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***TRIGGER WARNING*** My Regret: A personal experience with postpartum depression

I am heartbroken as I write this at 2am. I have been sick for the last couple of weeks. I think the symptoms are finally starting to subside. I just knew I was pregnant.

At first, I was nervous at the thought. I already have six children, & a lot of my days can be overwhelming. I am a student & I struggle with depression most days. My older children already help me a lot with certain tasks. As the days went by, I had more & more typical pregnancy symptoms. My breasts had swelled bigger than ever. I had cravings. My sleep pattern was thrown off. The icing on the cake? My period was late. My period was NEVER late, unless I was pregnant.

I prayed about it. I was nervous, but excited at the fact that I could be carrying new life. I hate being pregnant, but for some reason I was really anticipating my husband spoiling me with massages & endless fast food binges again. Yeah…I use pregnancy as an excuse to eat everything in sight.

I contemplated telling my husband before I took a test. I initially decided that I would wait until I got that positive pregnancy test. My period was now two days late, and for some reason, I blurted out “I need a pregnancy test!”. My husband looked taken aback. After the shock wore off, he seemed to be pretty excited at the possibility, especially after I told him my period was late.

Later that evening, my husband bought me a pregnancy test, I went into the bathroom to pee. I knew this drill all too well. I dropped three drops of urine onto the disk and waited impatiently. My stomach dropped as I watched the red dye spread across the disk. It was visibly negative. I didn’t give up hope because I had what I thought was a negative pregnancy test in 2011, but there turned out to be the faintest line when I held it under light. I took the disk apart and looked at the strip under the flashlight of my phone. I was willing myself to see a second line.

As I was gathering myself, my husband opened the bathroom door and inquired anxiously. I was a little nervous to give him the sad news. “It’s negative.”, I said glumly. In a matter of seconds, I saw my husband’s face go from curiosity to sadness. He denied his reaction, but I knew better. I was upset with myself because I didn’t want to clue my husband in until I knew for sure that I was pregnant. I was trying to avoid these reactions.

My period was late for a third day. I scoured Google like a deranged lunatic, trying to renew my hopes. I decided to wait a few more days and test again.

Because I was hardheaded, I took another test. It was also negative. Again, I took the disk apart and started analyzing the strip. I started to wonder if I ovulated later. I was recently involved in a car accident and thought that it threw my cycle off. I thought about the day that my husband and I had sex and I gained some hope. I just knew I was pregnant. My symptoms were stronger than ever. I began to check my cervix every time I went to pee, which was frequently. It was high and there was watery discharge. I was excited because I read several stories on Google that pointed to this as a good sign. I knew damn well that everyone is different. I just needed one story to get my hopes up.

I went through the next day without asking my husband to buy me a pregnancy test. This didn’t stop me from obsessing over Google and looking up just about every scenerio that I could think of in hopes of a positive outcome.

On Sunday morning, I woke up early. I watched a movie with my husband. I then asked my husband to go to the store. I casually asked him to pick up a pregnancy test. My confidence level was through the roof because my period was now five days late. When my husband returned, I took the test into the bathroom nervously. I dropped the usual pee on the test and watched the dye spread across the test like clockwork. I was stunned. It was still negative. At this moment, I was shattered. My husband was adamant about me going to the hospital. I didn’t want to go. I felt it was a waste of time. I wasn’t having an emergency. I had no idea what was going on. I broke down and yelled at the sky “If I’m not pregnant, give me my period!”. I was so devastated and I sounded so ridiculous.

To calm myself, I took a shower and washed my hair. My husband went to pick up dinner and I asked him for another pregnancy test because I was planning on testing again in a few more days.

I finished my shower and hair a couple of hours later. As I was sitting on my bed, I felt a cramp. My heart sunk. It was a familiar cramp. I went to the bathroom and wiped. There was nothing. I was relieved. I stopped myself from pulling my pants up and decided to check my cervix. I pulled my finger out of my vagina and was greeted with a small amount of blood. I furiously grabbed a pad and put it into my underwear. By this time, my husband had returned home. He forgot the test. I told him that my period had started. I could tell that he was sad, but I knew that he was relieved that nothing was wrong with me.

Later on that night, I went to the bathroom. I looked down at my pad, fully expecting to see the obvious. I was shocked. The amount of blood in my pad was the size of a coin. I wiped myself after peeing and saw a little bit more light red blood on the tissue. I had no cramps. I returned to Google and looked up “implantation bleeding”. I was getting my hopes up again, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to be counted out. I was desperate for hope. Hours passed and I was still monitoring my bleeding. It was more of the same: a small amount on the pad and a little bit more when I wiped. The next morning, I checked my pad. There wasn’t even enough blood on the pad to cover half of a pantyliner. I was still hopeful. As the afternoon approached, the bleeding started to darken. The amount was the same. There were small clots. Back to Google I went. My “pregnancy” symptoms started to fade and I started cramping. At this point, I went into “fuck it” mode. I continued to obsess over Google. My pad was still mostly white throughout the day.

I set myself up. I knew I had driven myself crazy. Despite being very fertile, which was evident by the amount of kids I already had, I knew there was a slim to zero chance that I could be pregnant.

It wasn’t just because I had this late, light, period. I had my tubes tied almost three years ago after a C-section. I had read all of the stories of women who had gone on to conceive after tubal ligation. I just knew it would happen to me. I expected to haven’t tubes tied during an emergency C-section because I was traumatized. Had I had a clear mind, I would have never authorized the procedure. The doctor asked me if I was sure and I didn’t hesitate. I regretted it months later. I felt like a part of me also went through with it to make other people happy. I get judged a lot for having so many kids. I am always told “You don’t need anymore kids.”. I wanted to prove to everyone that i was done. But I wasn’t. Now I sit here with depression two and a half years later, partially because I made a decision mostly based on other people’s emotions. My body is a mess around the time that my period is slated to begin. I always feel pregnant and my cramps are horrendous. I feel like God is taunting me or punishing me for not letting my body react naturally. Does this sound crazy?

I stayed up to let the tears flow and reflect on the “what ifs”. I know my feelings are selfish because there are people who can’t conceive. I love my husband and I am glad that he is so supportive. Some days I feel like it’s not enough. It’s not his fault. Some days I feel like dying. No amount of consoling could cure that feeling. Maybe one day I will get to experience that miracle again.

My Regret.

****08-18-2020****

I wrote this story a few years ago, as I was going through postpartum depression. I was upset about having my tubes tied because I didn’t like the way I felt. I was also upset because my twins were growing up. I missed them as babies.

Early in our relationship, Donnie told me that he dreamed of having 10 kids. Well, I said he could keep that as a dream.

I spent the majority of my 20’s pregnant. It looks odd, looking from the outside, but I always felt like something was missing from me. As long as I was pregnant, I felt that “something”. I felt whole. However, I hated being pregnant. I know, it’s confusing. The pain and the sickness is not fun.

One way that my body has changed since I had my tubes tied is pain. Around my scheduled ovulation period, I have awful nerve pain. It spreads from the top of my shoulders to the tips of my toes. Sometimes it renders me motionless. The same sensation is felt during the first two days of my period. I had never felt this pain before. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I had never felt this pain before.

Another thing that I had to get used to was the frequent “pregnancy scares”. I literally felt like I was pregnant every month, for the first couple of years after I had the twins. I had all of the textbook symptoms and signs. I became obsessed with Google. I knew my body. I knew every time that I was pregnant, except with Ariana(I was young and didn’t know what was happening).

Unfortunately, I didn’t know my new body: My post-tubal ligation body. My new normal definitely made my depression worse, to the point where I actually wanted to actively conceive. I wanted to try for baby number 7, despite my tubes being tied. Donnie had a lot of concerns. First of all, he saw how hard my last pregnancy, labor, and delivery was. Second, we already had a lot of kids, and they are VERY expensive.

Donnie has a habit of trying to make me happy, instead of telling me that I’m making a bad decision. I don’t like that. I have discussed this with him several times. He’s getting better. He agreed that we could try.

Obviously, my dumb ass plan didn’t work. I gave up the idea as I started snapping from my depressive state.

Ask me if I want to have baby number 7. Ask me.

HELL. NO.

With all the love in the world for my kids.

Don’t fight postpartum depression alone. If you experiencing symptoms, such as uncontrollable crying, lack of appetite, thoughts of worthlessness, or frustration (this is not a complete list), please ask for help. Seek out a relative or a trusted friend to help you care for your child.

You can send me an email.

You can also contact the National Postpartum Depression support number for additional resources:

1-800-PPD-MOMS

If you are having thoughts of suicide, PLEASE contact this number:

1-800-273-8255

Having postpartum depression DOES NOT make you a bad parent. Your body just went through a significant shift. Sometimes we just need time to process this emotionally and physically.

God bless.

Categories
Parenting

I’m a C-Section Mommy!(Revised)

I never thought the day would ever come. I never thought that I would go through the experience. I never thought that I would be a C-Section mom.

Let me start from the beginning.

I found out that I was pregnant again, in July of 2015, after finding out I was pregnant in June. I had to reschedule my pregnancy confirmation appointment twice because of some unfortunate events. Maybe God was trying to prepare my mind.

My mind was not prepared.

The ultrasound technician moved her wand all over my belly. This was routine to me at this point. I just laid there and thought. There was a certain moment when I lifted my head. My vision is kind of bad, and I couldn’t exactly see what was being typed on the screen. The one thing that I did see typed on the screen was the number “2”.

“TWINS?!”, I screamed. The technician just nodded her head. I immediately looked at my husband, who was super excited, and then Julian, who was still in an infant car seat. I’ve had experience with back-to-back pregnancies before, but going from a singleton pregnancy to a multiple pregnancy in less than a year was CRAZY.

I checked out with the receptionist. Her face was lit up. As she was scheduling my follow-up appointment, she started talking to her co-workers. “Man, someone must have gotten some really bad news! Did you hear all of that hollering back there!”. I could feel all of the embarrassment on my face as I took my appointment card.

I went into that office thinking that number 5 would be my last. I didn’t have plans for numbers 5 and 6. While my husband saw this as a beautiful moment, my depression was triggered. I was worried. How was this pregnancy going to affect my body? How are we going to afford twins? We weren’t rich by any means. Though MANY people side-eyed my latest pregnancy, for different reasons, my husband and I carried on.

Pregnancy was difficult. I was so heavy. I couldn’t just hop out of bed. I rolled out of bed. Nausea was the worst. There were two babies constantly kicking the shit out of me.

I had bloodwork performed more than normal. Because I was overweight, carrying twins, and living with Lupus, my pregnancy was classified as “High Risk”. After the halfway mark in my pregnancy, the local OB told me that she could no longer treat me because my bloodwork indicated “increased levels of disease”. So, what does this mean?

Well, I was transferred to an OB whose office was an hour away. I HATE traveling, but I didn’t have another choice. I was in that office and hospital every other week, and eventually two times a week, until I delivered.

I had multiple ultrasounds that lasted as long as 3 hours, and weekly stress tests. I even saw a pediatric cardiologist a few times.

By the time I hit 38 weeks gestation, it was time to have my babies. My OB didn’t want me to be pregnant anymore, and quite frankly, I didn’t want me to be pregnant anymore.

My stomach was so big that I could barely walk. Breathing was difficult at times. I was just really uncomfortable.

I was scheduled for induction on February 15th, 2016. I was excited because I was going to have my babies at a well-known, teaching hospital. I just knew that my experience would be top tier.

I was wrong.

I arrived for my induction on time. When I went to check in, it took the receptionist 30 minutes to find my file. My wait was even longer.

When I finally settled in my room and changed into my gown, it was time to be “checked”. As usual, I was nervous as Hell, and asked the doctor for a minute. It doesn’t matter how many time I get pregnant, I will never get used to a doctor performing those duties with fingers or speculums.

A pill was placed because I wasn’t ripe yet. It didn’t bother me. At least I didn’t have the experience of having a foley bulb inserted again. Donnie and I decided to get some sleep.

The medicine really didn’t do much to start the labor process, so I was given Pitocin. I was used to this medicine. I’m convinced that it was derived straight from the pits of Hell. It is some strong medicine.

Contractions picked up a couple of hours later. The doctor came back into the room. It was time for another “check”. This “check” felt more uncomfortable than the last one. I would never see this doctor ever again.

As active labor kicked in, I asked for an epidural. I don’t even try to be brave when it’s time to give birth. The pain is excruciating. I know this because the epidural that I was given during my labor experience with Ariana did not work.

Having an epidural placed is scary. There is a long ass needle being inserted into your spine. Doctors love telling you “You’re just going to feel a little pinch”, or “It’s going to feel like a bee sting”. No ma’am.

Still, the pain of having an epidural inserted is not nearly as bad as a contraction.

The nurse gave me a button that I could press to increase the amount of medicine that I was receiving. I’ve never seen this before. I was excited. I know I pressed that button about 50 times. As soon as the epidural fully kicked in, I went back to sleep.

I woke up after feeling a “pop” No big deal. That just meant my water had broken. I called the nurse to my room. When she lifted my blanket, I could see a look of horror on her face. The nurse rushed out of the room, and came back with another nurse. I wanted to know what the Hell was going on.

Not only had my water broken, I was also gushing blood. At that moment, the three of us were panicking. Donnie was still asleep. Yes, he is a very hard sleeper.

I started feeling weak. Eventually, there were 5 nurses in the room. All of them had blood soaked hands. They were desperately trying to stop the bleeding. I later read my discharge paperwork, and discovered that the doctor who disappeared had stripped my bag of water. I never authorized this!

I saw my blood on the floor as I was given a shot. The shot eventually stopped the bleeding. I was 8 centimeters dialed at this time. The baby monitors must have been taken off or knocked off during the commotion because one of the nurses fastened them back on.

The nurse was having trouble locating the heartbeat of Baby B. Baby B was Jessica. Finally, one of the nurses located the heartbeat, but it was very faint. One of the nurses woke Donnie up.

At that moment, I was rushed to the operating room. I was given an oxygen mask and told to push. I don’t think I was fully dilated. Normally, pushes last for 10 seconds. I was told to push for 15 seconds. After more than 5 rounds of pushing, Joshua was born. It was 9:44am. He was quickly whisked away. Jessica would not descend, however. The doctor reached into my womb to try to pull Jessica out, but she was being stubborn. He had her feet, but she wouldn’t move.

I was quickly transferred to an operating table, and given more medicine. I struggled to tell a nurse that I couldn’t breathe. I was numb past my neck, and I felt like I was suffocating. She assured me that I was okay. I did not feel okay.

Jessica was removed from my womb at 9:56am. Just that fast. I don’t remember hearing her cry. I was so weak. She was also whisked away. Donnie followed the nurse who took our babies. The doctor asked me if I wanted my tubes tied. I gave him the go ahead. He asked me again. “Yes!”, I exclaimed. I don’t know where that energy came from, but I knew that I never wanted to do this again.

I was wheeled into recovery. I remember being so cold and feeling so weak. I couldn’t get enough blankets to keep me warm.

I finally got to meet my babies. They were so beautiful. They looked so peaceful as the slept.

After awhile, we were wheeled to our Mother and Baby room. It was a huge room. It was very nice. My babies were taken back to the nursery. The doctor came in and explained to me that I had lost a lot of blood. I knew this already. He told me that I needed to have blood transfusions. I received 6 bags of blood before I started to feel normal again. Well, as normal as possible. I was still pretty numb from the anesthesia, and I was still sporting compression socks and a catheter.

The stay at the hospital was lengthy. I checked in on Monday, and wasn’t discharged until Saturday.

I remember the first time that I had to get up and walk. I needed a nurse to help me get to the bathroom. The i struggled to swing my legs to the side of the bed. As soon as I put one of my feet on the floor, the pain TORE through my body. I quickly took my weight off of that foot. I tried this a few more times before I just said, “Screw it!”, and decided to push through the pain.

The pain was unbearable, but I really needed to go to the bathroom. I had no idea how I was going to do this. Donnie was on leave from work, so I definitely had help with the kids

I whined through the pain as I hunched my way over to the bathroom. Please Jesus! I don’t fault these medical professionals for being agitated. There are many more patients that need care, and half of them were probably almost as annoying as I was.

Saturday’s ride home seemed longer than usual. When we got home, Donnie made sure I was settled into bed before putting the twins to sleep. As usual, the older children were curious and excited to see the babies. I was worn out and needed a nap, so I slept

I woke up to a ton of pain. Because I was breastfeeding, I was given prescription Tylenol to take. Tylenol does nothing for me. Still, I took the medicine. I was desperate for any type of relief from the piercing pain in my abdomen.

See, I was used to delivering the conventional way to the the point where I could walk just hours after giving birth. This c-section recovery experience was something I didn’t imagine.

I needed every bit of the 6 week postpartum period to fully recover from my emergency c-section. Donnie was a trooper. He literally JUMPED every time I needed help.

Going to the bathroom was Hell. The usual pain of standing up was starting to get to me. The pain was still unbearable. This time, the pain paralyzed me. I literally could not more once that pain tore through my body. Then, it happened. I was so embarrassed. My legs were wet. This happened for a good 3 weeks.

Still, the show had to go on, so I slapped on a Depends and kept pushing. Maybe I pushed too hard. My c-section scar started to reopen and I developed a small infection.

Are you serious?

I was finally able to walk, with no assistance, 4 weeks after giving birth. I was still crouched over, but it was much easier to get around. I had a follow-up appointment to have my dressing taken off of my wound. There was so much tape! At least I didn’t have staples.

By 6 weeks postpartum, I was able to walk upright, and do everything for myself. This was a blessing because Donnie was set to return to work 2 weeks later. I was really going to miss his care and attentiveness though.

I wasn’t scared of being by myself with a newborn. I was scared of being by myself with two newborns and a one-year old. Not to mention, I had three other kids to get ready for school each morning.

All I hear is the echoing choruses of “You got a lot on your hands, don’t you?”.

Yes. Yes, I do.

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