I’m going to have to be honest here – I never got the whole postpartum depression thing.
Whenever I heard women talk about postpartum depression or the “baby blues” I would roll my eyes and say “whatever” as I thought it was bologna. Why get in your feelings about your child that is supposed to be one of the greatest blessings in your life? On top of that, you had 40 weeks to get ready for the fact that your life was going to change – not to mention make the necessary preparations to make it work. It’s not like mothers went off to war and had flashbacks like those in the military do. Call it ignorance of not having my own children, but I just didn’t get it.
Once I was pregnant with my first child, tons of people kept prepping me for the hormone letdown I was going to experience once I delivered my baby. “I’m going to check up on you to make sure things are okay,” said one friend.
“Don’t be afraid to reach out if you need anything,” noted my mother. “I am here for you.”
Well damn, did they think I would want to jump off a bridge once I delivered? Even the instructor at my six week childbirth class passed around postpartum pamphlets which started to get me nervous about life after delivery. Was my fate to be depressed that I have a child?
I am here with my month-old son and though I did not experience postpartum depression, I now understand how some do. Every body reacts differently when their hormones take a drastic nosedive after giving birth. It’s like, for so long you were cruising on a high (okay, sometimes you might want to bite off someone’s head, but I digress) only to get knocked down. That can be a real shock to your system! After hearing horror stories and all the cautionary tales, I was so afraid I would lash out at my baby that I prayed real hard up to delivery.
Thankfully, I never experienced mixed feelings about having a baby. In the same breath, I did kirk out quite a bit on my husband; there have been days he couldn’t change a diaper fast enough and that would work my last nerve! I guess you can say that mood swings are definitely a part of postpartum blues which I never realized did not have to be directed at the baby. I did feel a little bit of hopelessness and even guilt at times which I think stems from being a first-time mother. I don’t have much experience with babies and feared I wasn’t do the right things to make him happy.
As a new mother I get it now. Postpartum depression does not have to be super extreme as there are mild symptoms – and if you happen to experience one or a few you shouldn’t be ashamed but hopefully are reaching out for help.
February 17, 2015 12:00 pm By Tanvier Peart
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