Monday, July 28, 2008

Milk Factory Shutdown: Phase 1

I spent much of Friday staring at two pieces of paper currently magneted to the refrigerator.

The Husband and I both had a hunch, when I was pregnant, that I could be one of the unfortunate women who might end up with post-partum depression. Do you think there are some people that just have more of a propensity to end up battling depression at some point in their lives? Not in that, "Yeah, I always thought she had a screw loose!" kind of way. Just people who's natural personality traits may make them more vulnerable to it? 'Cause I kind of do. And I'm including myself here, so you know I don't mean these people are weak or mopey or whiney or whatever horrible little stereotypes you sometimes hear. I don't think I could define this personality type. But I know there are people in my life that I just can't imagine being likely to ever suffer from clinical depression, and people about whom I wouldn't be surprised, though I would be sorry, to hear of battling it.


I finally went to the doctor. My general practitioner, not a psychiatrist. I had had an appointment with a $300/hr psychiatrist several weeks ago, but canceled the appointment when the three preceding weeks were the first time I'd felt like myself in months. I didn't know...about that symptom that everyone else seems to have known about...that depression is like that, with the ups and downs.

So now I have two pieces of paper from the doctor magneted to my fridge. One is a presciption for an antidepressant. One is for anti-anxiety meds. I have not filled them.

There are two reasons for that: First, I'm pretty sure I have a pathological phobia of taking meds. Okay, maybe not that bad. But it is a battle to get me to take Advil when I have a headache, Nyquil when I have a cold, any kind of pain meds stronger than Advil after knee surgery. I'm sure it's terribly annoying to everyone around me. And I don't know where that comes from or what it's about. Probably some horrifyingly transparent reflection of my control-freak nature. But there it is.

More importantly, I can't start meds while nursing the Papoosekin. This is the main reason I didn't make this jump three months ago when the Husband and I realized that I was "not well." I saw my doctor then, too, and he got it, and he wanted to give me a prescription then, warning that my marriage would need it. But he also got it about the nursing. And that I'd had such a hard time getting started and that six months was way too soon, for me personally, to wean. He got that I so wanted to make it to 12 months. So we compromised and he sent me off for some cognitive therapy to try to bridge me to the nine-month mark without losing it completely. Nine months, we agreed, was not too early.

But that counselor was a horrible, guilt-tripping, insensitive wench who basically told me to suck it up, create more energy (from where?), and that it was pretty much unacceptable that I wasn't cooking and cleaning more. I tried to put a brave face on it at first, but some distance has made enraged at how horrible she was. I only saw her twice, then stopped because I entered that three-week remission. It's apparently a big, huge given that cognitive therapy doesn't do crap for PPD anyway.

So I have the prescriptions and we've started weaning. And the Papoosekin takes a bottle, even from me, so it's really not that bad. But I'm still battling this guilt about not making it to 12 months. So, so stupid, I know. I would never hesitate to agree that this is the right decision if it were someone else; in fact, I fully know that this is the right decision for me. But I didn't want to wean at nine months and it's hard because she is obviously missing those two nursing sessions we've dropped and I know it's just a habit because when she's tired, she wants to nurse...but it's hard.

I'm not really sure how fast we'll get through this and how fast I'll need to cash in those two pieces of paper on the fridge into nasty little pills that I'll have to take for god knows how long. But it's coming. And I'm both relieved and resentful all at once.

Without even an attempt at a segue, I'm going to just dump some pictures of a very happy Papoosekin in here to make us all feel better.

See, Papoosekin loves her bottle, too. Especially when cuddled up to the awesome Mr. Ouiser, sunburn or no.

Saturday, we went to an Irish Barbecue Picnic. The Papoosekin did not get to have any barbecue. She had a Wagon Wheel.

A little extra laundry to do...


Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, I also had to wean Andrew around 9 months--not because I wanted to, but because I had to head back to school in September & was working & there was just no time in my schedule to keep it up. Things happen, and you've done your best with the lot you've been given. You are an awesome mommy! This is not a reflection on your committment to your child. Your committment to making yourself well is the most important one you can make right now. We're sending you lots of love and positive energy from up north, my dear.

Strongmama said...

I absolutely agree with Jess. You have done a wonderful thing by nursing L for the past 9 months and there is absolutely NO reason to hang your head! Breastmilk is fine, but there are so many other things that L needs and is going to continue to need from you-- the most important one being that you get better! And besides, there's no fancy t-shirt or bumper sticker given at the 12 month mark. I don't think it's easy to wean whether you do it earlier or later, but I'm happy to give you some ideas to help it go a little smoother if you want them.

Leslie said...

There's nothing I can add, not being a mom, plus, the lovely ladies who commented before me put it very well. I can say that I was never breast-fed, and I've always been healthy and felt close to my mom :)

Really, there's nothing to feel guilty for- you are doing your job as a parent and providing your child with a safe and loving home.