One of the more horrible things about having postpartum depression is the loss of the ability to feel love. Yes, that's right. For about 7 months I have only felt love sporadically, on the really really good days which were few and far between. I don't mean that I didn't love my children, because of course I knew that I loved my children with all of my heart. What I mean is that I never felt that feeling.
Love - when your chest gets all warm and tingly and you can't help but smile the biggest smile ever and you just might even get tears in your eyes, like the tingling just went to your head. Love like the kind that bonds you to other human beings. That kind of love. Skeptics say that love is simply a chemical cocktail in our bodies. Well, so be it. But I can't live without it. I'm a lovaholic!
I realized just the other day that I finally got my mojo back. I was nursing Oscar - watching his eyes get all milk drunk and his eyelids get really heavy. His cheeks working hard to get that precious milk. I started cuddling him in my arms, smiling extra big, eyes getting all watery - whoa! wait a minute! could this be love that I'm feeling?? actual love?? It was such a relief. The hole in my chest was filled with a warmth like the sun on your face on a cool, crisp day. It was filled with all the amazing blessings in my life - an amazing partner, a wondrous three and a half year old daughter, a beautiful and healthy seven month old son, a roof over my head (albeit a leaky one), food on my table, water in my cup, and yes, finally, love in my heart. I knew with my brain that I loved my children, but until I felt that in my heart, it just wasn't real.
One of the first times that I realized I had postpartum depression was when I told my therapist that I didn't feel any love in my heart. She said that by telling her that, I clued her into the fact that something chemical was going on here. So yes, love is a chemical cocktail in our bodies. But it makes life worth living and when it's missing, life is sick.
Welcome back love! Make yourself at home. I hope you stay a reeeaaalllyyy long time...