Lilly is back home and recovering like a champion. She still has pain, especially when she hiccups (the saddest thing I’ve ever seen) but, she’s doing so great all things considered 🙂
Me, on the other hand? I’m not ok. I’m not ok and I’m finally at a point where I need to get it out there. Anxiety makes me shut down when things get too hard and so, I end up burying my deepest, hardest feelings. I’m afraid of being a burden on my loved ones and I also can’t stop shaming myself. I’m no stranger to mental health issues – I see a therapist regularly – but there’s still that shaming voice in my head telling me I’m somehow wrong for feeling the way I do and that I’m just being silly.
The easiest emotion for me to feel is anger so, that’s the emotion that’s been making itself known most frequently lately. Honestly, I think I’ve been a little angry ever since Lilly was born. I know that I already posted about my postpartum depression but, this feels different than that. Or maybe I finally know exactly what caused all those feelings in the first place.
I was pregnant for 9 months and then I went into induced labor. And then I needed a c-section. For some reason, this caused a total disconnect for me. It just feels like the c-section was a separate thing – almost unrelated to the pregnancy. Beyond that, I fell asleep out right after the c-section so, I don’t even remember having Lilly in my arms for the first time. Because of all this, there’s a tiny part of me that feels a bit disconnected from Lilly. As much as I know that c-sections are just as special and real as vaginal births and, as much as I would never dream of thinking any different about another woman’s c-section, it feels almost like I never gave birth to Lilly at all. I didn’t bring her into the world, the doctors did. It’s very difficult to shake that thought, as wrong as I know it is and, because I have a baby to care for, I haven’t been dealing with these emotions at all.
I wasn’t able to breastfeed; Lilly had nothing to latch onto and my milk supply never fully came in. I feel like, because of this, I didn’t bond with her as much as I wanted to and that only made the disconnected feeling stronger. I’ve always been a believer in fed is best – it doesn’t matter how you feed your child as long as they’re healthy – but, again, that little shaming voice is always there. I feel defective in a way. These emotions have gone away for the most part but, I still find myself feeling bad about this every once in a while.
I haven’t been dealing with the death of my grandmother. I can’t believe that, at just 3 and a half weeks postpartum, I had to fly across the world to go to her funeral. It just doesn’t make sense. I’ve let myself feel the loss a few times, for a few minutes but, again, I’ve been too preoccupied with Lilly to deal. I haven’t fully mourned.
And now, Lilly had to have heart surgery. She’s going to be totally fine and she’s my happy, smiling girl again but, I’m just so mad that it had to happen in the first place. The defects that Lilly had in her heart are common but, seriously? My kid? At just 3 months old she was getting cut into and getting all these labs drawn and x-rays taken. She was uncomfortable and in pain and there was nothing I could do. This anger that I’ve been feeling has manifested itself at Lilly’s appointments lately; I just can’t stand doctors touching her anymore. The mama bear in me just wants to leap out and maim them all and I really need to chill. Luckily, she is done with the hospital for the foreseeable future. I made her promise me no more hospital so, we’ll see how long that lasts.
All of this stress I’ve been dealing with has started manifesting physically and, sometimes, it’s hard to function. It feels physically heavy and I’m exhausted. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the rush of happiness I get when Lilly smiles at me. When she looks at me, I feel like I can handle anything that life throws my way. I know I’ll be ok; Lilly gives me all the strength I need 🙂