Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My milkshake...

...contains no milk. At least no cow's milk. And now no soy milk either. And coming soon to a breast near you? No wheat, nuts, or eggs.

Turns out what I thought was a harmless bout of baby acne on Rhys' face is actually a raging food allergy rash. Seeing as though my scathing letter to infant GERD has yielded zero results in the miraculous reflux-healing department, on Friday we carted ourselves off to the doctor for some professional assistance.

Here's what she said:

"Get yourselves to a good pediatric gastroenterologist."

"No more delicious food." (I'm paraphrasing here. It sounded something more like, "No dairy. No soy. We may need to look at cutting out wheat, nuts, and eggs.")

And then she said this:

"You have postpartum depression."

Ah what? Me? Me.

And I do. And I knew it and didn't want to know it.

Ignoring it? Didn't make it go away. Made it worse. Made it bigger and stronger until one day WHAM! it hit me in the face like a brick.

A few risk factors for postpartum depression: history of infertility. Traumatic childbirth experience. Premature delivery.

In the first month or so after the babies were born, I felt like I'd pulled the wool over the sly little eyes of PPD.

I was so proud to be okay.

Looking back, I can tell you that more than anything, I was just in shock. Shock that my babies were born two months early. That I had real, live, beautiful babies that were mine.

And god how I love those babies. Their sweet soft skin. The way they clasp their little hands in front of their bellies. That they look at me with big toothless grins and love and adoration.

I'm trying to figure out words to paint this picture - to show that for me, postpartum depression doesn't mean rejecting my babies or feeling disconnected - just the opposite. And to show that I know that it will pass and I will be okay and they will be okay - that I know that even now I AM okay and they ARE okay. And that I hate to put labels on everything and maybe this is just a part of life - of going from zero to sixty in no time at all - of going from the abstract idea of babies in my belly to real, living, breathing, loving babies in my arms.

But I don't know how to paint that way.


Grade A said...


You are one tough mama bear. Yours was the very first IF blog I ever read. I found it by googling "slippery pulse" the first time my acupuncturist thought I was pregnant ( I wasn't...yet). I've said it before, but I'll say it again: thank you for talking about it all: the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between.

I hope this latest news is freeing (the PPD, not the allergy issue-I know you'll get through that-surely they make dairy free frosting...). Freeing in the sense that you can address something you knew was there, but wanted to just go away. Of course it has nothing to do with how much you wanted and now love these adorable babies. I hope this gives you, mom and human being, permission to take care of yourself. We're all here to support you.

Daryl said...

So ...paint it the way you can ... I suspect there are no iron clad rules how to cope ... so you do what you gotta do .. and Step 1 Acknowledgment? .. you did that perfectly!\

Keep writing ... but take a break to go out and find some dairy-free treats!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you figured out what was upsetting Rhys, I'm sure even without the dairy and soy you will all be happier. Having a baby turns your life upside down, at least I know it did mine. And after just watching Audrey's friend for 2 days, I understand that having two is like a triple backflip. Feel free to call if you ever want to chat on those long days. Miss you guys.


Denise said...

HI April, Denise again. I suffered from severe PPD after the twins. Like you we suffered with the life altering pain of infertility. Then the intensity of creating not one but two miraculous blessings. The once longed for sweet faces and sweet smells were all consuming. I however was lost without knowing I was missing.
I was not diagnosed until I was at a breaking point. I would not bathe in fear of missing something they would do not in my presence.

Today the twins are 4 and I still feel those pains of infertiilty even though I get to hug and kiss them everyday. A little piece of my heart was broken, and it's taking a long time to heal. Every day is a new day. If you'd like to talk I'm here.
Hugs to you,

Jasmine said...

That pretty much sucks, but I'm glad you and Rhys are getting help. As a mama who has also had to give up wheat, soy, corn and walnuts, I've got some recipes to share if you are interested.