Monday, September 01, 2008

The Post-Partum Week From Hell

Posted by Anonymous.

The last four weeks of my pregnancy were hellish. First, my doctor almost killed me and my unborn son by administering an anemia treatment to which I had a severe allergic reaction.

I could barely walk by the end, and when my doctor told me she wanted to deliver me five days early, I issued no protest.

Now I'm wishing I could turn back the clock.

It isn't the baby - he is as sweet as pie, some nights even sleeping for six hours at a stretch. He wakes twice at the most. The blessing of birthing an almost 10-pounder. I earned some good karma while waddling around with his big noggin pressing on my cervix.

But this week? This week after the birth?

Is from HELL.

First, every in-law I have descended on me, with my FIL and MIL doing their level best to divert my husband's attention from me and our new baby. Their 30-year-old divorce feud spills over into every family event, culminating this time in a call from my MIL to my husband the day after I came home from the hospital, summoning him to her hotel room so she and her husband could interrogate my husband as to his "feelings' about the divorce.


Then my brother found me on Twitter and made his way to my blog. This is such a bad, bad thing. Such a very very bad bad thing. He and his wife now have the goods on me - my mother doesn't know about my blog, and my brother - and especially his wife - hate my mother.

There is little to deter him from using my blog as a weapon against my mom - or me, for that matter - should one of them get in a snit about something.

And I don't want to hurt my mom. I never told her about my blog, because at the beginning it was a place for me to vent and grieve in private anonymity. Not even my husband reads it, giving me free reign to write honestly about my inner life.

A freedom now curtailed.

I am stifled by the idea of their eyes on my words. I'm tentative, where once I was fearless.

What do I do? Clear out my archives of precious words and tell her? Or wait, crouched in defensive position, to have the bomb dropped for me?

How do I explain it?

Oh, and just after that, my husband decided we should finally, after six years of marriage, combine our bank accounts. Let's just say we have very different ideas when it comes to finances. And that was the last vestige of freedom I had - my own checking account.

As a woman who gave up all her independence to stay home and raise children, the few dollars I earn from my writing gave me a sense that I am not totally reliant on my husband.

And now I am.

I had hoped to avoid anti-depressants this time around. But major life changes are my biggest triggers. How about a series of stressful life-changing events?

Please pass the Lexapro.


sam {temptingmama} said...

I too hate having a joint account for that very reason. I make my own money - yet he makes more. For some reason it's all viewed as his and I feel like I am expected to ask for permission to buy things. I have a full time JOB! OUTSIDE the house.

As for your blog.. I'm really sorry. That's my greatest fear - that family finds mine and I can no longer write for me, but an audience I so do not want to have.


I really hope things get better for you.

Awesome Mom said...

I wish I had never told my family about my blog. Maybe you could make it private. That way you could let in the people you want to read it and keep out those who you don't.

I am not sure I will ever get why people think it is ok to descend on a person that has just given birth. It only adds frustration to an already tough time.

Emily T said...

If it's a blogger account, I think you can move it's URL. That way you still have all your words and won't feel so invaded. I am not 100% sure but it's certainly worth a look.
Anybody else know more about this?

I know what an emotional upheaval it is having a newborn in your house. Especially with all the "helpful" family members. Stay strong and focus on your baby and remember the HBM basement is always here for you. *hugs*

Robyn said...

And people wonder why I blog anonymously. I'm pointing them to this rant if asked again!

Thank you for voicing my rant!

I'm sending you good thoughts in return for your rant. May you and your husband have the peace and time to enjoy this wonderful addition to your family.

H Oh said...

Just happened to me recently and I just plum started over. If it's Blogger, go to wordpress and then import the posts. (Then make them private through blogger)If it's wordpress make it all private and start all over again under new digs. Or just keep it private and invite only. It's horrifying at first but it ended up being a relief. A fresh start was nice.It was also a test to see how many of your readers seek you out too. Those that know your email or other blog friends.

Good luck and congratulations on the baby!

Jill said...

I don't know what I'd do if my family found out about my blog. My husband knows about it and occasionally reads and that gets me into enough trouble. If his parents or sister ever found out about it? Holy crap! The shit? It would hit the fan.

Sounds like Lexapro is the thing for you and sounds like maybe Hubby should stand up and be a man and tell his mother to either be helpful or shove off.

So sorry you are going through this!

willowsprite said...

Under "settings" click on "publishing", and then change the name of your blog. Then laugh maniacally while you email the new adress to the people whom you WANT as readers. ;)

Anonymous said...

You have my every empathy. Believe it or not, this is why I comment annonymously. Because, I want to make supportive comments and offer any helpful suggestions I have without my family, friends or workmates blindsiding me with an "Oh, you feel like that do you?" When really it is a topic I just don't want to get into with them.

Enjoy your new baby. Congratulations. I do NOT understand why parents of ADULT children feel like they own them or something and don't respect their priority to their new young family. Also, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why ANYONE would make a mother or her family's life MORE DIFFICULT during the post-partum period. This IS the time to BACK-OFF and give the family space. This is the time to send APPROPRIATE WELL WISHES and HELPFUL items such as a pot of home-made soup and pie.

Anonymous said...

the first week after my son was born was hell on wheels for me too. it was horrible, and i didn't get the Lexapro scrip until quite some time later!!

i am so sorry that all of these things are happening at once :( i will never understand why parents, once we hit adulthood, just can. not. let. go. at. ALL.

Anonymous said...

You are not alone! This very thing happened to me as well and I packed up shop, closed down the old site and started anew. It sucks, but you'll be so much happier if you do it. ((hugs)) and congrats on the new babe!

Tarasview said...

oh, I understand. I had a huge fight with my mother and my in-laws following all 3 of my children's births. I am finally coming out of my third bout of post partum depression.

Just wanted to tell you you're not alone.

Fran Loosen said...

Can you move the address to a new domain? We can find you and spread the word...

Sucks, all of it.

Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

I'll follow you wherever if you need to move. And I'm a lazy blogger - I don't update links for just anyone. Of course, I'm being presumptuous in your anonymity here . . .

I'm so sorry this is adding to an already stressful time.

And you MIL sounds like a real piece of work. Shessh.

AmyinMotown said...

Hi, I'm new. (I just found this through Caramama and what a great idea). You poor dear. My husband is also one of those "we share everything" people and my credit now SUCKS as a result, so maybe go on ahead and keep that account especially if it's not money that goes to household expenses.

And I did delete precious words just in case -- through publicizing one commercial blog it's possible my mother may have found my personal one; I know my brother and several friends did. It feels like such an invasion, doesn't it?

And bah on your inlaws. Do they leave soon? And is RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE not soon enough?

Lora said...

oh, honey. That's awful. Change your site, change your monikers, change the name of your city. Ditch the old one or save it for the happier Pollyanna stuff you don't mind your mom, etc. knowing. The rest of us will find your "real" site, even if we small time bloggers have to come up with some sort of underground railroad system of putting a link to your new site on one of our posts. I'm 100% sure that no one related to you reads my blog!
Big love to you and yours.

Carolyn...Online said...

Dude, will totally mail you Lexapro.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the support here for you, as I have in-laws too .... blah. congratulations on the beautiful baby and getting through it all! :)

I'm sorry you didn't have a say on the checking account. You left out the details on how your husband decided to change this, but are you saying you had no choice?

My trigger for depression is feeling a lack of control in my life. Would you be able to open your own account again?

A good book to read is the Feminine Mistake by Leslie Bennetts (some of it is good, some a bother, some, eh) if you and your husband treat money differently.

It sounds like you are saying you are the one who is more frugal or responsible--marriage doesn't have to mean one checking account and total loss of autonomy: blah, just writing that triggered a depressive moment.

Suze Orman also has a new book out about women and money.

Take care.

Krista said...

I'm with Canape... being presumptuous in knowing who you are.
But I'm so sorry this is rough on you. I wish for you, peace in your home, and peace with your family.
I don't know what to tell you about your brother... but whatever you do, don't stop writing. We will follow you and keep on loving you!

Anonymous said...

Quick, quick privatize this blog and start a new one you can then keep your previous work and they can't see it anymore.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how you think that you are somewhat anonymous, and then someone finds your blog. Unfortunately, I shared mine with a couple of people and it came back to haunt me. Now I need to start another one - totally anonymous... it's such a shame to have to start over! It's so time consuming, and takes forever to gain a small following.

LazyCrazyMama said...

I am starting my blog all over - I believe that is probably the best choice.
I am very sympathetic to your family issues... who wants to deal with all that crap after coming home with a newborn baby! You have so much else to deal with! Shame on them for adding so much stress to your life!