When the Happiest Time of Your Life is the Hardest pt.2

Welcome back.

I know I haven’t shared the birth story but long story short, delivery was long and rough and left me feeling very very beat up. My experience and recovery played a big role in my ppd. Everyone’s experience is different and today I’m sharing mine.

After we got past the breastfeeding hump I thought we were out of the woods. We were not. By week two (which conveniently lined up with K’s 36 hour trip to Chicago) I realized that the “baby blues” were full blown depression. I’m going to be super honest here and tell you how I felt at my lowest low.

The strongest feelings were loneliness and regret. I mourned the freedom and life I’d lost. I felt like a prisoner to my life. My days were the same over & over and my nights were long and lonely. My body wasn’t working correctly and everything hurt. I had a two week driving ban so I couldn’t leave the house on my own- with or without M. I didn’t really want any visitors but I hated being alone. I felt like motherhood wasn’t meant for me & I was failing. I told K that I “hated” this. I thought we made a mistake by having a child.

I know that my attitude and emotions rubbed off on K and stressed him out. He was balancing work (including my workload) and my mental & physical health and M’s wellbeing and his own health and lack of sleep. I knew I was draining him & ruining his newborn days, too. He was extremely concerned about my mental state. My parents were, too.

Two weeks after M arrived I called my doctor and, between sobs, choked out my symptoms to a very kind nurse. They had me in the following day and we worked out a plan and prescription. A few days later I felt like a whole new human.

With my driving restricts lifted (and K back home) I felt a little more confident to leave the house with M. And I realized that I have people who WANT to watch her and help me- so occasionally I can go out without her, too. I started to see her as a human- MY human; not just a baby or a life sentence or an anchor. I kissed her face more and sang to her and smiled at her gassy grins- even at 2am. A fog lifted and I realized that I am a mom and M is my heart in human form and these days will not last forever- for better or worse.

My mom and K saw the change in me as soon as it happened. We’ve been doing pretty great since then. Things aren’t always easy and I still feel like I’m working on a bond with M since we got a delayed start, but I am so grateful that we took action as soon as the ppd set in.


A few things I want to note…

Medication and mindfulness (and sleep) worked for me and I’m very grateful for that. I know this treatment plan might not work for everyone. It’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling and what you need. Talk to professionals as soon as you notice something is going on.

ALSO- I personally believe that it’s completely normal to mourn the life you “lost.” Having a baby is a HUGE change and it’s almost impossible to fully grasp what it will do to your present and future. In addition to the regret & sadness, I had no happiness or excitement about our future with M- and that was my glaring red flag. Stress, sadness, regret, and frustration are normal… but complete hopelessness is not. If something feels wrong, it is wrong. Don’t ignore it.

I am not a natural caregiver. Motherhood is not something that came fast or easy for me. Every day feels a little better and I gain more confidence. Some moms are naturals and some are more like me- and I think either way is great. Like all self care mantras, if you don’t take care of yourself and feel good you won’t be able to take care of others- and that includes your own child.


Family & friends have been so supportive and wonderful- including blog friends. We’re doing really well right now. M is sleeping a little better & our routine is a little more consistent; two things I desperately needed to happen. I know every day is different and new, but having the mental clarity to tackle it has been key. Hopefully this helps someone else and I can be a shoulder for women and future moms to lean on ♥

10 thoughts on “When the Happiest Time of Your Life is the Hardest pt.2

  1. I’m so glad you got help so quickly and that you found what works for you! No, it won’t be what every mom needs, but the goal is to REACH OUT. It’s okay to ask for help. I’m happy to hear that you and M are bonding more, and that things are getting a bit easier as you go along. It’s a day to day thing, but you got this!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  2. I’m so proud of you for realising there was a problem and reaching out, and glad you got help quickly.

    A few of my friends have told me they hated the newborn stage and did not feel maternal 1st all for at least the first few months. Their children are all happy, healthy and absolutely have a bond with their mothers. You and M are going to be just fine.
    P.s. I’m sure your fur babies would disagree about you not being a natural caregiver

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  3. I am so glad you reached out for help… So many struggle with postpartum & its normal. It shouldnt feel like it isn’t & I’m thankful you recognized it & there were options for you to help battle it.
    I’m not a natural care taker either so I appreciate you saying that. Some people are pros… I’m like, GERMS 🙂 LOL Not so much with babies but with toddlers (all the snot hanging out of noses!!) but everyone just has different instincts. Just like how I’m good with teenagers & some people aren’t… its why its a blessing you have K & your family & friends who can step in in areas where you need them to. All that to say – I love that M is YOUR human & I know you couldnt love her more if you tried!

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  4. I’m SO happy you reached out for help, that’s hard to do and a big step. I wasn’t sure what I had and felt so disconnected so many times, but the stress and not knowing how to navigate certain situations was so overwhelming at points. Motherhood is not easy, it’s not perfectly posed pictures and snuggles all the time and people need to hear more of THIS. Thank you for opening your heart and life up, you are amazing. Always here if you need to chat, xoxo.

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  5. I think it’s great you’re sharing this and that you reached out for help. Also thank you for mentioning that you’re not a natural caregiver. I’m not, either, and that’s one of the things that’s scared me most about having kids. Sending love your way!

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  6. Can I just say how eloquently and beautifully written this post is. I was seriously feeling what you were writing about. Such intense feelings, and in a vulnerable season of life-it’s no wonder that so many women have struggles postpartum. I’m so happy that you didn’t suffer in silence and that you sought out some help-I’m sure that clarity and shift in emotions was a huge relief. I totally get what you are saying about losing a certain lifestyle and also not feeling like a natural caregiver. (Hand raised!)

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  7. I’m sure this is helpful to so many people reading! I’m glad more people are talking about this type of thing so others know it’s common and signs that they should seek help. So glad you found some relief. The nights are so hard when you have a new baby! They seem so long.

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  8. This is EXACTLY how I felt, too. I regretted everything. I fantasized about running away. It was brutal. My family took turns calling me every hour to make sure I was functioning at some basic level. Once again, I wish I had gotten medication. I was too ashamed to admit how I was feeling. This time, I’m going to RUN to the doctor if I feel this way at all, and I’ve already told my husband to drive me there and make the appointment himself if necessary. You’ve made the changes I wish I had been brave enough to make the first time around. It’s so good you’re sharing this.

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  9. I felt the same way, too. When Greg would come home from work, he would take over for a bit and I would go for a walk outside and just cry. It was the most hopeless I can remember feeling in a long time, and exactly the same – like I was mourning our old life and wondering why we did this. I still feel terror at the thought of going through that again! Looking back, I probably should have gotten some help, but I felt like since I wasn’t thinking of hurting anyone or myself, I didn’t need it. Not true of course. So glad you are sharing and being honest. I still feel like parenting doesn’t come naturally to me, and some people just KNOW how to do stuff, but it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. And our bond is solid as a rock.

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