I wish I had the internet when my first child was born.
I mean, I HAD the internet but not the way I do now. I didn’t have it as a friend. As a support group. As a place for respite in hard times and celebration in the good times.
Like I do now.
If I had known this community when my son was born in 2004 I think things would have been somewhat different for me. I don’t think I would have felt so alone in my feelings of anxiety and borderline depression. After Ben was born I wanted to rewind. I wanted to go back to the way my life had been before. I did not want to hurt my son, I just wanted to drop him off at someone else’s door and have my life return to “normal”.
With his delivery came some complications, mostly for me, both physically and emotionally. And even though I had heard of the “baby blues” no one elaborated on that too much. I pictured myself just crying more than usual, or having feelings like I did with PMS. Normal stuff. But now, I believe that it is not something that people can really describe to someone else. I know that you truly have to live through it yourself to know exactly what it feels like and even then, it is still different for everyone.
I had many reasons to want to go back, including my own damaged body (and I don’t just mean because I had borne baby now my body wasn’t “perfect”, it was different than that…). I also could not get the child to breastfeed to save his life (literally) and I felt like the worst mother on the planet for it. I’d read SO much telling me that “breast was best” and how wonderful it was for bonding. And because I felt about as “bonded” to him as one stranger does to another, I wanted that so badly.
It took several weeks and a lot of “bonding” with my hospital grade pump before my dear husband looked me in the eye and told me he felt it was time to take another approach. I’m sure he had no idea who I had become and I know I did not either. We agreed that it was time to realize that my fight to feed him from the breast was not won. And that my internal struggle was worse than giving in to formula.
My doctor also noticed a difference in me and we all agreed that an anti-depressant was also in order. So here I was, depressed, sad, lonely and scarred. And now a mother.
I SO wish I would have had more people to talk to about it all in those first crazy weeks. I wish I’d had this community, that I know (because I’ve seen it first hand) can wrap its virtual arms around a mother who is going through these things. Who just needs someone to tell her that it’s alright and that they’ve been there and that she’ll get through it and that they are there to listen while she vents.
I got through it. Or I guess I should say, we got through it. Me, my husband and our baby boy… but I’m guessing it could have been at least a little easier if I would have had you all then.
Just a guess.