17 months in now. Thinking back it feels like coming out of a dream. And even though I now have a grip on things and my skin feels like my own again - I can't help but look back and reflect on this journey. The miraculous ups and the hideous downs. It's a chapter of my life that I often wish away, that I try and cover with old blankets, pack away in boxes, and push to the farthest corner of my attic. I want to do away with it but I just .... I can't. It has become bigger than that, it has become a part of who I am.
I can say now that my mind is so much more clear and that I am happy. The stage she is at now ... well, let me just say it ... I get it. I get why we go through what we do ... to bring these little people into the world. Hearing her shout "Mama go?" when I leave her world - walking into even just the next room - my heart? Done. Completely. Just ... don't even ask.
So thinking back through it all ... if I am doing THIS good ... why do I feel the need to bring it up again? This part of me that is so ... wretched. So painful. So far from what I believed to be the norm?
I can say this now with confidence ... it's for one reason, and that is this ...
I am not ready to stop this conversation.
The title of this blog sums it up for me. The guilt. Because now that I am on the outside of the journey. Now that I have conquered this thing called post partum depression ... there is still a tiny part of me that feels the need to say "I'm sorry".
"I'm sorry, Savannah, that I wasn't there in heart or in mind ... that I could barely see you. That I cried myself to sleep, and that the joy was stifled by the pain. And that I wished away the days instead of wanting more. That I felt weak. And sad. I should've been happy - for god sakes I just went through the miracle of all miracles. You were born! You - the little bean that smiles at me from cheek to cheek every single morning when I walk into her room. You - the little girl that cuddles up in my arms every night, begging me to read you just one more story. I see me in you constantly. You are my miracle. You, amazing you ..."
And, what lingers in my mind after an apology like this?
It's time to be done with the apologies. The feeling bad. The guilt.
With this answer I feel strength. It helps confirm for me that I am on the other side of this battle. The winning side. The stronger side. And with that, here's what matters ...
My baby girl one day might decide to have a baby of her own. And when she does... I don't want her to be blindsided by the thoughts that may or may not enter her beautiful mind. If she feels unsure. Or weak. Or like she thought that she was cut out for this thing, but maybe she's not ...
... that she is not alone. That it is more common to feel this way than she will ever know.
I pray that with my honest words, as hard as they have been to express, and with the growing conversation of others ... she will know that it's going to be ok.
Or even better ... that the conversation becomes so expected, so commonplace that it becomes next to impossible to feel guilty or to feel sad. That it would be strange to have regrets or to ever feel the need to say "I'm sorry."