Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy photos, sad talkings.

I got my hands on Joel's camping photos. You love it.


So here is a thing: I have mild Post-Partum Anxiety. This is a different thing from Post-Partum Depression, and is also not a thing I knew existed until I had it. You know what ELSE I didn't know existed? Dysmorphic Milk Ejection Reflex, which I have just been referring to as the Breastfeeding Sads because it's shorter and I can never remember all the words in that first thing. But instead of feeling majestic and triumphant and kind of smug when I breastfeed, I feel horribly, horribly sad. Also, like I might barf. I remember telling Joel, shortly after Geneva was born, I think I'm SICK or possibly PREGNANT AGAIN. I feel nauseated ALL the TIME.


Between the anxiety and the feeling overwhelmingly depressed at (what felt like) random times (because I'm not just sad when I breastfeed, I'm sad about 30 seconds before WHENEVER my milk lets down, so there I am, walking along and trying to figure out when I'll have to feed Geneva next and if I have time to go to the store first and then boom, feelings of cavernous hole in chest, feelings of barfiness, and then the boobs go off), I started to think I should maybe tell someone. Then Robin Williams killed himself and I made an appointment with my doctor.


There's nothing really you can do, either, except for the things you do for regular depression. Go outside, get exercise, get rest. But I have these two kids, and Joel is gone a lot right now, so I don't have a lot of time for either exercise or rest. And because of the anxiety, I don't WANT to go outside. If it hadn't been summer, if I hadn't been so opposed to missing out on the best season in Saskatoon, if I hadn't had a toddler who needed frequent airings, I would just have stayed inside with my nerves and read Pride and Prejudice.


D-MER has only been recognized as a Thing, medically, for the last couple of years, so there isn't a lot of research about treatment through drugs. Plus I don't feel like I'm going to hurt myself or my kids, I don't feel like I can't cope, and it's mostly for 10-15 minutes at a time, a few times a day. I DO feel like locking myself in the baby's room because Eleanor keeps talking at me and I'm just trying to feel sad and feed Geneva at the same time. Sorry, Eleanor.


And it's too bad, because I kind of love breastfeeding. I thought I would hate it, before I had kids, but it's so satisfying and HILARIOUS. Geneva always gets all like HNNNNN HNN HNNN HNNNNN with frantic delight when I sit down with her across my lap, and then goes at the boob with ferocity. But the thing that helps me cope with this more than anything else is the finiteness, because if it never gets better on its own, it will at least get better in about eight months when I wean this baby.


So...there's that.

13 comments:

Somaiyya said...

HEY! You're kind of amazing, inspiring, and one of my favorite internet people. I'm sorry you're going through this and I admire your strength. You're a resilient woman and you will leave these feelings in the dust. Until then, one moment at a time.

Amy said...

I know I am in danger of stating the obvious, but have you considered weaning her sooner? I know you would miss the good parts of breastfeeding, but the benefits might be worth it.

I say this as a former breastfeeding mom who has learned the hard way that there is no one right or wrong way to raise children. I now realize that many of the sacrifices I made have not only gone unappreciated, but do not seem to have benefitted my children over those of my less-conscientious friends.

Also, there was a several-month period of time when I babysat my friend's baby, who was bottle-fed. Whenever I fed him, he gazed into my eyes and I just couldn't look away. Contrast that with my own kids, whose eyes were directed at my armpit during nursing. I usually read a book to the older sibling to pass the time.

You can do what works for you and it will work out for your family. Money-back guarantee!

blackbird said...

What Amy said.
Seriously.

Chrissy said...

I had the same thing with my baby. Did you have it with Eleanor? I never felt the baby love hormones while breastfeeding. Instead, I had a feeling of doom. It happened before letdown and lasted a minute or two into breastfeeding and was coupled by nausea so I had to push whatever I was eating away. I dealt with it by using distraction. If my husband was there, he knew to start talking to me and he would tell me a random story to get my mind off of it. Otherwise, I would browse the web or read or watch a youtube video. I know that might be harder to do with two kids. It went away eventually. I think my son was 5 or 6 months when it stopped. I was able to continue breastfeeding after that with no problems.

Amanda Nelson said...

You're the bomb dot com. That is all.

Constance said...

Good for you in bringing this out in the open and not suffering quietly. There's comfort in community and hearing how others r coping and have survived. I hope many more find this blog and encouragement in learning that they r not alone. Keep being your vulnerable self. It is a gift to us. And as always, we think E&G have a champion mom. Couldn't be more proud to know you and be called your mom. Xoxoxox. Luv from way over here. Mum

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry to hear you are going through a rough time. Hang in there! They never tell us all the crazy stuff that can happen to us medically as the result of having a child. Keep seeking help and know that it gets better. You are a wonderful person and you can get through this.

Megs said...

I have no advice for you, which is fine because you don't need any. You'll kick this thing right in the ass. But, you know, whenever you need a reminder of how strong you are, which is obvious to me even from my perch thousands of miles away, THAT I can do.

Vasilly said...

Oh babe. I wish I was there to help you with the kiddos. Like Amy said, if you need to wean sooner, than do it. Or wait it out. Whatever it takes make you feel better.

Karen said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I just finished editing the revised edition of THE NURSING MOTHER'S COMPANION, and there was a section on D-MER that listed a website: www.d-mer.org (I bet you already knew about that.) I hope this problem doesn't linger. {{HUGS}}

dlgowan said...

I have nothing of value to add, but I'm sorry you're having a rough time. Having two little ones is really difficult, without something like this thrown in the mix. Hope things get better soon.

alice c said...

What Megs said.
Also what Amanda said.

Elizabeth said...

Ugh. Sometimes little parts of your life sound so much like little parts of my life that I get a little bit deja-vu-esque. (Nope, not a word, but whatever.) Good for you for talking to your doctor - if talking to someone who has been through a similar situation (post-partum issues, lots of solo parenting, etc) would help, hit me up.