I had horrible post-partum depression which I believe has permanently affected my relationship with my son. I hated him as an infant. I wished him dead, yet worried about him all the time. How can a mom feel that way? I was horrified, but couldnt help it. I felt so guilty about my feelings. And he was and is a very difficult child. As a baby and toddler he was a mess: failure to thrive, high texture eating disorder, delayed speech, and respiratory problems kept my husband and I constantly stressed.
Postpartum depression left me apathetic even when I was better. Unknown to me I was bipolar, which I am sure contributed to the problem. To make myself feel better, I coddled him and gave him what ever he wanted. But I could not enjoy being a mom for worrying about what a bad mom I was and my helplessness over his constant medical problems. Did one cause the other? I think yes as I read study after study. For the mom, I think that postpartum depression has elements of post traumatic stress disorder. I cannot think back on his infancy without bitterness and feelings of anxiety. I wonder how other mom’s with this condition feel. I feel like it is swept under the carpet, a secret aching sadness.
Of course it didn’t help that he had a long term lung condition that wasn’t diagnosed correctly until he saw the pulmonologist at my pediatric hospital. A simple procedure corrected the problem, although his lungs are scarred from untreated pneumonia. Now that he is healthy (but still terribly thin) he has been a psychiatric nightmare. I think I prefer the health problems to ADHD, drugs, anger disorder, stealing and lying. And I wonder how much the early bonding issues have contributed to his current situation. The below poem is a rather anguished cry from a mom who right now just doesnt know what to do.
Combined from Darin and Gary
My own home made name
Together perfectly married
Your unique thumb mark fame
My own sweet beautiful boy
Dark blue eyes and glittery gold hair
A source of anxiety and joy
Sweet innocence treasured and shared
Frail child, poorly thriving boy
Worried over, mom worn with care
Healthy body our main drive
Constant illness sadly shared
Fear poorly suppressed, fully alive
Happy grins, infectious giggles
Love of balls and trains
Full of toddler ticklish wiggles
Determined to win the diaper game
Stubborness hard to curb
Love of sleepovers driving mom insane
Teenager, that hard aching word
Hormone filled, intemperate brain
Topsy -turvy stress- filled home
Give me my sweet baby boy again
My memories painfully roam
Oh to retrieve time!
Hindsight seizes my thoughts!
Frozen with regrets, now seeing the signs
Consistent punishment would have fought
Your soul may be the cost
All Lost! All Lost!