Friday, November 19, 2010

Crack on the Surface

Something happened to me this week. I don't know what.
It's not good. I am not coping well and I'm feeling very fragile.
It seemed to happen so fast.
Chicken and I have talked. She is worried about me as I am not me.
I am loathe to admit I need help, but this time I'm admitting it.
My biggest fear is to tell someone how I really feel because then they will know that I am really a monster with horrible thoughts.
I guess that's why it's called depression. There is this big, black hole and I am sliding down the edges.

Chicken asked me if I would think about weaning because that would 'give me a break'. Right now my day revolves around pumping and breastfeeding. There are only small opportunities for breaks in between.
But I really don't want to stop. I am finding so much that is overwhelming right now, but when I feed these is good. It's easy to feed them one on one. It's the best part of my days. I know they love me and that I am making them happy at that moment. The other moments could be filled with tears and crying and whining and more crying and yes, smiles and laughter, too. But when I'm holding them in my arms and giving them comfort from my body, I am at peace. I don't want that taken away, even it if means I would finally get a 'day off'. Right now, I need that just as much as they do.

Today a new reader commented on this post I'd written years ago. It was actually perfect timing to read it over today. I found myself thinking, "well at least I can do better than my mom", but my god, the bar is LOW.
I long to have children that love me. I want them to have the best childhood memories, full of cuddles and kisses and TRUST. I had none of that. Surely I can do this. I must kiss them a hundred times a day. I want to hold them tight and protect them from everyone.

I feel like a train wreck. Everything was so good last weekend and had been for a long time. This week everything went to hell and I'm not handling life's curveball.
Motherhood is so very, very hard.

I don't know if I can blog about this. I'm feeling very raw and exposed just writing this much.
I've only got one shot to get this right.


Anonymous said...

Hope you find the solace you deserve. Remember how surrounded by love you are!

Anonymous said...

Know that you are not alone. There is nothing to be ashamed of in feeling low and asking for help. I only wish I had done it sooner as I feel like I missed out on some of the joys of Shane's first few months. Hang in there - it will get better. {{{}}}

cindyhoo2 said...

You are doing beautifully as a mom. Trust me, I see bad moms every day through my job and bad moms don't worry about things the way you do. Your boys are doing great: now do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Call if you need to vent.

Nicole said...

I can't imagine how hard it is to know when it's time to wean. And it's wonderful that you have such a bond with them over feeding. I'm not sure how you find balance when you're a new mom to twins, but I do know that your boys won't be harmed if you take time for yourself. In fact, they'll be happier if their mom is happier. And you won't make the same mistakes as your mom. You're already doing such a wonderful job. Sending hugs.

N said...

Oh, hon. You're not alone in so many of your feelings. I hate that they're consuming you, though; that's not good.

I am not trying to encourage you to wean, but remember also that for some folks, when they do, they're able to have the time and energy to make that other time with their kids happier times. I had one friend who fought on through breastfeeding because she felt it was the only thing her child got from her; the only thing that made her a good mother, and I just want to make sure that you know that's not the case with you. (nor was it with her, obviously, but it's so hard to see that when you're in the midst of it.)

Anyway, I just wanted to offer a hug or a million hugs, and a sympathetic ear, because man, I hear you. It's big and scary and hard.

Next in Line said...

Puffer I am thinking about you. This is going to get better. I wish I could help more.

I went through a time of where all of a sudden the deep tiredness hit.I slumped. It was like what ever reserve I had in me from before having a baby had been used up and there was nothing left.It got better. I can only imagine the amount of energy taking care of twins requires.

You and chicken are very wise moms and will make good decisions for these boys.

Joy said...

Admitting you need help is the first step. That may sound trite but it's so true. Best of luck as you make progress toward addressing these concerns. Chicken's support will be invaluable. I'll be thinking of you!

Meg said...

I just want to say that from that video you posted the other day - its clear to me even as a stranger that you are doing a fantastic job.

I also have twin boys who are 8 months old, and I often feel the same. I feel like I should/could be doing SO much more for them, but I physically can't. Just by going back to memories of your own childhood, you are aware of what 'not' to do but you can't expect SO much from yourself. Maybe you're so worried that you will get it wrong, you are trying to do too much? You have great support around you, and again, I can't say it enough, you are doing a GREAT JOB.

And keep up the date nights, its so important to have 'couple' time...

Lots of positive thoughts and love to you...

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I have no idea what it's like to bf but even with the bottle feeding and general twinness, I felt like I was going crazy a lot of the time.

When I started to talk about it, it got better.........

SP said...

Listen, I am in the same shape: I have 7 month old (4 and a half adjusted) twin girls, one of which refuses to sleep longer than 3 hours at a time. I work full time (their dad takes care of them during the day), then I come home and take over until the next morning. It feels like a never-ending wave that overwhelms just as it seems it made receed. Apart from being tired, I just feel so grey. The worst part is? I miss them so much when I am gone, and then I feel so down even when I am with them. The other worst part is, I imagine terrible things happening to them ALL OF THE TIME--not me doing bad things to them, but the off-the-wall accidental things that I could never control. This keeps me crying on the way to work and at night when I should be sleeping, so now I have to add anxiety to the list. I'm not telling you this just to say, "me, too--look at what is wrong with me!" I mean to say, motherhood is so much harder than I expected it to be, but in ways no one told me about. I have decided to see a doctor next week, because I know it won't get better by just trying to be strong on the outside. I also refuse to stop breastfeeding, despite the fact that I can only feed my daughters supplementally, because I have a severe supply problem-- nursing them is the one thing that makes me feel I am protecting them properly. It is animalistic. I can't stop. Please see a doctor. I am really hoping that mine can help me. It's gotta get easier than this.

tbean said...

Puffer, I'm worried about you. You sound like you are in a dark place. And from the little you've revealed about those early post-partum days, it sounds like some of that may be coming back around again now.

I'm so glad you wrote this and decided to talk about it. Admitting that you need help is hard. Hard hard hard. But it actually is the mark of a really strong person who can stand back and say: This isn't right. I need help.

I hope you and Chicken can explore every option available to you to get you into a better place. Therapy, meds...there are plenty of meds that are even safe to take during bfing. You need someone there for you, 100% right now, so that you can be there for Chicken and the boys.

Sorry to be so long-winded (and hopefully not too preachy) but as someone who has lived with life-long depression and devoted years to therapy and finally found meds that help, I know how important it is to ask for the help you need and the strength it takes to go out and find it. Sending love.

SP said...

Sorry, PS: I haven't read the older post you referred to, but if it has anything to do with your mother not doing things she should have, and the influence of those short-comings affecting you in the long run, I hear you there. I spend hours worrying that I will turn into my mother, and that would fuck my kids up for life. I have to force myself to think: if you are aware of what you don't want to do, you won't do it.

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

Oh, Puffer, you’re doing an amazing job with your boys. Even if your bar wasn’t set so low w/ your mom, even if your bar was set super high, you’re totally there.

I grew up in a similar environment with some of the same things happening to me. Maybe not quite as dramatic, but I get it. I left that bullshit town not knowing what I wanted, but I knew what I DIDN’T want, and that was a start. Sometimes I worry that I haven’t come as far as I should have, especially for the kids, but when you start so far behind everyone else, you have to go much further and still be behind. You and Chicken and the boys are all so lucky to have one another.

I don’t know if how you’re feeling now is connected to ppd, but I know that it can come on even much later. I hope you’re able to find someone to talk to. I’m sure something can be done to help (meds?).

I’m thinking about you guys. You can always call me if you want to talk. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Puffer, I am so sorry you are in this dark place. I do hope you and chicken work together to get you feeling like you agian. It's okay to ask for help,it's okay to take a break, even if it means weaning earlier than you had hoped.

You are a great mom and you are giving the boys what you never had, that is obvious to anyone who reads along.

I will be thinking of you and sending love, peace and hugs your way.

Jen said...

I too Am worried about you as you don't sound like yourself (even from way a country away). Admitting you need help is the first step... Are you open to med's? I have taken meds for quite awhile and couldn't imagine bf'ing and life without them. Life can be so overwhelming and with two babies--forget about it! You are a great mom and clearly you would do anythig for your boys speaks volumes! Much love.

Alicia said...

Puffer, I am trying to email you. I used the address at gmail that is on your "About me" page, but it got bounced back. Is there any way you could post it?

K J and the kids said...

I went through this exact same thing. I was so ANTI drugs. before taking them I always thought that it was a cop out. That people who used them were covering up what was really wrong. Even after taking them I had a hard time upping the dose as my body grew accustomed to them. I hated that I needed them. I hated that it made me feel like a failure. I felt like taking them meant that I couldn't handle it....that I was not a good enough mom...that I wasn't ready for kids. Thing is...I was wrong.

Whatever you decide to do....I hope that you'll be ok and that these feelings go away and that you are able to climb out of that black hole that seems to be sucking you in.

Kimberly said...

I'm not trying to throw out solutions as if your problem is an "easy" fix, but is there any way you could still breastfeed, but not pump, and then supplement for the amount you pumped? I have twin boys and we never got in the groove of breastfeeding, so I pump all of their feedings and it is SUCH a time commitment - I couldn't imagine pumping AND breastfeeding. Perhaps if you were able to let the pumping go, you'd have more time to devote to yourself, an you'd still get the peace that comes from nursing them. But, again, I've never done both, so perhaps my suggestion is not really feasible. I'll be thinking about you!

Pomegranate said...

i read the older post you linked. i've been following you for the past year or so, and i would never have guessed that your upbringing was so traumatic. post-partum depression aside, you seem to have it together now. i'm sure you don't feel this way now, but you sound like a real survivor. your boys are lucky to have you. you will get through this. i know you will. you've been through hell before and gotten out. you'll get out again.


shroomie said...

lots of good thoughts coming your way. posting this took incredible courage, and now i hope you find the strength to get the help you need. you have all of us rooting you on.

Lucy said...

I read the back-linked post and it really hit home for me. My childhood parallels yours in a lot of key ways and I have very similar fears of continuing the cycle. I don't have children yet, but whenever I think about being a Mom, it terrifies me that I will be an awful parent because I am afraid I will carry on the same dysfunctions.

But I also believe that having enough self-awareness to acknowledge how our pasts may bleed into our futures, it can be enough to break the cycle. You clearly dont want to be like your Mother and sometimes knowing what you DONT want to be like is a great start to figuring out what you DO want to be like. And getting help can really only help you get an even clearer sense of who you are and what kind of Mommy you want to be.

This is starting to sound kind of preachy and corny, but overall I just want you to know that you are very capable of being everything you want to be as a Mother and deserve all the help and support you'll need to get there.

We're cheering for you, Puff!

poppycat said...

You can't know how hard this is until you are doing it. I never imagined it could take so much out of me.

You are an amazing mom to these boys Puffer. They are going to grow up having the childhood you never did and for that you should be so proud.

As for you dear one, do whatever you have to do to care for yourself. It will make you a better mother and partner sure, but more importantly, you deserve it. You deserve the best and to be happy and healthy.

You are an amazing woman and a great mom. Don't forget it.

Wishing I could give you a big hug.

Malea said...

Is keeping a too small rent stabilized apt worth all this?

K said...

Just here to bear witness (albeit belatedly) and tell you that anyone who reads this blog can see what a wonderful job you're doing as a mother. Please share a little of that love and care with yourself, in whatever form you can. It's not being selfish. It's keeping yourself well so you can keep doing what matters most to you - taking care of your lucky little boys.

Andrew and Brooks said...

If haven't been over to the Mothering Magazine Forum, I recommend checking it out. Just this past month's magazine issue was on PPD and how nursing helps. They have been a tremendous resource and encouragement to me.

This sounds like a crazy idea, but are there any cheap hotels nearby? Could Chicken take W2 to a hotel for a few nights and let you and Grunter get sleep. (just for the the actual night) I know it might be hard work to make happen, but as you have expressed, even 2 nights of better sleep makes a world of difference.

I am sorry things are so hard. No one ever tells you the extreme mix of joy and pain that mothering is!

Pomegranate said...


i have been ignoring your holier-than-thou pretensions for a long time, but you really crossed a fucking line with this one. this is what you have to say to a mom who just put up a super-candid post about being stuck in a hole of post-partum depression? judge her for the home she and her partner provide for their children and insinuate that she is somehow causing the situation? really? what is wrong with you? get over yourself!


i hope you don't for a second believe that the struggles you are experiencing are your own fault in any way. from what i can see--and i know i'm not there, but i think i'm pretty good at being able to tell--you're doing an awesome job.