Read our Introduction to #RoadToTubalAt30 Series First here.
**This post was actually the inspiration for this entire series…It was written 2 1/2 weeks after having our second child. I have been terrified of hitting publish on this piece since then. Well, until today.**
We left the hospital about 30 hours after I gave birth. The first week home went great. Andrew had to work the weekend after the first five days off with us and I cried about being alone with our girls but all was ok. I woke up one day the following week though and told him everything just seemed off. I couldn’t explain really what was going on at the time. I was glad he was home another week because I just couldn’t wrap my head around these feelings.
Foggyness. Almost like a déjà vu feeling. Dizziness. Confusion. Those are the three feelings I experienced most often. I was terrified to be left alone with my girls. But I only told him. He just kept telling me my feelings were normal. That I was strong and would be fine. I would get through this.
Sunday came. It was our last day home together. I woke up at 7am and decided to try to treat most of the day as if he wasn’t here so I could see how I did. The girls and I got up and I went downstairs to get breakfast for Serenity and I. I made sure to make myself a bagel and a smoothie to try to help with nutrition.
The feelings continued.
I nursed the girls. Played. And started laundry as I normally would. Around 8:30am Andrew came down and made himself breakfast. I hugged him and tears just rolled down my face. I felt like a stranger in my own home. He again just said it would all be ok.
I started to clean. Sweeping the floor, cleaning the counters. What I really wanted to do was hide in a corner with the lights off and just cry. Maybe a really good cry was what I needed. But I knew it wasn’t. I had cried so many times over the past few days I knew it wouldn’t help anything.
It was time to nurse the baby again. I went through the actions but never really felt present. As she unlatched I began to burp her. The world just kept spinning and before I knew it I snapped back into reality to realize that the baby had thrown up all over me.
It was terrifying.
What if she gagged while throwing up and I wasn’t coherent enough to realize what just happened. I was terrified that my child was going to die in my hands because I couldn’t snap out of this fog. I was constantly checking on her when she made or didn’t make the tiniest noise because I was scared to miss something and cause her harm. I constantly asked Andrew if he had Serenity because I didn’t remember if she had gone upstairs with him or if I was supposed to be watching her.
It was time to go to the store.
Typically, I try to meal plan but just decided that I would figure it out as the week went along with what we had at home and just get what was on the list for now. I remember looking out the window on the way there. The world was zooming past me and I had no concentration on the world at hand. When we got there I placed the baby in the carrier and Andrew got Serenity out. She was screaming. She wanted to walk but Andrew wanted her in the cart. Her cries were muffled by my racing thoughts throughout the 40 minutes or so in the store. Occasionally, trying to console her, but knowing nothing I did would really calm her down. Just praying we would be able to get out of the store quickly before anyone I knew noticed us. Up and down each aisle looking at all the items but not really putting anything inside the cart. Grabbing a few things here and there in no particular rhyme or reason and just praying I grabbed enough for us to survive the week.
We got home and I took the girls upstairs for a nap. It was the one thing I seemed to be able to do right. Get us to sleep at the right time…together. My mind raced. I couldn’t fall asleep today myself.
I listened to the soft breaths each of my girls took separately. At least I was keeping them alive today. But, how was I going to survive alone with both girls with no help. Starting so soon. Only one more sleep tonight before I was all alone tomorrow. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling down my face. I was going to mess something up. I was going to fail at this miserably. One of them would get hurt–burned–suffer some how.
I googled my symptoms. Foggyness was the one I focused on because it seemed like if I could get out of the fog that everything else would fall into place. Article after article came back as it being a sign of PPD. Consult my doctor immediately. But I wasn’t depressed. I didn’t want to be labeled. I didn’t want medication. My mom was on medication for depression since I was a child and still on it and didn’t seem happy most days. I didn’t want to be that mom while on medication. What was the point? It clearly didn’t help. Plus– I didn’t feel depressed. Just foggy. I knew I couldn’t bring up PPD to Andrew because I had when Serenity was about 6 months old and the conversation went south quickly. He simply didn’t understand how I could be depressed with so much positive things happening in our life. Eventually I feel like I got passed it on my own with some minor set backs here and there.
But this was different. Then, I felt truly depressed. Sad. Miserable. But not now. I was happy. Happy to have my girls and my life. It was just the motions of life not making sense.
Did I say something to someone? Now or later? Should I just keep trucking along praying that one day everything would just fall back into place? Was I risking my daughters’ lives if I did that?
So many “what ifs”. Though I feel like I’ve always loved a what if life experience. But these what ifs were different. What if one of them drowned in the tub? What if I forgot one of them somewhere? What if we went outside and I forgot one of them out there? What if I thought one of them was somewhere in the house but weren’t and got hurt doing something else because I was paying attention?
I finally understood why some of those crazy news stories happened with parents of young children. I had no thoughts of harming my girls, but what if they did get hurt…
I asked Andrew to listen for the girls while I went and grabbed a shower. I took a shower everyday but I didn’t do much else. I barely remembered to put deodorant on and I knew I hadn’t brushed my hair since the day after we got home from the hospital. But the shower had to help right. I could sit down and let the water run over me and it would wash away all the thoughts. All the craziness. And then no one would have to know.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be writing about our decision for me to undergo a tubal ligation at 30 on Mondays and Wednesdays (2 times a week). You can follow along with #RoadtoTubalat30
If you missed any of the previous posts, you can read the entire series:
- No More Babies – Series Introduction
- After the first baby
- Second pregnancy – What the hell was I thinking?
- All hell broke loose
- The last 18 months
- The Scare
- Worries, Doubts and Fears about a tubal ligation
- It happened – recovery and thoughts after the procedure
I hope you’ll follow along! Feel free to tweet us at @wereparents or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s any specific questions that you hope we answer over the next few posts.