This Time, It’s Different

“Cortney, do you think this thing I have with Alice is because…well…I haven’t had any PPD, have I?”

“You are different with Alice, yes. And I think a lot of it probably is because you haven’t had PPD this time. I think you might be right.”

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Every second of the past almost eight months has not been glorious, but not once did I want to throw my baby off our back deck. Not once did I feel like driving my car into a tree. Not once did I consider that my children’s and my husband’s lives might be better if I wasn’t in it.

Not once.

Do you know what that means? It means I experienced being a new mom without “mah crazy” seeping in. I was REGULAR.

I loved my boys when they were babies. Eddie was difficult, but I loved him. Charlie was easy, and I loved him.

My love is not different, but I am different.

I’m present.

There is no cloud or fog or walls.

There is no rage–ok, there is rage. But it’s different. It’s normal, Mom Anger, not anxiety-triggered panic-attack rage. No rage that feels like the only way out is to hurt myself before I hurt someone else.

Not at all.

The first week home with Alice I took care of her. Cortney was home with me, making sure I took my meds, lifting things that needed to be lifted. But I got up with her. I fed her. I napped with her.

I mothered her from the start.

I can’t say that about my boys. Sure I was better with Charlie, but now with my 20/20 hind sight, I know that I have been my best with Alice.

The monster is not lurking behind a corner or in my closet. In fact, the monster is not in this house. Not this time.

Of course I am not naive enough to think it’s gone for good. I have too much experience with my own brain for that. I know I need to stay the course with my depression meds and my talk therapy. I know I need to get enough sleep and read books and write in my journal. I know I need to drink hot tea and find comfort. I know that letting the crazy of life overwhelm me without letting Cortney know will mean a slide back into the hole with the monster.

After Charlie was born, I watched for it. I was vigilant. I knew it was coming, but it took longer than I thought and I let my self-care slip. The monster burst in one summer afternoon.

This time, I was again prepared. But I stayed the course and it’s paying off. Right now, as I type this, Alice is snoozing on the floor next to me. It’s her new thing. After her dinner bottle, she plays until she tires herself out and she passes out with her blankie on the floor where she was just grabbing her feet and giggling. Then she wakes for a quick bottle and we put her to bed.

She is my last baby, and I am so thankful that I am taking care of my mind so that I can be here for it. So I can enjoy each snuggle and toothy grin.

*************

Yesterday was the release date for the anthology I am a part of, Mothering Through the Darkness: Women Open Up About the Postpartum ExperienceI am incredibly proud to be part of this project in part because this is the book I wish was available when I was first struggling six years ago.

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This book has the potential to help so many moms. Not only is it 35 voices telling those moms they are not alone, but it offers hope. It shines a light down the dark tunnel that is postpartum mood disorders.

Click here for ordering info.

And thank you for supporting me all these years as I struggle to put words to what I have experienced.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. I can tell that you’re different, just reading your posts through the years, and getting to know you as a friend. It makes my heart glad for you and your family.

    Congratulations on the book! I hear it sold out on day one on Amazon!
    Alison recently posted…Giveaway! Want a Month of Free Diapers and Wipes?My Profile

  2. The monster is not in this house.

    Oh, how I love those words. Beautiful. I’m so happy for you, Katie. Thrilled for the joy you’re experiencing without the monster lurking in the shadows.

    And congrats on your piece being published. It was beautiful. I also saw that the book sold out. I was going to order a copy for my friend. I’ll wait, other people need it now. ♡
    Andrea recently posted…One Match.My Profile

  3. I love that you are helping others who may be dealing with the monster in their houses.
    anna whiston-donaldson recently posted…The SonogramMy Profile

  4. I’m so proud of you for being the mom that you are – to all of your kids – and I’m thrilled for the opportunity you have to help other moms through your writing. It’s interesting how our experiences can be so different with different children. I’m glad you are taking care of yourself. xoxo
    Leigh Ann recently posted…shopping is tortureMy Profile

  5. This makes me so happy.
    Jennifer recently posted…Nov 3My Profile

  6. I love reading this, so much. And I love Alice sleeping on the floor pictures.
    Greta recently posted…Overhauling the Lunch Box, One Juice Pouch At A Time #giveawayMy Profile

  7. This makes me so happy… In reading your posts, you were different, you seemed better… And I’m so happy for you .. Experience , modern medicine , age… Whatever it is, I’m so happy to read this… And little Alice?? Omg.. So adorable .. Thanks for sharing with us … ❤️

  8. This is so, so amazing. I am so glad you are experiencing these things without PPD this time. <3
    Laura recently posted…Pardon my French: Why a Gender-Equal Cabinet is ImportantMy Profile

  9. I am so so happy for you! I have read your journey since Eddie and I am so glad that you are happy! Your words made me tear up.

    Congratulations on being published!

  10. It’s been so lovely to watch you experience “regular,” Katie.
    It makes my heart so happy to see you with her… with the boys… in a place of peace.
    xoxo

  11. Oh, I am so happy for this book – mothers need support, PPD or no. Any kind of awareness and validation to new moms that they are not alone is a priceless gift. And I’m also so happy that you are well. So happy. xoxo
    Andrea recently posted…The Greenest, Most Glorious Grass In All The LandMy Profile