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Ok, so I'm going to talk more about 'it'. The big, pink, elephant that sits in the middle of the room that I have to walk around everyday. The elephant that I'm usually able to cover up and ignore and for the most part not know is there. But then sometimes, the cover slips off and whoops! there he is! Stinker. Thought I was done with you. Thought I got rid of you. Thought you were gone. Now here you are. What am I supposed to do with you!? Stupid elephant.
It's all the PPD crap. I don't suppose I talk about this a whole lot. I don't feel like I can. I mean, Rhys is almost 2 years old and Nadia is almost 5, I should be over this by now. I should be 'healed' and moved on. But for whatever reason I'm not. And it's hurting today, so here I am. And if you don't want to read about it, then don't, but I need to vent. And maybe, somewhere out there some woman needs to hear this. Maybe not, but this is therapy, kay?
Everyday that my son and daughter show signs of growing (which happens to be everyday lately!) I am reminded that my time in the 'baby-zone' is quickly coming to an end. Nadia is almost ready to start school. Rhys is talking more and more and initiating conversation more. He's starting to 'go' in the potty, not regularly, mind you, but still. He's using a fork and spoon and starting to nurse not as long. He's slowly becoming a big boy. Which is good, but it's also sad. I am grateful I had Rhys' baby-hood to enjoy. I am sad that I can't remember much of Nadia's.
I am so scared I messed that girl up. I was paranoid most of the time with her. I would try to force her to nurse more because I thought that if she ate more, she'd sleep better. And if her sleep was messed up, I was messed up. I could not stand to hear her cry before she 'should've'. Whatever. I now know that babies don't read the books. They don't know they are supposed to sleep such and such times. Poor girl. I read Baby-Wise. And if I ever meet the man who wrote that, I think I'll loose it. Maybe I'd just better steer clear of him.
I really do believe that the sad patterns I formed with Nadia when I was so sick with PPD have made our relationship what it is today. And behaviors in relationships are habits. It's hard to get out of them once they are established. It's easier to let a boulder roll then it is to stop it. My grief now is that all of Nadia's life has been a battle for her. I hate that. And it's not her! It's me. It was me in the beginning and it's me perpetuating those patterns. Here's what it is, before you go thinking I'm an awful parent. I did not feel a connection with Nadia at all when she was born, not the day she was born, not 3 months later, not even at 1 year. I struggled to feel those gooshy, lovey, affectionate feelings for her. And to this day, when I do feel those, they are so few and far between, that I consider them a blessing. Rhys is different, everyday I feel it for him. But I have to choose to love Nadia. I have to choose to spend time with her. I have to choose to be nice and kind to her. Grace is not a given in our relationship. This is everyday. I hate it. It is exhausting. Don't get me wrong, I do love her, I know that. I know I love her, because I want to love her, I want to care for her, I want her to grow up feeling loved. If I didn't love her I wouldn't care what she felt. But I do. And I worry that she doesn't feel loved. I work everyday on that. But I have a sneaky suspicion that it all started back when she was born and the PPD hit. Because I started to have the same feelings after Rhys was born and the PPD started in, but when I started the meds those negative feelings changed towards him.
I see myself getting farther and farther away from baby-hood and it saddens me. I can see myself wanting another baby and forgetting just how bad it was with Rhys. I know people say I could go on meds at the end of the pregnancy and be fine. Sure, I guess. But do they really know what those drugs do to babies? Short-term? What about in the long run? They don't. And what if this time the drugs aren't enough? Sure they helped this time, but it gets worse each time. What if next time I go off? I loose it? What then? Sometimes it hurts that I've made a decision because of a sickness to be done, not because I feel done. Am I really done because our family is complete? Or because this sinister demon is looming in the background everytime? I don't know. I can't really say because PPD is a big factor. I will never really know what it's like to be a normal post-pardum mother. Baby blues would be nice. I think I could handle that. This junk that I dealt with is nasty. It's craptacular as a boss of mine used to say.
I'm not saying I want more babies, I guess this is just part of the process. And you know what really irritates me? That other people are trying to get me to have more. They won't suffice with a simple, no we're done. It's like I have to lay it all out there, all the gory details, then they let me alone. But it's not their fault, they don't know, mostly because I've only told a few people close to me. So I don't blame them. But unless you've been there, you'll never understand what it's like. PPD is nasty. This helps to let go.