Here is your unfiltered, unedited peek into my latest manuscript.
Here’s What Pisses Me Off
I wrote a blog post a while back about how depressing it was to see happy mamas with their new babies. I always felt totally robbed. I can’t look back at the first four months of Emma’s life without feeling sad, angry, resentful, and cheated. It was so fucking hard! I was severely anemic, had PPD, felt completely paranoid, was sleep deprived of course, and had to take care of a newborn.
It blows my mind to this day that I breastfed her for three months! What the hell was I thinking? And what the hell was everybody else thinking? Why didn’t somebody say,
“You know, Libby, your body really is taking on a lot of stress already. Your blood level plummeted to half of its volume within minutes after your C-section. You have post partum depression. You’re crying every damn five minutes because you feel like your world is crumbling around you. You are 44 years old. You just endured months of hormone shots and pregnancy. You lost 30 pounds in a matter of days. Give yourself a break. You can feed her formula. You don’t have to let this parasite suck you dry. Go ahead. Dry up. Let your body heal. Emma will be fine.”
Nobody said anything like that. And I never thought about it. And it pisses me off. Even five years later.
And here’s another thing that pisses me off. Why didn’t anybody do anything about my medication? They made me decrease my Zoloft to 50mg during pregnancy. Why didn’t we discuss a gradual increase back to 100mg shortly after birth so I wouldn’t feel like a fucking crazy person? The anemia and weight loss were quite enough. But being so anxiety ridden that I couldn’t eat should have been clue number one that I needed a little something more.
I will never forget sitting in my living room, looking down the hall at my mother holding Emma, standing outside of my husband’s home office. She was crying, telling Jeff that I needed help, that I can’t take care of my child like this. I don’t know if I said it out loud or not, but I remember thinking…”Oh no, no, no! You don’t get to cry! I’m the only one that gets to cry!” But, honestly, I was happy for the support and that someone else was taking care of my child at the moment.
They did gradually get me back up on my meds. The anemia slowly improved. My appetite came back and I ate everything in sight. I began to feel like a normal person who wasn’t deathly afraid of this tiny human. And even though Emma was complimented in the hospital for a good latch and breastfeeding was actually a joy for a while, that all drastically changed when she was diagnosed with acid reflux and put on Zantac. What a joke. Who the hell puts a newborn on Zantac?!?! She didn’t have any worse reflux than any baby does. She was simply showing her true, spirited personality and she was DONE with breastfeeding. And so was I. One of the best things I ever heard from a doctor during that time was, “It’s okay to stop breastfeeding. You got her through the most important time.” It was a freaking miracle that I got her through anything. And when I look at her today, I see that I did a hell of a lot better than it felt like at the time.
It’s stupid to look back on the past and start the ‘woulda, shoulda, coulda’ dance. But, dammit, if I had been thinking more clearly…
- I woulda ditched breastfeeding.
- I shoulda told my doctors to get me the hell back on my medication sooner.
- And I coulda enjoyed my first few months of motherhood.
Instead, I didn’t, and it makes me very sad. It always, always, will.