My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Feeling lied to

I'm in full on postpartum depression.  It's crossed over from the crying of baby blues and into the dull, flat, nothing interests me of depression.  Today I start prozac.

I've never been a baby person.  Kids, yes, babies, no.  But everyone always said "It'll be different when it's your own".  They lied.

They said "you'll fall in love like you've never understood before when you see your baby."  They lied again.

Every picture of the new mother looking lovingly and longingly at her newborn baby is a lie.

It feels so good to love my husband the way that I do.  I always imagined that when I had a baby or two, I would get to feel that same way about additional people, maybe even stronger and that's the reward I was looking forward to.  But it's not happening.

I keep trusting that it will come.  Maybe when they start smiling at me, maybe when the prozac kicks in and takes the depression away from between me and my kids, I dunno, but I keep trusting that the overwhelming love and affection will wash over me at some point.  It's getting harder to keep that faith though.  I trusted it would come when I felt them move.  I trusted it would come when I first saw them.  I trusted it would come when I held them, then took them home and really started parenting, then when I got into a bit of a groove.  But the benchmark of when it will come just keeps staying in front of me, just out of reach.

I sometimes feel about them the way I felt about my bitchy cat.  Just this evil, horrible cat that I raised.  Her littermate was raised exactly the same and he's affectionate and generally happy, but that cat never was.  I spent more than a decade trying to find out what was making that damned cat so unhappy so I could fix it and we never did figure it out.  Sometimes I'm afraid that's how it's going to be with these kids.  They'll be crying and I want to fix it, but I can't figure out what the problem is.

Lots of people are telling me this is normal.  Many mothers are saying how they didn't feel a connection until 6 months, a year, 18 months.  If that's how so many mothers feel, why does everyone lie to us about how wonderful it is the moment you see them?

I'm not feeling the rewards of my struggle yet and I feel betrayed and angry.  I'm going through all of the motions including playing the part of the doting mommy hoping it's a fake it until you make it kind of situation.

It's scary to admit these things.  I fear that someone will take it wrong way and get all scared that I'm a horrible mom and the kids are suffering or something.  I promise all of you, the girls are well cared for, getting plenty of snuggles and affection.  They are getting the rewards of a mommy who loves them, it's just me who isn't.


  1. Aw, Alex. I wish I lived closer. I'd give you a great big hug.

    The thing is, "they" lie to us about nearly every single aspect of pregnancy and motherhood. Hell, even of marriage. Our society is awesome at pretending everything is ok for the sake of keeping up with the person down the street who appears to have it all together, who is doing the same thing with someone two blocks over. The whole shebang is a "keeping up with the Jones'" crock of shit!

    And...I do think the depression is making this all worse to you. I also feel like you're being awfully hard on yourself. Please be nice to my online friend!! She's working so hard and has been through so, so much. She really needs kindness and compassion right now.

    I have no doubt that I'll be joining you on the PPD train once I do conceive and deliver again (see, I'm being l'm hopeful right there!). I'm already on it (round one), but with no two dead babies, not the added emotional aspects of having living babies to care for.

    One resource, if you haven't found it already: Postpartum Support International ( I know they have a meeting/support group (babes welcome, by the way) down here in Oly, so I can only imagine how many there might be in your area.

    As always, sending you much love and big hugs!!

  2. Those women aren't lying. I don't think it's as simple as "it happens for some and it doesn't for others". I think a lot of it is a chemical reaction. If something doesn't happen as nature intended, then the loving emotions are blocked to an extent. The process is interfered. The Business of Being Born is a good documentary that explains this all, as well as the book Ina May's Guide To Childbirth. It is most definitely not a simple explanation, and it's nothing to dismiss and say "oh, it'll happen eventually". I know this from experience. I've had a child who was born with health complications, and had to spend time in the NICU. His birth was full of interventions. I was not connected. I still have issues with it 11 years later. I love him, but my relationship with him is different than with my other children. My other children were natural births, without complications. I did most definitely have the overwhelming love at first sight with them. It's amazing how much even the smallest interventions can affect it all. Some people are just naturally loving, so it doesn't matter, but for most people, the further you are from a natural birth, the harder it is to bond with the baby/babies. I could be way off, but I have experience with this, as do a few friends of mine and many people all over. It's not a situation to be dismissed, and it certainly isn't normal.

  3. I can't say I'm surprised you developed PND, it hasn't been an easy road for you. And I can see why you'd feel a little bit cheated and bitter about the whole experience. Be kind to yourself. It's nothing personal or something you've done - it's simply bastard hormones. I felt horribly guilty when I developed Gestational Diabetes - was it because I was overweight or ate too much sugar? No. It was a hormonal thing I had no control over. No-one knows why some women go on to have PND - it's just shit luck. The main thing iis, that you're on the right path to getting better. Incidentally, I take Zoloft for anxiety and I've heard it is good for PND too. I'm told Prozac can be a little hit and miss.

    I think once you start to feel better the connection will come.


  4. My oldest was naturally conceived and born. Still it took me a couple of weeks to bond. It was overwhelming and I didn't know what I was doing. It was HARD work! And he cried a lot/didn't sleep. Like you, I went through the motions.....fake it until you make it style! One day I was snuggling him and it just hit me like a ton of bricks....this person was more important to me than life itself. Wow. When did that happen?? I did not have postpartum depression. I had family support. I didn't have any complications. I can easily see how it would be harder for you. In a way it's a let down. You worked SO HARD for these people and it's not what you expected. Yet. They are young still and very needy. It's not rewarding. Yet. I can tell you that I fell madly in love with all of the rest of my kids right away, long before they were born even! It was easier after I had experience and knew what to expect! I didn't expect as much from them or from myself! Moms are SO hard on themselves.

  5. I know we had talked a bit before the girls were even born about some of your worries down this road. I think there are a lot of things at play. Your history of depression, coupled with your history in infertility and loss, and while it was the safest decision for the health of the girls, C-section moms can have a harder time. But the thing is this: You cannot go back and change anything. You made all the best choices you could at the time you were given. All you can do now is be honest about where you're at (It's very very brave to write posts like this! We need more honest writers!) and work with your doctor to get better (and you're trying Prozac, so that sounds about right to me!) I know there are lots of different groups and books and forums about things to do to help you bond, and I know you're doing those things too. You're doing everything you can, and I'm proud of you. Looking forward to our lunch!

  6. Attachment is so tricky - my first was born when I was 19, your classic "crisis" pregnancy. But I was in love with her immediately and bonded fiercely. My second was a planned, much wanted child with my fabulous husband and we were SO excited! But, we didn't find out the sex prior to birth, and even though I got the (if we are being honest here) sex I would say I "preferred" (however slightly) the whole experience of not knowing was extremely jarring and I felt incredibly disconnected from her at first. So much emotion and so much to process. Too much. Then, she was a very tough newborn. But I did fall in love with her eventually and she has my heart in a chokehold at this point. Both were "natural" births, and the second birth itself was actually a much warmer, fuzzier, intimate and enjoyable experience than the first FWIW. It will get better. Wonky brain chemistry can be so debilitating and overwhelming - time and good meds will help, I swear! Hang in there :)

  7. TV loves to lie to us about how mothers instantly bond with their babies. If that was the case every crack whore out there would put down her pipe and breast feed with tears of joy in her eyes.

  8. I find myself wondering if I'm developing PPD on top of my baseline depression, but either way I know exactly what you're talking about. And this is my fourth baby. I can't really honestly say I felt that crazy instant bond for any of them. To be honest, they suck you dry those first few weeks/months. I always felt better once the smiles started happening. This baby is now 10 weeks old and not really smiling yet, but she was 8 weeks early, and arrived via emergency c section, so I'll give her a break. I actually find myself feeling very patient with her because I'm so impressed with her for doing so well. However...My 3 year old (would now be 4 1/2) died almost a year ago from cancer, and this baby was unplanned--rocked our world all over again, honestly. Today I found myself telling God/The Universe/Whatever that I did not want a consolation baby. Her survival and progress following the ugly circumstances of her birth are miraculous, I'll admit. But the miracle I wanted was the survival of my son. Of course I feel guilty for feeling like this, and of course I love and want my daughter. But still..I want my son back more than ever. I guess what I'm saying is that even though I am grateful for my daughter, sometimes I resent her too, because this was not how I thought my life would be. It doesn't mean I don't love her though. I just can't get over the fact that I can't have ALL of my children with me right now.

  9. I've had 2 c-sections. First one born, my girl, I had MAJOR PPD. Had to go on meds and weekly meetings with my family doctor who was following me closely for months. Second born, my boy, nothing at all. No PPD, zip, nada.

    I feel the TV has been lying to me about monthly cycles and how we're supposed to be able to jump over a tennis net graciously while having barely any monthly cramps and smiling like a millionaire. Ugh. I felt like crap for decades until my big surgery.

    There's so much BS out there about how "wonderful" things are supposed to be, but once you're behind closed doors, lack of sleep, raging hormones, depression and all take over easily. People just don't want to say it (sometimes), others hide it because their spouse is not supportive (that was my case at first, but my PPD got so bad, that I went and talked to my doctor alone... my husband at the time told me all sorts of nasty things - he doesn't believe in depression and ridiculed me, etc).

    Cut yourself some slack. You have been through SO much (far more than most people) in the past few years. You were anticipating these babies for so long, that it can feel like a let down.

    You are doing great, and thankfully your husband is supportive. Hang in there, and if the meds are not helping, then ask your doctor to switch you to different meds. Hormones can interfere with meds, sometimes they work, sometimes it's like you're taking sugar pills. If it is not working, see your doctor immediately.

    Much love and hugs
    Nathalie xoxoxo

  10. I understand. I am a twin mummy too. I didn't feel any connection ith my girls until I got treated for severe postnatal depression. It will take some time for you to heal, but it will happen. Take care of yourself. Xx


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