But not to long ago I thought that any kind of happiness was impossible. Emily is only 10 months old and I am still haunted by the first days, weeks, and months of her life.
When she was born I was happy. I felt the dreamy falling-in-love feeling I feel now. I can remember sitting in the hospital bed and watching her be passed from person to person and I felt as if I was floating. I was so enamored with her. I loved her. I adored when it was my turn to hug her, cuddled her, run my fingers over hers again and again. But I also didn't feel like she was mine, or I was hers. There was a fog I lived in. I couldn't remember giving birth. I was certain I was still pregnant. I was having fun taking care of this baby, but I knew that any moment "they" would come in and give her back to her mother. Her real mother.
Some of this can be blamed on the fact that I was medicated. Some of it was from the fact that I had been in labor for four days and had not slept in a long time. Part of it could be blamed on the fact that I did not handle surgery well and for 90 minutes after Emily had been born I was separated from her surrounded by strangers working very hard to get me stable and quite frankly keep me alive. During that time they talked about someone having a big baby, someone had a baby who was 8lbs 10oz, someone had a child. It wasn't till much later I realized that someone was me.
All of that was a factor. But really I can say that the fog I lived in after delivery was the heavy weight of post-partum depression. And it's taken almost 11 months for me to start feeling like there is something behind that fog. All this love and discovery I'm feeling with my daughter lately has been here all along. But even though I felt it, I experienced it, even though I've been in love all this time I didn't know. I didn't know how happy I was until some of the sad, and pain, and desperate disconnection lessened. And I can't tell you how nice it is not to carry all of that around anymore. It's still there. But I see a light through it now.