First, let me say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who commented on my first post on postpartum. The amount of love and understanding I received was not expected. Please know I’ve read all of your comments multiple times over, and have tried time and time again to respond individually but I couldn’t find the words and emotions overwhelmed me and I had to run from the computer. But thank you. Seriously.

Now, moving on…

I didn’t go to counseling. I chickened out. In fact, two days before my appointment, I called to cancel. And then I lied to the receptionist, telling her I was going to reschedule.

I had no intention of rescheduling. I still have no intention of rescheduling.

The thought of counseling, of going to therapy, was just too much. A lot of it was the cost… almost $300 for the initial evaluation, then more than $100 for each 20-minute session after that. And I’m not even sure my insurance would cover any of it.

So, I cancelled. And it’s easy to blame it on the finances, but I’m kidding myself if I think that’s the reason. The reason? I don’t know. I just know I couldn’t do it.

I do know that things have gotten better. I don’t know if it’s because E is older now and that we’re getting things figured out, or if it’s because the hormones in the birth control I started taking have evened me out a little. Truth is, though, I don’t really care what the cause/reason is… I just know I’m doing better. That’s really all that matters.

Because now, I have the ability to fully enjoy this…

… without wanting to hurl myself off a cliff.

(Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all fun and games around here. I’m dealing, and things are getting better… but like I posted on Facebook not too long ago, “Postpartum depression is a persistent bitch.”)

Photo: We Heart It

E Shit They Don't Tell You

When I was younger – we’re talking early high school, here – I was… well, I’ve never liked the term “religious,” so I’ll call it spiritual. I believed in God and Jesus and the whole bit. I identified myself as a “Christian” (even if I didn’t act like a Christian is supposed to act… but I would come to discover that that hypocrisy is actually pretty common in “Christians”).

Sometime after I turned 16 and lost my dad, I got away from all of that. I rebelled, acted out, whatever you want to call it… I did my own thing. It wasn’t until I was in college, though, that I began to identify myself as agnostic.

The way I understand agnosticism is that one cannot know whether God does or doesn’t exist. It’s vastly different from atheism in that atheists don’t believe in God. Agnostics believe His existence can’t be proven to be true or false.

I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of fate or destiny. I think that was always my biggest problem with Christianity – the idea that we were all living out part of God’s plan. That idea, the way I understand it, doesn’t leave any room for us to make our own choices. I firmly believe that our daily actions and decisions have direct consequences on our lives. 

All of that being said…

Having a child has made me question some of my beliefs. While I’m uncomfortable with the word “miracle,” Baby E is about as close to a miracle as I believe there is. Our son’s existence is a very, very special thing. 

Baby E at 3 months! Yes, those are Carhartts.

Along the same lines, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of “soul mates”* or that two people are “destined to be together.” But I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that P is the only one for me and that we will love each other for the rest of our lives. The fact that we found each other is a very, very special thing.

So many of my thoughts, feelings, and worldviews are completely different now than they were a year ago.

They don’t tell you that having a child will change your heart and soul. They don’t tell you that despite all the ups and downs and stress, that it will be the best thing you ever did in your entire life and you will thank God – even if you don’t believe in God – every day for this new blessing in your life.

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*Edited to change “males” to “mates.” Thanks big brother.

E Shit They Don't Tell You