Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting it right

It's been 22 months since Baby Girl was born.  22 hard and exhausting and beautiful and life changing months.

Sometimes I wonder if I did it right.

I'm not talking about what I did for her.  I'm not talking about her sleep or her eating or her mental development and play.  I'm not talking about the magnitude of my love.  Because somehow, whatever mistakes and missteps I may have made, she's doing great.  She's beautiful and smart and funny and PERFECT and she loves me like nothing else.  I know that I am lucky, but I also know that I am doing something right.

But I'm talking about me.

I had a really hard time.  Especially in the beginning, but even still now, I've struggled.  I cried.  I worried.  I got lost.  I forgot how to be me, and had to start from scratch instead of remembering.

I still sometimes get twitchy when someone else is playing with or holding my toddler.  I still sometimes want to scream "Give her to me, she's MINE."

And I know I've come a long way.  I know I'm better.  I know that I've created something for myself in the world, that I've spread the kindness that was so important to me, that I have purpose in a way I never expected.  I started to write and created something here that truly is beautiful and made me proud. I made myself go out into the world, social anxiety be damned, and I'm a better person for it.  I made a lot of choices that really healed me, and they were hard.

But sometimes I still wonder if I did it right.

Maybe it didn't have to be so hard.

I never talked to my doctor.  I never took medicine or went to therapy.  I did make heavy use of online support groups, change my social life, change the way I took care of my body and mind.  And all that is important work, but maybe I didn't have to work so hard.  At least, maybe I didn't have to do it on my own.

I cringe a little when people call me a PPD mom or survivor, not because I'm ashamed of the title but because I don't feel like I earned it.  I don't have a diagnosis.  And if I got so much better on my own, maybe it never really was truly depression.  Maybe becoming a mom is just hard, and I needed to grieve and adjust and learn how to do this totally new thing.

But maybe not.

I don't want to beat myself up.  I don't want to think that any of the trouble I had was because I did anything wrong.  I just want to make sure I do everything right next time.

Because next time is coming in December.

Sorry.  I may have buried the lead on that one a little.


  1. Oh. My. God!!! Wow! Congrats, sweet thing!

    For what it's worth, I think you did it right & a diagnosis is just another label. You're awesome & strong & inspiring.

  2. That's wonderful news!

    I think you did it right. Don't beat yourself up. This time, you'll be prepared for it and if you find you need help, get it.

  3. i love this, and you, and this news. i'm just so happy. i know it has been a difficult journey (even amid all the joy and fulfillment)... and all the things you made yourself do were so important and made a huge difference. and she is happy and loving and AWESOME so: you know. it all worked. and it will all work again. Again! yay!!!! :D

  4. That is AWESOME!!! Sooooo happy for you and your little family!

    There is no right or wrong. You did what YOU needed to do.

    Love and hugs to you my dear Story!

  5. I am so excited for you! As the mom of two, some things came easier for me the second time around. The biggest realization for me was that my two are unique individuals with very different personalities. Focus on loving BG and your new little one and reach out for help when you need it.

  6. Love this post! Just b/c you did it yourself doesn't negate your suffering. And people deal with things differently, in their own way. Congratulations on your pregnancy! And you dont need to do it alone, you have all the tools, all the support, all the knowledge you need now. You are not alone.

  7. Oh, sweetie. I'm crying with so much love for you. I'm so happy for you, and the lucky little thing that will join your family. Hugging you tightly.

  8. Congrats!!! So happy for you!

    For what it's worth, I don't think that not having a diagnosis diminishes your suffering or your journey to recovery in any way. You have support and knowledge going forward - and so many of us rooting for you!

  9. Ohmygoodness I'm so happy for you! And I'm so proud of you for how far you've come.

    For the record, I told my midwife and GP about my struggle, but in all other respects I've done similarly to you. That doesn't mean either one of us hasn't experienced the real deal. We've just dealt with it differently. And that's ok. Everybody has to find their own way.

    This time you know there are resources for you if you need them again. And we're all right here cheering you on.

  10. Whooooooo Hoooooooooo!!!!!!!!

  11. Congratulations!

    Two is challenging. There are days when it seems like survival mode will never end. But there are other days, days where I take two girls out to lunch, days where two girls growl and laugh and giggle in the car, days where two girls make messes, hold hands and revel in each other.

    You will find your own path, the one that works for you and your family.

  12. Yay! And for the record, PPD doesn't happen with every pregnancy. I only had it 1 out of 3. Congratulations!!!

  13. I hope you don't beat yourself up. you know so much now and have so much support. so happy for you and congratulations!!!!

  14. I hope you don't beat yourself up. you know so much now and have so much support. so happy for you and congratulations!!!!

  15. Um, yeah, lead buried really deep you loon. So excited for you. I assume you're going to let us help with names. I'll start a list.