Feeling Guilty (Ori)

Age: 22
Other categories: Postpartum, Belly, Belly, Breasts or Body Art, First Pregnancy, PPD

Having been at the hospital a few times the week that I gave birth, when we went in around 11:30 pm concerned about bleeding they took their time.
Apparently, I was dilating, causing blood.
They sent me home a centimetre dilated. They had offered me drugs for the pain, but I was convinced that I could breathe through everything, set on a drug-free, natural birth. We were back at 2 am because I could NOT handle the pain anymore. I could barely stand up to put my shoes on, let alone hop up in the truck without vocalizing the contractions. And again, because I had been there so /many/ times, the nurses took their sweet time, while I was groaning loudly in the little room..
A half hour later, someone finally came in to check how far I was and they started scrambling. I was 6 cm dilated. I have an extreme phobia to needles and they came in with no warning and told me they needed to do blood work.
I lost it.
I could not breathe anymore.
I was scared.
I tensed up and everything started to hurt more.
And THEN they came in with the IV and the gas.. I didn’t get a choice in anything. Drug-free went out the window.. They shoved the gas mask on my face to make me breathe slower. The room got brighter, my voice sounded lower… I was stoned, straight out. Because of the “need” for all of these needles, my dad had to come in. Before, I figured everything would be weird with anyone but my boyfriend in the room. My father and his wife were in the delivery room for everything. Before they made it to the hospital, the nurses were politely getting me higher and higher, making me breathe with the gas mask through every contraction and decided to have me walk to the delivery room. I don’t know how that seemed like a good idea when I couldn’t walk from the wheel chair we used to get their to the bed.. But alas, we made it into the delivery room and I crawled onto the bed.. They asked me if I wanted an epidural and I thought, “Screw it, drug free is out the window anyways, may as well take everything they’ve got.” So we waited for the anaesthesiologist and when he arrived EVERYONE had their hands on me. He hit a nerve in my back and I jolted, instantly there was a migraine, and he had to move everything and do it again. My step mom was holding the cloth over my eyes, my boyfriend was trying to hold my hand on the right side, my dad was playing with my hair and on the left side the nurse was death gripping my arm and my leg. They placed the mask on my face with the elastic o no one had to hold it. Getting claustrophobic, I moved the mask to my forehead, and that was then holding my cloth up. The nurse to my left kept telling me to push three times during contractions and I couldn’t get her to shut up. I just nodded and said “mhm.” My dad tried telling me that I could do it if I tried. “You get knocked up and then you can tell me what to do,” was my response. Somewhere in the midst of everything, I’d told my boyfriend that if he ever tried touching me again he was dead. I had also said that “these contractions are dicks, you think you’re good and then it’s there.” Twenty minutes after the anaesthesiologist had given me the first needle and the wonderful migraine that I am still paying for, he came back for the second part of the epidural. He stood there for a minute and turned around. It was too late.. I had already been pushing and the baby was almost out. During contractions, I was throwing up in my mouth. Choking on vomit, it’s hard to keep pushing. They told me just to let it go, because it had gone on for about 45 minutes. I opened my mouth and tried not to choke it down. The first contraction that came with that I projectile vomited right into my doctor’s mouth. My father was trying not to laugh and said that vomit made him sick, and turned around for a snicker. I saw my doctor rush to the sink and heave a couple of times and spit before she came charging back and got right in there to “help” me. She placed her fingers inside of my vagina and tried to help stretch my perineum and labia to prevent tears. I shrieked louder every time she touched me. I was already very sensitive, the epidural hadn’t kicked in at ALL and there was no numbing going on. At all. I looked down and saw the baby’s head coming out of me. That’s not an image I can wipe away from my retinas. “Ew” was all I could say… Everyone aside from my boyfriend and parents, was saying “Do it for the baby, you are that much closer to being a mom.” All I could do is say, “Fuck.” I never wanted to be a mom. Ever. With the final pushes they put the baby on top of me. I looked down, said, “Gross.” And looked away. My boyfriend didn’t want to cut the cord. He considered it for a moment but after he said no my dad was already getting in there to do it, so he backed off. The doctor kept putting her hand in the way and my dad is blind in one eye. The cutting of the cord was successful, no hands were sliced. So, now they came to give me stitches, and I lost feeling in my right leg, thanks to the half-ass epidural. They kept telling me it’s not that bad, I won’t feel it, I didn’t tear that badly. So, obviously, I asked if we could skip the stitches.
I was told no, I won’t feel a thing, they will freeze it. I felt the freezing needle go into my vagina.. The freezing didn’t seem to take effect and I felt every stitch go through, and the thread being pulled through my skin.
Anyway, I had a baby girl, that I was instantly ignored for, for three hours in the hospital.. My boyfriend was wanting a girl and we didn’t find out the gender, but I still would have liked to have his hand to hold or something.. Two hours later, because of my bum leg, we got to move to the mother/baby ward. My boyfriend spent the night in the chair beside the bed.. I could not sleep due to the spinal headache that I had acquired from the epidural that I didn’t need. But any time that I had even dosed off, I had to get up to feed or change the baby. And he was passed right out, not waking up for anything. He left for work in the morning and right on cue, someone came in trying to tell me that a doctor had ordered bloodwork that morning from me because I’m pale. I have an iron deficiency.. I’m naturally very pale.. I was exhausted and upset and hungry.. I wasn’t going to have colour. Luckily, MY doctor just happened to be in the area and told them to leave it be and let me take my vitamins. The nurses then started giving me T3’s, knowing that I was breastfeeding, and assuming that I was still in high school. They actually had asked me about high school. The baby was sleeping a lot and jaundiced and not feeding well because she would not wake up. I didn’t know that it was the T3’s until I went to the pharmacy to get something to help with the spinal headache as I refused to get a blood patch. No more needles for me, thanks… A few more days consistently taking T3’s and the baby may have just not woken up..

Well, now I am 12 days postpartum and feeling really alone, inadequate and guilty.
I feel guilty because I can’t seem to appreciate how lucky I KNOW that I am. I still haven’t accepted the fact that I was pregnant, and now I’m a parent.. I have a hard time calling my boyfriend a father and I can’t see myself as a mother..

Reasons why I know I’m lucky:
-no cravings during pregnancy
-no swelling during pregnancy
-no morning sickness
-no fatigue
-25 lb weight gain during pregnancy
-lost 15 lbs instantly after pregnancy
-5 hour labour, with 2 labial stitches, perineum still fully intact
-very content baby, sleeps well, not fussy
-huge support system (6 siblings, 8 nieces and nephews, parents, grandparents, friends, and my boyfriend)
-my tattoos survived, and have few stretchmarks between my legs, on my breasts and on my sides
-I am breastfeeding with no problems
-I ate what I wanted when I wanted to and still had a healthy baby
-I went clubbing at 7 months pregnant for a stagette and had more fun than the bride

Reasons why I feel guilty:
-I know I’m ungrateful of all of the above
-my boyfriend does nothing but irritate me and he is just trying to help
-getting jealous of the baby
-I feel like I’m just going through the motions of motherhood, I have no attachment to the baby
-smiling and pretending everything is okay because I got enough lectures about being pregnant when I never wanted to be
-I dealt with prenatal depression before the baby and ensured my boyfriend everything would be okay when I wasn’t pregnant anymore, it’s not..
-I’ve already had horrible thoughts of things I could do to the baby to not be a parent
-I’ve thought about leaving in the middle of the night
-I feel deformed and disgusting and helpless but I don’t feel like I can say anything
-I can’t find anything that doesn’t outline how beautiful birth is, how much love I should feel and how I should cherish these moments and I don’t feel that way at all.. I hated being pregnant, I cried for a week when I found out and never came to terms with it
-I know I don’t look “bad” but it’s a big change from what I’m used to, and not as good as I would like..
-I went up 5 jean sizes and can’t do anything about that

Ori is not my real name. This is an anonymous post.. I just need to get this out SOMEwhere where I’m not slapping my loved ones in the face.. And hopefully, someone else might feel this way, read this and not feel so alone..

13 thoughts on “Feeling Guilty (Ori)

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I know how lonesome motherhood can be. I am no doctor but I think you may be suffering from severe post partum depression. The baby is here now, there’s no giving her back. Please seek some mental help so you can enjoy life and enjoy your baby, or at least cope better than this.

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I am sorry you are having there feeling, and I am sorry your birth did not go as planned. I do encourage you to seek help. If you are having feeling about hurting your baby or leaving her in the middle of the night, you DO NOT ignore that. You really need to talk to your doctor. They will not judge, these things happen. Many good moms have these feelings at some point. I wish you luck…and please get some help for yourself.

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Hey Ori, I can relate to your post in several ways, sounds like your pregnancy was unplanned, mine was too. I was close to your age when I had my baby.
    I had a natural birth out of sheer luck, the day they planned to induce me. I also puked all over, the nurse midwife was force feeding me to keep my strength up. After I had my baby I experienced a lot of the things that you’ve mentioned, I was irritable, emotional, detached,and disgusted with my body.I had horrible thoughts about failing as a mom too. I got so paranoid that I could hardly pass a staircase without imagining myself dropping the baby, or falling down them holding him. I was too afraid to get help because people expect new moms to be cheery and competent. I think a lot of people share your experiences, you’re not the only one who’s had a hard time making the big adjustment.
    It got a lot easier for me after the 1st month. If things don’t improve for you, you should get real help though, postpartum depression is serious and not uncommon.
    Your feelings about your body should also improve with time. I completely understand, if you “don’t look bad” you may not get a lot of sympathy from others but that doesn’t mean you aren’t suffering. I know some people get touchy on these body positive sites if you suggest self improvement, but if someone had told me to just get used to my new body when I was your age and had just had a baby it would have made me seriously depressed. So I’m going to recommend that you give yourself time to heal and then do some weights and pilates, it worked very well for me. I still have some stretch marks but they fade out, I’m pale like you and mine blend right in: ) Hang in there, I know it’s hard to be positive when you’re drowning in postpartum hormones but everything should get a lot better!

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 10:10 am

    PPD is very common especially in young mothers. Even if you feel embarrassed it’s important to tell your doctor or a family member you can trust to tell them how your feeling if not for the babies’ safety but for you. Your birthing experience sounds not only scary but clearly not the way you wanted it to go and could also be causing some of these feelings you are having. If an absolute must there are always “safe havens’ you can take the baby if you feel that you can not handle being a mom right now. Although its hard it’s very important you tell your boyfriend or parents how your feeling so they can be supportive and try to help you while you get through this. Your not alone!

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Oh lovey , please speak to a doctor or health visitor as soon as you can about these feelings, they are there to help and they will understand. So, so, so many women get postpartum depression which is what it sounds like you may have and help is there for you. I had it (not as severe) after both my children without knowing what it was, until a very nice doctor spotted it and he helped me more than he will ever know. Dont be so hard on yourself you went through a lot and the birth sounds like it was very traumatic and its still very early days into motherhood which means tons of hormones affecting you and it takes a while to get used to the new person now in you life. I didnt bond with my daughter straight away when she was born I thought I must be the worst mother in the world! I have a great relationship with both my kids now and love being a mom. Speak to someone about your feelings and go easy on yourself. sending love your way

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you all for the kind words.. I am 10 weeks post partum now and things aren’t getting better.. I spoke to my doctor and she prescribed birth control. DR: You suicidal?
    ME: Yes.
    DR: Here’s a prescription for birth control, it will make you gain more weight.

    I’m seeing a new doc soon after that episode…

    I’ve recently talked to my boyfriend more seriously about these issues because things are getting worse everyday but there are little windows every now and again where I can’t help but smile at her but then I feel so guilty about how I feel the rest of the time… I still haven’t told my parents, and I still don’t want to… I get enough patronizing comments from my boyfriend on the issue, my step mom (only 10 years my senior) will get all know it all on me and my dad will just be my overprotecting and make things worse.

    I guess that’s kind of my update.. but again, thank you so much ladies.. It’s nice to hear something not partaining to the “miracle of life” and how beautiful I am for creating one.

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Hi darling. My experience was not as scary as yours but I just wanted to let you know your not alone. I have 2 kids under 2 and I remember when I had my first I didnt feel this overwhelming love. I loved him but more at a instinctual level. I resented how this little person was making my life so hard. But you need to know its ok. Your hormonal, stressed, tired and probably scared.Its rreally hard especially in those first few weeks and you’ve just been through a traumatic birth.
    Dont be so hard on yourself and dont feel like you should suddenly feel like a mum and be all joyous. It takes time to adjust.
    I found when bub started to interact it got easier and more rewarding and I started feeling better. My second is 3 months old and I still dont feel like a mum sometimes but then I realise how different I am, it happens gradually so go easy on yourself.
    Ignore the flood of ppl telling you how wonderful it should all be nobody tells you the reality. Ask for help when u need it. Take time for you and try to get outside when you can it helps. One day you will look at your daughter and see all the funny, adorable things she’s done as you’ve watched her grow and you’ll realise you have this love that makes you feel like you could explode. It just takes time.
    Please please be kind to yourself and ignore all of those thoughts telling you you should feel this way or that. Its all bs. We need time to adjust to a huge change like a baby.

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Post partum depression and post partum psychosis are two very different things and when i read that you are thinking of things you could to do the baby to not be a parent and the lack of attachment, it sounds like you could be suffering from post partum psychosis. That is very dangerous and you should seek medical help. I had ppd for 15 months and it is very real and hard to deal with on your own but never had any thoughts of harming my child. You need to talk to a professional and find ways to help bond you and the baby. I hope you can find in it you to seek advice or help. This should be the feeling of joy and happiness when you care for your child. Having awful thought of yourself and image is relatively normal after pregnancy, that takes time to accept. Please consider talking to someone really soon.

  • Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Hi Ori. I’ve never posted a comment here before but your experience really spoke to me. I suffered from pre- and post-partum depression as well, and it was awful and lonely. What I have discovered since then is that it’s far more common than people are willing to admit. It took me two full years to bond with my son. I still feel horribly guilty that I wasn’t one of those moms who fell in love with her child the moment she laid eyes on him. I don’t usually tell people how it really was… Basically, for the first two years it was like taking care of this tiny person I didn’t really know and who took a long time to grow on me. My husband did a ton of the actual work. My job was just to show up, say and do the right things, and not say/do anything stupid. Sounds awful but that’s what I could manage. Now my son and I have an amazing relationship. Just took us a while to get there. I will say that antidepressants helped a lot… I was too embarrassed to ask for them until he was a toddler. Before the antidepressants it was like I was drowning; taking them pushed me above water long enough for me to catch my breath and learn how to swim. Anyway, all this to say – you are not alone, and there are many people who can relate.

  • Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Ori: You are NOT alone – i was 30 when my first was born, and it took me 4 months to start to feel love for him. I was alone (with a drunk do-nothing husband) and no family for hundreds of miles. I woke up every morning wishing I was dead, and having these moments of thinking of doing things to that baby or myself so I wouldn’t have to do it anymore. I could have been one of those women who kill their children. I don’t know why I didn’t. Instead, little by little it got better. Good enough for me to have a second baby. Now they are teenagers and I love them more than I thought was possible. But I should have gotten help. Tell your family how you feel! Ask them for help. Get some counseling for the trauma of the birth experience. It will help. And yes also get meds to do whatever you have to do to get through it. And it will get better over time. Little by little there will be moments of joy at your little miracle. It gets better.

  • Friday, February 14, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Ori, you poor thing. I do hope that by now you can look back at when you first wrote and see some small glimmer of improvement. Your update, after you saw that appalling doctor, is shocking. Did you manage to talk to a health professional about all this? If not, do try again, and please go easy on yourself, you’ve been through so much. My baby is five months old and his birth and early life were also very traumatic. Every time I looked at him I felt hurt and guilt – definitely not the warm fluffy love I had been led to believe came naturally. I started googling about bonding with baby, and learnt that it is not uncommon for this to take time, especially after a traumatic birth. This made sense as my baby was associated with so much emotional and physical pain. Try not to feel guilty about it – as you see from the posts above, you aren’t alone in not feeling that rush of love, it’s a fairytale for many of us. And try not to feel guilty about anything else either. You sound like a survivor, hang in there. Your baby’s smiles will show she loves you more than anyone – that helped me, though bonding can take much longer. So, be kind to yourself, get help – even if you can’t talk to your family, especially as you have thoughts of harming your baby. As LM says above, it will help. And it will get better!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Ori, I am a midwife in the UK. Darling you need to get some help, what you are feeling is far more common than you would think, over here 2 or 3 out of 10 mums develop some degree of depression. I don’t think you are suffering a psychosis as your comments make sense, you are logical even if you are feeling flat. Depression is something which can easily be treated, it is common and thought to be down to the hormone changes following birth, a traumatic experience will have made you more susceptible. All you need to do is visit your ER and tell them that you have severe post partum depression and need some help. All the things you are feeling are due to this depression, it casts a dark cloud over your life. The good thing is that you can treat it, you just need to ask the doctors for the help. Don’t let this affect anymore of your life than it has already. You WILL get over this I promise.
    Good luck.

  • Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Today, a part of me wanted to check this website to see if anything had been said since I last posted… funny enough there are a few more comments. I am seeing a therapist now. not through any hospital or anything like that.. my boyfriend is wonderful enough to pay the expensI’ve $110 an hour for me to answer simple questions andget perceptive answers that ultimately seem to be achieving results that we want. I don’t exactly feel bonded to her, moreso obligated to do better. the mere mention of me in a parental manner still makes me cringe but I don’t think about hurting her anymore. I have found that I’ve been missing my mother lately, whom I haven’t spoken to in almost 10 years, and feeling worse and worse about myself in as aesthetic manner. my therapist does not believe that I need to be taking antidepressants which I guess is a good thing.

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