Two years later, I still think about the PPD that I had. Not in a bad way, or a scared way, or an ashamed way, or even a guilty way (not anymore, at least.) - sometimes I marvel at how thoroughly it affected who I was, to the core. Sometimes I compare how I am now to how I was then. Sometimes I think about the future, and when it comes time to have a baby brother or sister for you, and how scared I am that it will happen again (though my therapist, who I still see consistently, is going to work very hard to ensure that it doesnt!) but excited at the prospect of 'being there' for the newborn stage this time. Sometimes I just try to remember certain things about your first few months and can't and am disappointed. And most of the time, it's because a friend or acquaintance has a baby or announces a pregnancy, and I'm hyper-sensitive to how they may be feeling. And a little bit jealous of how together they seem.
As part of therapy, my doctor asked me about six weeks or so ago if I thought my having PPD had affected you, or our relationship. And I instantly, without pause and with conviction, said not at all. She was so proud, and happy, and told me to write that down - and to write down my feelings about how saying that felt. I will use this as a feel-good thing to read if I ever doubt myself, or feel some depression creeping in on me in the future. I will use it in my next pregnancy, whenever that may be. And I know that it is true.
I am a great mother. I am the kind of mother that I always knew I would be... and the kind of mother I longed to be when Rebecca was born. It has taken almost two years to be able to say, and to believe, that what happened to me has in no way affected my relationship with my loveygirl. She is amazing, hilarious, healthy and brilliant. Those first weeks and months of her life have not impacted who she is or our bond as mother and daughter. In fact, she has no idea that they even happened. I do not feel guilty. What I went through has NOT had endless negative repercussions, which at that time would have been impossible to fathom. In fact, what has come out of it, these years later, is positive. It is an overwhelming appreciation for being ME. It is loving (almost) every second of being a great mother to the most incredible child. It is knowledge and a desire to help other people. It is (ed. note - or will be!) PregoPals.Today I also read this, which filled me with pride and spoke to me in a way that few things have before. I am proud to be a Warrior Mom, and part of this community. And I hope to be more involved in it in the years to come.
So just know, Bex, that you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You being born made me who I am today, and I am more in love with, and confident in, myself than ever before. So thank you.
I love you so much, baby girl.