I can’t begin to thank all of you for your comments of support, your good vibes, your prayers, your thoughts and love. Yeah, I said it. Love. I’m blown away by how much the internet loves my dooce, and by extension, her family. Thank you thank you thank you.
Some of my worst time while Heather was in the hospital was when I’d leave her and head home for the night. Family watched Leta so I could spend time up at the hospital with Heather. Heather and I would share dinner and conversation and then I’d have to leave. It was so difficult to leave each night. The first night was the worst, because I knew Heather was not happy about being in the unit she was assigned. I didn’t sleep so good and I caught a cold. It may have been sympathetic, stress-related or Leta may have given it to me. During the hospital stay, I siphoned off a lot of clear mucous from Leta. Yes, I know she may be teething. Still, we’re talking maybe half her body weight. Particularly bad were the morning siphonings. I worked the nose-syringe good. Leta actually likes it.
Getting up in the mornings and feeding Leta without Heather around was surreal. We normally take a team approach to mornings where one of us feeds Leta and the other makes breakfast and coffee. It was so lonely and weird to not have Heather here. I ached. I put on a brave face for Leta, and her smiles and noises helped me cope.
Being without Heather in those beautiful moments with Leta hurt like nothing I’ve experienced before. For the first time since Leta was born, I was faced with what it would be like without Heather. It wasn’t good. When I had such moments, I’d wait until Leta was down for her nap and I’d hit the comments that had been left and be uplifted.
You all helped me through a rough time more than I can adequately express. I think I’m still a little shell-shocked at the outpouring.
I’ve gone back to work this week and it’s been a struggle. I’ve been extra worried about Heather and how she would handle being home. I’m so happy to have Heather back. I’m slowly starting to feel like my hope for Heather to be happy has paid off. She deserves to lead a life free from the prison of depression.
Through all of this, I’ve become an ardent post-partum depression treatment evangelist. So many women suffer through post-partum and don’t get the help they need. It’s treatable and women don’t have to live that way. Post-partum depression is very common, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. As I write this, I’m aware of my own inability to ask for help, being raised with Mormon pioneer blood coursing it’s way through my body and causing me to believe that asking for help is an admission of not only weakness, but incompetence. I know nothing is further from the truth; the converse is true. Asking for help is a sign of bravery.
We are not through this, but signs are good. Heather is sleeping as I write. She’s taking naps as well. These are good signs.