I had the first (of many) prenatal appointments yesterday. Heard the heart beat - WHICH totally always rocks!!! I was happy to hear it because I am sure like many before me, I wondered and worried and hoped everything was okay but it never seems okay until you see your chosen health care provider and she (he) wipes out that dang Doppler do hickey thing that it feels really good to hear the heart beat.
We guessed on my due date because us being us and me being me I have no clue when this child was actually conceived. SO the due date is some time around the first couple of weeks in August or there abouts. Of course, lovely Liz, my midwife, said "well I looked back on the notes from Lisa (the doctor who actually ended up delivering Matthew due to complications) and I am hoping this time the baby just drops right out after what you went through the first time..." AMEN sista.
There were the usual questions and than Great Scott the long discussion about testing and my age and all this shit about the chart going up on birth defects and I just chucked it out the window because my mother had me at 34 and well I am only mildly traumatized by that SO there. I AM NOT THAT OLD people.
Going for the au natural thing again this time around and Liz said "you know that epidural is the only reason you had that baby the way you did" and it is so true and that I am grateful for amongst a million other things during our birth from the nurse - Terry - who stayed on beyond her shift to help me to Dr. Lisa being a hard assed bitch and telling me I could do the epidural and "dammit get your ass in gear, calm down and the baby will come one way or another" to Molly, the Doula, who most definitely will be there again...
Finally, there is this whole family history thing. The question that got me... that struck a cord and kicked my ass was the one about depression. I commented on the low points I felt right after birth right when I started talking to Liz. SO at the depression part I said 'definitely my sister and mother'. She asked about me, after the birth.
I did not realize how raw, how deep those feeling still ran because I had tears burning in my eyes and my voice choked up. I could hardly believe that the truth is for all that time for many months I lied to myself and to really everyone except Kevin that I was horribly undeniably depressed, lonely and isolated.
I was angry about how the birth occurred, I felt horrible guilt and thought I was some sort of defective & weak person for not having the baby the way I thought I should have. I was lonely for many months. My family left me even more raw by saying nasty things like "you should not have had a baby, been that irresponsible if you did not really want it..." that is six week postpartum. My marriage suffered from these feelings. I struggled with the love I thought I would/should have been feeling for this tiny human being. Breast feeding was murder for weeks on end and yet I endured through that.
I walked into Liz's office for my postpartum exam and looked her dead in the eye and lied (KNOWINGLY) about how I was feeling. I scared myself on several occasions by the thoughts that ran through my head about death and dying and running the car off the road. I was depressed and struggling and I thought that was what I was supposed to do - it seemed no one else was feeling that way so I better just shut up and deal.
I can vividly remember signing up for swim class and music classes the moment I could to get my ass out of the house with Matthew and I saw a glimmer of light around his six month. I felt like someone ripped tape off my eyes (and that felt good) and I could see again the day I stepped on that YMCA pool deck with my writhing bath suited baby.
It all seems so warped now as I write about it, as I have thought about it and I have not ever admitted my feelings to anyone but the truth is that is what life felt like the first months of my son's life and it sucked.
For me, this was/is one the main reasons why we waited so long to have another and even discussed not having another baby. I felt so much guilt for the longest time but I have come full circle. I have forgiven myself and moved on.
Today, I know that those feelings are treatable - Liz told me that she will be sure to look in closely on me this time - that she will not let this pass her by, that her job as my health provider and for that I am grateful beyond words.
That I have people in my life who love (okay maybe just like) me - more of a sense of community - that I will rely on SO WATCH OUT. I will not lie this time around about how I am feeling. I am over the whole natural birth/child rearing thing. Whatever is best for my baby is going to be good enough.
I am strong(er). And the fact remains that what I did that day in April, it took Herculean effort, I pulled deep from within and after all was said and done, I did it. I gave birth to a beautiful wonderful handsome bright little boy whom I love more than any words can describe and I forgive myself for those early feelings.