I have literally had a post it with this word on it for more than 8 months. I have been battling post-partum for some time. Professionals tell me that it doesn’t matter that my daughter is now a rambunctious one year old. Apparently, one can still suffer well after the midnight feedings and tummy times. I always knew that I would be susceptible to post partum due to my diagnosis, but I see it all around me. It’s like a secret society that no one wants to admit that they are a member of the ” Overwhelmed Mommy Club.” As usual, I am no stranger to admitting to my downfalls and weaknesses with the hope that it will help someone.
It feels like I missed some very important times when Erilyn was first born….for some reason (I hate to admit this) but I could not emotionally connect to my gorgeous twin. Make no mistake at the time as a single mommy I did the early morning feedings, pediatric appointments all the while at the time working 60 hours weeks at DFCS. I would change her diaper….and put her back down. I just couldn’t hold her…..I was so overwhelmed, so scared to do the wrong things. I was so upset with my circumstance and believe me things were crazy right after Erilyn was born. My job at then time refused to pay me due to leave discrepancies…. My job still expected for me to work the 3rd shift with a newborn WITHOUT pay. With medical bills coming left to right due to our extended stay at the hospital and Erilyn being in the NICU I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Everything some bleak despite my enormous amounts of faith. I would make myself pick her up in those dark times pleading with her to forgive me for being so depressed. I would lay her close to me and just stare trying to will myself to feel something….I felt so horrible for feeling inadequate for my daughter. After all, I was all she had. My mood swings were out of control. I couldn’t see the glass being half full or half empty. I would pray and pray that I wanted to be a great mommy.But that darn post partum. I would just cry and cry. Moving mechanically as I changed her diaper. My father was around to help out because there were days I just Couldn’t Do it! And I hated to admit it to myself that though post partum was a trigger for my bipolar that I had to realize that God was my inspiration…that eventually I would just snap out of it. And I eventually did…one day I looked at my Panda and saw the most beautiful face…Her smell would bring me comfort and I enjoyed picking her up….singing to her. Even though this happened there would still be times where I felt disconnected…..I then began to feel like an alien in my skin. My body was not the same body that I was used to. The aftermath of the emergency c section took a toll on me physically and emotionally…it is sometimes overwhelming to see the scars. Most importanly I felt less than and that Gracie was too good for me . After all I had no idea what I was doing as a mom….a single mom at that. It a was so overwhelming….even now I see that there are women who probably feel the same, but are ashamed. I think that the culprit is that we have these unrealistic pressures on ourselves. We spend unnecessary time comparing our bodies to other mothers, especially celebrity moms. I think we all should put our superwoman capes on the rack and let ourselves feel anything and everything. We have to come to terms that things are now different….we have received the greatest blessing of all and we are all more alike than different. As I look at the post it in front of me I feel a bit empowered because I have been honest….now my little panda is independent and finding her way and though I feel like I missed her first couple months of life I am blessed to see her grown now….from walking to running…from babbling to speaking….to her yelling mommy and with the support of my husband I can share the work….and that is an what God as preparing me for…to accept this blessing and appreciate life and love….