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Honestly?

I'm getting a lot of feedback lately saying I'm very honest and raw, and that people appreciate this.

Which is very cool. But I don't feel honest and raw, you know?

So here's honesty.

After the birth of my second daughter, I wanted to walk into the woods behind my house, and kill us. I had a plan, and almost did so. I had to stay away from the kitchen and the medicine cabinet, due to knives and pills. I'd stare longingly at the giant economy bottle of painkillers that seemed to taunt me from the windowsill as I did the dishes. I'd dream about my daughter not waking up, of smothering in her sleep, of just going away.

I let her sleep on her belly. Part of me wanted her dead.

Sometimes I'm so disgusted with myself for these thoughts I can barely believe it. I wanted my own daughter to die! I wanted to kill my own daughter!

But lord, I remember those moments. I was thinking this morning about Charlotte (I got your email-just have to find time to reply) and about the first few days after I had Rosalyn, and I was still in the hospital.

And I remembered, the numbing depression started within 6 hours of delivery. A friend came to visit and I couldn't even work up the will to say hello. Tears were streaming down my face when I tried to nurse, even the slightest bit of letdown triggered a torrent of emotion I couldn't handle or prevent. I asked the nurses if this was normal.

I don't recall them saying much, if anything.

I felt so fucking abnormal. I was supposed to be feeling maternal and empowered, breastfeeding my child. Instead, I felt sad and small and alone, and fat as I tried to guide my seemingly giant boob into this tiny mouth. I stared at the white wall, at the light, and felt nothing but sadness and horror.

I hated my child. I HATED her. Immediately.

No one noticed. No one saw anything, no one considered that I might be in trouble, that it wasn't "just" the baby blues. No one even bothered to ask how I was, if I was ok. Although they were very concerned about if I had peed or not.

I had a post partum hemorrhage as well (one of the many reasons I'm not meant to give birth) and as they tried to manually convince my uterus to give up it's dead, I screamed and screamed for the D&C. I had already been through this before, after almost bleeding out. (When nurses start giving each other that "look", and you're lightheaded and rather delirious, you know it's a bad thing). The doctors only gave up after I kept screaming and the nurses kept reminding them I had done this before.

I remember one nurse being nice, and telling me she couldn't believe they'd do what they were doing without painkillers. I would have rather given birth again.

You want honesty? Here it is-the hospital system for birth is not a good one. I felt alone and ignored most of the time. I couldn't express how utterly alone and sad I was, because there was no one to listen to me. I couldn't tell them I wanted to get rid of my child-they would have treated me like a pariah, or at least that's how I felt.

Why am I honest?

Because I don't want Charlotte, or anyone, to go through what I went through. Looking back, I should have demanded care, my husband should have. I should have demanded it well before giving birth. I should have screamed it from the roof tops, demanded a midwife, anything, something.

I trusted my health care system to take care of me, and it failed me. And I don't want that for anyone else. Because I have never felt as alone as I felt in that hospital, hoping the bleeding would stop, begging myself to stop feeling so sad when I should have been so joyous.

It occurred to me that I talk about my post partum depression a lot on this blog. And I do. Because my battle in it, and through it has helped me to define myself as a parent. I got through it. I found my love for my children. But not before I had to slog it out, and not without some heavy therapy to try and fix me. I already had issues, from my motherloss, from adoption, from sexual abuse, (lord, the list seems like a hallmark special doesn't it...) My personal demons made it so I don't ever feel like I deserve help-asking for help is the hardest thing I ever did. Admitting where I was within the PPD was terrifying and ultimately, freeing.

So I'm honest about this, and other things in my life, as an example for others who are where I was a few years back. I thought I had dealt with it all.

But after the sadness, after the storms of crying and begging for my mother, I realized I hadn't ever dealt with any of it, and it just compounded on itself, and I was adrift, and wanted to die.

So I am honest to act as a life preserver, and be there when someone asks "Does it ever get better?"

Oh yes. It does. Sometimes my life is filled with so much joy and beauty, I think my eyes and my heart might burst. It's so worth it...

I almost bled to death too. (long labor followed by c-section.) I'm not sure what they did beyond to stop the bleeding aside from jamming some cytotec up my ass, since I was higher than a kite on morphine.

I was pretty batshit afterwards too, but in a different form of expression, I worried abt my son in the extreme and had loads of related intrusive thoughts. (He'd be sleeping in his swing, only a few days old, and I;d panic thinking perhaps his arm had slid into the garbage disposal. Then I'd actually check to make sure, even though no newborn on earth, could free himself from a swing, walk into the next room, climb onto our extended-height counter, flip the switch and jam his arm into The Pig.)

I've never shared that particluar story with anyone. Sorry for blogging in your comments. I have a feeling this post might move others to do the same.

All, cytotec. There's is nothing more depressing than having a stranger with their finger up yr butt.

Stuff didn't do bubkiss for me.

I would like it if this post could be a place for all the "not so pretty" birth stories. Blog away!

To this day I feel empowered by the births-I had Ros within 2 hours, no drugs aside from gas (which really, is nothing), reciting the litany against fear from Dune to myself. I LOVE that I had that birth, and that I trusted myself to do it.

Wish it could have continued that way.

The garbage disposal story is funny, and sad at the same time. Thank you for sharing.

So folks, if you want to vent, anon or named, please, let me hear you. Someone has to.

Wow, I just found your site and this is the first post I read. Very touching. I did not experience any of what you did, so I cannot relate. However, I commend you for sharing your experience and hope that it helps someone else.

I'm probably repeating myself.

Please keep on talking. You may never know who you may have helped.

Or their hand. lol

Especially after you've tried to push a 10 pound baby sunny side up and trying to present forehead first, out of the adjacent orifice for 6 hours. Uncle!

At least I know I'm not crazy for sometimes having dark gruesome thoughts...

No matter how much I know i love her, sometimes I long for the days when she wasn't there. I just want to run away and never come back.

I think this is great stuff, the more folks talk about it the more it helps others.

Obviously not being a parent or a woman I can't speak to this, but I can tell you I lost a good friend who bled out on the delivery table in a modern hospital under totally normal conditions in the UK.

They just couldn't stop the hemmorage. That and so many other stories - including this one just reaffirm that you have to, absolutely have to take responsibility for your own health care. I see so many people taking 20 pills and doing what a person who spoke to them for 5-10 minutes said - I don't care of they are a doctor.

If you don't take the time to ask questions and do the research and make sure you are getting not only the best care, but the right care - no one else will.

Glad you made it and glad you decided to share these stories and feelings - hooray for you!

Jay linked to this post.

Its a trauma in itself to deal with almost dying, given the issues that you've already been dealing with, it really isnt a surprise that depression/PPD reared its ugly head.

Wow. I have tears in my eyes. Awesome post.

I have never actually verbalized my desire in those early days for my baby to just 'go away'. My actual birth was pretty easy, but breastfeeding was a nightmare. I was horribly inflexible about it and was determined to bf. This was our first struggle right out of the chute. I was home within 36 hours of birth. I remember crying, screaming, begging for my baby to eat for godsake. I felt she hated me because of her rejection of my breast. I tried cramming it in her mouth. I made tons of milk. I had strong letdown. The baby just wouldn't latch - so frustrating!

Then, due to the hunger, she wouldn't sleep - nothing but screams. At the time, I was so mentally foggy that I couldn't figure out that she was screaming because she was hungry and to just give her a bottle. I was going to breastfeed if it killed me because I am an overachieving perfectionist idiot. So then I remember crying, screaming, begging for her to sleep. I would punch the floor or bed next to where she was laying, screaming. I was so ANGRY. I screamed in her face.

I was not physically abusive in the legal sense, but I feared it. I feared that if I asked for help, they would take my baby away. I would have to admit failure, which is very hard for me due to my own personal issues. But I was so afraid of my anger.

I still struggle with the anger, but have learned coping techniques through therapy. I also learned that I react to sugar kind of like an alcoholic. And I am now being treated for a hormone deficiency that has likely been a contributing factor to my depressions since adolescence.

Most of all I struggle with the guilt. I'm still learning how I will live with this guilt for the rest of my life.

Karrie I try to block out the memories of having every orfice invaded. I had ZERO modesty left within a day.

Nat The running away thoughts are the normal ones, perfectly normal responses to stress. I remember when Vivian was born, and the Dorf and his Sis took her to another city for the day. I HOPED and HOPED they'd get in an accident and die.

Nice huh.

Rudicus That's my point. We STILL rely too much on the doctors when we really should question our treatment. People argue against GenMod food, but yet will take any pill they're given? Nu-uh.
Sorry about your friend. That was a personal nightmare of mine.

Jennifer I'd be interested to hear your take on all this, considering your last birth.

Granny Thanks! Apparently the boy likes my crap lately.

Charlotte Thank you for sharing.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I was exactly the same way with Vivian. I remember even putting my hand over her mouth at one point. I remember this vividly. That was when I decided to give up and bottlefeed. I just didn't have the strength.

Don't feel guilty. Guilt won't help, but moving past it will. Not that I've moved past all of it, but I have a cautious peace with it. I know that in many ways, I didn't have control then.

And just as it wasn't my fault, it wasn't yours either.

I had terrible labors, I hemmoraged after my first as well. I remember sitting down on the toilet and thinking I had a hidden twin that just fell into the toilet. The nurses had to fetch it out of the bowl to show the doctors it was so big...lovely. What ensued was a flurry of activity in which I was the star, they kneaded my uterus like bread dough, they gave me a new I.V. with more pitocin, a shot in my hip, a speculum exam right after I had torn, they reached their hands up inside of me to scoop out the remnants. They also had me breastfeeding so that my uterus would contract. I too, sufferd from PPD, I couldn't sleep at all because I was afraid he would die while I slept. If I so much as drifted off for a moment, I would jerk awake immeadiately and check to see that he was alive. I pictured horrible, horrible things happening to him. It was a dark time in my life.
With my second, my blood pressure plummeted and I lost my vision for about a half an hour, that was scary. I was fortunate to be spared from the PPD this time. But the intrusive thoughts, they love to intrude, don't they? I will still get an awful feeling if I can't quite make out the sound of both their breaths in the monitor. Sometimes my thoughts are my worst enemies.
I can relate, I know many people that can, and your honesty IS refreshing.

They're right, you ARE very honest and very courageous to BE so honest. And very selfless to be so honest for the sake of others. :)

Magdelena Thank you for your story. I never realized how many other women had been "fisted" after birth while they tried to remove "placenta remnants" I felt like a freak. It's horrible isn't it?

With my second, a nurse recognized me ONLY because, and I quote "OMG! I remember you! When you sat down on the toilet, I thought you were peeing, but it was blood! It was everywhere!"

I'm memorable for being a bleeder, but no one noticed the depression. Good to know...

Thank you Nicole. I just hope that someone I like as much as you never EVER has any of these problems when the time comes!

Wow. You have some serious courage. I've never admitted that I suddenly understood how parents could shake their baby to death after the birth of my son. I too hated him. My heart aches admitting it, but oh god it's true.

He wouldn't latch on. He wouldn't sleep. He didn't want to be held, and he's just stare at me with this blank stare - when he wasn't screaming and crying that is.

Colic is just a five letter pediatrician word for "Duh, I don't know why he's crying. It can't be that bad. Suckitupwhydon'tcha."

I actually combed through his hair looking for the 666 tattooed on his scalp at one point.

Ah. Good times.

Andie

The scary thing is that many parents go through this, and yet sit there thinking, gee, this must be normal.

I can tell you, if mine would have had colic, I likely would have killed them. We're lucky to be blessed with easy children.

There were moments when I just wanted to dump them in a field and leave. And I felt nothing for or against the idea, aside from the taboo against infantacide.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I want to find a way to prevent women from thinking this is just "a phase"-women should be able to find a place where they are accepted, where PPD is understood, where other women can talk about it.

I'm beginning to think I should start such a place.

Thanks for sharing your experience Andie.

I just found this post, and too have to thank you. I actually think I may have read it once before, but I was not yet ready to admit I had ppd, and just skimmed it.

I'm just now starting to process things in my past, things I've been "I'll think about it tomorrow" postponing for years and years of tomorrows. I'm trying to do it on my own, and it's harder than I ever imagined.

And I was one of those with "perfect births" - the homebirth of my second son was absolutely beautiful, I wouldn't change a thing.

Asking for help - admitting weakness, and that I can't do it all - is something I've never been able to do. I realized I was asking for help in other ways - yelling at my kids too often, leaving the dishes for days - to try to get my husband to notice that something was wrong, and to be able to help. Once I finally admitted "Hey, something's not right here - I lay awake at night thinking of all the ways I could off myself, and don't do it because I don't want our son to be the one to find me" he GOT IT and I can steadily feel myself moving toward ... something. Normalcy, health, something.

Thank you. Just ... thank you.

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