Everyone knows how a baby changes your life and how you are so happy once you finally get to hold her in your arms. We all know that the weeks and months ahead are going to be filled with sleep deprivation and crying (both you and the baby). But there are taboo subjects that no one wants to talk about. One of these is being depressed.
I was never officially diagnosed with postpartum depression, but I do think I had a little more that the “baby blues”. I am going to be an open book here, and I want to say before hand please no judgment! I had many of these symptoms for at least 8 weeks, but I felt ashamed and I felt like I couldn’t talk about them. I feared that everyone would think I was going to harm my daughter, so I kept it inside, and I think that hurt more than anything, so please talk to someone about your feelings!
The first major symptom I noticed was how I resented my daughter. I tried to breastfeed and had to give up after 5 days. When I made the decision to stop breastfeeding I cried and cried, for hours. I felt like a failure, but I was hoping that giving up breastfeeding would help me to bond with my daughter. I hurt so bad that I would dread when it was time to feed her. I kept thinking “how am I supposed to bond with her if I hate feeding her?” and that is exactly what it was, I hated feeding her. But once I gave up breastfeeding, I still resented her because I felt guilty that I didn’t breastfeed. It took me a long time to get over it. The only thing that helped was talking to a friend, and then telling my story. I still have some regrets, but they don’t bother me as much anymore.
The second major symptom was crying. From day one all I wanted to do was cry. At first I just attributed it to the changing hormones and lack of sleep, but it continued for a long time. This was one symptom I actually had until my daughter was about 3 months old.
I also felt like I was doing it all wrong. The whole parenting thing is a big deal, you are forming a person’s life, teaching them how to live and act. I felt like everything I was doing was wrong. You can spend all day looking up things online. I let my daughter sleep in her swing because sometime it was the only way she would sleep (only during the day though), and because of this, I was a bad mother. Then, I let her lay on the floor when I would go to the basement to do laundry and that was bad parenting. I understand now that sometimes you have to do things that are not ideal, but at the time I have very irrational thinking. With this also came the occasional anxiety attack.
This last one is very difficult for me to write about, and I want you to keep that in mind. Please, no judgment or harsh words!
I had horrible thoughts. I never had thoughts of suicide, but I had thoughts of throwing my daughter out of the window. I also had dreams like this. It was always out of our picture window, but it was on the second story (which we do not have). Every time I had these thoughts or dreams I would start crying. I NEVER felt the need to act on them, but I still had these thoughts. What kind of mother am I? Am I the crazy mother who is going to drown her child? Will I really throw my daughter out of the window? I know the answers to the last two questions is no, I will never knowingly hurt my child. But then why did I have these thoughts? I honestly have no clue, but what I do know is they are scary.
I never talked to anyone about this. Not my husband, my mother or my doctor. I wish I would have. I will tell my doctor about this the next time I see him, just so he can be prepared because I know when the time comes, I will try to hide it again.
This is a subject that is very difficult for mothers to talk about because you should be happy, not sad. If you are feeling depressed, you feel guilty because this should be the happiest time of your life. But you are not alone please get help.
I hope this post helps just one mom!
Did you ever have any issues with the “baby blues” or postpartum depression? How did you overcome it?