Monday, April 30, 2012

#29 Post-Partum Depression

So it has been just about 18 months since I had my baby girl.  During the first year I suffered from post-partum depression.  To help me cope, I wrote.  This is something I wrote while depressed. This is not like my usual funny posts. It's a serious one.  I feel that it should be read by others so other new mom's will know the real story of depression after baby.  Just a warning....for those of you that may actually personally know me, please don't be offended by anything I wrote. I was not in a good place...and THANK GOD I'm better now!
not even coffee made me happy :(

What they don't tell mom's dirty little secret
Why did people not tell me how crappy the first few months are after having a baby? Did they think that it would scare me off to having kids? (they would be correct) Did they just not have as bad a time than I did? Or did they just forget? I vow to NEVER forget.

Yes I am going to have more children, so don't go thinking i will be done with this one...although if I could guarantee my daughter not growing up to be a brat or lonely i would totally stop at one. But I'm beginning to think that this is a dirty little secret that new moms don't want to let others know because in some way they are bad people for feeling it.

Well screw it. I'm going to say it. When my baby was born Nov 3rd, 2010 at 8:44pm, the first thought I had other than 'Holy crap my undercarriage has been set on fire and there will be nothing left!' Was 'THANK GOD ITS OVER!' Apparently I said something else out loud that was more on the lines of cutesy 'i can't believe she's mine' sigh. Roll the eyes.

When I was in the hospital it was fine other than dealing with my parents who were pissed that they missed the birth of their grand baby because I didn't call them fast enough to drive 13hrs and be there when she popped out...It was when I got home that it set in. The first 2 weeks were hard but we had people coming over and feeding us and visiting. But then they stopped coming. We were left with just me, hubby, who went back to work and this stranger that would not stop crying, pooping, eating, sleeping....every 2 hrs.

Since the hubby went back to work, it was just me and my daughter. An isolation set in. Like this dark cave that you can't see the light of day and have no concept of time anymore. Was it morning? Evening? When did I eat last? Have I showered this week? Is my baby sleeping or did she get SIDS?! oh she moved....ok she's sleeping....

Slowly I began to loose myself. My hobbies, my style, my dreams....gone. Nothing but a shell of a person who has now become a human cow quite literally.

People would call now and then or we would see my husbands' family or a few of my close friends and they would ask me how it's going....I was never fully truthful with them. I would always say it's fine or 'Its Going!' One time i opened up to some of my close girlfriends and they acted like I was crazy for not adoring my beautiful baby girl. So I stopped opening up to them.

I would just cry some days....just cry. I was so tired. A numbness came over me....I felt indifferent to everything. nothing really mattered. My job was to be this girl's mother and this man's wife. Period. I talked with my husband about it sometimes but not in detail. I would say, dont' worry I'll be fine. It's just a stage, a season.... and it was for the most part.

As my girl got older, some things got better. As she started smiling at me then giggling I would get happy again. She started to respond to me and slowly stole my heart. About 3 months later I started to really feel love for my baby. That thing some new mom's say was instant they set eyes on their kiddo....yeah, it wasn't the case with me. The kicker is that I seriously lucked out with my baby. She's happy, smiling, laughs all the time, wants to play by herself and is so beautiful I can't believe it. She goes to bed at 7:30pm and wakes up at 6:30 with no interruptions...and yet... it's still there. That numbness. It seeps in sometimes. There will be days that she will fuss or play or whatever and I just want to scream and go take a nap....or I'll just hold her and stare at a wall feeling nothing.

They call it the baby blues...what a nice name for such a horrible feeling. My baby is turning 9 months tomorrow and it feels like I've come a long way since the beginning....but i still feel like I have so far to go. I will beat this, whatever it is. And my daughter will only know that her mother loves her more than life itself. Even though she feel dead inside.


  1. Jess-This is SO important to talk about!! I went through the exact same thing (I think I even told you about it when you were pregnant) but I never told anyone while I was going through it. Motherhood was the one thing I'd always wanted so when I had that feeling of walking out the door and leaving everyone behind, I felt like a complete failure. Then the guilt of having these feeling at all was overwhelming! My sister-in-law had my neice 3 weeks before me as was literally the perfect baby so that was more added pressure. It wasn't until Braden was 5 months old that I actually felt like accepting the job of being his mom!

    Looking back, I wished i had at least told my Dr or Matt-yep, even he didn't know. The one time I mentioned wanting to walk out the door & leave it all behind, he freaked so I put on a happy face and pretended to love my new life.

    I love that you wrote down your feelings at the time - I was scared to own those feelings anywhere so I didn't even put pen to paper.

    Somehow the knowledge of having Post-Partum Depression the first time around made me more open when Ethan came so I made sure to combat it by talking to people & not isolating myself after he was born. Helped me tremendously!

    Love you!!!

  2. You are so brave for writing down your feelings. I was right there with ya 16 years ago and never told anyone because I was too scared, embarrassed, and I felt guilty for having those feelings in the first place. I really needed medicated but never took action. Thank God I got through it and I did not experience the blues with my second child.

  3. I once heard the whispers of a new mother talking to her mother about the awful feelings she was having toward her baby. She felt so guilty for it. Her mother just laughed and told her all the horrible things she had thought of her when she was first born. Apparently, this is pretty common, but not talked about.


    People asked me what the hardest transition was... 0 to 1? 1 to 2? 2 to 3? and then, what were you thinking with 4??

    By far it was 0 to 1. I told people that it took me a year to adjust to motherhood. It rocks your world.

    I get it. I'm glad you're through it. Thank you for talking about it.

    You're pretty damn awesome.

    Much love.

  5. I liken it to the scripture dying to yourself. The old me is virtually gone, dreams -yep, plans-yep, make-up -yep, all gone. I am very glad you are feeling different and as she gets older she will become even more independent and it will be even better. And she is a beautiful girl, you too.

  6. I think it's so healthy and positive to journal and make note of our feelings, whether in good times or difficult times. There are things we don't think we'll ever forget, but we do eventually. Having a written record to remind us of important events can be very healing.

    There's no denying that having a baby changes our lives in numerous different ways. It's wonderful and exciting and scary and worrisome at the same time.

    Kudos to you for sharing a portion of your journey here. I'm very glad that you're feeling better now. :)

  7. Thank you for posting this. I had a really hard year when my first child was born. Looking back, I'm pretty sure I was depressed, but at the time, I didn't see it. So tired all the time and so tired of the feeling that my body was no longer my own. And I heard imaginary crying babies in my head, especially those few times I did manage to get in the shower! Thankfully, I survived, and it has not been the same following the birth of my other children.

  8. My son and his friend swear moms don't love their kids until they are 10 or 20. They have no idea how hard and exhausting the first year is. He is driving now and I want another one. But, of course, according to him I just started loving him yesterday so he could drive me places...which may or may not be true.

  9. Yep. Been there. But, I really only suffered with my first. I remember when Randy would get ready to walk out the door to go to work (in those first several weeks after she was born) and I'd beg him... literally beg him to stay. I didn't know how to be a mom to a baby that was either nursing or crying the ENTIRE day. It was maddening. But, like you, as she got older and the crying ceased, things got better. It is lonely. It is isolating. I found friends in the same place I was at the time and we bonded in a way I have never expected. It was my saving grace and I was very thankful for those women.

    Glad you are on the other side now. I've said it once and I'll say it again, despite the hell I went through with my first... being a mom is the most amazing experience I've ever had and I would never trade it... not one single second of it... for anything. Good, bad and the ugly!

  10. I know a few women who've gone through this. So thankful it's not extremely taboo to talk about anymore. It can be quite dangerous. I'm really happy to hear you're getting through. I know it's a hormonal thing, but I can say it's not isolated to women who've just delivered. After bring our adopted son home, when David went back to work, I felt overwhelmed, alone, and basically wanted to go and hide. Cried. A lot. But we got through it. With God's help, like any relationship, you grow WITH your growing child.


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