Thursday, April 23, 2009

A challenge

A few weeks ago LSM issued me a challenge to state my "thoughts on the joys (or travails) of mothering."

Is it wrong that I had a lot of problems thinking up something to write about it? Then Fly Guy sent me a link to this blog. It is about postpartum depression.

I don't remember History Girl's newborn days that well. I remember wanting to hit my MIL after she asked me if I had bonded with History Girl and would I run in front of a bus to save her. I didn't say anything right away because it was such a far out question typical of my MIL. It just annoyed me. I am not sure when I bonded with History Girl, it didn't happen like it does on TV and in the movies when they hand you the baby and all you feel is love for that baby. I didn't have thoughts of hurting History Girl, just bonding didn't come quickly. I wrote it off as the fact that I had never been around babies. I never took care of babies. History Girl's diapers were the first diapers I ever changed. I never babysat, I made more money lifegaurding so babysitting never made sense to me. So I wrote bonding issues off as being very new to the baby thing and having problems breastfeeding. The bond was something that grew slowly. It was there sometime around the time History Girl was 13 months old when she broke her elbow.

Horse Girl was born when History Girl was 3.5 years old. I didn't expect the bonding to happen right away because it didn't with History Girl. I did expect breastfeeding to be a problem so I was ready for that. Breastfeeding was hard work and we had a lactation consultant come to the house to help and had a nurse come to the house to weigh Horse Girl every other day or so. It finally worked out and I thought since breastfeeding was working out I will bond quicker this time. Well that wasn't the case.

When Horse Girl was about a month or two old. I remember not being able to handle the girls any more. I was a failure as a mother and I had to get out of there. I left the house and went to the garage planning to leave the girls in the house a lone and run away. Once I got to the car I found I had a flat tire. So I couldn't go anywhere. When I look back at that situation, that is when I truly believe that there is some sort of higher power, because if there wasn't a flat tire who knows what I would have done, how long the girls would have been a lone, what I would have done to myself and stuff like that. I ended up going back inside and calling my OB/GYN and telling her what happened. She called in a prescription for an antidepressant. My father picked it up for me and brought it to me. Once I started taking the meds, I remember Horse Girl's smiles and how wonderful they were, I think I bonded with her with in a few weeks after starting the meds. I was on the medication for about 6 months to a year.

I rarely talk about the postpartum depression because that whole time of my life is so foggy to me that I just don't remember it. I think I suffered from postpartum depression on various levels from the time History Girl was born until I was on medication. I wish I had realized what was going on at the time. I feel like I missed History Girl's newborn and toddler years....I am glad I took a lot of photos and notes so I can look back on them.

I don't think this is what LSM was looking for when she issued the challenge, but this is my response. I hope that having another mother come out of the closet when it comes to PPD that it will make it easier for new mothers to realize it happens it is normal and get help.

OK, so I covered the travails, how about a few joys.

I love that at 9 years old Horse Girl still loves cuddles and she tells me that I am a good cuddler.
I love that History Girl feels she can share her private writing with me.
I love that History Girl's friends see me as a cool mom and like hanging out at our house.
I love watching both girls become more grown up every day and seeing glimpses of the adults they will be one day.

I know there are other things I love, but can't think of them right now. :-)