOPE 2012!

  3. Pingback: Hope 2012: Closing Ceremonies « Melanie Crutchfield

  4. “The Future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” Pema Chodron

  5. In the first four paragraphs your experience is so recognizable that its scary. I have felt all those feelings and thought all those thoughts. I gave birth in April of 2011 to a lovely baby boy. I struggled badly with PPD and also with recognising it and getting help. And during all this I got the biggest suprise of my life. I got pregnant only 4.5 months after my son was born (my first is an IVF baby so I didn’t quite see that coming).

    The 9 months of pregnancy were pure survival, mentally and physically. And I was SCARED, so very scared. I had just started getting help and feeling a little bit better. The thought of falling back to where I had come from after childbirth was terrifying.

    But in May of this year my second child, a little girl, was born. I had a chance to make up for the c-section that I had with my son with a hard but very gratifying natural birth. And in the days, weeks and now even months after the birth I found out that eventhough I was very wobbly at times, the really dark thoughts and feelings did not return.

    It has been a humbling experience and I am still really scared at times about falling back to where I came from. But for now I am fine. And for now I can say that my second pregnancy was the beginning of hope for me. And I hope that when the time comes it will be that for you too.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, I’m so glad to hear that you’ve doing well and I hope you continue to feel this way.

      I’m so glad that you were able to experience a natural childbirth the second time around, I’m sure that was a beautiful experience for you after having had a c-section.

      And thank you for your well wishes, I have hope my second pregnancy is a new beginning for me as well.


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