Baby's Firsts

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Mama Bear or Mama Needs Help?

By RainyDayGal on Jun. 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM

When my first daughter Lucy was born (she's now 5 and has a sister Charlie, now 3), most of my memories revolve around watching her sleep in the co-sleeper attached to my bed. Was I contemplating how beautiful she was? How much I loved her? How her perfect little lips pursed in dreaming? Nope.

I was checking to make sure she was still breathing. Every. Night. All. Night. Long. When I did sleep it was lightly, usually with my hand upon her belly, and if she made the slightest move I would wake up. I chalked it up to being a paranoid first-time mom, and an extremely tired one at that!

When I did manage to make it out in public (in sweats, a ponytail and red-eyed) I would cringe if a stranger even walked too close, let alone tickled her foot through her blanket. I'd sanitize my hands until they were raw after touching anything that could be germy, fearful I'd give her (gasp!) a cold. Feedings were on a clock, bedtime and naps were on a schedule, and if anything came up in the day that I hadn't planned I freaked.

I'd experienced depression before in my life, and after a few weeks I knew something in me had changed that was more serious than sleep deprivation. But I wasn't sad. I wasn't crying and moping all day--I was an anxious ball of panic. My head was so filled with "what ifs" that I hardly absorbed what was happening in the present.

It was postpartum depression, and I would have it again with my second child. I got better with medication and watching my babies grow older and more resilient. Each time I've experienced depression the symptoms have looked totally different, and they vary dramatically from person to person. But depression doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you. It's a medical condition, just as is thyroid disease and epilepsy. It can be treated, and it will get better if you get help.

If it's your first child and you've never had depression or anxiety before, it may be difficult to determine whether what you're feeling is "normal" or not. But it's worth a chat with someone you trust, whether it's your partner, friend, parent, pediatrician or family doctor. The alternative is suffering in silence, which isn't good for you or your baby. Reach out, get help, and get better. I am so glad I did.

How did you feel post-partum? Amazing? Dog-tired? Did you go right back to normal or did it take awhile to adjust? 

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Replies (1-10):
  • NicLof2
  • by Bronze Member on Jul. 1, 2014 at 2:10 PM
  • With my 1st I had really high BP that stuck around for 2wks after delivery so while in the hospital (for 5dys) I was hooked to IV's and machines and couldn't get off my left side. I got very depressed and just wanted to feel better so I could go home and "be a mommy". One I got home and was able to get into a routine and back to life I was fine. My 2nd was a NICU baby so once again was depressed and worried while he was in the hospital. Once he came home and we got into a routine I was feeling much better. Hoping with this one we both are healthy and go home on time. :)
    Besides that I haven't really battled with depression except the occasionally feeling down.
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  • lil_mama06
  • by Member on Jul. 1, 2014 at 2:45 PM
  • I've had 6 daughter's....With my 1st I was tired and paranoid..But happily embracing the new adventure of parenthood...When our 2nd came just 16 months later I was pretty much the same..This time it was fun watching how our first interacted with her sister...Plus she brought me the diaper,wipes,cream and threw the dirty ones away....And lots of kisses..Then the 3rd and the rest came I found myself, stressing out about how the other's were going to take to their siblings...My 4th was the hardest to bring home and I was more boohooey with her....Some meds didn't work well with me, and others freaked me out...So I tried the homeopathic way and I think it works for me..I agree, if your having a hard time talk to your doctor,mother,sister, friend...Don't be afraid to ASK for help........     

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  • elasmimi
  • by on Jul. 1, 2014 at 4:42 PM
  • I had my kids at a very young age, so I bounced right back. But PPD is a very serious problem, and I'm glad someone is addressing it.

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  • Nighttiger
  • by Member on Jul. 1, 2014 at 10:46 PM
  • I felt better with my second than with my first, which was good because I had to be on my feet in the NICU within 4 hours of his birth

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