She felt the best way to do this was to submit the email she sent her husband, approximately three months after her son was born, three weeks after returning to full time work.
And you know what? This email told enough of the story. It told it all. Everything so many of us have felt, experienced, thought… all of it, laid bare, stripped down.
Happy Friday, fearless ones,
I suffer from depression and anxiety. The thought of postpartum depression scared the CRAP out of me, so much so that I wasn’t sure I wanted to bear a child (rather, adopt). I was advised early on in my pregnancy that I’d need to get at least six hours of sleep a night during those first six weeks. Little did I know, not only would that be nearly impossible, it would be absolutely crucial. Between a lactation consultant at the hospital thinking she observed my son having a seizure (which put us unnecessarily in NICU), and my son having a tough time staying latched, pumping ultimately became the most reasonable thing to do.
Two bouts of mastitis later…. this is the email I sent to my husband:
I can’t bring myself to say it out loud…
I can’t pump anymore.
I’m typing this in tears, shivering, with a 100.3 fever and an incredibly sore and tender boob. It’s nothing short of self-torture to keep doing this and maintaining a milk supply requires a shift in lifestyle that I obviously can’t maintain.
My therapist asked me to complete this sentence:
If I stopped pumping I would…
This was not the response she expected.
She also asked, what would you tell yourself if you saw what you’re going through…
I wish I weren’t the one pulling the plug (or, putting in the plug?). It is a smack-in-the-face reminder that I have to mother myself… which is just a Freudian nightmare in and of itself.
It’s fucked up, honey and not only can I not voice, I cannot type what I am truly, truly afraid of if I keep doing this to myself.
I love me, too.