“You’re not supposed to be mine. You were not supposed to be made.”
The New York Times has a piece today on the range of mental illnesses surrounding pregnancy that can no longer quite be summed up as post-partum depression, and a few women share stories that must have been frightening to speak about, both then and now:
When Benjamin was born, six weeks premature, Ms. Guillermo recalled thinking, “You’re not supposed to be mine. You were not supposed to be made.”
She had loved breast-feeding Christopher, but pumped milk for Benjamin. “I could not stand to have him at my chest,” she said. “I was like a robot. I changed him, I fed him, I burped him. Because I never held him, he started to get a flat head.”
She fantasized about abandoning Benjamin at a fire department, or faking an accident. She imagined driving at high speed into a wall, sparing Christopher’s life by intentionally wrecking the side of the car where Benjamin was strapped into a car seat.
Postpartum disorders can involve more intense visions than mental illnesses unrelated to childbirth, said Dr. Wisner.
Terrified she might hurt Benjamin, Ms. Guillermo said she thought about finding a family to adopt him. One night, “I just blurted out, ‘I don’t love Benjamin.’ ” She said her husband, stunned, assured her they would get her help, and said, “Until then, I will love him enough for both of us.”
[…] Suicidal, she tried to jump from a car as her husband drove, their sons in back, but she said he stopped her, telling her: “You will love Benjamin. We just need to get you on the right medication.”
The third drug combination she tried worked when Benjamin was 9 months old.
More at the Times.