I am an emotional woman; always have been, always will be. I feel with everything I have in this body. I feel everything with my heart, never my mind. When I am happy I am over the top happy. When I’m sad I’m bluer than blue. It was a characteristic I hated but I have now embraced. It is the essence of who I am.
I’ve had a rough road over the past few months, after having my second set of twins. Certainly not the worst it can or will ever be but a roughness that just shook this happy core. It was a barrage of PMS and hormonal surges completely highjacking me.
I cried and cried and cried and cried. Steve would ask what he could do to help and I would cry. He finally said, ”I think you have some serious postpartum stuff going on.”
I would get enraged and yell, “NO!!!! I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH HANDS, TIME, HELP, SPACE!!!!” And then I would cry again and again and again.
I would cry the most because I really had no idea why I was crying. I cried because I had everything I wanted yet I found it painfully exhausting to be happy. I was crying because I was yelling at Steve who only wanted to help me but didn’t know how.
I heard every sound as ugly.
I saw every sight as messy.
I felt every movement as exhausting.
I thought every thought as nothing.
I prayed for forgiveness, for the anger and sadness I felt. I prayed for energy to just get up and get it done — whatever “it” was. I prayed for a mind that could find a complete thought so I could check it off and move on.
I prayed for forgiveness that while I loved all my children so much and wouldn’t trade them for the world, that I had them one at a time.
I couldn’t keep it together. It was a very scary feeling. I knew deep down it would lift but it was such a sensational feeling that I thought, many times, that it would never leave.
This lasted well over a month. Postpartum Depression is a very scary and very real issue. I’m not sure if that is what I experienced but it was certainly a moment in my life that I can’t explain. It was the only thing that made sense.
I came home from the hospital with another set of babies and had no doubt in my mind that I could handle it. As soon as I was cleared to drive we were out and about; the grocery store, friend’s house, play areas, birthday parties.
It never dawned on me to be nervous. I was born to be a mother. Steve works retail hours so it feels like days go by before we see him and it never bothered me.
I GOT THIS!
Then one day life shifted. I’m not sure when or how but something dark entered me and wouldn’t leave.
I would wake up and drag myself out of bed; literally drag myself and that was only because my big girls were starving and near tears. I would walk through my days in an almost catatonic state.
The catatonic days were the good ones. No yelling, just getting by; watching the clock, begging for bedtime to arrive. I’d go through the motions of playing, chores, errands, the works, but there was no joy. My girls could feel that.
I dreaded leaving the house. I dreaded the ten people I would meet and ask me about my girls. I dreaded the looks and the comments. I would feel people staring at me and I would want to scream at them to mind their business.
On the bad days I yelled — just yelled — and even screamed. I made no sense. It was as if a child had taken over my body and all I would do was throw temper tantrums and cry. The girls learned to avoid me on those days.
They would rush to clean up but would be so panicked and nervous that I was going to freak out and take their toys away that they couldn’t think straight.
One day I felt little arms wrapped around my body as I sat on the floor crying and they, my five-year old daughters, were telling me everything would be OK.
I brought fear into their sweet eyes when I yelled; I brought compassion and maturity into their words and arms when I cried. They are too young for this and I saw it all over their innocent faces.
I couldn’t continue to strip the innocence and fun from my girl’s childhood.
I called my mother and through an overwhelming stream of tears and jumbled words she finally understood that I was having a nervous breakdown. I had cracked and there was nothing she could do but pray and listen to me cry. My poor mother nearly had a heart attack when she heard my voice. She didn’t know if someone was hurt or dead! All she knew was I was hysterical on the other end of the line three hours away.
We talked and talked. I begged for forgiveness for whom I was but through her love and understanding I gave myself a pass to let it go. I let it all out and as the days went by the smiles popped up more and more.
Then weeks went by and I can’t imagine being in that place again.
I can’t ever imagine being that sad and hopeless feeling. I can’t imagine screaming and crying like a spoiled child again. I can’t…no I won’t ever make my children feel so confused and scared.
It has taken time to get things back on track; to gain their trust and remove the uncertainty and pain I caused. But we are once again a happy little five pack (I prefer a 6-pack) cruising to sports, shopping, running errands, visiting friends, and even taking road trips.
I have no fear or concern for those who ask me about having twins…twice. I make eye contact; I smile. I tell them the truth or I make up stories, but the point is I don’t dread leaving the house anymore.
It took a few weeks to forgive myself for being so hard on me. For expecting so much out of myself. But I’m back and only looking forward.
I thank God every day that I have such an amazing support system. I have love that is unmeasurable from my parents, siblings, friends, children and especially my husband.
I am a lucky one. I didn’t fight this evil alone, nor did it rob my life. I would like that month or so back but I can’t have it. I can only move on and tell that bastard to stay away.
I pray now that other mothers know they are not alone and it will lift. I pray now that they find the support they need to heal.
I’m glad my babies came in twos, I’m glad my husband is Damn-it Steve, and I’m glad I’m glad once again.
***If you feel you might be experiencing postpartum depression, please click here to read this article.***
Kerry Bergeman blogs at New2Two – A peek at my life as a Mother of fraternal AND identical twins! Kerry is a full-time stay at home mother of 5 years old twin girls & 7 month old identical twin girls. She teaches pat-time at the local community college and blogs at New2Two about life with twins, dealing with infertility and a daughter with a severe intolerance to dairy.