Internalized 

It’s so hard, because you have to function. There is a tiny defenceless human who needs you to look after them 24/7. But you can’t function because of your depression, so you don’t for a while and just sit or lie there, listening to your baby cry out for you, his hungry cry, his lonely cry, any of his beautiful cries. You feel so guilty, so ashamed but you physically can’t move and you consider ignoring him but you can’t because he needs you to get your shit together, he needs you to look after him in this big scary world, so you finally get up and help him, crying the whole time because you feel so terrible for making him wait, worrying that your mood is affecting him negatively, messing him up before he’s even begun to live. 

You tell him how much you love him and how sorry you are, even though you still don’t know if you’ve bonded with him because you never felt that overwhelming feeling everyone told you about, the one your partner felt the first time he laid eyes on your son. The one they tell you it’s normal not to feel right away but it still plays on your mind every single day, do you actually love your child or are you just going through the motions? And you feel so ripped off that you didn’t get that feeling and you wonder if it was a mistake, having a baby at all, you’re obviously not maternal, you can’t do it, you never should have done it and what if you never get better and you screw up this tiny little baby for life and he ends up a giant mess just like his mother. 

But you’re disgusted at yourself for even thinking like that, he’s amazing, perfect, everything you ever wanted, you just thought you would handle it better, you knew it would be challenging but you thought because you’re a nurturing soul that you would cope, but you just can’t seem to get a hold of yourself this time around and you’re crying while you comfort him and you’re feeling selfish because you’re not the only person who’s had a baby and found it difficult and confusing but everyone you see with a baby is doing so well and you just can’t understand why you can’t do it yourself.

Then he smiles at you, his adorable gummy smile, the one that lights up his eyes making his whole face shine and he gurgles the cutest little sound at you, so sweetly that you melt and manage to pull yourself out of your funk for a while and you function again like you should. But after a while you start to freak out that you’ve scarred him for life, taken too long to respond to his needs. You go downhill again and repeat the process. 

And you know you should be telling someone, your partner, your mother, a friend, but you’re in denial. You know that tomorrow will be different, that you’ll get up early and do shit tomorrow. You’ll have a healthy breakfast, you’ll go for a walk, you’ll get the million things done that you’ve been neglecting for too long and you’ll be a better mother too. The mother that your baby deserves, who responds to the cues and doesn’t leave him to cry for too long and interacts with him, helping him to grow because you know how amazing it is to watch him develop. 

But then tomorrow comes and you’re tired and sore and just need a break, or a nap, or to watch an entire episode of a show on TV without having to stop it to tend to your childs needs and without feeling selfish for wanting that. Or to not have a pile of dishes to do in order to be able to eat something substantial instead of just wolfing down a yoghurt between babies cries. To not be alone with the baby and feeling helpless until your partner comes home and gives you a hand. 

But he needs some time out too because he’s been working all day as well, just a different kind of work and you remember what that feels like and how tiring it is and how terrified you are of going back to work in a few weeks time and how it’s going to be so hard to be away from your little guy and let someone else, a stranger care for him and maybe miss out on his milestones, even though you knew this is how it had to be before you even conceived him. You knew it would suck but you thought you could handle it, just like everything else you thought you could handle. 

And now the thought of working all day, then to have to go home each night and still have responsibilities, little chance for a break and you wonder how you will cope even though it’s what’s best for your family, but you’re scared even though everyone tells you that you’re looking so good and doing so well and you don’t understand because you stopped looking after yourself weeks ago, you just didn’t have the energy to look after both yourself and the boy and soon you’re going to have even more responsibility and you’re lying in bed, paralyzed by these thoughts circling round and round your head, then you hear your baby cry for you, but you’re frozen in place…

How could you be sad seeing this beautiful face everyday
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11 thoughts on “Internalized 

  1. People get sad in the face of most beautiful sunset, marrying the love of their life, and their own beautiful children. It’s how some bodies work and nothing to be ashamed of, though for some reason PPD isn’t talked about enough. Thank you for sharing your experiences- so well described and achingly difficult to experience yourself. I’m sorry. But I can tell that you love your child with an incredible strength, even if the depression is crippling you. Later, he won’t have any memories about what you’re going through now and how it affects him… but he’ll have you and he’ll be able to know you love him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Also, I’m very sorry… you didn’t mention PPD and I didn’t meant to diagnose!
    From what my mom has told me, she found it hard to find time for herself when she had my brother and me (both at the same time). She didn’t even know when she could go to the restroom and at times it was scary for her… all that responsibility alone at home while my Dad was at work. Parents have such incredibly difficult jobs! But one can of course only imagine it until one has a child oneself. It sounds like you’re doing a great job- there’s no perfect way to do it and there are a lot of horrible ways to do it, and you’re definitely not doing that. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish you strength and happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, you were right with the PPD. It’s difficult to distinguish sometimes because the symptoms are the same as just general adjusting to becoming a mother, I think they’re just exaggerated a LOT. I couldn’t imagine having twins, your mother is a strong woman 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. He is a very happy baby which my counsellor told me is a lot to do with me, so I feel better knowing that I’m not doing as badly as I thought 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish I could remember how long it took me to get things sorted after AJ was born, but it was a long while, that I know. I wish I could comfort you and say it’s going to be okay (which it is), but I know that you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel right now so it may be pointless. I agree with Violet. Talk to someone. Get it out. Don’t internalize. For you, not for him. For you. Hugs my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know what to say as I’ve never dealt with what you’re going through. Just that I know depression can make you do things you never thought you would, and have strange thoughts that are unappealing. I hope things start to lift up for you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m holding you close in my heart, Katie, and agreeing with all the wisdom of the comments above. I truly believe with time you’ll be fine and your tiny one will be fine as well because you are who you are

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