If you read Risi’s birth story you will know that I have some hard feelings about her birth still. My high blood pressure meant that for the first time ever I was going to be induced. 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant, and still I wasn’t having this baby. My blood pressure wasn’t going down, and instead of waiting and hoping it would behave, it was time to go.
I was exhausted, and despite my brave face incredibly upset. But I had to be strong. Right? I’d never suffered Postpartum depression or the Baby Blues too terribly badly.
.I was in the hospital, in labor, when I found out that one of our mice. Moka (aka Dada Face) was laying limp in his cage, I found out via text about an hour into my stay in the hospital. I couldn’t do anything, all I could do was try and call Max, who was at work at the time and then eventually leave a voice mail for him. He needed to get Dada Face to the vet, because I was already admitted to the hospital and hooked up to the IV line with fluids, antibiotics, and the pitocin of doom.
He called me once he got off of work, an hour or so later. Moka didn’t look good at all, but he was cancelling his afternoon plans to rush him to the vets office. After the appointment, or mid appointment he called me back.
Cancer, Dada Face had cancer and was dying. The vet gave two options, we could have him put to sleep, or bring him home and just let him die.
I had to make this decision while I was in labor. I wasn’t able to be there holding my poor Dada face, whom I had hand raised… I wasn’t there to hold him as he was put down or died. I had no idea he’d been suffering because just that morning he’d been running in the wheel, eating peanuts, and snuggling with Latte and Shadow.
I agreed to have him put to sleep with Max, who had Lisi with him. It was better that Max was there (he loves the mice as well) being able to hold him instead of not knowing when Moka would die at home.
In the end my decision didn’t matter, as before the vet came back with what was needed to put him down, Moka passed in Max’s hands. At least he was not alone. Moments after Risi was born depression started creeping in. Yes she was beautiful and fine, but so many things just hadn’t been like I had imagined. My 5th child and I felt like my body failed me and I still had to put on a brave face despite wanting to yell at everyone how mad I was at so many things.
But I remained calm, and for the first time agreed to having skin to skin contact right after birth. Usually, I want to wait until after the placenta is out and I feel more human. But everyone was insistent, so I went against my gut feeling and held her wild still having my legs in stirrups and feeling so … strange. I really wanted her to be held by her dad while I was being dealt with in private areas. Being exposed and vulnerable after everything was too much.
I just didn’t let any of them know that, I didn’t want them to think I didn’t love her.
Thankfully for me… Risi is a nice calm baby. Maybe a little too calm at times. I had a hard time sleeping in the hospital, and after my first 1hr 15min ‘nap’ in the middle of the night after she was born, I got the news that something could be wrong based on results of the tests they run on cord/placenta blood.
I worried until I found out what it was, and then worried even more after that.
Many blood tests and another night in the hospital and lucky we were able to go.
I was exhausted, and still scared about what was going to happen with Risi. Would she get better on her own at home? Would we be okay? Or would she need a blood transfusion?? Was I going to survive when I was in so much pain and having panic attacks still?!
But I smiled and tried to move on, I didn’t want them to know I was terrified, and really wouldn’t have minded a couple extra days in the hospital like they’d said we might need. No really.. it’s okay.. please let us stay? I don’t know if I can do this!!
At the same time I really missed the older kids, and missed the day to day…what little I was able to get done.
So we got home, and I pushed myself. I did my best to be okay getting back into the swing of everything like nothing had happened. Oh, giving birth? No big deal at all. Panic attacks? No problem. High blood pressure? Who cares!
I managed about 6 days of that before I just couldn’t do it anymore. I’d been lucky to have my S/o (Cid) home from a Monday (day before I delivered) to Tuesday (he went back to work one week after she was born.)
Thursday night was awful, I could hardly sleep through the panic, pain, and exhaustion. Thankfully Cid doesn’t work on Friday, so the day was easier than Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday had been. Yes, even the simple acts of getting up in the morning to get the kids to school was proving to be difficult though my ever worsening depression.
Friday night was awful, but yet again I didn’t let anyone know I was doing awful. Saturday Cid worked again.. and thankfully since no one needed to/from school runs the day was less hectic than it could have been. I swept and mopped the kitchen floor, did some laundry, and managed to make lunch for those who were hungry when I was up and doing things baby free….
Thursday night I considered suicide, Friday night I had a plan and a letter written out in my head. My letter would have been typed and posted on the blog, and then I would have been gone.
Saturday night was worse, but Cid was starting to notice. I couldn’t handle it anymore. That night, I had a different plan and a different note… and my mind progressed to how I couldn’t go because the kids would be separated and that would be awful. Which then lead to thoughts about how I should just ‘take them all too.’ The plan to take all six of us formed… but I told myself to stfu as I rocked back and forth in the bed with Risi who was up.. had fed and been changed, but didn’t really want to sleep.
I was only managing to sleep once a day. Not because of Risi and everything else, but because the panic and depression kept me completely unable to fall asleep. My head wouldn’t shut up, my body wouldn’t relax, I just wanted everything to be over with.
Sunday night I sobbed uncontrollably most of the night, at one point I’d gotten Risi to sleep and went out to the couch to try and calm myself down. I cried on it, curled up in a blanket, for half an hour when Risi started fussing again.
I couldn’t move, I couldn’t get myself off of the couch to go and get her, all I could do was cry harder and harder.
Cid (blessedly!) came to my rescue, getting Risi and coming out to see what was wrong. He took care of getting her to eat some more, changing her diaper and getting her back to bed. I told him I couldn’t handle it, and I really needed him to stay home tomorrow (Monday) because I wasn’t in a safe place at all.
Yes, it was going to hurt badly financially to have him miss more work… but a tight budget is better than having me go completely off the deep end! That day I made an appointment to get my meds adjusted and happily they were able to do it the next day. I didn’t get them until the day after that, because I just didn’t have the energy to leave the house again on Tuesday to get them.
I hated myself that I was doing so poorly, that my entire body hated me and that I couldn’t..and still can’t fully… get over the pain, frustration, and sadness I feel from my labor.
Lisi fell into the role of big sister like she’d been doing it for years. Interestingly enough she’s been the youngest for 7 1/2 years. She’s wanted to do, and has done everything from feeding, changing (just wet) diapers, changing outfits, and just sitting and letting Risi chill with her.
While yes he was working, Cid was still coming home and washing pots and pans and trying to take care of Risi.. and do dinner. All while at night Risi’s occasional fussing would cause disturbances in his sleep.
We actually had a moment on Thursday where he’d gotten mad when I was going to nap, but decided not to because I noticed he looked overwhelmed. He thought I was mad, but I wasn’t… as I went into the kitchen to make dinner and take care of pots and pans. I was tired, I was on Norco and Ibuprofen which had me a bit out of it… but I wasn’t mad.
Him getting mad hurt my heart and really pushed my downward spiraling to go faster. I was unable to tell him how I was feeling after that, and pushed myself harder to do things that my body and brain were telling me I shouldn’t be doing.. because I was too sad and too … battered emotionally not to try and make him feel better and keep him happy and take care of things.
But I’m still lucky. After I broke down on Sunday and he decided to stay home things got better. His apology (that he’d given time and time again since that fight… actually right after it too) finally started to heal the pain in my heart and soul from that stupid little nothing fight.
When I couldn’t sleep he would help me calm down from the panic attack, when it was first thing in the morning and Risi was asleep he took the kids to school. When I hurt and his hands were free, he tried to help the nasty knot in my neck and shoulder. When I hadn’t eaten he made me breakfast or lunch… and I did yes make sure that he rested and took care of himself too.
You see… when Lisi was born it was two weeks after a terrible car accident. Max was able to stay home a month after she was born and we had no big kids in school or any expectations outside of the house. The occasional doctors appointment for Lisi and Var… were the extent of our obligations at the time.
Here I had thought I could jump back into being a mom of four grown up kids, one in middle school and three in elementary school. 7 1/2 years after having my last baby, and I thought I’d magically just make everything happen… I was going to somehow adapt in a snap of the fingers. Which didn’t happen.
It’s Friday evening now, and Cid has been home since Monday and I’ve had two full days on my normal (40mg) dose of meds. I’m still tired, mostly today because a drive over to Washington for Kat’s second MRI… that drive always knocks me down, but also because I yet again didn’t make sure to eat enough to cope with the day. But I’m not exhausted, I’m able to get more sleep at night then I was before.
While I am not feeling 100% after labor and delivery, I don’t feel like I want to die anymore. My meds are balancing out much better, and the support of the kids and Cid have been making things so much better.
I posted a few things about depression on my facebook earlier and my mom reached out to me too. On Wednesday she brought pizza for all of us for dinner, and finally got to meet Risi. She even watched the older kids while Cid and I went to Risi’s 2 week check up, and it was nice not to worry about anything at home for that time.
So yes… I suffered.
Thankfully it was a brief time of suffering and we’ve made it through. I can only hope that things continue to get better, and that I’m able to get back into the swing of things after the Thanksgiving Holiday! Monday all the kids have school, Tuesday only Kat would but she has multiple appointments over in Washington at the Shriners hospital to discuss the results of her MRI’s. That morning I have three parent/teacher conferences, then to rush back home to get Kat and head off to the appointment. Thankfully I have someone to watch the other three kids.
Risi’s getting older, so things will be easier by the time everyone is back in school the following Monday. Right? I can only hope so.