Is this my new reality?
I’m staring down at my two-month-old daughter sitting in her small rubber “tub” in the larger bathtub. She’s screaming. I’m crying. Bawling is more accurate. I’m begging with her, pleading with her, to stop.
Please stop crying. Three hours is more than anyone can handle, isn’t it? No. It’s just me. There’s something wrong with me. I’m the failure, not her.
Suddenly, the image before me is of the tub overflowing and her beautiful bright eyes dimming. I see her twin brother in the next room staring up at the ceiling, eyes lifeless.
And I snap back to reality. I gulp the rest of the glass of wine in my hand and turn away so she won’t see the shame on my face.
Can they tell?
She knows. She knows I can’t handle it. I can’t handle her. I can’t handle them. She knows. He knows. Everyone knows. I’m a terrible mother, and it’s barely just begun.
Why didn’t I feel this way when my now four-year-old daughter was born? Am I just not cut out to be a mom of three? Is it because there’s two of them? I’m being punished for some terrible deed I can no longer remember in a not-so-distant life that is lost on me now? Do I deserve this?
Please stop crying, child. Why are you screaming at me? It’s because you know I’ll only fail you, your brother, your sister, your grandma, your dad, your older brother.
You know I’m only going to screw up. You know you deserve better than me. Shh, stop crying. If you stop crying, I’ll go away. I promise I’ll leave you to a live better life without me.
The only thing that I ever wanted to be when I was growing up was a mom. Then I was told at 20 that I couldn’t have kids because of PCOS. I have a radical weight loss surgery in another country and lose 150 pounds.
I accidentally get pregnant by a nice enough guy I barely know. I never once doubted anything about me or Whine or my love for her or anything else. Even when I messed up, it didn’t matter because I saw the love on her face and knew it would be okay.
Fast Forward 4 Years
I accidentally get pregnant again by probably the only decent man with whom I’ve ever been on a date. Surely it was meant to be, two accidental pregnancies with the same person? Even though it’s the opposite of everything I ever planned, these kids were meant to be mine, ours.
But now I don’t know if it’s going to be okay. I don’t have the same confidence I had with Whine. Sometimes I’m not even sure I love them.
Does God make mistakes?
Something went wrong and I ended up with someone else’s kids. They were meant for someone else who would be more patient and kind and not care if they take turns screaming for what seems like an eternity.
Even my mom, one of the most patient and love women I’ve ever met, looks at me like I’m a monster. I don’t know if I can do it anymore. I’m not even good for Whine at this point.
The Good Time Are Good
There are days when life is blissful. The twins do cute things, Whine is a dream big sister, I don’t yell at anyone (or cry or throw things), and there is hope that perhaps my mom does not hate me after all.
The Bad Times Are Worse
But more often than that, there are regular days, typical days, where I sit rocking a baby I’m convinced will hate me when he/she grows up, when I do nothing but snap at my beautiful soft-hearted 4-year-old, when I look at my mom with disdain because she doesn’t get it. Those days are my new normal.
It’s on those days that it’s easy to block out the smiles the coos, and the “I love you”s. It’s on those days that I forget my faith in a higher being and face the world alone. It’s on those days that I hurry out the door to work, glad to be away from the children who unknowingly adore me for now. It’s on those days that I pretend to be happy and hide crying in the bathroom when no one else is looking.
Those days, my new normal, living in this hell titled postpartum depression.
**Edited to add: Things have changed. I found a treatment that works. Read more about that here. If you are suffering from PPD, feel free to join our growing support network here. Or if you need someone to talk to now, feel free to contact me personally here.