The feeling is not satiating. I know I have tasks I must complete, but I’m drained of all ability to fully function. Dragging myself through my day is a must. I’m not positive what came first, the anxiety or the IC. Sheer panic engulfs me […]
Tag: mental health
A lesson we’ve heard since we were little: Think before you speak. It’s pretty common knowledge, but it is never really followed much these days. With the ability to hide behind social media, everyone seems to be saying what they want however unkind and untrue it is. People are becoming more and more bold with what they say to your face without even thinking.
Seems like a normal question to ask a married couple or even a couple after they have had one child right?
Well, what if there’s more to the story? What if it’s private? What if we had been trying and struggling? What if I just want one kid? What if (God forbid) we had a miscarriage we were trying to figure out if we wanted to go through that emotional turmoil again? What if I recently found out I couldn’t have another baby?
Of course I don’t expect to know everyone’s life story before I ask questions like this, but it is very personal to ask when someone is either going to have their first kid or even have a second. I have made plenty of slip ups in the past. I remember specifically driving home from a movie with a friend and making a comment about how I was worried that if I went off the pill I would become pregnant instantly to a friend who could have been trying to have her first baby for several months or years. *Facepalm* How could I have been so naive about this?
I have another friend I worked with in college who married her college sweetheart almost ten years ago. They don’t have kids. I know she would make an excellent mother and he would make an amazing father, but I will not for the life of me ask them why they haven’t had kids yet. Why? Maybe I misread the situation and they never wanted kids, and instead they wanted to be the cool aunt and uncle. Maybe they have been trying, but there are other medical issues going on. I refuse to ask her though because I don’t want to accidentally rip open a barely healed wound of whether or not they are choosing to have kid.
When I found out I was pregnant with Addison, I told one of my best friends and co worker without even a second thought of how she had mentioned that they had been trying for a year and half to have a second baby. Everyone on her facebook feed had been announcing that they were pregnant. Then I was the asshole chick with an accidental pregnancy panicking about what the world would think of a recently engaged woman that couldn’t keep it in her pants long enough to be married first.
After I had Addison another coworker had a miscarriage just weeks before her due date… I was out sick the day it happened and I remember feeling so crushed for her. I cannot imagine the pain she felt losing that baby, but I have snuggled my little girl a little more ever since. I never once asked this coworker do you think you will try again because the pain she must have felt losing a child, that close to her due date, had to of almost killed her.
I was recently asked myself if Ryan and I wanted to have another by a mom at Addison’s daycare. She is currently expecting her second, so it seems natural to ask another mom in seemingly good health when and if we were planning on having more kids. Right?
I am here to tell you that you could be very much mistaken. I know several women that have been asked when they will have a child or some variation of it that get into their car later to drive home and break down crying because while it is appears to be an innocent question it is one of the fastest ways you can cut out a woman’s heart because with an empty womb she could already dying inside.
I beg of you to think before you inquire about something so intimate. Think of the love that fills your heart as a mom before you ask another woman about a potential pregnancy, regardless of her number of children and your intent: Think before you speak.
Becoming a mother, without my mother was something I thought would never happen to me or any of my younger sisters. It’s something I never imagined I would experience given the relationship my mom and I had.
My mom and I were best friends. I confided in her about everything going on in my life and always relied on her insight to get me through life. We would talk for hours while I wandered across campus in college. I could call her in a grocery store emergency and ask her what aisle I could find peanut butter. I could ask her questions about sex, alcohol, and bodily functions and always get an honest answer. We would talk about summer trips and hikes to go on, what crafts we wanted to try to make this year, and boy troubles. When I thought about my future and having my own little family, my mom was always in the picture spoiling her grandbabies and always offering to babysit. Little did I know what would transpire in three years after starting to date my now husband.
As soon as Ryan came into my life I started to rely on him more and more. He became my person and my mom was on the sideline watching. She didn’t like Ryan and she always made sure to say some sort of negative thing about him when I would tell her about our latest date or adventure. Ryan picked up on it instantly and kept telling me about it. I naturally stood up for my mom and said he was imagining it. Now that I have the hindsight of the situation, she knew he was going to be the one to take me away from her.
Fast forward almost three years. During which Ryan and I had really become best friends and our relationship was very strong. One winter weekend, Ryan got down on one knee and proposed to me. We had left our puppy with my mom that weekend so we could stay in Breckenridge with some friends, and I was so excited to see my mom and tell her the news. What should have been a joyous reaction was not. She seemed upset about it, even angry. My stepdad was not impressed either. It was not the reaction I was ready for at all. I thought for sure she would be on board for wedding planning and figuring out the perfect venue, food, dress… all of it.
Well four weeks after Ryan purposed we found out that we were pregnant. This pushed up our wedding planning by three months, and we had to scramble to see if we could still get some of our deposits back. Everyone was excited about a baby, others were maybe not too thrilled on the timing or the lack of control we were able to exhibit before the wedding. However, my mom turned into the know it all about pregnancy (she has had 4 babies) and knowing the sex of my future baby and constantly touching my belly throughout the whole thing. She was more excited about my baby than my wedding. (Which makes sense when you look at her marriage record)
From January 2014 to July 2014, a lot of things happened with my mom. She started to become more needy, complaining about her husband more, needing more time with friends to party, and creating unnecessary drama just to maintain my attention. She told lies or just didn’t tell people what was really going on. It was like something in her snapped. By the time the wedding had rolled around, I was so fed up with her I could barely make it through assembling flowers with her let alone have her keep telling me I was going to have a boy. (She was proven very wrong during our cake cutting where we did the gender reveal)
In September of 2014 I thought maybe once Addy showed up she would straighten out. Nope. She would come down and spend the night to help me out every now and then, but in October or November she came down with a frozen meal for us and then proceeded to say she was staying a friends house for her birthday party. The next day I called the house to see what the instruction were for cooking the meal she left only to find out that she wasn’t home and my step dad thought she was still with me. Come to find out she was having an affair and that weekend she used my newborn baby girl to lie about where she was to her husband. Addy was maybe a month and a half old.
That is when I lost my mom. I lost the one person I needed the most to help me through this crazy journey of motherhood. Want to know what she did next? She moved. Out of state. Just packed up and left her two younger daughters, and left her oldest daughter (a new mother) to figure out life on their own without a mom.
My heart hurt constantly after I found out she used Addy in her lies. I cried all the time. I didn’t know what to do with an infant. Ryan was working an hour and a half away so I was alone most of the time. I had milk issues and was stuck near pump all day long. I have a history of depression and with my hormones still all out of whack, my depression sucked me into the deep scary waters of postpartum depression. I had thoughts about running away and not staying to take care of Addy anymore. I had thoughts about quitting at everything in life because I didn’t know how to move forward. I didn’t want to admit I was having these thoughts for fear of being a bad mom until one day I was trying to do a workout and I broke down crying in the middle of my room and couldn’t stop.
I called the nurses line that night and got the help I needed and I was put on antidepressants. Once those started to take effect and help me see a little bit more clearly, I was able to find other first time moms or experienced moms to seek advice from. I took solace in my step mom and one of my sister in laws. I reached out to find mom groups both in person and online. I finally felt like I was becoming a mom and like I could participate in the joy that is my daughter’s life.
I still had the demons of the pain my mother caused me. She never owned up to her mistake, called me names in the process, and made me doubt the relationship we ever had. I have had to learn the ins and outs of who I am without her as well as the type of mom I am without her guidance. It has been a hard journey to walk through and there have been times where I have wanted to cave in and just let her back into my world. My husband has supported my decisions with my mom and always talked me through my thoughts. He has been my biggest support in all of this and helping me be the best mom I think I know how to be.
So while it hurts still to see others post about their moms on facebook, see moms and daughters in public, or even just hear stories about what a friends mom does for them and their baby… I am making it through on my own and with my people I know won’t take advantage of my family. I have found the people I needed most on this rocky road to becoming a mom without my mom, and I feel more confident in my ability to be a mom then I did before my mom existed my life. I feel more confident in my marriage knowing she has no influence over it. It’s doable to be a mom without your own mom in your life, hard yes, but find people that make you want to be the best mom to your kids and not the mom that has conditions on their love.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from postpartum depression, please ask for help. It is not a state of mind you want to mess with, but know that so many women suffer postpartum depression. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control states 11 to 20% of women who give birth each year have postpartum depression symptoms. If you took an average of 15% of four million live births in the US annually, this would mean approximately 600,000 women get postpartum depression each year in the United States alone. Please know you aren’t alone.
Resources for help:
Signs,Symptoms, and Treatment: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/postpartum-depression-and-the-baby-blues.htm
Postpartum Depression Support Organizations by region and state: http://www.postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-depression-support-organizations-in-the-us-canada-uk-south-africa-australia-new-zealand
Postpartum Depression Recourse site: http://www.1800ppdmoms.org/
My life growing up is a blur. I have repressed a lot of it. Every now and then something triggers me to react a certain way and I know it is because of something that happened in my childhood. One of the biggest problems I have is trusting people. Trusting them to be there. Trusting them to support me. Trusting them to encourage me. Trusting them to not bring me down.
I have a gigantic wall built up from being hurt so much and having trust broken throughout my life. Constant disappointments or lies laid each brick one by one until I was surrounded and safely enclosed. The problem with this is I would still let people come into my fortress because they could convince me they have changed. So I would trust them again and again and again. I will always want to see the best in people.
As an adult I have learned to build up my fortress even more which is a good and a bad thing. I don’t ask a lot of questions and I don’t open up easily if I’m unsure if I can trust you with information. I have my own little family I need to keep safe. I won’t let many people into our world because I have had someone close to me try and hurt my family with their own selfish actions. My desire to have more privacy is currently a bunker being built in the depths of my heart because in our current social, political, and economic environment there is none. The general human population and their relentless desire to hurt one another with words and/or actions leaves the taste of bile in my mouth. I can’t bring myself to want to participate in society.
My biggest trust obstacle: my siblings.
I have a lot of siblings. Technically I am an only child, but I have seven half siblings. I grew up in a house with my father and one younger sibling the majority of the time - on the weekends I was with my mom I had two younger sisters in the house. All of my older siblings lived out of state so I never really got to know them. (Yep, middle child syndrome force is strong) I love all of my siblings and their families, I really do. However, I don’t share information openly with them. Out of the seven there are three that I am open, honest and vulnerable with. Why? Why can’t I be that way with all of them? Well the honest answer is I don’t trust them enough… yet. I don’t know how they feel about certain heated political issues, how they feel about education, how they feel about anxiety and depression, how they feel about healthy eating and fitness… I can’t trust them to not hurt me as a person because those are the things that make up who I am. I can’t trust that they won’t up and leave or take advantage of me. (Deep down some logical part of me knows they wouldn’t do these things, but I don’t know them well enough - I have faced enough disappointment for several lifetimes.)
I am working on trying to be more open with my other siblings but it is painful for me. I have social anxiety when I am in their presence. My inner brick layer starts adding to the three foot thick wall before I know what is happening. Somehow she applies a layer of concrete to my mouth before I dare try to speak in a meaningful conversation. Imagine being put in a room full of people that are experts on bio-engineering and trying to maintain a conversation with them.
Do you feel your skin crawling? Does your chest tighten? Do you start looking for exits so you can get fresh air into your lungs? That is what it is like with my siblings that I am not close with. I truly hate the feeling, and I want to feel comfortable with them like I do the other three.
How am I working on it?
Well if you ask my husband, I am not. I am not making a big enough effort to reach out and ask to hang out or go to grab coffee. (He is annoying close with two of his older siblings, I love it but it makes me feel bad for not being close to all of my siblings) I have made very small baby steps in trying to see my other siblings if something comes up I think we would all enjoy or I try to make it to birthday parties for my nieces and nephews. When one of them invites me to an event, I make an effort to budget for the event and a babysitter. The issue lies in these types of things come up about every six months, so the efforts are inconsistent and never fully planned out. Could I call or text them more often? Sure I could. I don’t though. My anxiety kicks in telling me that I am a bother or I may say the wrong thing because I don’t know them all that well.
Trust is a battle I hate to fight, but it’s a battle I can’t afford to lose anymore. It’s not that I don’t want to get to know them or others that come into my life, it’s a matter of trusting how they will treat me later on when they have finished with me.