PPD

I blogged a lot about the journey after my daughter was born. It’s not meant to impress anybody, but it was more of an outlet for me. It was my way of dealing and coping with what life threw at me. 

I’ve never really experienced depression before. As a social worker I dealt with it a lot, but never really knew the magnitude of depression or how it really affects someone’s life. I always thought “they really need to just get over it.” That was until I went through it myself. I really saw what it was like, still even until this day to feel like there was this constant weight on your shoulder’s, there was always that one thing dragging you behind. 

I used to have a body to die for. Then I blew up like a blow fish. The day I delivered my child I weighed 389 pounds. I hated the way I looked. I still to this day do not understand how my husband could stand to sleep with me. I have only lost about 59 pounds, and my self worth is absolute shit. 

There is also the under lying factor that I feel like a failure. I gave birth to a very sick little girl. Until this day they still do not know what caused her to be so sick. It could have been missed gestational diabetes, it could have been from having an infection that was never treated, but nobody knows. How could I not blame myself? I had one job, and it was to make sure that little girl was safe, even inside me, and I failed at it. Maybe I ate too much, actually I know I did. I was a mess. I am a mess. If that didn’t make me feel shitty enough, lets also talk about the fact that I was unable to breast feed like I wanted. I didn’t pump as much as I should, I gave up on trying to get her to latch. I will almost never forgive myself for it. 

I remember a low point was in July I believe when one of my best freinds gave birth to her daughter. I sat in the room with her, awing over this beautiful baby girl that she just gave birth to less then 24 hours ago. Then I saw her breast feed, and it was like a flood of emotions had overcame me. Why? Why was everything so difficult for us to haver a healthy baby? Why can’t I just get the hell over whatever the hell this was? Why wasn’t I able to keep up with breast feeding, and pumping? But most importantly why the fuck couldn’t I be happy for my best freind? The answer I think is I just wanted to have a normal pregnancy. My therapist, and my husband both tell me that I just basically need to accept it for what it is, and be grateful for the way things turned out, but I can’t. 

Maybe I am just being selfish. I don’t know what it is. I know that I still cant watch that god damned Huggies commercial that sings the lullaby “we all need a hug in the morning, and one at the end of the day, it’s my belief that for instant relief, a hug is the best thing of all.” Yeah, I hate that commercial. Instant tears every.fucking.time. Two of my freinds are pregnant right now, and I can’t even bring myself to go to one of their showers. I did push myself to go to one, but I was just sad. What the hell is wrong with me that I can’t just be happy for someone being pregnant? I have a beautiful little girl, but its like I am not happy for anyone or anything anymore. 

I wish I could get over it. I read other blogs, and honestly I feel like I am whining. I feel like other mother’s had babies in the NICU for four five and six months. My daughter was only in the NICU for one month. It just doens’t change the fact that she almost died and essentially it was my fault one way or another. 

I refuse to take medication for the depression, but I am pretty sure my husband just wishes I would. I go to therapy, and my therapist is pretty bad ass, but I find myself rambling on about shit that isn’t really contributing to why I am so depressed. It’s like a no go zone for me. I remember mentioning to family members that I am still depressed but they have been very passive towards it, as if I need to get over things already. 

I just don’t know how to get over these things. I wish I had words of wisdom to offer here. But I don’t, just some bad grammar, and me whining. 

All I know is that I have a little girl that needs me, and I have to pull my shit together in order to ensure that she has the happiest life possible. That is my job, and it’s one I can’t fail at. 

Advertisements

May 5th – 6th. AHHHHHH. :)

They told us on the 4th to possibly bring bags and they would allow us to stay in the overnight room. Wellll of course we get down there and she was 24 hours off oxygen, so we were half way there. Ahhhhhh, insert heart emoji here! 🙂

On a side note, obviously her feedings were going absolutely wonderful, and we were able to get the feeding tube out in due time! However, she woudln’t latch. It broke my heart, maybe I didn’t try hard enough, and until this day I wish I would have kept trying. I still pumped, and tried to give her milk, but it breaks my heart. She was almost fully breastfed her whole first 6-8 weeks, so it was definitely still an accomplishment, with her being a NICU baby. 

I think I overpacked, but thats okay. I was just over ecstatic, my little girl was able to come home with me. They put us in the overnight room around 8-9. We watched a movie, took shifts, but Charlee wasn’t having it. She didn’t like being in the new atmosphere. She barely slept that night, and we barely slept that night haha We were okay with that. The next morning we got showers, they did her hearing test, and BAM. Discharge details! It was the best conversation I’ve had there since April 14th. 

When all this initially happened, I kept telling the nurses, “she’ll be out by mother’s day.” Lindsey said they were some pretty big goals for such a little girl, but she made it. She was my little fighter.

We dressed her up in her going home outfit, which was a little big on her, but that was okay. Then we waltzed out of that hospital with the happiest, and biggest grins on our faces. We got to leave with our kid, we watched so many other happy couples leave with their little ones, and finally this was our chance. 

This journey was not as we imagined it, but it brought our family together in a different way. 

  

May 2nd – 4th. 

We were so close to being off of the o2. I remember on the 2nd, she randomly de-statted. Dear Lord, did it scare the living hell out of me. Those alarms will forever haunt me. 

Darla had me severely pissed off. She hasn’t been showing up to see her kid at all. The child was ready for discharge, and she just wasn’t showing up. Are you freaking kidding me? You’re child is all alone in a god damn hospital and you can’t care to show up and just cuddle him, and love him for a little bit? Thank God for the cuddlers, and awesome nurses that held this little guy. I know they’ve held my little one, and it comforts me knowing that she was loved even when we weren’t there. Sorry for my rant. As there was a ton of awesome parents in that NICU, there was defintely ones that needed to be reminded of their priorities. 

We came in on the 4th and her chart was hanging. It said “anticipated discharge May 6th” and I think i squealed in excitement. Overnight Charlee had aparantly kept ripping her oxygen out of her nose. They watched her stat’s and she was doing good so they left it hooked up, but they left it out of her nose. Walah! Shes awesome! She’s my little fighter! 

  

April 27th – May 1st. 

These days were fairly uneventful. Tori called my phone, which gave me a minor heart attack. She said she wanted to let me know that they are moving Charlee out of her penthouse suite, to the “feed and grow” room. She was off CPAP, and just on oxygen. How freaking awesome is that???

So they actually waited until we got down there to move her. We were in a room seperated from the really sick babies, where Charlee used to be, to an open layout where overall, most of the healthier babies were. There was one premie in that room still in her incubator. I was frustrated because that baby was able to leave earlier then Charlee, but I had to keep telling myself every baby was different. Hubs said that Charlee just wanted to hang out with the awesome nurses a little longer. I swear I aged about twenty years through out this whole process. 

Freaking Darla was also in this room. She ended up finding out I worked for CYS and shot me dirty looks over and over again. Piss off Darla. She was bitching in the “pumping room” about how they are gonna take her kid, blah blah blah. Don’t do drugs, you don’t lose your kid. But whatever. I wasn’t goign to let Darla ruin my mojo. 

Most of my days were pretty boring. We woke up, drove to Reading, spent time with my Munchkin, drove home, sometimes cried in the midst of all of it, but essentially the same thing. I waited for doctor’s to do their rounds every day. Dr. U said “shes a boring baby now, but thats a good thing.” That made me happy. Charlee loved the Mamaroo’s they had. Of course we had to go buy one. 

She had the same awesome nurses, a couple new ones with being in the new room. They slowly were weaning her off of any oxygen at all. I don’t remember the “liter’s” or whatever. but she was between 2-3 for a while. 

This was starting to take a toll on Pat and I. I cried a lot, even though we had so much to be happy for. We never really had to go through something like this obviously before, and we were new parents. He didn’t know how to handle the crying all the time me. Sometimes he asked me why I was crying and I honestly coudln’t even answer him. May 1st, during rounds, the doctor said that they weaned her off the morphine too quickly and they were going to put her back on Morphine, and wean her off slowly. I nearly had a melt down. Pat couldn’t understand as to why I was crying, I remember fighting in the NICU, quietly, but obviously I was crying hysterically. I felt so embarrased. Pat was so frustrated with me, and I felt so bad. He never really had time to grieve, or be sad. He felt that he had to keep it together for my sake. I wish I could go back in time and be there for him more, watching me crumble to pieces was hard enough, let alone watching our daughter almost die, and then bounce back. 

This is for all those men that watch their wives cry and don’t know why, but are still able to hug them and say it will be okay. 

April 26th. 

Today was uneventful. Hubs had work, so my Momma brought me down again. She was the best right now too, haha. I am an only child, and we fight like no other, but in the end she is one of my biggest supports and rocks. This was her first and probably her only grandchild, so this experience for her was totally new, and I am sure overwhelming at times. 

My momma held Charlee for a little bit today only because I had to pump and I didn’t want to put her back in the bassinet. I think my momma wanted to cry, actually I am pretty sure she did. Watching her hold my daughter made me love my momma so much more. We never knew if we were gonna be able to hold her, and here we are, 12 days later loving her up. 

Pat came down, then we bickered over who was holding her more hahaha We coudln’t get enough of her. I asked the nurse how much longer, but she was still on CPAP so she had a little while to go yet. They said it could be anywhere from one week to one month. That answer made me cringe. I wanted to take her home today. Blah, oh well. He took some pretty awesome pictures though. 

First we have her “what are you doing with your phone face”

   
Second we have “ohhhh picture time, maybe I will give them a slight smile” face.

 
Last, is her “Okay, I am over it, get that damned thing out of my face” face. 

  

She was the best. 

April 25th. 

Today was fairly uneventful. It was the first day of work for Pat, so my Momma brought me down. First thing is first, we had to give miss Charlee a bath! 

  
Look at all that hair! hahaha Of course it stuck straight up as well. She cried, but it was so adorable. We combed her hair, we haven’t washed it since she was born so it was full of all the amniotic fluid, and whatever other juices she was hanging out in, plus they did several ultrasounds on her head, so she had all the gunk on her head. So she was definitely yucky hahaha.

The hubs came down and we were able to switch holding her. It was the absolute best. Then we had our long journey home. 

24.

The number 24 is so significant to me. It was my lucky number through thick and thin. It was the day I was hoping Charlee would be born, because it’s my favorite. It was my softball number in high school and college. It was Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR number, even though my family despised him, he was one of my secret favorites. So 24, yeah, to me its the bomb diggity. 

We woke up early to go to 8 am service with my grandparents. I hate waking up early. HATE HATE HATE. I mainly did it for my grandparents, I know how much going to church means to them. Off topic, but kind of not off topic, but can we just talk about how flipping awesome my pastors are? EVERY DAY one of them came to see me, acutally no, they came to see Miss Charlee. They were so supportive, and optimistic, and they listened to my babbling, because I rattled off so much to them, I am pretty sure I spoke about nonsense to them hahaha, oh well. They were the best, they prayed for her, they spoke highly of her, I am sure they thought of her often. So we went to church. I am not much of a praying individual, I am not sure how much of a believer I even was throughout this whole experience, but my congregation was so supportive. I got messages from people I barely spoke to, I got phone calls, texts, etc. They were all thinking of Charlee Mae. 

So we leave soon after church to get down to the NICU. We walk in, and the first thing I saw was Dave, the resp. therapist, and Dr. U jumping up and down and giving us a huge thumbs up. I rushed into Charlee’s room and SURPRISE, no more tube, or ventilator!!!!! She had this hoarse cry from being intubated for so long, but I honestly couldn’t have given two shits, I COULD HEAR HER CRY. I loved it, I was so happy, I cried, I smiled, I cried some more. Pat was so excited, he was all smiles. AHHHH. I couldn’t have been more excited. Then, everything I have been waiting for happened. I was able to hold her. I was so excited, but I was so nervous. I was afraid her stats would drop. I just couldn’t believe in 24 hours she weaned off the nitrate, the oscillator, and the ventilator. Dr. U came in and she was so happy. She said she was excited but coudn’t believe how quickly she weaned off of everything. She said once “they are ready they are ready.”  

   
These are pictures of holding her for the first time. They originally stated that we could only hold her for an hour, but the nurse “wink winked” us and as long as her stats stayed good they allowed me to continue holding her. I held her for three hours. I finally felt like a Mom. Having a child and being instantly seperated from her, I just felt so lost, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around everything. I was just so empty, and holding her today fulfilled the emptiness. I was so nervous, She was still hooked up to a billion cords. Why the hell was I nervous? She was my own child, but I felt that after the nurses cared for her for so long, they knew her better then I did. But whatever, it was game time, and I was ready. At first when they laid her on me (we did skin to skin, in hopes that my milk would come in better), she cried, and then I cried. What the hell was I doing wrong? Her stats started jumping everywhere, and I think the look of dissapointment and panic was pretty clear on my face. Tori, our nurse, she kept encouraging me to sooth her, so I rubbed her back, and patted her. She calmed down after about five minutes, then she just laid there and looked around, She eventually fell asleep. It was amazing. The only reason I put her back in the bassinet was because I had to pump haha. They were still doing the feedings through a tube, so when she did that, I pumped. 

I let Pat hold her today for about an hour as well. He was so happy, he played with her, and was poking her in the nose, it was adorable. Leaving to eat, and going home that day was rough, but I was filled with so much love. 

24 was always my number, but today it made it extra special. 

April 23rd. 

This day was a promising day. 

Charlee was doing great with her gases and they were confident enough to bump her down to just the ventilator and not the oscillater. How freaking awesome is that? Especially because we were an hour away and I was so worried about her. I think it was God’s wierd way of telling me to chill the hell out. I forget who the doctor was that day to be honest. I want to say it was Dr. Phaire. She wasn’t bad, she just was young and I feel that made me second guess her. She was still a great doctor though, I think I was just in depressed psycho mommy stage. 

The respiratory therapist was named David I think. He was the best. He came in to check on her ventilator and was so excited to see where she was. He was hopeful that I could possibly hold her the next day, so was our nurse. I think her name was Jade. She was from where we were from. She was very happy, and peppy. She was honestly a breath of fresh air. She was so optimistic. 

My milk was coming in great. I couldn’t even contain myself with how happy I was. It was all progress, and it kept going good. My little girl was off one of the medications, and they didn’t have her as knocked out and sedated as normal. She was opening her eyes, and looking at me. I can just remember it as I am typing this and it was honestly the greatest thing at that moment. 

The only low part of the day was when she was crying but you couldn’t hear her because she was intubated. It was so depressing, and I couldn’t hold her in order to sooth her. I hated not being able to hold her.  9 long days my baby girl was hooked up to machines, they said maybe tomorrow I could hold her if she went down to CPAP, but it was a long shot. I didn’t get my hopes up because I knew I would be crushed. 

There was so many premies in the nicu, and it KILLED ME, to see parents being able to hold their three and four pound babies. The poor little babies, it’s a good thing their parents were able to hold them, because I woudln’t wish not being able to hold your own child upon anyone. 

April 22nd.

Today sucked. There was no better way of putting it. Everything about this day sucked. S-U-C-K-E-D.

So we pack all of our shit up at the hotel, Check out, whatever it sucked. I knew tonight that we would be driving home over an hour away from the hospital where my little girl was. We couldn’t extend the stay because not only was Bernie Sanders going to be rallying tonight, there was a jazz festival the rest of the weekend. Every hotel room was booked up except of course for the Mariott which was like $250 a night. No thank you.

So we get to the NICU and I am already a hot mess. We walk in and you could tell something was wrong. All the nurses were working on the baby whose parents I was talking about yesterday. There was some light on in the NICU, which I am assuming it meant some type of code or whatever. We had our own room still, and were not in the open layout section, but we could clearly see everything that was going on. I hated to say but we kept catching ourselves looking, so we got up and closed the door. The lights were dimmed, and they put a thing to get privacy for the child around her little incubator. Everyone had a panicked look, and we didin’t need to see that.

A nurse came in and said that she couldn’t leave the door shut because she needed to hear the alarms for Charlee. As she opened the door there was some type of priest/pastor guy standing there with a bible. The mother I believe got there as well around this time. I have the goosebumps even typing this, it sucked so bad to even witness. We decided to leave the NICU for a little bit, which ended up being perfect because the radiology people had to take more X-rays on Charlee’s lungs and some type of ECHO thing on her heart.

We came back in, and of course, it was shitty timing, but apparently the baby did not survive. The nurses and doctor’s were walking away crying, and the atmosphere was just terrible. There was never a doubt in my mind that those women and men did not care. They cared just as much, if not more then the parents of the babies. They are just amazing people, and I will never be able to thank them enough.

Walking in to her room we saw that the mother was able to hold her daughter, and rock her. How fucking terrible? At that point I don’t care how much of a shithead you are, if you did drugs, maybe she was clean and just coudln’t carry the baby so long, but I WOULD NEVER, wish that hurt upon ANYONE. To Carry a child and then completely lose them. The night before they were peppy and happy leaving, so they must have thought their little one was going to be okay, and to come to the hospital the next day and your child is dying, I just can’t wrap my head around how fucking terrible that is. Excuse my French, but that’s just how I talk.

So now we are sitting in CHarlee’s little room, and hearing this mother hold her daughter and sob, while she rocks her. I just couldn’t get past it. I couldn’t get past that the night before they thought their baby was okay, and the next day she died. Of course it had to happe the night we had to go home , and be an hour away from our child. Fuck my life. I kept saying to pat, we are an hour away, what if something happens and we aren’t around. It was the most unsettling, nerve wrecking feeling I have ever encountered in my life.

My parents came down again, thank God. I have never been more grateful for the amazing people that they were, they were so supportive of the situation, and me. I remember my mom texting me how proud she was of me, and the way I handled/was handling the situation. It helped because I didn’t feel like a mother at all. It killed me not to be able to hold my newborn. All I wanted was to just hold her and love her up, this isn’t how I envisioned any of this shit going. I don’t think we went out to eat that night because I didn’t want to leave her.

Driving home was terrible. My husband just kept trying to console me but I was completely inconsolable. We got home and my niece was so excited to see us, and I had to run past her because I was just a hot mess. I am pretty sure it was the longest ride of my life. My husband wanted to put on the country station and I completely freaked. I thought in my head, as corny as I sound that she would get to know my voice more if I sung to her, and normally listening to heavy metal, I thought it would be best to sing country to her. It broke me hearing some of the songs I liked to sing to her, and  I just couldn’t listen to it.

I watched the NICU video thing all night that night. And called constantly to see how she was doing.

 

April 21st

Another uneventful day.

I must say when we walked in today Dr. U nearly attacked us. She heard we requested the transfer for CHOP or Hershey. She said it was not needed due to Charlee’s blood gas’s getting better. This Nitric or whatever the hell it was called was starting to wean better as well. She was happy to hear about my milk coming in better. She was always very supportive. Lindsey was our nurse again. We told her what happened, and she just explained that different nurses see things differently.

On our way out I have to note that we were walking out towards the parking garage and we were right behind another couple that were leaving the NICU. She was talking about her premie that was born. Maybe this is me being judge mental but my job has taught me to have a pretty good eye when someone was using and These people were using, and from the looks of it I am sure it was Meth. The boils on their faces, and their eradic behavior, if I am being judgemental I Apologize. I just remember being pissed off.

Once again, I did nothing wrong other then possibly be too chubby, yet my kid was on the border line of dying for a few days. I know it’s selfish of me to think that way, but I was so bitter, I find myself being bitter even now, almost one year later. Not that I would wish a sick baby UPON ANYONE, but it sucked, and I kept wondering why us? There was no signs of any of this shit happening.

Last night at the hotel 😦