I have never been depressed, my pregnancy was planned, my birth….amazing. I was completely in love with my daughter, Had been with H just 13 months and he was my best friend when love bug was born. It was my dream come true. I didn’t feel sad, I didn’t feel depressed. I didn’t have thoughts of harming myself or my baby. I had been a doula for several years and helped women realize they were showing signs of postpartum depression so I was very educated and would surely know if I had it right? Wrong.
I finally realize what I never saw. I had postpartum depression. Bad. My dream come true cried for hours on end for no obvious reason for several weeks before being diagnosed with an intolerance to the protein in cow’s milk and soy which is passed thru breast milk. I had to cut out all dairy and soy. A few weeks later she was diagnosed with reflux and started meds. I had retained placenta membranes which caused an infection, clogged ducts twice and mastitis in the first two months. Add to that a partner who was not very supportive of breastfeeding, or my attachment style parenting due to his experience with his ex wife and kids. He was upset that I took a longer maternity leave from school then went back only part time for two months before withdrawing. He meant well but blamed me for her fussiness, her need to be close at all times. Add to all this the demands I put on myself and the expectations that having been a nanny for soo long I should be able to take care of myself, the baby and still cook, clean, do laundry, and run errands.
Now that I’m starting to feel better, to feel like me again I can see I was not… me. I was not happy, I was not thriving as a new mom but barely surviving. No one noticed but my husband who didn’t know what to say. Its a tricky road with a hormonally imbalanced new mom. You do not tell her that there is something wrong with her, that she needs help. Trust me, that makes it worse.
I adored my daughter and she melted my heart. I gave 100% and then some to her. I had true anxiety and even panic attacks if I was away from her too long. I didn’t trust anyone else to care for her properly, even her dad. I felt like I was under the microscope and failing horribly as a partner, a friend and a mom. I couldn’t fix her colic. I forgot to call and text friends. I forgot birthdays, anniversary’s and get togethers. I couldn’t get on top of the cleaning/cooking/laundry, there was always a list a mile long of things that needed to be done. I made plans because things sounded good but when it came down to it, it was just too much work to leave the house. I worried she would choke while I was driving and couldn’t see her, that she would stop breathing, that we’d be in a ca accident. It was easier, safer to stay home in my comfort zone where I could keep my eyes on her at all times. I had no desire to go anywhere or do anything but stare at my daughter.
My partner…I give him credit because he did hang in there with me. He got the worst of it. I was short and mean, full of anger and had zero patience. I answered everything with eye rolls, sarcasm, and like he should know just because I did. I redid the babies diaper, took over, and didn’t let him figure things out for himself. I questioned his every move. I felt like he blamed me for everything, that nothing was good enough, that every word out of his mouth was a put down. I actually heard myself mumble I hate you to him. I was miserable , I wanted out of the marriage, I wanted nothing to do with him. Nothing made me happy but my daughter.
My daughter is now seven months old, She is a very healthy, always smiling, happy baby. My partner and I are going to counseling and working on repairing our relationship . I feel more like myself with each passing day and am finally happy living my dream.