Monday, July 27, 2009

The Whoops Baby

My daughter was an accident. In fact, my pregnancy almost ended my marriage. After the Sprogling was born I spiralled into post partum depression.

But I did it quietly.

My husband was at work all day so he missed seeing me at my most down. I'd sit staring at the Sprogling napping in his chair and just choke. It was so much work and I was doing the lion's share of it. I spent most of the first six months of the Sprogling's life sleeping as much as possible or crying. I'd nap when he'd nap. Every single time he napped. The rest of the time was spent holding him and cuddling him and feeding him and taking care of him. Never once did I regret having the Sprogling or feel resentful of him but I was so depressed that at times I wished I could just walk away.

I'd make sure that I was up and dressed before my husband got home. Most days that meant that I got dressed maybe half an hour before he was due home. I'd throw something in the microwave for dinner or boil water for pasta. I might take a cloth and wipe down the most visible messes or throw the clothes into the closet.

So when the hubby got home, I appeared fine.

Lazy, but fine. The housework got the barest attention. I was functioning but that was about it.

My marriage was suffering though. When the hubby got home, I would do everything in my power to pawn the Sprogling off so that I could go back to bed. Most nights I was in bed by nine and my hubby and the Sprogling didn't follow until a couple hours later.

You can imagine how frequently we got adult alone time. Never mind sex, we hardly ever talked.

Never once did he ever think that something was wrong with me though. He just believed that I was tired and wanted time alone or that I couldn't handle the baby.


So you can imagine how excited my husband was when I miraculously got pregnant again. I think we had had sex maybe three times since long before the Sprogling was born.

He withdrew. I withdrew. I spent most of my days resenting him for not seeing how much I was hurting and how depressed I was and he spent most of his time wondering what happened to his wife. He started looking outside our marriage for the things he wasn't getting from me. For the things he had stopped looking to me to get.


At one point I actually packed up my bags and the Sprogling and left him. I was six months pregnant at the time and we both had had enough. I even called divorce lawyers, because there was no way I was going to raise my babies in the environment that we were offering to them. We spent most of a month apart and actually worked through some things, mostly by talking on the phone. It was as if the distance made it easier to verbalize things and actually think about what the other was saying.

The months just before Little Bit was born were the worst of my life. I was still hurting so much and my husband was so unenthusiastic about the baby. Where the Sprogling had been planned and cherished and anticipated, my pregnancy with Little Bit felt the exact opposite.

I believe that my husband felt that if things got so bad with a child we had prepared for, how much worse would they get with the surprise pregnancy baby. I hated him at some points for taking away the joy that I felt for the new baby and tainting what should have been a really happy experience.


I can't say that things magically got better once she was born. They didn't. Having a baby only fixes relationships in poorly written romance novels. But we worked through things. Are still working through things.

Little Bit is one of the most loved babies you will ever find. She is hardly ever not in someone's arms or playing with someone, and she has her daddy firmly wrapped around her little finger.

She may not have been planned, but she is loved and such an important and "right" part of our family.



1 comment:

  1. Wow. Thank you for writing this.
    J and I don't have any kids, but I know about depression and the havoc it wreaks on a marriage.

    Have you by chance heard of It's a pretty funny blog by a woman with two daughters, a lot about parenting, and after her first girl she had such bad PPD that she checked into a mental hospital for a few days. You might enjoy reading her.



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