Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Baby Blues" My ARSE- notes from the pit of despair.

No-one can prepare you for how you will feel, but I want to try. I also want to write this all down, for the same reasons I made a blog about my miscarriages in the first place.

Calling it the 'baby blues' makes it sound quaint and twee, like a minor 'whoopsie', a trivial matter. Well, it's not. It's fucking horrible, and I'm in the depths of it.

I don't know about anyone else, but like about 20% of the population, I've been depressed enough in the past to be medicated. Not hospitalised, mind, but enough to be familiar with neurochemistry. If you have, too, you'll know just how *bad* that feels.

Well imagine nearly your worst point of depression. The nadir of your self-worth and experience of life, and just to the left or right of that. (ok, to be frank, just short of suicidal). Now, imagine that developing, literally, overnight. In 12 hours I went from "yeah, I need some food and I have a headache, but otherwise, wow, I just had my baby" to "I am the most incompetent woman unlucky enough to conceive".

Themes that repeat themselves at 2am
- there was a reason I had all those miscarriages- someone *was* trying to tell me something: I'm not meant to be a mother.
- I'm so useless I can't even breastfeed properly. What would I do in the third world?
- I'm not worthy of this baby. Some other subfertile/infertile should have been blessed with my luck. I don't deserve him.
- my idiot, freak-show, cartoon-sized boobs are so ridiculous. I am so huge. And they're so enormous, I can't feed him (the big boob paradox) [God knows what size they are now- my E-cup bra is at least 3 sizes too small]

and, at the worst (it makes me cry to even think that I think this)
- I wish I had miscarried at 15 weeks
- I resent P for even existing
(but at the same time I'd like to stress I would NEVER, EVER harm him)
And immediately I have these thoughts I hate myself even more for having had them, deepening my feelings of self-loathing and inadequacy.

I find myself just wanting to disappear, to drive off into the night. But I also want to make sure P is ok. Deep down I know this is completely irrational, but last night I found myself wondering if there was anyone actually living at the convent around the corner: "foundling" has such a wistful sound.

I know from other episodes of depression that "it will get better, it always does" (if that sounds like a mantra, well, there's a reason for that). But right now, I don't ...feel... that. Intellectually, I know it, but you know, *knowing* it is different.

I can write all this now, though, and just the process is making me feel better. Or can I write because I feel better? In the end it's immaterial.


Blogger Mermaidgrrrl said...

Are you still in hospital or are you at home? Because if you're in hospital I think you should stay there till the feeding settles down and your hormones are calm again. I know that you're a doctor, but some nursing advice coming your way ;-) I don't know whether you knew this but while you were pregnant you had lots of endorphins in your system compared to normal. I have problems with depression normally, so it's been a relief for me to have these "feel good" hormones going on and not have to worry about getting depressed. However after you give birth those hormones all drop so you feel super-crap in comparison to when you were pregnant. It's not actually YOU feeling this way, it's your suddenly dropped hormones and now your system is freaking out. Once the breast feeding gets established you'll have lots of oxytocin flooding in instead of the endorphins and then you'll feel more like yourself.... just a more zombie-like self since the oxytocin makes you happy to sit around stroking and feeding a little creature for hours on end ;-) It's the gap between the hormones that's the killer when you need to be doing nothing except resting, eating good food, feeding the baby to get your oxytocin up and have nice warm baths in essential oils while someone else takes care of everything else.

And sweetie, as a doctor I bet you're being really perfectionist and hyper-alert to everything because that's what us medical types do. We think we should do/cope better than the average person because we have lots of education behind it, but this is just a time when we have to let go and roll with the punches. This is why all those 17 year old girls with babies on their hips look so calm - cause they don't know any better! Just get through one minute/hour/day at a time and before you know it you'll be feeling so much better. And executive B6 does wonders for making you feel better when you don't want drugs. Trust me!

28/2/07 17:14  
Blogger jen said...

Thanks, hon. You were so right. I'm now feeling a lot better.

2/3/07 00:21  

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