A few months before my twin girls were to turn a year old, I started to have intense feelings of sadness. I would see a book that I had read while on bed rest and begin crying. If I caught a glimpse of the maternity clothes that I never got to wore, I broke down. I couldn’t even bear to give them to a good friend of mine who had recently become pregnant. I didn’t want to see anyone else in the clothes that I never wore. As we got closer to September 30th, and the day that my water broke, I cried daily. I actually sobbed every day. My husband kept telling me that our girls were so healthy and beautiful and he didn’t understand why I was so upset. I didn’t either. Finally, for lack of a better option, I began surfing the internet. It was then that I came across other mothers who had had traumatic pregnancies, “done time” in the NICU, and were also feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness even though their babies were fine. As I continued my research, I learned that there are doctors who are actually studying women who have had babies in a NICU and that they are finding that these women are exhibiting signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Finally, what I was experiencing had a name! It was then that I decided to seek some professional counseling.
The counselor was wonderful and told me that she had treated several women like me who had PTSD and that it was totally normal. She went on to say that I had experienced such a traumatic experience and that anniversaries of traumatic events often brought those horrible feelings back. I also learned that I had repressed a lot of my emotions during the time that I was on bed rest and when our babies were in the NICU. I went through the motions every day and felt that I had to be strong for my daughters.
I write this post because I know that there are other women out there who have experienced this or may be experiencing this right now. I know that you feel lost and sad and as if no one understands. I know this because I was you. Just know that I understand and I support you. Please be kind to yourself.