Today we kick off True Story Tuesdays –
These will be stories of my life as a single mother — a person who was abandoned — a person who was beaten — a person who felt she had nothing left — a person who has been homeless — a person who is a survivor– a person who screws up — a person who prevails — a person who defies the odds — a person who challenges the status quo — a person who serve others — a person who has doubts — a person who was shunned by her “so-called” friends — a person who will continue to cheer you on no matter what
These are my true stories to encourage and give you permission to share your stories.
I want to share with you — and so we begin.
True Story:: Why I Didn’t Touch My Baby for 3 Months
December 7, 2000
I arrived at the hospital to give birth to my second child. I happen to be in the same room as I was when I delivered my first child. Cool and weird.
Because I love surprises and gift, this was a win-win for me. I did not know the gender of my child nor did I want to as I feel a child is a gift from God and gifts are surprises.
Now what happened prior to this day is important and will be brief as I am not quite ready to divulge, but until then, bare with me. Here is a snippet::
Abusive relationship — physically, verbally, mentally
I was placed in the hospital twice during my pregnancy. Once for non movement of baby for 2 days and when I was viciously knocked into the wall for standing up for myself.
Back to the birth of my baby.
After not too many hours of labor, 3 very intense pushes and a torn vayjayjay later, the dancer was born.
She had a head full of hair, black as can be with soft ringlets all throughout. She cried. Not a lot but she cried. That IS what babies do. And she wanted to be fed.
I did not boobie feed the first one — well I tried but it didn’t work out and besides that shit hurt — so I opted for the bottle and formula again. Even though the nurses were like — you really should try to boobie feed, it is so much healthier for the baby. Hello lady, I am 22, single mother, with my second child — I ain’t got time for that. Bottle and formula please. K. Thanks.
Note:: The time AT the hospital is a blur. I can not tell you what happened because I do not remember and it was not until years later until I remember what I am sharing with you now.
Two days later, it was time to go home. I drove myself home from the hospital. Why? My daughter’s other parent was in jail was just got out, I really do not remember.
One of my very close friends, Lady T, was with me but she could not drive a manual. When the nurse was checking the car seat for safety, Lady T got behind the wheel. Once the nurse left, she and I switched places so I could drive.
When we arrived home. I was bitter. I was angry. I was sulky. I was quiet. I went into a shell.
I did not touch my baby.
I did not feed my baby.
I did not change my baby’s diaper.
I did not want to be in the same room with my baby.
I disliked her. Alot.
This went on for 3 months. Three very long, drawn out months.
Disclaimer: Before you go getting all fiesty with me about what if she finds out and all that hoopla. I beat you to the punch. She knows the story. She embraces the story.
One day, everyone had finals or something and Lady T said, “Sang, you need to watch the dancer because I have class.”
I was a deer in headlights. Stiff. Stopped in my tracks.
Note:: Lady T, me, my son and “the biological father” all lived under one roof
Me:: “You want me to do what?”
Lady T:: “You need to watch the dancer, I have class and YOU are the only one here”
Me:: “Can’t you take her with you?
Lady T:: “No. You will be fine. Just feed her when she cries and remember to change her diaper and I will be back in a few hours
Me:: A few hours? ummmm. ok.
And she swished right out the door.
Note:: I had no clue where my son was because this is sometimes a blur to recall even to this day. I do not remember taking care of him either — which relates to me is that I probably did not.
And there my baby sat on the powder blue velvety looking couch in her yellow matching outfit with a duck on the left chest. Just sitting there.
I was sitting on the floor, legs criss-crossed. Just looking at her. Not sure I was thinking about anything.
I continued to stare at her. She did not look at me. She just kept cooing at the air and looking around as if there were mini tinkerbell fairies floating in the air talking to her.
This went on for what seemed like an hour, but I am sure it was more like 10 minutes.
Then it happened.
We locked eyes. I cocked my head sideways, gave her the side eye and looked at her as if she were plotting on me or something.
She stared. I stared.
During this intense stare down. She smiled.
I was still suspicious. So I inched closer to her.
Stared her down some more. Her eyes never leaving me. She smiled again.
Without another thought. I picked up my baby. I smelled her. I kissed her. I hugged her.
And ever since then, she has been by my side. My Beautiful Dancer.
Moral of the story::
Postpartum Depression(PPD) IS REAL. It happens and people judge.
Everyone remembers the Andrea Yates story and everyone was quick to judge as to HOW a woman could do that to her kids.
I understand her. I get it.
I was never at a point where I wanted to hurt my kids, but my mind was jacked up. Afterwards, I was more freaked out about everything because I did not what I was going through. I am grateful that I was able to come out of that dark place that kept me from experiencing my dancer in her first three months.
You may not realize you are in this state of mind and I encourage anyone who is around you to take notes, be mindful of what is going on because our minds are more powerful than we like to give them credit.
Ever had PPD or know someone who has? How did you/they handle it? What advice do you have for others who have experienced PPD or are going through PPD? ’
Share your story or a story someone you know who has suffered from postpartum depression.