Saturday, May 04, 2013

Blue, Blue, Blue

I prop my baby boy on my legs, look at his sweet face, and promptly break into tears. It's been like this every morning this week, each day filled with random breakdowns caused by his smiling at me, my snuggling him, his cooing or his "cranky" face - anything sets me off. I am blue because I go back to work next week, and this last week with my baby has been hell on multiple levels.

A critical time in my life and in my baby's life is ending. I vacillate between sadness and guilt even as I feel anxious to get to normal. Maternity leave, in a society that does not truly honor this time in women's and infants' lives, is not normal. I've been racing against time since the moment I ended up in the hospital. I spent 1/3 of my leave in the NICU, so our time together at home has been minimal. As it is, the first days that it was just him and me at home were difficult, the boredom and impossibility of getting anything done getting the best of me. In time, though, we found our groove and it's been good from there. I have enjoyed this maternity leave more than I enjoyed Max's: it's been easier caring for the baby, and so I've been better able to enjoy the small moments and not get too worked up about the drudgery. So when I think of this time ending, of knowing that now I won't spend most of my time with my tiny boy, of realizing the whole new wave of adjusting that we're going to have to do, even though I like my job and am o.k. about going back - I feel so sad, so, so very blue.

It helps a bit that there have been some people observant and kind enough to consider what happens next week and understand that my heart is tearing all over the place. Their compassion has been something that I've greatly needed and appreciated. 

Things have been extra hellish, though, because my body has been my enemy and I've physically felt worse than I did both pregnant and after the delivery. I've thought for many weeks now that my hormones have been ravaging my body. I've felt totally off - physically uncomfortable, battling terrible cravings, and feeling so sensitive I think I might crack in two. This week I confirmed this feeling, as blood tests revealed that I'm completely out of whack. While I'm relieved that there's a biological reason for what I've been feeling, I'm now worried about my health and whether or not I'll be able to fix this. I have something that occurs in five to 10 percent of postpartum women, but it's unknown if it will be a temporary thing or if it will become permanent. For now, I'm stuck with the hellacious feelings brought on by the condition and feeling like my body is not my own, unable to do anything about this (unless I get on medication, which I've not yet decided on.). The worst thing for me is that one of the symptoms is irritability, and damn, do I feel it. On top of the sadness I'm feeling, I'm irritable about my health and about going back to work. So anything on top of this, it's just like 10,000 pounds of salt in my wounds and my irritability quadruples.This whole situation, my health and the nutty symptoms, it makes me doubly blue.

I hate feeling this way, so unable to feel normal, so unable to reign in the overwhelming waves of crappy feelings. I am blue, so blue, and it seems like nothing can make it go away. 

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Posted by Tere @ 5/04/2013   | |


  • Blogger Sarah posted at 5/04/2013 11:45 AM  
    I felt this way after my first child was born.

    I could say, "This will pass," and it would be true, but not helpful.

    So I'll just send love and understanding.
  • Blogger Bonnie J. Toomey posted at 5/11/2013 1:50 PM  
    Good Luck - becoming a new mom is a huge life change - and everyone experiences the blues to some degree or another. Hang in there and if things get really difficult you can always talk to a trusted family member, friend, or your doctor. Blogging is a great way to express some of those new feelings. Good Luck and Happy Mother's Day - Great post, an honest account, thanks.
  • Blogger Freckle Face Girl posted at 5/13/2013 9:56 PM  
    With all you have been through and have to face, it is no wonder you are feeling so many difficult emotions. I hope millions of little great things happen to you so that all the smiling helps you feel like life is good.
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