It feels as though there are invisible hands choking me.

The grip is tighter sometimes than others.

At this moment? It’s tight. I’m afraid to move for fear of it truly overtaking me again like it did on Friday.

It gets tighter when Cody isn’t next to me. And at the moment he’s not. And tomorrow he’ll be back at work.

I’m not looking forward to tomorrow.

Some may say codependency, I say he’s the only safe thing I know when the real me is lost.

I’ve been slinking around the Internet reading the words so many of you have written. I want so desperately to be able to reach out to you, to help you the way you’ve helped me. I occasionally stare at twitter and skype wanting so badly to get involved with my friends and with people whom I’ve never met who are pulling for me. But it doesn’t last. I can’t keep it up.

Maybe you know what I mean?

And sleep isn’t coming easily. Which makes this even harder for me. Being wide awake with my misfiring brain when the rest of the world is fast asleep? It’s hard. Last night an owl kept me company. Which in theory sounds like a lovely thing to have keep you company, but if you’ve never heard an owl? They’re unsettlingly loud. Add the whole dark mysterious forest in the back yard to to equation and I kind of miss the fire trucks, modified mufflers and domestic battles that lulled me to sleep in the city.

This time is hard. Because I don’t know how or when it’s going to end. Or what the future holds for my brain. So much talk goes around about postpartum depression, and I didn’t do so well last time. But if you’re one of the lucky ones who has exasperated antenatal depression? Well. It’s kind of like coming up with a battle strategy for leaving the fire for the frying pan, where you have to bring a tiny little baby and your family along with you.

I want desperately to be worrying about nursery colors and arranging bitty baby clothes, not “How am I going to make it to Friday?”

I am grateful for the tiny little reprieve I got between the shock, the worry, the transition, the sickness, the something may be wrong, the anxiety and now this. My memory is pretty talented to have blocked out so much of what I went through the first time. It covered my postpartum fears with delivery fears and it covered those with antenatal depression fears. It then covered those fears with the fear of miscarriage or something being wrong. Those were covered up with the deep and abiding fear of being sick while the whole situation was covered in the giant overwhelming fear that I would never have another baby of my own to rock to sleep.

As I tear through the layers, vividly remembering each one I also remember there’s a reason I wanted to do this again. There’s a reason people have more babies. There’s a reason people fight and spend and never give up hope to get babies here.

Which also reminds me. Baby books, especially the parts about delivery? Are not a comforting distraction when your brain is wrecked.

This never will be easy for me, but at least someone promised me somewhere along the way that it would be worth it.

(At 1:31…just watch it.)

Comments

  1. You WILL make it through this… you WILL ~

    praying for you to feel God’s arms holding you, loving you, comforting you…rocking you. Let Him rock you Casey, you are His precious girl.

    {you ARE loved}

  2. Praying that you will know the Lord’s presence and comfort each moment of the day. That you will know that you are not walking this road alone. He is with you and so are we.

  3. I’m sorry Casey. I wish I knew the words to say that would help you. I’m not sure there are any but just know that you are in my prayers. I know we dont “know” each other but I do feel like I know you. And you are strong – you will get thru this and in the end you will have a Beautiful Baby Girl to go along with your Beautiful Little Girl and Amazing Husband. We love you Casey

  4. I’m praying for you love. Such a terrible place to be. You’re going to come through it, I know.

  5. Oh, Casey.

    Unfortunately, I know all too well what you mean. And I don’t care if it is co dependance or whatever…it is me, it is so real that it is prwzctically a living entity, and it scares me to death when it threatens to smother me.

    It started when I was in school. I can remember wanting my mom so badly, to the point where I could not breathe. I can remember her coming to get me, and instantly feeling better when she did.

    I am praying for us both, Casey.

  6. I’ve been on vacation so I only just now had the chance to read this. I wish I could be where you are now to sit with you and hold your hand through this and keep reminding you that it will be ok even though it will be nearly impossible for you to believe me. I hope you can feel all the virtual hugs I’m showering you with.
    - K

  7. Jen @cMommy Instincts says:

    Oh sweet Casey. You know that I know ALL TOO WELL the intensity of all of this. But you can do it. You know it will end even though it feels like it never ever will. Each day, each hour, each MINUTE that goes by is a “win” and a “success”. I love you and your heart and your brain oh so very much and I know you can do this! You can! You can!

    What can I do?

  8. (((hugs))) I don’t know about true antenatal depression so I won’t claim to know what you’re going through. I’ve been suffering with severe antenatal anxiety throughout my current pregnancy. That and the hyperemesis only fed into each other. I DO understand the feeling of what-am-i-going-to-do-when-he-goes-back-to-work.

    The one thing that has kept me from exhausting myself worrying about PPD was talking to my psychiatrist about a plan. I’m currently on meds and will not be stopping them at any point. I’ll also be closely monitored after my little one is born. It gave me a lot of comfort knowing I wouldn’t be thrown to the wolves.

    You are not alone. We’re out here and we get it.

  9. Casey…I have no wise or witty words, and I can only imagine your feelings. But I sit here staring at my sleeping newborn, and I know.

    We have never met, but I offer you virtual hugs, warm thoughts and fervent prayers from an internet stranger who has followed your story, impressed with your insight, humor, grace and faith.

  10. Casey, please be gentle with yourself. I have been where you are, not once, but twice. I got antenatal depression during my second pregnancy which was plagued with complications and I was on bedrest for almost sixteen weeks. I had survived post-partum depression with my first child, my beautiful daughter and I waited four years to even think about having another one – because of the fear. The fear that I wouldn’t make it out of this a second. I want you to know that you will. I know it sounds like an impossible dream, when you’re in the middle of all the horror that this condition brings – both during and after pregnancy, but YOU WILL. For now, take it a day, an hour, a minute at a time. Take care of you. Don’t worry about all the others, someone who is stronger will take care of them. You can’t reach out right now. You’re surviving. And I look at pictures of your beautiful girl and I KNOW that you will be OK. But I also know the hole, the horror, the inability to sleep, to shut off your brain, to rest, to breathe. Unfortunately I know them all too well. All I can say is I am here any time, any hour if you need someone to just listen. And I am here if you can’t reach out, thinking of you, knowing that you will be OK. You have to grasp that and believe it and take care of you in the meanwhile, the best you can do today, this minute, this hour. It will pass, even if that seems like an impossible possiblity to you right now.

    My beautiful children are now just turned 13 (a few days ago) and eight. The guilt that overwhelmed me when they were helpless babies has eased and they are both well-adjusted, LOVED, LOVED loved little beings. I have failed many times on this journey of parenthood, but the one that I have begun to forgive myself for is the pre-natal and post-partum nightmares that came with the joy of bringing them to this world. They shine despite my humanity, they shine as human beings and I survived. YOU WILL BE OK. Be gentle. Be gentle with yourself. Do what you have to do to be taken care of. Trust that the people who have this extra burden love you enough to hold you up until you can hold yourself up again. You are doing something so huge, so enormous and for the mothers like you and me who have to go through this suffocating darkness, there will be light again. The sun will shine.

    Hugs, love, prayers, whatever I can send that will lift you up. My heart feels every thing that you described in this post. Keep believing. Keep trusting those that are there for you without feeling you have to give back right now. Replace any guilt with kindness and love for yourself.

    You are loved,
    Tricia xxxx

  11. One step at a time. You can do this.

  12. I feel like I haven’t been here in 4653 years…that’s what happens when there’s another human hanging off your utter day in and day out! Time just kinda melds and mushes together….but I digress. You are going to be okay, and I’ll be one of the many praying and pulling for you. I know that feeling; when he walks away, goes to work, you feel as if you’ve just bungee-jumped and come untethered. My husband is more than a spouse, call it codependent if you must. But it’s not, it’s just that he’s my invisible force field that keeps the crap away from me. So I feel you, mama.

    You will be holding your second child before you know it. And no matter what happens, Mozzi Sheboygan will always be your daughter…she will be there through it all. And maybe that’s what makes it doable. Sending all my sleep-deprived, breastmilk-stained love your way. Now, where is my donut? And my mesh underwear??

  13. I had the worst anxiety when I was pregnant…I could go into it but I won’t…

    Just take things one at a time. Don’t get too mired down on the things that really don’t matter and can be put off till another time.

    Take care of yourself FIRST. I don’t care who wants you to do what and when they want it done, you are the most important person that you need to look after right (with the exception of your daughter).

  14. My Dear Young Lady. You are going to do this just the way you do anything – one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t look ahead to Friday. Just get through today. One second. One minute. One hour at a time. And should the need really arise, there’s a free ‘Call Me’ button on my blog. Use it. Anytime. Day or Night.

  15. I have just read through pages and pages of your posts. I can’t totally relate to what you’re feeling, but I want to listen. I HAVE been sick-sick-sick through prenancies and can totally relate to so much of what you said. My baby sister is going through infertility right now and your words touched me deeply and taught me so much about what to do and especially what NOT to say. So thank you for being honest and open. Thank you for not being afraid to keep it real. Cause that’s what will keep me coming back to check in on you every day. And in between my visits? I’ll pray for you and peace in your mind & heart. *HUGS*

  16. I’ve started writing so many things…then I erase them and start again because whatever I say? How can I possibly know what I’m talking about? I’d rather just get in there and help you. I want to tell you all of the encouraging comments that might help but might not: how you will make it through, how you have all of the support of all of us, how you are a lovely soul. But instead I’m crying with you, wishing there was something I could do that would truly help. I’m hoping that you’ll find peace and comfort in the thought that you’re being held in our hearts and in God’s hands. May those feelings soon be the ones that envelope you. xoxo.

  17. Best wishes to you, Casey. I am really pulling for you and your family. I can’t say that I have shared the same experience but I can still empathize and wish you the best.

    You have mentioned hard times with winter seasons. I think we share the same weather. Here is hoping forsunny days, both literally and emotionally.

  18. Oh Moosh…I hate that I can relate to this post. Hate…but know that there is an army behind you fighting for you.
    Thinking of you my friend. Hang on.

  19. Please, please know that you are not alone. So many of us have been where you are – at different levels and different moments, and we’re here to support you through this. I wish there was a way to snap our fingers and make it better, but instead we have to just take it one moment at a time. Sending you hugs and support!

  20. I wish I were closer and could sit with you and give you a hug. As a fellow antenatal sufferer I can so empathize with what you are feeling. I remember the looks from family and friends of “you tried for so long, you should be jumping with joy and not curled up in the bed all day.”

    If you ever need anything, DM me on Twitter, send me an email, or grab me on Skype (Melinda_Hamby).

  21. I struggled w/ depression/anxiety my whole life. i am now 34 and it seems to be getting better. I was very depressed in my marriage, I think it was partly the relationship and also me. I joined the army at 30 partly because i couldn’t stand coming home from work and sleeping everyday feeling trapped in a miserable existence, I felt some sort of calling willing me to do it i felt an urge to join for some reason which i never thought i would, maybe because I knew i would have to get up everyday and do what i had to do, face an extreme challenge whether I liked it or not. I wanted to feel strong. I hated every minute of it and when i got out of training i still hated going to drills for the most part, but it made me so happy and thankful to be home, to enjoy the life i have and know I do not have to live in terrible surroundings every day. I also had a husband that had no sympathy for my complaints or struggles, to him they were just excuses, he did not understand depression or want to hear about it. He also did not like to hear about my family troubles, he said i was placing blame. Whenever i tried to open up to my parents, everything was always worse for my mom, my troubles never compared to hers. I never really had many friends that i could truly confide in and when i did, i just felt like i was complaining or bringing them down. I moved out of state w/ my husband and kids for 2 years, i saw my husband a total of maybe 6 months spread out over that time. About 3 mo was the longest at one time. Our entire marriage lacked trust and communication, we are now separated. While away i was in nursing school, alone, no family and one friend there who i saw rarely. My son stayed for only half a school year then came back to stay w/his grandparents, he was not happy at the school there and he missed his friends, he was 14. my 8 yr old daughter stayed w/me then came back to stay w/my parents while i finished my last 6 mo of school alone. This was very much a lonely time for me. It brought me much strength though and i am very thankful for my loneliness i have had to face, not only then, but throughout my life. The lack of sympathy/emotional support from my family and husband. Joining the army where in training they just didn’t give a ****, and people over and over again trying to bring me down in my life. For this I have gained sooooo much strength. I have found peace within knowing that I am the only one truly there for myself and if i don’t have myself then i have noone. I can only look at what IS good now. I have suffered pain and lonliness and i somehow felt a deep strength and faith that carried me through these truly challenging time. I have come to accept that the way I “think” things should be may never be. That emotions are only that, happy, sad, etc, I feel-but i can kind of put them on the back burner and now just go-keep doing, keep moving, keep living-it is all i can do. I am so used to being disappointed that when it comes now I am no longer surprised or really even that upset, sometimes it is almost comical and I just think to myself, this is where I’m supposed to be. Maybe “God” wants me to be exactly where I am. I don’t fight what isn’t anymore, I just see what is and keep moving. That is all I can do, that is all anybody can do. Sometimes i feel it is out of my hands, and maybe it really is, because sometimes it seems no matter how bad i want something, or how hard i work to get somewhere it is not where I meant to go and I find myself surprised at where I am. I have also learned to be a BIG believer in Karma because i have witnessed it with myself and in other people’s life. It is sometimes shocking when you see the connection. Keep fighting, the pain will make you stronger. Maybe one day God will release this weight placed upon you. Maybe you have these struggles for a reason, I believe many truly great and special souls struggle with depression/anxiety and it is one of the most difficult and life altering diseases to have to deal with, it is like being in prison and missing half your life. I know, I have been there and I feel so much time has been lost, so much time I wanted to live and enjoy but it seemed out of my control, out of my hands. I have my moments but they are not anywhere near what they were and I attribute that to my life experiences making me stronger and also possibly age related hormonal changes/brain changes, a higher power, could be a number of things. I do also take an anti-anxiety medication as needed, not daily but as needed so no I have not fully conquered it alone. It is hard I know and not everyone understands, just keep fighting knowing that you are worth it and everything you do no matter how big or small is meaningful and I think sometimes people like us feel pain more strongly so then we can better understand, we understand empathy and compassion, we get when things are out of one’s own control sometimes, we grow wiser because of this. We are special.

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