Mother’s Day

8 May

My first Mother’s Day was one of desperation.  I was desperate to appear and feel normal.  To want to soak in the whole day bathed in the glow of motherhood.  The pictures I have from that day are bittersweet – I can see the depression and anxiety in my eyes.

Last year, I was honored to write for the Postpartum Progress Mother’s Day Rally for Mental Health.  I wrote my post while not yet knowing I was 4 weeks pregnant.  By the time Mother’s Day arrived and the post was published, my antenatal depression was in full swing and everything I had written – all that truth – vanished behind depression’s ugly curtain.

This year, I am now a mother to two girls.  Two amazing, breathtaking girls.

I have had rough patches since No2’s birth.  She’s suffered from a milk protein intolerance for four months, making even survival a lofty goal at times.  I’ve battled anxiety’s ugly demons often.  But all along I have adored her.  If you’ve never suffered from a postpartum mood disorder, that may sound strange.  But it’s all I ever wanted with No1 – to love her more than I feared her.  

And this Mother’s Day, I have it.

5 Responses to “Mother’s Day”

  1. Shelly Grattan Haslbauer May 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    You say the things I never could. Even if I said them, no one would’ve cared. Whining and/or being less than 100% is not an option in my family. It didn’t get better. My son’s dad set the bar when he said, “you better not use this (the pregnancy) as an excuse to be lazy.” I was screwed. I was in labor at 6 months, but kept on working. Who does that?! In my head, I had to. I would let the baby (not “my” baby, he was never “my” baby) die before I admitted there was something wrong. My last trimester was miserable, painful, I felt sick, and beyond weak. Even though I was on strict bed rest due to my preterm labor, I was up cleaning every day. I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t want this. This kid was dragging me down. After my son was born, I felt like I was taking care of him until his real mom came to get him. Bitch was running hella late. I was so disconnected from him that my milk didn’t come in, I begged to go back to work when he was 3 wks old, and I lost all 60 swollen, water logged, pregnancy lbs before my 6 week check-up. No baby shower, no announcements, no pictures of me being pregnant… it was like he never happened. Move along, nothing to see here. I was fine. — I wasn’t fine. He happened. No one else was coming for him. My first Mother’s Day was a few days after my son was born. I was home alone with him, crying, panicking, and suicidal… there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

    • learnedhappiness May 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

      Thank you so much for sharing your story here. And while I’m sorry you know how I felt, I’m glad to have you among the ranks of the survivors.

  2. applesndroses May 9, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    Beautiful post Susan! You are right Susan, they are breathtakingly beautiful, and so are you.

  3. Kimberly M (@momgosomething) May 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    To love her more than I feared her….
    Stole my breath away.
    You are a wonderful Mom. Just look in those beautiful faces…


  1. Depression and Anxiety Resources | Learned Happiness - November 17, 2013

    […] with my husband.  That’s all it took to tell me I was really on the way to being well. Mother’s Day – “To love her more than I feared her.”  That Mother’s Day I had all I […]

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