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trying to forgive myself for not being a perfect mama *an introspective post/vent*

838 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  LavenderMae
I just read USAmma's post on TAO and it really resonated with me. Sometimes things just don't turn out how we want. Sometimes we aren't the person that we long to be.

I am embarrassed to post this but I have to get it out somewhere. I apolologize for being so whiny.

I am not a perfect mama. Yes, I know, duh. No one is perfect. But I feel a drive to be perfect. For everything to be ideal. And it backfires on me. When things do not turn out well it really hurts, because I have built up expectations. And although I know that confess isn't really the right word, I feel like I need to confess some things.
Maybe some of you mamas feel the same way. I need hugs soo badly. People IRL do not understand AT ALL. To the point of being extremely rude and hurtful.

"Thing" #1: I did not have the perfect, peaceful, UC, homebirth that I planned. I had an emotionally devastating, unmedicated hospital birth. Which, in a way, was my decision. I wasn't really thinking straight with the excruciating pain. And I am ashamed of myself. I made a stupid decision and I can't forgive myself. It hurts. I wish I could rewind. If only, if only, is what goes through my mind every day. I wonder if this is why I have not bonded with my child. I rehash what happened all the time. I hate it. How do I heal?

#2: I have PPD. I never ever thought that I would feel the way I do towards my child. But I do. It is horrible. I want to love her. But honestly..... I wish that I did not have her. I wonder if I can be the mama that she deserves. I definitely am not now. I am embarrassed to voice my true feelings, what goes though my mind when I am overwhelmed and she is crying. How I feel when she wants to nurse for the nth time in the past hour and I feel so touched out - a feeling I did not even understand until recently. Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy. The sane part of my mind says that I will be ok someday. That soon I will love her and want her more than anything. I hope to God that is true.

#3: I am not the mama I want to be. She wants to be held all of the time and I do not like holding her much. But I usually do because I feel guilty... shouldn't I want to hold her all of the time? She is my baby!!!! And I do not want her to be sad... It seems like PPD is ruining everything. Babywearing, co-sleeping, etc. And I was so excited to breastfeed-now I hate it.

And there are other things......

I feel like the real me is trapped inside. THIS ISN'T ME!!!!!!! Believe it or not, I used to be a nice person. It doesn't sound like it now. And I am so frustrated! How do I find myself? How do I heal and be the mama I need to be? I need to be ok. For me. My baby girl. My partner.

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Your post breaks my heart. For you and your baby.
I think you are very brave to admit to your feelings. They are very real and shouldn't be ignored or pushed under the rug.
I'm not a big fan of medication but in this instance would you be willing to try it to see if it would lift your depression? Go see a professional... maybe even just to talk. Does your dp know how you are feeling? Have you checked out the PPD thread for advice/help?
What exactly is it about your birth that you are so hurt by? The pain? The fact that it didn't go as planned? Disappointment in yourself? I don't think an unmedicated hospital birth with a healthy baby and mama is such a bad deal. It sounds to me like you are maybe extremely hard on yourself. Forgive yourself.

Really, I just wish I could say something helpful...
I hope this passes soon and in the meantime, please be easy on yourself. Ask for help if you need it. It's okay to be weak sometimes. It takes a stronger person to show their weakness.

i know i thought i'd like bf but with ds1 it was just a chore. he never looked at me, never acknowledged i was anything other than the mammary gland whilst he was nursing. and touched out -- yeah. but we managed to nurse til i was three months pregnant with ds2. i just kept breathing, i thought about people i knew who lost their babies, i read, i watched telly, i talked on the phone. all to stay seated and feeding that little guy.

i'm still not a big fan of bf (but ds2 will look up at me and give me some heartbreaking smiles -- kids are different) but i am delighted to be *able* to do it.

i don't know enough about ppd other than to say see your doctor if you feel like it's too much.

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Oh caring, loving, blessed Mommy!! I could've written this same post!! The guilt that we place on ourselves for not fulfillling unrealistic expectations!! The perfectionistic attitudes we have towards being Moms who can meet our children's every need, every waking second of the day or night! We know, in our heads, that we are being a little bit crazy and silly, but we just can't help ourselves! We want to give our children the whole world and we want them to have every advantage. I think that yours and my personalities make attachment parenting very hard sometimes because we just are NOT perfect. No one is! And I reassure you that your beautiful baby will be just fine as long as you do the best you can. Sometimes *gasp* my children have cried for 15 or more minutes! Today they are well-loved, well-attached, well-adjusted children who are happy and smiley and perfect!

I would encourage you to seek counceling if you are feeling very depressed. Also, maybe just ask your partner for a nap!! An unrestricted (as to time), sleep until you wake up on your own, nap! Sleep deprivation can and DOES make everything worse!! I feel very guilty about asking for naps from my hubbie but when I wake up I feel better and life looks better to me! Always after a short break away from the kids, seeing them warms my heart again, instead of bringing on feelings of dread and misery! I know it is so hard to ask for breaks!!! Believe me, I think I've left the kids a handful of times in a few years!!--but YOU DESERVE to feel better than you do! A little break now and then will only make things better! I promise!

I also encourage you to keep trying your sling!! I never tried or used anything that put my baby on my back until they were old enough for an ergo (5 or so months old). How old if your little babe? If they are old enough, I would totally try an ergo! If not, maybe having your baby on your back, out of your way (so to say), would help you. Physically you could do whatever you needed to with your hands and arms, and emotionally you would know that your baby was being held and worn.

Please post again if you need to! We're all here to help and we've all been thru the rough parts!!!!
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I would urge you to try to talk with someone in depth about your birth experience. In my experience, a traumatic or even simply not ideal birth needs to be worked through completely. Depending on how bad it was, a mother can experience some post-traumatic stress that's completely separate from PPD. I agree with the previous posters, as well. See your doctor. Consider medication. Get some rest and some help. Post again if you need to--we all support you!
I could've written your post after my first was born. I had these really highly unrealistic images of what "motherhood" was, and when it came, it wasn't all the calm, peace, glow, beauty, and joy the baby industry made it out to be.

Your feelings are normal, in my opinion. I remember, b/c my dd would stay up until 4am every morning screaming hysterically and only dancing her around would make her stop, calling up my dh at the time and just crying: "I can't do this! She's in her crib screaming and I just can't hold her again! I'm tired! I can't take it! Please come home now!"

It does get easier. The babe will gradually need to nurse less often and will become more engaged in the world around you. What is your support system like? I found that just having a friend or two around most days helped keep me level.

I second the posts re: counseling. I wish I would have gotten it, b/c I truly believe to this day that those feelings of stress and depression left a negative impression on my dd's brain. She's super intense and emotional, and I frequently wonder if it's not because I was such a wreck with her.
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You must have just had the baby! The last time I saw you post you were waiting.

You might find that you are more eager to hold your baby once things calm down and you have had some sleep. What does your support system look like? Who is helping you out with the baby? I remember that your partner was being a little flaky--is he helping you now? Do you have relatives or friends who are around to help you out?

I agree that you should talk to your health care provider about the PPD.

As far as recovering from the disappointment of the birth--yeah, I hear you about that. I know I can't say "don't be ashamed" because you have the feelings you have. I don't think less of you for having an unmedicated hospital birth instead of a UC--I'm sure most people, even the most committed to UC, don't.

It's a big deal to have an unmedicated hospital birth! If you were able to get through having the baby in the hospital without your labor shutting down and without interventions, you probably made the right choice. For some women, being in the hospital is enough to shut down their contractions and start the cascade of interventions. (I'm one!) But you felt comfortable enough to give birth there without that--so that probably means it was the right place to go.
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Hugs, hugs, hugs!

My heart goes out to you! I think you are a very courageous mommy. Please consider the excellent advice posted above. I hope things feel better very soon!
Well, I went to the doctor and got some paxil today. I didn't completely want to, but in the end I think that she will be safer and and all of us will be happier. I hope it works.
I am so hopeful for you. I hope the meds lift the dark cloud...
my sister is suffering with depression and I know that whatever her doc gave her has let the light in a little.
I know if may not be an easy thing to do but if not for yourself... it's for your daughter. I'm impressed that you have the insight and strength to be proactive about how you're feeling and actively try to feel better. Make sure you take care of yourself in other ways as well. Be gentle with yourself. I have my fingers crossed for you and I'm sending lots of love.
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I understand the feelings you have about your birth experience. It is really hard to lose your "dream birth". And it will take some time to heal from that. Definitely talk it out with someone who is sensitive to your situation. I know that helped me alot when I had to go from plans of a midwife-attended out-of-hospital birth to hospital birth with OBs I'd never met and was just assigned to. It's really hard to lose control like that, and like you, I had an unmedicated vaginal hospital birth, but it was not what I had planned, and it's normal to go through the feelings you have. I hope you will find peace with your birth experience. You did not fail. It may just take time to let yourself accept that.

I'm glad you went to the doctor and got some help. Even if it is just for a short time, the medication might help you get back on track and work through your feelings, ya know? And no, you're not a perfect mama, but no one else is either. I have yet to see one! We all have our moments and our imperfections. But children learn from our imperfections too.
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I've only ever had mild ppd and even that is hard. My heart goes out to you.
I hope the paxil helps level things out.
It's okay to mourn for the birth experience you lost. I have also had a hospital birth that left me really hurting and from the outside it looked fine too but it wasn't. Don't be ashamed to talk about it. If you need someone to listen pm or email me anytime.

Please be gentle and kind to youself!
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