“give sorrow words; the grief that doesn’t speak whispers o’er the fraught heart and bids it break”
~Shakespeare (MacBeth, 4.3)
I am a planner. A list-maker.
I like order and directions and a roadmap.
I like to chart out all the possibilities and know what is in store.
And then I like to do it right.
I don’t like to let people down.
Disappointment is my biggest fear.
I am a people-pleaser.
I am a “good” girl. I always did what I was told out of fear of disappointing someone.
These are all things that came out in my therapy session on Thursday. All things that were stated after I blurted out that I just HATE my stupid medication.
She looked at me and pointed out what I should have known after seeing her for almost a year.
I feel the need to do things “right”.
I DO do things right.
Except having babies.
I don’t do that “right”.
At least not the traditional idea of “right”.
And I have to let myself grieve this.
I hate that my body doesn’t naturally produce the progesterone that will help me sustain a pregnancy.
I hate that no matter how many babies I give birth to, when asked how many pregnancies, I will always have to add 2 to the number of children I have.
I hate that my body isn’t shaped correctly to birth a baby vaginally.
I hate that my son and I are results of “the miracle of modern medicine.”
I hate that my mind betrayed me.
I hate that I may be on depression and/or anxiety meds for the rest of my child-bearing years…or longer.
I have been telling others that it is ok. That they are not alone. That they WILL get through PPD/A, and in the midst of that I have been fighting my own battle. With grief.
I don’t want this to be me.
I don’t want things to always be hard.
I don’t want to be special or a statistic.
I want to be NORMAL.
I have been quietly struggling with this new reality of mine.
Getting off my meds did not work. At all. Even though I so badly wanted it to, and I so furtively believed I could do it.
I was going to be a success story. Getting off my meds and getting pregnant again was going to be the pretty bow on this ugly story of PPD.
And then I could say, “see? you just need meds, therapy, and time and then you will be ALL BETTER.”
But I am not “all better.”
Instead, I am back on my meds.
And I might be for a very, very long time.
I know that nobody is disappointed…except me.
But I count. That much I have learned in this battle.
What I feel about everything matters.
I have to be able to accept that this is my story. It’s part of what makes me Katie. It’s not all of me, but it is part of me.
Before I can accept that and be ok with it? I have to grieve that this plan didn’t work out.
My body refused to do this “right”.
And it will continue to not do it “right” because it has a different way…a chemically altered, surgery-aided way to bring babies into this world.
Once I have given myself appropriate time to mourn my loss? Only then can I begin to accept that just because I didn’t do this “right”? I also didn’t do it “wrong”.
Until then, I must give my grief words or it will continue to break my heart.
I will continue to have broken insides. over and over.
And broken insides are not conducive to a happy home for a new baby.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Help spread the word and break down the stigma.