Thursday, November 5, 2009

Something to Think About

I was reading a post yesterday, by Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress, about whether or not to have another baby after having postpartum depression. It struck a chord. I could completely identify with the author of the article she referenced. In the deepest, darkest days of my PPD, I would react with a vehement "no, I'm done" to anyone who made even the slightest suggestion that I should/would have another baby.

Today, I'm on the fence. On my good days I think that, with the right planning and help, maybe just maybe I could do this again. On my bad days I can still vividly recall my misery and fear ever going through that again. Just when I think we've decided that "yes, we can handle this," I vacillate yet again.

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE my son more than anything and I most certainly can't imagine my life without him. That deep feeling of love, though, did not come easily. After he was born, I knew in my head that I loved him but, try as I might, I couldn't feel that emotion the way I thought I should. There's a picture of me in the hospital holding my new little bundle that my husband recently told me was his favorite picture because of the look on my face as I looked down at our son. It broke my heart that his favorite picture was not at all what it seemed. You see, I remember that moment. I remember trying so hard to put what I thought should be the appropriate look on my face because maybe then I'd feel what I should. At the time I attributed this to a grueling labor/delivery and pure exhaustion. I would later learn otherwise.

So only time will will tell what is in store for our little family. Having grown up an only child and then losing my mother at 16 and my father at 24, I vowed I would never have only one child. Now I look at my little guy, currently playing with every car he owns, and wonder: would he miss out on even more of me if we give him a sibling? I just don't know.

Speaking of missing out... I think I'm going to go play with some cars.


Pam said...

Wow! I can see why this is such a difficult decision for you. I had no idea you had lost your parents at such a young age. I'm so sorry. I don't know much about PPD, but does it always recur in subsequent pregnancies? Is there any way to prevent or manage it - especially if you are on the lookout for it? What a scary thing to have to think about.

Isk8Jewel (~Julie~) said...

Well, I've read the books, I've set up my game plan but I'm still afraid it will happen again. It is more likely to happen with subsequent pregnancies but doesn't always. My fear is that because we don't live close enough to family that I might have a difficult time again... especially considering I'd already have a toddler. Time will tell I guess...