Not yet.

by

Just read this article (linked midway through) and it made me both cry and feel better.

I am feeling incredibly down about this SPD pain and the effects it is having on my ability to care for my children. I thought I had felt glum about this during pregnancy, but I had no idea. Yesterday I woke up crying, cried throughout the day, and the middle of the night festivities culminated in me repeating, ‘I am rubbish, I am rubbish, I am rubbish’ over and over again. TMD has been hovering nervously, and she took the time to read the article about postpartum depression that the health visitor gives to all new parents.

To a certain extent, I believe I am having a normal reaction to a terrible situation. However, my ‘normal reaction’ is pretty horrid, and I need to take care to be mindful of my mental health. The study linked above mentioned the devestating effects SPD can have on mental health, and I can believe it.

I feel like I am missing all the normal parts of being a mother. I can’t change their nappies. I have difficulties holding them for long periods of time, and there is no chance of me picking them up and giving them a cuddle. I can’t carry them around. I could go on and on – it is getting pretty easy to fixate on the negative. Even things as simple as not being able to shift position in bed, meaning I can’t put them over my shoulder to burp them (both of their preferred positions).

I just sob and sob, apologising to them. To TMD. I feel like I am letting my babies down. All I want to do is cuddle and care for them, and I am just as stuck in one position as I was before, and if anything, things have gotten slightly worse. I have the ability to get myself on and off the couch/bed which is lovely, but due to the fact that I am no longer sporting a giant bump. The pain has not gotten better. I am on mega painkillers now, and it still hurts more than it did when I was pregnant. Next week I am getting a home visit from a physio, and you’d better believe I am not going to fuck around with their advice. Exercise? You got it. I’ll do whatever you say, ma’am, just make me get better.

I don’t want to stay like this.

It’s a bad limbo period. The babies are two and a half weeks old – I was warned I’d still have to have the crutches for a good few weeks, but right now I don’t know whether this is a normal part of recovery, or if I will be one of the freaky few who have SPD for a long time after birth. We often have more than one medical professional in the house at a time, and I am always being referred to like this – ‘Existere has very severe SPD.’  ‘Existere is incapacitated.’ ‘Existere has SPD, which is excruciating.”In extreme cases, women like Existere may need crutches.’ (Um, hello? A zimmer frame and wheelchair, bitches.)

The word ‘severe’ is used again and again, much more than it was when I was still pregnant. Maybe they expected me to rebound. A bitter part of me, looking for someone to blame, points to the fact that the morning after my c section, they made me walk through the ward, down the hall, and to the bathroom. Thanks to that experience, I passed out for the first time in my life, an alarm cord was pulled, and I had about six people to help me back off the toilet – and wipe me. And then back into a wheelchair. I should never have been expected to walk that far, and I should have stood up for myself.

I don’t know. I can’t look at the babies while they sleep (TMD is on my side of the bed, cot pulled up so it nestles to her) because I wouldn’t actually be able to shift position or respond quickly enough should there be a vomit alert.

I feel inept, useless, a burden. I feel I am letting my children down. I feel pointless, and useless, and in love with little babies I am not touching as much as I should. I almost find myself shying away from feeding them, because I feel it is one more area I will screw up (to the second degree, though you don’t know about that yet) or let them down.

My mother asks every day, surprise and worry in her voice, ‘You aren’t walking yet?’

No.

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6 Responses to “Not yet.”

  1. Jenny Says:

    I hope you start to feel better soon. The SPD sounds like it really sucks – I can’t even imagine how hard it must be, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. I don’t think it’s surprising that it’s much harder to deal with now than in pregnancy, even assuming the pain had been exactly the same before/after birth: in part because one would naively expect it to improve and also because now you have a lot of external baby-action happening that you don’t want to miss out on. Also, you’re also recovering from a c-section on top of all that. Anyway, best wishes to you and TMD and Mano and Torre – I hope you all get through this as best you can and will look back on it later with disbelief.

  2. Tatiana Says:

    I’m so, so sorry to read all this. Having babies is hard enough that being in pain and unable to tend to them as much as you want to must be just emotionally excruciating 😦

    I really hope the physiotherapist can offer you serious help.

    I don’t know what else to say. Take care of yourself, emotionally. Love you ❤

  3. nutella Says:

    I’m so sorry for your pain and anguish. You are not a failure. Look what you made! 2 beautiful healthy babies. And you are feeding them, too? How amazing is THAT?

    Post-pregnancy hormones and breast feeding hormones are AWFUL. I cried more in the first 2 weeks of my son’s life then I ever have at any other point in my life. My SPD resloved itself after birth, but I had nerve damage in my legs and feet from the labor and birth that is only now clearing up at 17 weeks post partum. I may never have 100% nerve restoration in one foot, but at least I can walk normally again.

    I hope the physio can help you and quickly. It WILL get better.

  4. 2momswithaplan Says:

    I wish there was something I could say or do to make it better. I agree that they should not have made you walk like that the morning after your c-section. That is crazy!!

    I hope you start to feel better and are able to really enjoy your precious babies soon! Hang in there!

  5. Jinxy Says:

    I didn’t have SPD but I did have a c-section and that alone takes a lot of time to recover from. I can’t believe they made you walk that far to the bathroom. I had one in my room and I didn’t walk there by myself for two days (or something like that) and then I way over did it and I got a fever and paid for it.

    I know its so much easier said then done but don’t be too hard on yourself. Let TMD help, let other people help. Cuddle your babies when you can and when you can’t they will be fine.

    I have heard that doing lots of skin to skin contact with newborns helps with postpartum depression. Maybe that would help you. I wish I could have had more skin to skin with Lily but she was born in the middle of winter and I was always scared she’d get too cold so I always had her bundled up.

    You aren’t letting your babies down if you love them and do what you can for them.

  6. Danica Says:

    I had it, I still have it and I am planning another pregnancy and it terrifies me. I did find though, what saved me was to sleep with my butt elevated. like REALLY elevated. It was extremely uncomfortable to sleep but it did help. I sympathize for you, I really do. It does get better. I wish I had more to offer.

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