#post partum depression
I just gotta say
"I miss you, and I hope that you're okay"
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I’m NOT here for the Maddie shaming. Depression of any kind is insidious. Your thought process is literally different than when you are mentally healthy.
I really hope this show does PPD justice because of the potential it has to educate the audience. But until we get the resolution, here are some helpful links for now.
Depression | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
What Is Postpartum Depression?
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If someone cannot go to work or school because of depression, they're not lazy.
If someone cannot get out of bed some days because of depression, they're not lazy.
If someone cannot do "basic" life tasks some days like shower, they're not lazy.
If someone sleeps a lot due to depression, they're not lazy.
If someone cannot cook, clean their house, or run errands because of depression, they're not lazy.
If someone cannot exercise due to depression, they're not lazy.
Depression can reduce your energy levels, motivation, and make you extremely tired.
Depression also looks different on different people so just because someone is able to do certain things while they're depressed doesn't mean that someone else who can't is lazy.
It also doesn't mean that either of them is faking it. Depression is an illness, not a choice.
Depression can also make it extremely hard to sleep, which can sap your energy levels, or lead you to over-sleeping (hypersomnia), which is how some people cope with those feelings of heaviness.
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I'm begging 911 not to vilify Maddie. Or throw her on the back burner. Please
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We All Owe Britney Spears An Apology:
"2007 belonged to Britney Spears. The year that saw the world's most famous singer get pushed from her pedestal with a throng of thirsty paparazzi waiting below. That year, against Britney's will, her personal life became public property. We were welcomed into the life of an icon on a downwards spiral without her permission; asked to comment on it, make up our mind on whether the world's most beloved pop star was worth saving... If we were to take everything fed to us by tabloid media at the time at face value, we would be led to believe that she was a victim of her own making - brought down by her actions rather than the ones of those who stalked her every move."
"Spears has come to represent something - something important enough that it keeps rearing its head. As has been pointed out, she emobides the disdain in which this culture holds its young women; the desire to sexualize and spoil them while young, and to degrade and punish them as they get older... What happened to Spears this weekend (VMA 2007) was actually pretty hard to watch - a gross example of exactly how much malicious satisfaction we get out of the embarrassing weakness of an addictive, postpartum, out-of-control mess of a human being... She was hired by MTV to attract viewers eager to see her make an ass of herself... Sarah silverman took the stage after the performance, she sated the public's appetite for girl on girl evisceration, unfunnily identifying Spears as a 25 year old who's "already accomplished everything she's going to accomplish in her life," calling her sons "the most adorable mistakes you ever will see,"... It was spectacularly painful, mostly because it violated one of the rules of dirty mean comedy: don't shared your talons on the weak. Imagine Spears' having come off a stage where she had been invited to humiliate herself only to hear a crowd roar in whooping, derisive appreciation for the woman narrating her breakdown... Spears, it seems, two children and five years of self abuse later, no longer pleases the public with her house glass shape... Sure, she looked better in a bikini than probably 98 percent of the Americans sitting on their couches and howling at her, but she was no longer porn star perfect"
"Pushed into show business by a striving mom, molded into a confusing vamp-virgin and told to sing songs about being hit while wearing a schoolgirl outfit... Offered no moral structure or opportunity to build a personality of her own... A victim of grotesque class expectations that chucked her back into the cheetos-and-trucker-hats ghetto as swiftly as erotic expectations plucked her from it"
"Just what this world needs is another trailer trash baby from a trailer trash mama"
"Oops, did she do it again? Reproduce that is"
"Sympathy is lacking from most conversations about Britney's body, babies, and mothering. Also missing is responsible discussion of possible mental illness, emotional distress, medication side-effects, or that Britney might have needed help."
"I noticed her hair was gone. I remember asking here, 'why do you shave your head?'" She replied "It was, you know, 'I just don't want anybody, anybody touching my head. I don't want anyone touching my hair. I'm sick of people touching my hair.'"
"Britney Spears was a symbol for her entire public life. And, even in her seclusion, we can’t stop seeing her as something more, and less, than simply a person... life, as teen-pop blank slate or isolated object of devotion, would be a lot for any person to have endured. Both in one lifetime makes Spears both a fascinating living document of how our culture treats those we purport to love, and a deeply sad case."
"She managed, for just about one second, to embody every contradictory message about female worth out there - wholesome, but sexy, but pure, but dirty, but "girl next door," but glamorous - and we venerated her for it. Then she slipped up, and we took great joy in tearing her to pieces. See? She's actually having sex now! See? Her innocence was an act! Look! The girl we encouraged to be an unthinking, largely unspeaking body didn't turn out to be a nuclear scientist! My God! Her body is capable of gaining weight! SHAME, SHAME. At a certain point, Britney Spears lost her worth, in the public eye. When she had children, gained weight, lost the fascination of the new. When she became a grown-up; when she became publicly known as a flawed, suffering person instead of a cartoon; when she stopped pretending to be a fantasy."
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All Good Things: "ALN" Story (Pre-Serum Omega!Steve and Alpha!Bucky Modern Domestic AU)
Carrying Finn and holding Oliver's hand, Steve started for the Howling Commandos Brewery private tasting room that Mandy was using for her dressing room. Knowing that they were running late, Steve smiled at his mate, "Wish us luck?"
"I'll meet you out there," Bucky gave Steve's temple an affectionate kiss. Reminding the boys, "Listen to papa, alright."
"Okay," Oliver waved with his free hand. Finn kept his head resting on Steve's slender shoulder and tiredly waved at his daddy.
Making the same trek down the hallway that he made for his own wedding, Steve reached the room and let Oliver knock for him. The toddler was only so happy to comply. Tibby poked her head out of the room to see who it was before grinning and letting them in.
"Oh goodness," Tibby covered her mouth to reigning in some of her excitement. Complimenting the boys, "You both look so handsome."
Steve smiled, nuzzling into Finn's space and tugging at Oliver's hand, "What do you guys say?"
"Tank you," Finn bashfully hid his face in the crook of Steve's neck while Oliver proudly said, "Thank you."
"Of course," Tibby smiled. Turning, she asked, "Can you zip me?"
"Sure thing," Steve confirmed, letting go of Oliver's hand so he could zip the back of Tibby's long sleeve ruby red velvet dress.
"Thank you," Tibby giggled, turned back to face her brother-in-law. Before she could say anything else, she was looking over Steve's shoulder. Bringing her hands up to cover her mouth while her hazel eyes turned glassy from unshed tears.
Turning, Steve found what was making the younger woman so emotional. There, Mandy stood in an elegant lace gown. Off the shoulder with long lace sleeves, Mandy fidgeted.
"You look stunning," Steve complimented, meaning every word of it.
"You sure?" Mandy asked, touching her stomach and the small bump that was there, "It doesn't look bad?"
"No, it doesn't look bad," Steve honestly assured.
"Absolutely gorgeous," the eldest Barnes child, Becca, added.
"Positively divine," another blond man said.
"I just –" Mandy worried her plump lower lip with her teeth "– I bought it before..."
Chuckling, Steve moved his groomsmen jacket to show his own bump, "At least you're not about to bust the elastic holding your pants together."
"No, I'm just going to rip my dress," Mandy giggled. Looking up at the ceiling, Mandy begged, "Please don't let me rip this dress."
Beside him, Tibby held her hands up, fingers crossed. It was infectious, and Steve couldn't help but do the same with his free hand, just as the rest of the wedding party did. To his further amusement, he noticed that the ring bearers and flower girls were doing the same. Even the sleepy Finn.
"Ya gonna wake up, bub?" Steve asked his son.
Shaking his head, Finn yawned. Nuzzling Steve further as he hid his face from the adult he didn't know. Meanwhile, his brother and cousins were seemingly showing off. Chasing each other around and tagging one another.
"He's precious," the tall, muscular blond with perfectly straight white teeth cooed.
Although Steve and the man hadn't been properly introduced, Steve knew of him. The beta was Mandy's coworker, Garrett Johnson. Before Steve had even met the Barnes family, he had sat once or twice on a bench with the successful realtor's face on it.
Rubbing over Finn's back, Steve said, "Thank you."
"Of course," Garrett smiled.
"If he wasn't so shy, I'm sure that he'd thank you too," Steve softly chuckled under his breath.
"Oh, it's fine," Garrett assured, "My daughter's the same way."
Looking over to where Oliver was weaving in and out of his aunts, Steve teased, "If only every child had such reservations."
"If only we could have that type of energy," Garrett laughed, watching the other Barnes children.
"Yeah, no kidding," Steve chuckled, went to set Finn on the floor. However, before he could, Finn fussed, so Steve simply shifted Finn to his other hip.
Finn must've looked at Garrett because the beta waved at him. In reply, Finn buried his bashful face in the crook of Steve's neck. Not that Steve minded. He enjoyed his sons' cuddles and knew that they weren't going to last forever, so he gladly accepted them when he could. Even if his back was killing from the weight of the almost two year old and his current pregnancy.
A knock at the door had everyone turning to find the wedding planner, Jillian. Her gray hair was pulled back into an elegant updo and her eyes crinkled when she smiled at the group. "Ready?"
Smoothing her hands over her dress, Mandy nodded, "As I'll ever be."
Jillian jovially giggled and led the group out of the room. Steve set Finn down so he could walk and wake up, while letting Garrett and his sisters-in-law go before him since he figured Finn would be slow on his feet. Not needing to get in order just yet, Steve didn't mind taking up the rear.
"'M seepy," Finn whined.
"You can sleep as soon as we reach bebe, okay?" Steve bargained, holding the toddler's hand as he followed the rest of the wedding party.
With Mandy choosing to be the one waiting for Aubrey at the end of the aisle, her wedding party were the ones who were there first. Tibby helped with Mandy's veil while one of Mandy's Becca helped make sure her cascading blonde curls framed her face.
"You look gorgeous," Becca complimented her younger sister, assuring her as well.
"Wish me luck," Mandy took in a deep breath. Turning to face the smaller room that they were using for their nuptials, Mandy held her shoulders back so she could stand a little taller as she rounded the corner towards the door. Giving the wedding planner a nod, Jillian spoke into her headset and opened the door, revealing Mandy to the guests for the first time.
There were ooh's and ah's as the attendees gazed upon her and music started playing from the string quartet. Although Steve didn't see their reactions, he was sure that they were dazzled by her. She was a Barnes, after all.
Once she was down at the end of the aisle, Jillian closed the door and instructed the wedding party to line up. As Steve tried to get the kids under control, he spotted Aubrey's bridesmaids and groomsmen. Everyone in their festive ruby red velvet duds.
Then, he spotted Aubrey. The simple, long sleeve silhouette gown that had been her late grandmother's fit her perfectly. Modestly covering her bust with the high neckline while the long skirt complimented her slender hips.
As she took her place at the back, Aubrey's mother, Suzie, secured the comb of her veil into her sleek updo. When it was in place, Suzie helped the sheer material of the veil cascade down Aubrey's back. There were tears in Suzie's eyes when she took a step back to admire her daughter.
"Ready?" Jillian asked the group.
Steve turned to face the front, even though he was positive that his children behind him weren't standing as still as they should've been. Nevertheless, Steve stood a little taller in hopes of exuding more confidence than he usually had. Hoping that no one noticed that his slacks were just slightly too tight. Or that his blazer was just a touch ill fitting.
Opening the door, the string quartet started playing. The first Garrett and his bridesmaid headed down the aisle, almost gliding down it. Steve took Aubrey's kid brother, Joey's arm. The early twenty year old inhaled deeply, as though he was nervous. Steve gave him a reassuring smile.
Slowly, the pair made their way down the aisle. Aubrey's cousins good-naturedly teased Joey, and the Barnes's did the same with Steve. The older man couldn't help but chuckle and roll his eyes.
Separating at the end, Steve took his place beside Garrett. Looking around, Steve was relieved when he locked eyes with his husband. Even if it was only briefly as both men looked over as Tibby and a groomsmen walked towards the from.
Taking her place beside Steve, Tibby playfully poked Steve's side causing him to squirm. Softly, she giggled, which made Steve giggle too. The pair earned a quirked brow from Becca once she reached them and took her place between her sisters and while the other maid of honor took her place on the other side.
When they returned their attention to the aisle, Steve facepalmed as he watched his sons race down the aisle along with Jeremiah, Lucy, Gracie, and Sadie. Pinching the bridge of his nose, Steve was able to see the ring bearers jumping up and down in victory while the flower girls sighed in defeat and annoyance. The rest of the attendees were amused though, and they softly laughed at the childish antics.
Then, Aubrey was making her way down the aisle. Steve glanced over at Mandy to watch tears build in her eyes. Over the years that they had been family, Steve had never seen Mandy so happy before. And her happiness was perfectly reflected by her fiancée.
TAG LIST: @t3a-bag
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Normalize conversations about Post Partum Depression.
Normalize conversations about Post Partum Psychosis.
For everyone's sake.
There is no shame in these feelings.
There is only shame in demonizing them.
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What's a worse feeling than having the baby blues? Your partner accusing you of throwing tantrums bc your emotions and hormones are fucking raging. Instead of being met with sympathy and support, I'm being told I'm throwing a tantrum bc I cannot stop crying.
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REVIEW: The Upstairs House
Thank you to Netgalley and Harper for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"How would I hide from a part of myself?"
Some mothers take to their newborns as soon as their baby meets their chest. Some mothers find it difficult to connect for a time, needing to get used to caring for their child outside the womb before they begin to feel comfortable. And another set of mothers lose themselves amidst all the crying, sleeplessness, and constant feeding, wondering if they love their baby or just feel compelled to keep them alive.
Megan is one of the latter, struggling constantly to do best by her daughter, Clara. Her thesis has been pushed aside for months, as has work of any kind. All she's expected to do is feed Clara, change Clara, and soothe Clara when she cries -- something that Megan cannot seem to enjoy.
What to do, then, when Megan meets a new, unexpected (and probably ghostly) neighbor? And what to do after that neighbor lets in a poltergeist with far more demands and anger than Megan can keep up with?
This is the crux of Julia Fine's magnificent story, but Fine reaches further to investigate feelings of failure surrounding motherhood, hysteria from a woman's perspective, toxic relationships that persist beyond the grave, what constitutes art, choosing between a career and a family, and the all-too-haunting realities of post-partum depression and (perhaps) psychosis. The all-too-real vies for space with the speculative, building complexity matched by the main character herself as she grows into her own version of motherhood that, despite the interruptions from the dead, remains fully grounded in reality.
Pick up this book. Begin to read. And prepare to keep turning pages, madly hoping to understand the haunt and its mysteries.
AVAILABLE 23 FEBRUARY 2021
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I needed some time to really think about this. And also to kind of come back out of a hole. I know some people get triggered. I am not one of those people. If anything, my long standing Mom instincts kick in if someone starts talking to me about their struggles. I can set aside how I’m feeling to help someone. So if you are ever in your own hole, come talk to me I will do everything I can to help.
With that said. 2020 was really hard for me. I started off 2020 on Celexa, which I was taking to combat my post partum depression. It wasn’t too long until my legs started hurting. Like, “damn I really want to cut off my leg so I can feel better” hurting. So I went to the doctor. They prescribed me Zoloft instead. I was taking small doses of it. 1. because medicine tends to affect me more strongly. and 2. I knew I wasn’t going to have insurance soon and I needed to make it last.
Then the lockdown started. I was able to spend some time at home with my daughter for the first time. I was able to just have Mom Daughter time for about two weeks before I started working from home. During this time I was feeling better and weened myself off of the Zoloft. So I actually still had some left. (It wasn’t until later that I would realize that they had not prescribed it with any refills.)
A couple of months went by. Physically I was starting to do worse. I was REALLY REALLY trying to lose weight. I had started a new diet. I was weighing my food everyday. I was trying to walk A LOT. I wasn’t losing any weight. And it just put me in a worse hole. Because I would feel good for a few days and then suddenly I would be slammed. I wouldn’t feel like I could get out of bed. Everything hurt. And I’ve worked out HARD before, it wasn’t like that. It was different. So I tried to just focus on my diet. Still I wasn’t losing weight.
And around this time was when I tried to get a medical referral to a specialist. My general doctor wouldn’t give the referral. The OB wouldn’t give the referral either. So, since I had an idea about what was going on I tried to see the OB. They ran tests. They did an ultrasound. I saw the results of the tests, I did research from medical journals. I could see that the levels were certainly in the range I had expected. And the ultrasound showed swiss cheese like ovaries. I asked the ultrasound tech why they looked that way. They were cysts. BUT the OB broke my trust and made me feel like I was just insane and that *I* was the problem. That *I* wasn’t trying. That maybe if I “couldn’t” lose weight then I should get bariatric surgery. That some pill wasn’t “magically” going to fix my problems.
This turn of events, coupled with the worsening pandemic... Put me in another hole. This was around the beginning of July.
I was already in a bad place because of what I was battling on my own. But then having to deal with customers at the insurance company I worked for. Those people were HORRIBLE. It became more and more rare to speak to someone that was nice and understanding. And management was no help whatsoever. We were just told to empathize with the customers. The number of people requesting to speak with a supervisor became almost intolerable. Not only because that meant the customers wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say (or my coworkers) but also because the supervisors were MIA. Skpe? “This person is not available right now”. Email? yea... Half of the time they barely would even go through. And when they would, sometimes it would be hours later before you would hear back from someone.
But... I’m getting sidetracked...
A couple of weeks into July I snapped. I requested time off from work. Medical leave. Surprisingly they said ok. I think it was for just a week. I attempted to go to my doctor to talk and get some new meds. They said they wouldn’t see me. And their only course of action was to call an ambulance to send me to the ER. BECAUSE I WAS BY MYSELF. Its a pandemic! They won’t let you have someone with you. The whole thing made no sense. And I left. So instead of getting new meds, I self medicated with what I did have. I took the rest of my Zoloft that I had left. I took the rest of the Celexa, because leg pain is better than being dead. So I self medicated for a week. I slept. Then I went back to work. Despite being stressed about it.
When I went back I scheduled days off in advance. Not because I had plans or doctors appointments. But because I had the available time off, and who knew when I would get to use it. And I was being worked so thin. I needed to make sure I had that time as a buffer.
It didn’t matter.
By the end of September I just couldn’t take it. Their was no support from management. They pushed everything off onto us, like IT issues. They tried to say the IT issues were our fault. When they weren’t. We would get punished anyway. The overtime wasn’t ending. They kept saying “just until...” and it never mattered. It continued. They changed our schedules without really caring how we felt about it. So then there were less hours in the day. So even HIGHER call volumes. LONGER wait times to speak to someone. MORE AGGRESIVE customers. And we were barely hanging on.
The day I left for my second medical leave, it took 6 hours to reach my manager. I was clocked in attempting to help people in an altered mental state for 6 hours. I attempted to reach out to other people and it was no use. The people I was able to reach said I needed to talk to MY manager.
Taking the leave didn’t really help. The whole time I was stressed and anxious about going back. Not to mention every other day being contacted by my manager with aggressive messages. He saw me as a traitor. During this time I had no insurance. Was aggressively trying to figure out my options between sleeping. There were no options. And I desperately didn’t want to go to the doctor. So frustrated with them already. AND not wanting to be in that environment and risk getting infected.
So I started doing some research. And at one of my lowest points decided to try E Medicine. I found KHealth. I did a health assessment. Downloaded the app. Talked to a doctor within an hour. And had meds on their way to me. It was just a few days later that I had meds delivered to me. KHealth saved me. No anxiety about going to the doctor or the pharmacy. And I was able to get the meds that I desperately needed. And each month they message you reminding you to check in. They ask you how you are doing. They have you take an assessment to check your progress. They figure out if the meds and dosing is right. And then your new prescription is on its way before you finish your current prescription. It is a valid alternative for someone like me that has horrible anxiety about going to the doctor. Not to mention the reduced cost. (If you are someone that requires therapy as well, this is not a substitution for therapy. I probably do need therapy. But haven’t been able to work that part out yet. And the meds allow me to cope very well.)
But it wasn’t until the week after my daughter’s first birthday that I was finally able to REALLY start healing. I had attempted to go back to work. And nothing was working. The system had locked me out. And there was no timeline for when I would be able to get back in. I tried to work on site for one day and the stress was just too great. The noise, no one but me was wearing a mask. I finally said, “Yea... I’ll bring my stuff back soon. I’m done”. Then I was able to start healing.
It still took a while for me to feel somewhat normal again. I’m still a ways away from “my perfect”, but I am working on it. Now, no one is perfect. But you get to a point when you feel comfortable with yourself. And that is where I would like to be.
Mental health is going to continue to be a big issue. And I want people to know that they aren’t alone. And that their are options to making sure they have meds.
And again, if you need someone to talk to, you can talk to me.
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Today is World Mental Health Day.
Reaching out for help doesn’t make you weak
Living with a mental illness doesn’t define you
You are not alone in your struggle
You are enough
You are amazing just as you are, illness and all.
Take the time you need to take care of yourself, today and everyday. Those dishes in the sink can wait. The laundry can wait. Those people you were supposed to meet up with can wait. You come first.
Stay well lovies.
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Not to go off on a rant or anything but you shouldn’t ever call someone a horrible mother unless you yourself are witnessing abuse/neglect. You never know what someone is going through or has gone through in the past.
I for one suffered from major Post-Partum Depression/Anxiety and am honestly still batteling it daily. One of my biggest things was that I felt like I was a terrible mother and my little would be better off being taken care of by anyone but me.
If I got someone,even hiding behind anon, telling me I was a horrible mother during this time, I probably would have believed them. Who knows what I would have done. I was not in a stable mindset.
In conclusion, treat others with kindness and please please stay out of others personal lives. You have no part in being there or judging it.
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I really need 911 to show us more of Maddie and her journey. This is such an important topic and I don't want them to gloss over her story.
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In 2016 I had my first child, my daughter. The way her father was treating me and only me taking care of my daughter, I was crumbling. I was diagnosed with PPD. I felt so bad because of my thoughts, because I was diagnosed with PPD. After 6 months my doctor diagnosed me with major reoccurring depression. My daughter’s father didn’t take care of our daughter when he woke up, he slept from when he got home till an hour before he needed to leave for work. When I would get so overwhelmed I would get snappy and he would snap at me telling me to lose the attitude. I felt so alone. I was with him for 2 and a half years. Those years were painful. Then, he just left me, just because I asked him what was wrong. Then, a month later, he was with another girl. A girl he worked with, I then later found out he was screwing with her behind my back. Even though it hurt that I found that out, I was happier, he was cause of a major part of my depression. I was relieved from it, I was able to get a job, I was able to afford things for my daughter, I was getting better. I was taking care of myself better.
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Good news, everyone! I'll have an Enasal update tomorrow. Sorry it's taken so long, but I did want to explain.
Basically, my dad raised us on his own, when myself and my twin brother were born, my mother, who already had bipolar disorder (which I was lucky enough to inherit) , also got a bad case of post partum depression and ended up overdosing on something.
Now, I don't remember any of that, but yesterday marks the anniversary and it always really messes with my dad. He's always refused therapy, but a friend on this sight clipped a joke that I decided to use next time he refused a therapist.
That made him mad. We yelled and fought like I was a teenager again, but guess what? He agreed to therapy.
Guys, I've been trying to get this man into therapy for over a decade.
Y'all messages really kept me going. Thanks so much, and see you tomorrow!
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They warn you that it’s hard, you know.
The moment you announce that you’re pregnant, there’s no shortage of horror stories - from the terrifying birth to the uncertain college years, every mother seems to have a tale to tell. These stories are often bookended with how regardless of the sleepless nights and the constant worry looming overhead, having a baby is the best thing that’s ever happened to them.
I’d like to think that I was never naive about having a baby - I worked in childcare for almost a decade. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
But no one can truly express to you just how hard it can be until you actually experience it yourself. You had all those months to prepare for it, but nothing ever really does. Because out of nowhere, your life is split between two realities: what it was like before, and what it is now.
I’ve told people the strangest part about being a new mom is waiting for things to feel “normal” again, but slowly realizing that they never really do. At least, not in the way that it was before. What you have now is a “new normal,” and like all major life changes, it just takes time to get adjusted.
What no one told me was that while it might be the happiest time of your life, there’s also a quiet, dull ache of grief for the life you had before. It sounds so terrible when I actually say it aloud, but it’s true. Life - as you knew it - is gone now. And you’re suddenly putting your every need on the back burner for this little person.
“You barely eat anymore,” Daniel told me a few days after we’d come home from the hospital with Cece. I pondered that for a moment. I couldn’t recall my last full meal. I hadn’t even thought about it; it didn’t even cross my mind. And in the first three and a half weeks since Cecilia was born, I think I maybe showered 4 times… (I’m working on that).
As the hours pass and days melt into weeks, time doesn’t really make sense anymore. As she whimpers and sucks on her fingers, I think to myself that she couldn’t possibly be hungry already. Then I realize her last bottle was 3 hours ago - it feels like it was only 15 minutes since I did this.
Diaper change. Bottle. Burp. Diaper change again (because thanks, Cece). Then rocking her back to sleep.
Then the cycle repeats. Over. And over. And over again.
And I’m mad at myself that the parts of me that seem to be struggling the most are the selfish, “human” parts.
The part of me that doesn’t WANT to make another bottle.
The part of me that crawls into bed with a heaviness on me as I remember that I will not sleep more than a couple of scattered, restless hours before she needs me again.
The part of me that audibly sighs when she immediately dirties her fresh diaper that I just changed seconds ago.
The part of me that brokenly sobs on the phone to my husband while he’s on his way home.
The first time I left them alone together, I remember explaining to Daniel with the certainty of an expert that there were logical steps to take to get her to stop crying. I even wrote him a little cheat sheet:
Is she hungry?
Is she peed?
Is she pooped?
Does she have gas/need burped?
Does she want her binkie?
Is she swaddled?
Is she too cold?
is she too hot?
Does she want to be held and rocked?
But then 4:30 pm rolls around - Cecilia’s Witching Hour - where my cheat sheet is rendered useless. And nothing logical helps, nothing seems to soothe or her keep her from crying. Her screaming this time of day is the kind that slices through the entire house, cutting down everything in its path. It is shrill and loud; alarm bells that demand to be heard. And I can neither hear nor focus on anything else.
I can feel my anxiety rise as I try to bounce, rock, swaddle, pat her into silence. I look at that clock knowing I have another three hours until Daniel returns home, and I just need to keep it together until then.
How strange that those three hours feel so long - a sharp contrast from all those other hours that seem to bleed into one another and are gone in a flash.
Then 6:30 pm is here, and she has finally given up, finally let sleep overtake her (but only in my arms). I almost wish she wasn’t so still and calm, so Dan can walk into the mayhem and see that I wasn’t making it up. That today was hard.
Her cries are still ringing in my ears, although not so painfully now, as we settle into the silence. Once I can think again, I look down at her precious, perfect face. I want to cry when I realize that it’s useless to try to memorize each line and curve of her because her face is changing every day. How strange that I wanted nothing more than for her to sleep only moments ago, but as she sleeps now I already miss her. She is looking more and more like a baby now, less like a newborn. I am reminded time doesn't discriminate, it passes with or without us.
I am achingly aware, in this moment, that I need to cherish every second I have with her.
But some days - days like today - it’s harder and harder to remember that. And that just makes me even more angry at myself.
Because my home feels like a warzone.
Soiled diapers are littered around, bound tightly into little balls that resemble grenades. Tiny clothes, stained with spit-up, are scattered across the room like fallen soldiers. I haven’t fully slept in days.
But she’s asleep now.
And I have that nagging feeling that I might have won the battle, but I’m losing the war.
I’m terrified to move from this position that seemed to finally quell her discomfort and get her to drift off to sleep... but not so soundly. One wrong move and she’ll be up again, declaring war on me and everything around us - her pleading screams feeling more and more like a warcry. I’ve never felt more helpless than I do in those moments where I cannot soothe her.
Sometimes I’m anxious. Sometimes I’m scared. Mostly, I’m just exhausted.
And right then, I’m sick to my stomach for feeling this way.
How could I possibly feel anything but complete bliss with this perfect little being in my arms? I think about how much I wanted her to stop crying before, meanwhile, there are mothers out there that don’t get to hold their babies in their arms.
There are childless mothers out there who would give anything to bring a baby into this world and tend to her cries.
There are mothers out there who would give anything just to hear their babies cry one more time.
Shouldn’t I be grateful? Shouldn’t I be so damn happy that my baby is healthy and here, and WOW, she has a set of lungs.
Dan calls me on his way home, and that’s when I let myself break down. He listens patiently as I cry to him about how hard it is. I am torn between loving this little thing in my arms so much, and admittedly (guiltily, and humanly) resenting her for not letting me comfort her before. As I weep, Dan is still about an hour away from us. He’s stuck in traffic, helpless to do anything to soothe me.
And I can’t help but wonder...
Does he feel about me the way I feel about Cece, sometimes? He offers me advice the way I offer her a pacifier - she spits it out and so do I.
I don’t need him to fix it… I just need him to understand.
And I think he does. Or at least he really tries. And in that way, I’m incredibly blessed… but then come more lingering feelings of guilt. It’s not as though I am doing this alone, as some mothers do. He’s there for me, offering me help and reprieve that I hardly accept in the moment. Because I told him that I know exactly what she needs just based on the furrow of her brow - as a mother should. But today, I am glaringly aware of my shortcomings and it makes me feel defeated.
But even through the toughest nights, the fear, and the guilt, I know that this time is only temporary. This acts as a mantra when she’s inconsolable, and a lesson when I just want time to stop so I can hold her just a little longer. The contradictions you face being a mother are so vast. I could be doing the mounting laundry and tending to my to-do list as she sleeps, but I’d rather just hold her and savor every second I have with her.
It won’t be like this for long - this thought both soothes me and breaks my heart.
Daniel gets home, with food, and a hug. Cece’s still asleep, splayed out across my lap, so Dan and I can just be us for a little while. We watch a movie. We laugh. These are the times it feels like what normal used to be.
But there’s always that part of me that knows she will be awake again soon, and reality will settle in again.
Cece sleeps well that night, only waking with hardly a fuss for a clean diaper and a fresh bottle. I get longer stretches of sleep, and wake up to her cooing and smiling. As she looks up at me, I am back in love again - somehow even more wholly than the day before. Just when I think it’s not possible to love her more than I do, I feel something shake loose within me and my heart expands - more room to let the love in.
Things will never be how they used to be, and I know that I don’t want them to be. It’s harder… but it’s better.
They warn you that it’s hard, you know. And they are totally right about that.
But they are also right that it is completely, undeniably, beautifully worth it.
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Eric Draven is the protagonist in James O'Barr's The Crow. He is a brilliant automobile mechanic engaged to to his fiancée, Shelly Webster.
After their car breaks down, they are assaulted by a gang. Paralyzed by surviving a head gunshot wound, Eric is forced to watch as Shelly is savagely beaten, raped, and shot in the head.
Found left for dead, Eric later suffers intraoperative death in surgery while Shelly is dead on arrival.
Resurrected by a crow and endowed with extraordinary abilities, He seeks vengeance on their murderers. Aided by the crow which acts as both a guide and a goad Eric to methodically stalk and kill the gang thugs individually. The Crow will also rebuke Eric for mourning and reminiscing about Shelly instead of carrying out his vengeance.
Being undead, Eric Draven cannot be killed conventionally, needs no sustenance nor maintain His peak human condition. Eric can feel pain but is invulnerable to physical damage by regenerative healing leaving scars.
Eric has a telepathic ability to communicate with animals and perceive from the crow's point of view. Interacting with people and objects of personal interest, Eric can see and experience the memories as well as physical and emotional pain. He can share and transfer memories and experiences to other people as well. He can also take them from people as well. Taking pain also allows Eric to give multiple people's pain to a single subject.
Eric can take others pain and inflict physical pain on himself to strengthen His abilities and alleviate His emotional pain from traumatic experiences.
Eric's resurrection and new abilities cost him His sanity distorting His view of reality, effecting His decisions causing emotional instability manifested in outbursts from despair to rage and bloodlust. He even engages in self harm and substance abuse as a result of his instability and to cope with emotional pain from His & others' memories.
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My new “mom bod”
I think all women have, at some point in their lives, felt insecure about their body. BUT the insecurities that we feel post partum are almost incomparable. Even the women that “bounce back” to their pre-pregnancy weight right after having their baby see changes that no amount of dieting & exercise can fix. I’m talking about the sagging breasts, stretch marks & wider hips that now show you can & have carried a baby in your womb.
It is so hard to be accepting of this new body. You build a love/hate relationship with it. You love that your body was able to grow and nourish your children and you wouldn’t trade them for the word!! But you can’t help but think negative thoughts when you happen to glance in the mirror after taking a shower or trying on your old favorite pair of jeans that just won’t fit right anymore.
I wish that all mothers, including myself, were looked at in a different way than other women instead of putting us in the same category and expecting us to still look the same. I feel like post partum depression wouldn’t be such a problem either if we would stop looking at pictures of new mothers on social media that look like super models right after having their babies.
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What has 2020 been for me.
2020 has been an insane year, not only because of the global pandemic, violence, and political turmoil. (I live in America... if you couldn’t tell by that sentence alone).
2020 I have battled Post Partum depression. I have battled my chronic pain reaching new levels. I have come to all new realizations of how horrible our medical system is. Which fuels me even more to hurry up and join the medical community to try and make changes. I have learned more about myself as a student and adult researching things I’ve never known. I gained an appreciation for Humanities and Sociology.
In 2020 I have realized just how horrible people can be, while working as an insurance agent for a very large company. Part of it was the post partum depression, but most of it was the horrible people. So many people that made me cry, or made me feel like quitting.
And eventually I did. Because I felt buried under the stress of the horrible members, the management that never really helped, and the coworkers that always ruined it when we finally found something that helped us learn how to cope and help each other.
In 2020 I finally took my maternity leave. At least, that is the way I see it. I didn’t get to take a maternity leave after my daughter was born last year and instead had to go back to work two weeks after she was born. But I took a leave of absence from work that turned into me quitting, and I see this time as my maternity leave. I’ve finally been able to really bond with my daughter after a year. I’ve been able to be here and watch her grow. I’ve been able to watch her walk for the first time. I’ve been able to learn that sometimes even if she doesn’t sleep, that she needs to be alone sometimes in her dark quiet room. I’ve learned how to be a better mom... Even if I’m still learning how to be myself again.
2020 was really our first year as a family. My significant other, me, and our daughter. We aren’t perfect, but we are learning how to exist together. And this really has been a boot camp of a year. At home together everyday since March. A blessing and a curse sometimes. Taking turns going to the grocery store if only to have some “alone” time. I think our biggest accomplishment has been really becoming a team and taking care of our apartment. This year hasn’t been without stress, but I will always be thankful for the time we have had together.
In 2020 I finally have proof of why we want to move somewhere else. “Don’t you see how stupid these people are being?! This is what I’ve consistently seen my whole life. But now you see it yourself”.
In 2020 someone was finally able to put it into words and explain the feelings of “my generation”. We are TIRED of living through historic events.
2020 has been so many things for so many people. My little family has tried to do everything right this year. And the empathy has buried us some days. 2021 is going to be a struggle too. But maybe we can learn somethings. Maybe we can actually become a community that thinks about each other by listening and learning, and keeping our distance.
My scattered thoughts about this year.
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