I know first hand how your thinking can twist after having a baby. I have shared more than once how much I loved bringing home our third baby girl. How much I loved being the mama of three kids. And at the same time, was dealing with a lot of foreign feelings that I could not sort out.
I cried a lot. I had a desperate need to be busy at all times. I found the busyness helped me not cry as much. Plus, I was trying so hard to be a good mom; to show the people who said we shouldn’t have a third baby, that I was a good mom, that I could handle all three kids.
I kept going faster and faster. And I knew things weren’t right. And from the first moment I realized things were off, my mind put together a plan. During the rough moments, I would have this one thought over and over, “I’ll take them to my midwife. She can take home Patrice and love her. And hubby can handle the other two and I can just run away.” I didn’t know where I would go, but I had a safe place to take my kids.
As my anxiety grew and my thoughts got darker, I would think again and again, “I’ll take them to my midwife. She can take home Patrice and love her and hubby can handle the other two.” But I knew that thought wasn’t what I wanted. I loved being with my girls, all of them. With them is where I felt most at peace. I had to get help.
I started medication, but it wasn’t enough. My mind kept going at more and more of a feverished pitch. And I would think, “I’ll take them to my midwife. She can take home Patrice and love her and hubby can handle the other two.”
Until one day, that was all I could think. I sobbed it over and over to myself as I took my shower. Then I packed a few things for the girls and we drove to the midwife’s office, just a few miles away. From there began a whole series of events that protected my girls and got me help I needed.
The point is, I had a plan. The plan protected me and my family.
This week a woman in California, seemingly, did not have a plan. She was getting help but it obviously wasn’t enough or the right help. It cost a baby his life and will likely cost the mother her freedom.
All of this leads me to beg women, if you think there are issues after you give birth, or wean a breastfed baby, get help. Don’t hope it will just go away. Don’t try to tough it out. Get help. Have a plan if things get too dark, painful or confusing. Let others know where you are mentally. Have someone you trust check in with you to make sure you are okay, someone who will not let you go with a simple “fine.”
I am also available to you. You can find me here, by e-mail or on twitter @signingcharity; you can always use the hashtag #ppdchat on twitter to find a whole army.
Please have a plan.
Check out these resources: