Last night’s #PPDChat centered on this topic.
Given the varied responses and concern, I wanted to offer an extra outlet to continue the discussion.
Many women struggle with this decision after they’ve experienced a Postpartum Mood Disorder. Prior to having depression, these are moms who may have dreamed of a large family. Or at least a family with more than one child. But then a Postpartum Mood Disorder crashed down across their tracks, making the future seem beyond an impassable obstacle. Once we’ve cleared the tree, hacked it into little pieces and shredded it up, we’re exhausted. The mere thought of speeding headlong into another impasse may immobilize some.
So unintentionally, we are at an impasse. Do we or don’t we? What if… how can I prevent this from happening again? What effect will another episode have on my relationship with my older child? Will my marriage survive another round? Will I survive another round? What if I’m ready but my husband isn’t? What if my husband is ready and I’m not? What if my family is pressuring me? How do I handle this?
So we wonder. We worry. We talk. We cry. We mourn what might have been. We make a decision but don’t publicize it until we are ready to defend it. Because we feel we have to defend ourselves. We shouldn’t have to – but we do. It’s what we do.
I was not ready to have our second daughter. I had not healed from my first episode. I did not know if I wanted a second child. But my husband did. And deep down I did too. I just hadn’t made peace with the decision yet. So we started to try. And then stopped. And then started again. I went through hell – worse than the first time around. But somehow I made it through. It was my third pregnancy that scared the crap out of me. I spent so much more time getting ready for me and my potential relapse instead of on getting ready for baby. Combined with therapy and meds, my pro-active approach proved to be what worked for me this time. I am thankful I had a postpartum where I got to enjoy that newborn time. But after that, a couple of months in, I got pissed. Why? Because my PMD robbed me of this experience with my daughters, irreparably harming our bond. Sure, we’re bonded now and we love each other but it’s different. We don’t have that from the start bond. And that breaks my heart. All.the.time.
So let’s get to Just Talking – even if it is late.
Where are you on this journey? Have you? Thinking about it? Have advice/tips? What’s keeping you from having another baby? What’s your biggest fear? Share it with us – we won’t judge.