Recovered. Do not confuse this word with 'cured.' But I can confidently say now that I have recovered from post-partum depression.
Recovery is happiness. Recovery makes me feel normal. Like I belong with everyone else out in the real world again. Maybe going back to work helped. Maybe not. Maybe I just happened to find the perfect dosage of medication. Who cares. I am me again and I have never been happier.
Everyday I sit at work thinking about P and what she's doing, if she's napping, or crying, or playing with the other babies. And as soon as that clock hits 5:00 I run out of there to go pick my little girl up so we can get home and play together. She is simply amazing. I have finally understood what other moms are talking about when they say how in love with their babies they are and how amazing and blessed being a parent is....I get it now. And I'm motivated to make our house a home for P. The laundry no longer sits in the basket for weeks before I cave and decide to put it away. Dishes are washed as soon as they're dirty. My bathroom is sparkling. My cupboards are stocked. Healthy meals are on the table. The dogs are running around outside and that fancy stroller we bought is finally getting some use. And yes, I have become that lady at the office that goes around showing people pictures of her baby without even being asked. AND I DON'T CARE! I'm happy. And she's adorable. No need to thank me.
I think back to how I felt in the beginning and feel like on some level I robbed P of the person I really am. I robbed her of cuddles, soothing tones, songs, being read to, making silly faces at her. I robbed her of my smile and head scratches. I robbed her of her mommy. I try not to dwell on it and know there was nothing I could do at the time based on the information I had. I didn't know what was wrong with me and felt so wrong for feeling that way that I couldn't get help. I felt ashamed that I might need help and didn't want to admit it. Had I admitted it right away, perhaps my daughter wouldn't have been robbed of my love the first month of her life. But all I can do now is move forward, continue in my recovery and doing everything I can to show her how much she means to me and how much I love her. All I can do is hope that I can teach her there is no shame in asking for help, that I love her more than anything and that she is my world.
I am still me (see previous post). But now I am a mom. And I wouldn't have it any other way.