Thanks for Reading Suburban Adventure

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Truth

OMG- As my children would exclaim- I can not access my facebook account. My link to the outside world has been temporarily disconnected. I don't like this feeling- isolation and confirmation that Im alone in the forest. Im exaggerating but truth be told- I want my facebook to be up and running. I have grown fond of hearing about everyone's trial and tribulations. I love the fact that I have established relationships with people, solidified old friendships and have had the opportunity to have close friendships with relatives that I seldom see and in some cases, do not know that well. I have to admit it- I love facebook and I think it is an amazing tool for several reasons. I love the fact that some of my oldest relatives are on it. How wonderful that facebook can improve the lives of everyone. If you aren't careful it can also be extremely destructive, dangerous and your worst nightmare. Learn the proper use of it, don't post things that you don't want to haunt you, learn how to remove posts from your wall, learn how to make your wall inaccessible and don't post naked pictures of yourself- and all should be fine. At some point I will share a friends experience with you that was negative but not on a Friday.

Today, we need to rejoice. It is a gorgeous day before a fun and laid back holiday. I have been reading alot as I have been outdoors with my kids by the pool which has been very pleasant. I looked at my library and selected a book that I read awhile back called Misconceptions- Truth, Lies and the Unexpected Journey of Motherhood. Naomi Wolf is one of my favorite authors. I love her topics and the manner in which she explores them. I had to read her work in college as a sociology- anthropology student so I have retained many of her books.

"Being pregnant and giving birth are like crossing a narrow bridge. People can accompany you to the bridge. They can greet you on the other side. But you walk that bridge alone

- African Proverb

No one tells you the truth about giving birth and the difficulty of being a mother. For some strange reason, it is not shared. As a female- if anyone asked me to share my experience being pregnant, giving birth and becoming a mother- I would happily share all of it.

My experience was extremely different with each child. My pregnancy with Christopher was beautiful and I was thrilled. I was sick indeed however emotionally I was riding high. I had a fabulous doctor and was going to give birth at one of the most prestigious institutions in the country- Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. My ex and I were beyond giddy with excitement and my pregnancy became a big topic on air for him and was reported in the Boston papers. He was a local celebrity so I became part of that mix. I didn't love that part but it came with the territory and I accepted my role gracefully. The labor was a nightmare as I had to be induced- I was in labor for 48 hours and then gave birth to Christopher

Why in the world didn't anyone tell me about the surprise ending. Okay, I read about the delivery of the placenta but good god. I need not say more- if you have given birth you know what Im talking about and if you haven't you can email me directly for detail. It was all in all amazing and a very positive and meaningful experience.

Two plus years later I became pregnant with Giavanna. Two months into my pregnancy I felt emotionally terrible. I had never in my life had the feelings that I had at that period in my life. Im a very happy upbeat and energetic person. I lost all of that and felt no emotion. I only gained 11 pounds and didn't buy a stitch of girly stuff despite the fact that I knew the sex of the baby. I was not excited- I was anxious and uncomfortable and I knew that something was very wrong. I sought help first from my obstetrician who shrugged it off and told me to go shopping. I tried to tell my ex husband but he did not have the ability to relate to my emotions. I even went to a psychiatrist who kicked his feet up and wanted to know every single detail of my sex life. I think he had more on his mind than my bad mood. It always amazed me that men continued to be attracted to me even while I was pregnant. I think pregnancy must give them the visual of sex or something. If anyone could explain that to me- I would love to hear from you as I still find it odd.

The bottom line was that despite my efforts, no one helped me. I wanted to reach out to my parents as I know that they would have however, my parents were dealing with my father's terminal illness and my depression- anxiety paled in comparison. I did not want to add more stress to their lives. I decided to wait and I also tried to do research and internalized my struggle. My lack of enthusiasm and increasing anxiety became worse with time.

The actual birth of Giavanna was simple however the mental aspect was horrific. I was disappointed with the obstetrician as he was non-caring and arrogant. To this day I feel strong feelings of dislike toward him. I know that as he was sitting near me in a restaurant the other night and I wanted to strangle him. I was depressed and anxious for a year and a half needlessly. In the end it was my Father who recognized the change in me and was on a mission to get me back on track.
In four short months I was back to normal. I spend a large chunk of time feeling horrific.
If you have not experienced this before than there is no possibility that you can relate. If you have then you will confirm the absolute horror of the overwhelming difficulty of not feeling well mentally. I have often said that I would rather have a limb cut off than suffer with depression. I do not hesitate in saying that. It is that bad.

Im happy to say that this period of time was relatively short but it was a long time to suffer. I live in a community that is rich with resources and intelligent people. I sought help- no one bothered helping me. They passed it off as me needed to go shopping... how absurd.

The book Im reading brought the memory of this to the forefront. So many women are affected by the changes that come about with pregnancy, child birth and child rearing. I rarely hear the difficulty except when Im sitting quietly one on one with some of my closest friends. I hear the frustrations and challenges of losing a grip of who they are because all they do is serve their husbands and children.

In having children, they have given up a large part of who they were as individuals. They have alot of work to do to rediscover who they are. There are days when we don't remember because we are tending to the precious needs of little ones. This work is largely fulfilling but we have given up freedom and the ability to truly thrive and explore all of the options that were once something to be considered. I love being a Mother and I would not change a thing. I recognize that this is a period of time in my life that is not about me being the priority. I have always put the well-being and happiness of my children before mine. I tend to my needs and make time for my personal enjoyment of life. I do not lose sight of my interests and incorporate my interests in our daily life. I will conclude with a writing by a woman who was experiencing depression as a new mother. Read it and don't neglect the woman that you were before you became pregnant. The one bursting with excitement and possibility. She's still there- she just has more on her plate. Celebrate her and keep her alive- in time your children will fly away and you will be left with her. Nurture her so when the time comes- she will be confident to soar.

"I am so irritable. I can't sleep. I can't think straight. I am nauseated. I feel so nervous. I feel so guilty. I feel so ugly. I feel like a failure. I have no interest in sex or other normal activities. I cry all the time. I can't get going. I feel so worried. I can't stop eating. I have scary thoughts. I feel so alone. I feel so ashamed. I feel so tired. I can't do anything."

Most of these feelings have at some point been shared by new mothers and by me
except for the sex part... just kidding- sort of.

No comments: