This is my 100th post. I've been racking my brain for the last week trying to come up with something great for you guys. The one thing that kept coming to mind was that I should share my journey over the last four years. I rejected this idea at first because, well to be honest, it is not glamorous and it is personal. Also because these are things that happened years ago and although they will always be a part of who I am, it is not representative of my current state of being. In the end I came to the conclusion that I am not an extraordinary case and that there are probably millions of other people out there who have experienced or know someone who is experiencing some of the same things that I did. And maybe through all of it, I can inspire others to heal. So here it goes. This is a long journey so I've decided to do weekly installments until I get it all out. I’ll title it My Journey. I can’t commit to a specific day that I’ll post these (because I dislike planning) but I can commit to putting one out per week. It will be like reading a chapter in a book once a week. So without further adu, here it goes…
To understand how someone arrived at the person that they are today, you must first explore their past. The problem with this is that for a lot of us, our pasts are painful. And we would rather leave them in the past. It is much easier to try to forget about past digressions and continue to move forward with your life. This was my perspective on the past until it all caught up with me four years ago.
I had just had my son. He was born at 42 weeks and I was miserable during the pregnancy. At around five months of being pregnant, my body decided that it was allergic to something. So from five months to nine months and two weeks I was a miserable, red, itchy mess. I had Malik in September and me being a mess continued. I was bound and determined to breastfeed him. And that I did for 20 months. The issue was that the boy loved the boob. And he wanted to nurse all of the time. The most he would sleep was three hours at any given time and he loved being held. If he was nursing or being held by me, he was fine but if he was doing anything else he was screaming.
This seems like a mothers dream to have her little one as in love with her as she was with him but I was spiraling out of control, fast. With my husband working full time and finishing his degree full time, I was left to tend to our four year old and the new baby. I was getting only two hours of sleep at a time and even when I was sleeping, I was sleeping with a baby on my chest. If I was cleaning, I was cleaning with a baby strapped to me. If I was driving, I was singing at the top of my lungs to try to keep him from popping a blood vessel from his screaming. The only way I could get him to fall asleep was to literally nurse him to sleep. He would be attached to the boob until he was so knocked out that he finally unlatched himself. Then I would warily tip-toe to my room and to try to lay him in his bassinet. This worked about half of the time. I remember spending countless nights nursing him and crying, crying about everything and nothing. I was trying to do my best to juggle it all but I felt as thought I was treading water…and I don’t know how to swim.
It came time for my six week post partum check up and as always the drive was a complete scream fest. My daughter was in pre-school that day but had been up the night before sick. So between the baby and my daughter I had slept maybe two hours broken up in 20 minute intervals. This was piled on top of six weeks of not putting the baby down or sleeping consistently. When I got into the room at the doctor’s office and picked up my screaming baby from his car seat, I realized that he had a complete blow out in his diaper. Just as I came to this understanding, the Doctor walked in.
For whatever reason I lost it, completely lost it. The doctor said hello and I set my baby down back in his car seat, fell to my knees and cried. I cried for the next five minutes while the doctor (I’m sure in complete terror) patted my back. When I regained composure, she started asking me a slew of questions. Such as are you tired, are you having fits of crying, are you having trouble sleeping, do you feel low? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. She then told me that she was sure that I had postpartum depression and that she would write me a prescription for Zoloft and it would all be better in a couple of weeks.
I left the office with some hope. I went and filled the prescription at the pharmacy. I got into my car opened up the bottle and stared while a mental debate roared back in fourth in my head.
Take them, you’ll feel better.
No, these are for crazy people and you’re not crazy!
Wait…maybe you are crazy. You can’t get any worse than you already are so where’s the harm?
The latter voice of Rachael won and I hastily grabbed a little blue pill, put it on my tongue and swallowed it down with water. I drove off with the screams of my son in the background.
*Check in next week for – My Journey: Blue Magic*