I’m nine months postpartum. One would assume I’d have all the kinks worked out by now. But I don’t. My mood still changes daily—sometimes drastically so. My weight still fluctuates a little too much and I still don’t have my hormone levels regulated. And up until last night I was still trying to convince myself that it might all be in my head. I wrote off the dizzy spells, the hair loss, the crying spells, the shortness of breath as “all in my head”.
Last night we were sitting around watching ER jump the shark for the billionth time. Emory had fallen asleep in my lap, his head against my chest. Tobyjoe sat to my right. We were still. My family sat still. Whenever the show ended, I got up and laid Emory down. That’s when I noticed a wet spot on my chest. I figured it was drool. (Emory has been drooling a lot lately due to teething. I hope.) I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. That’s when I realized that the wet spot was a perfect circle.
And I hate that I’m about to be graphic. As of late even I find myself turning away from posts holding too much information. But it appears that I’m 9 months late on the whole lactating thing. It appears my body has only now figured out that when baby is put to chest, chest makes milk.
I was told by the specialist that my thyroid levels would even themselves out by 6 months. Well, that hasn’t happened. At the time, I was admittedly frustrated by the way he seemed to write me off as some crazy postpartum girl, one who should just wait it out. And if I were a more organized and defiant woman, I might start a crusade in hopes of being taken seriously. Instead, I become bitter and resentful and it’s entirely my fault!
I am not one to ask a doctor for help. If it’s not a visible wound, like, if I’m not bleeding from the head, I don’t seek medical advice. (Gynecologist, aside. You just don’t ignore the lady stuff.) But this time? This time I knew something had to be wrong. I was entirely too emotionally unstable for it to be anything other than chemistry. And it was.
But the doctor didn’t really offer me much help. He gave me Atenolol to stop the flight or fight response and then told me to stop taking it once my levels began to change a bit. He then told me to come back in three months to get more blood work done. I haven’t done that. I haven’t done that in part because I am a coward. And I haven’t done that because my doctor wasn’t taking my pleas seriously.
On top of all of that, Em just will not nap anymore. He just cries and becomes more and more agitated and insane and every time it happens I feel that I’m more and more of a failure for not being able to figure out how to get him to nap. I’m also not strong enough to let him cry. I simply do not have what it takes to block out the sound of him crying. I go from feeling rage, to sorrow, to self-pity, to anger, to love all within the blink of an eye. It’s kind of like opening every single program and every font you have on your Apple computer while running OS 9.
I have great days. Most of my days lately have been great. Sadly, I don’t really write about those. But today? Today is a very, very bad day. I need help. I need to call a doctor. Something needs to change. I need someone to help me with my hormones, chemistry, all of it. I need to stop worrying that doctors won’t be taken seriously and instead demand they do so.
I’m nine months postpartum. Shouldn’t I be better at this by now?
One last thing, I wrote the first half of this post early this morning. I wrote the second half directly after giving Em a bath in hopes of getting him to nap.
Guess what? He’s still awake and losing it.
Things will be better tomorrow.