So I'm writing *now* to just tell mothers: cut it out. Don't lie. We are not always fine. We are tired. We are angry. We are sad. We are hungry. We are great. Just don't lie.
So today I am not lying. I am not fine. I haven't been fine since the csection permission forms were laid on the hospital table. I have been broken, perpetually worried, feeling alone, constantly sad (yet elated at Jacob's health), and drowning in my own tears. I was traumatized by the shock of the quickness of our premature birth. I felt, and still feel, like the ultimate failure. My body failed Jacob and me and continued it's systematic failures by refusing to produce milk for my precious boy- what he needed to help sustain his life, to help him thrive, I could not provide. I did EVERYTHING in my power to get my milk supply up and nothing worked. I pumped every 3 hours for 24 hours in 30 minute intervals around the clock for 3 weeks. Nothing changed. I spoke to lactation consultants, i called doctors. I made myself sick taking supplements but nothing worked. I was chained to a pump to produce less than 2 ounces in a 24 hour period. I was told to give up. I was torn every day on how to spend my hours. I needed to see Jacob. Even if I couldn't hold him. My heart ached to be near him. I had to pump every two to three hours; we were encouraged to be a with Jacob for all his care times (every 3 hours), and we also had our 2 toddlers with us who needed their parents and needed normal. No matter what I did, I felt like a terrible parent. And every time I was asked for my milk for Jacob, my failures multiplied. I was exhausted, physically hurting from surgery, and emotionally drained...but when someone asked how i was, i would force a smile and say that terrible lie: I'm fine.
We're home now, thank God, but these feelings haven't left. I can't see a pregnant lady without fighting back tears. I can't show up at some place without realizing that the last time I was there, I was still pregnant and things were still normal. So, I cry. All the time. I am not fine. Don't tell me things could be worse. My dark and terrible brain has already run the gamut of how much worse it could be. Where i am now is dark enough and I feel like I am hanging on the rim of a deep well. Am I fine? Hell no, I'm not fine... but I will be. I just need time. I am working on it. It starts by being honest with yourself and with others who care. I'm not fine yet, but I will be.