The Post-Baby Blues No One Talks About

Mom Moment 18

stormy skyAsk any new mother how she's handling life with a newborn, and she'll likely admit to being sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, a little out of it. But many new Moms, although not always likely to admit it, often feel depressed, out-of-control, and guilty that they're not more in love with their brand-new bundle of joy. For many, it's postpartum depression. For others though, it's a little more low-grade, more post-baby blues than full-blown depression. You worry that life is always going to be this exhausting and confusing, and wonder if maybe you weren't cut out to be a mother.

That was me about four months ago, and I'm confessing to it now because once I talked about it more, I realized that I wasn't alone in my feelings. Now, I love everything about being a Mommy, and I couldn't be more in love with my beautiful, happy, healthy baby boys. But back then, a part of me wondered, "Oh no, what have I done?"

For years I'd wanted a baby, so when I found out I was pregnant with twins, I was completely off-my-rocker with excitement. I definitely knew that my life was going to change considerably, but I knew it would be worth every sleep-deprived, baby-on-boob second. For the first month that we were home, I was totally tired, but I was really happy. I felt grateful that I wasn't hit with the postpartum depression that so many mothers -- especially Moms of twins -- experience.

A few weeks in though, my husband went back to work, we no longer had the night help, and my in-laws went home. And that's when things got really hard. Life with one newborn is rough enough, but juggling two was definitely overwhelming. More than that though, I felt sad. Just really sad. I wasn't sleeping much, which obviously didn't help, but I felt really out-of-whack, off-balance. The babies were changing speeds and shifting schedule every day, it seemed like. I kept wondering when it was going to get easier, if it was even going to get easier, and felt sad for my poor babies that they were cursed with a Mommy who couldn't handle it. I also wondered when I'd ever get to see a movie again or go out to dinner with my husband. Would the day ever come when we could just snuggle on the couch and watch TV? Would we ever get to have a night away, just the two of us?

On some level, I knew that this wasn't chemical or hormonal, so it wasn't really PPD. But, that only made me feel worse. I had no excuse for how I was feeling. What right did I have to be depressed? After everything I went through to finally be a Mom, what kind of person gets sad and overwhelmed about it? And I was blessed, totally blessed, with healthy babies too. How dare I? Really, how dare I?

When I was pregnant, a couple of friends had warned me that while I may not get PPD, it was common to feel bummed out in those first few months. Call me crazy, but at the time, I didn't believe them. I loved every second of being pregnant, and was sure I'd love every second of the newborn stage as well. Of course, when I was right in the thick of my blues, those were the friends I called to help me through. And they all said the same thing, "It will get better. You are not a bad Mother. What you're feeling is normal."

Even then, I wasn't sure. I'd look at my babies who I saw come out of my body, who I was feeding with my milk, and think, "Are you really mine? When is your Mommy coming to get you?" It was that disconnected feeling that scared me the most. Why didn't I feel more of a maternal bond? Yes, I loved them, I did, but I didn't feel like I "knew them," if that makes sense. And every time it felt like we were finally getting into a groove, they'd flip the script on me and then everything would feel unpredictable and out-of-whack again. Shouldn't I know my babies better? Shouldn't I have better instincts? Why am I not getting this?

Somewhere around 3 or 4 months, things most definitely did start to get easier. Not only were they sleeping better and eating better and giving us baby smiles and laughs, but I was getting better at this Mommy thing and trusting my maternal instincts even more. Like everyone said, it did get better, the sad feelings did pass, and I did fall in love with my boys. When I was suffering through my post-baby blues, I couldn't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and wondered if I'd ever snap out of it. But I did, and can now, honestly say, I've never been happier.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because many women go through the same kinds of things in the first few months with a newborn, to varying degrees. I'm confessing to my own feelings because I think it's important for women to be honest about their experiences, and not to feel ashamed of them. Being a Mommy is the most important job in the word, and as a result, it's the toughest job there is. Sometimes, you feel like you can't handle it, sometimes you even wish you could just run away. But 99.9% of us don't run away, we don't sit around feeling sorry for ourselves and beating ourselves up. No, we get up 6 times a night to feed our little newborns, we check the monitor every hour or lean over the crib to make sure our tiny baby is breathing, we panic when we feel their forehead, slightly too warm, against our chest.

Just because you feel like a terrible Mommy, doesn't mean you are one. As hard and tiring and emotional as new Mommyhood is, we take care of our babies and we love our babies and trust that it will get easier. Many of us suffer in silence, and don't want to admit that Motherhood isn't all that we thought it would be. I'm lucky that I had people who could be honest with me, and confess to just how hard it actually is. I warn my pregnant friends too, so if they do feel sad or overwhelmed, they know that they have someone who's been there, who will understand. For those of you who didn't go through anything like this, you're lucky, so please don't judge. For those who went through or are now going through the emotional roller coaster of new Motherhood, I'm glad I can tell you that you're not alone. And if it ever feels like too much to handle, don't ever, ever, ever be ashamed to seek professional help.

Did you experience post-baby blues?


Image via Yogendra174/Flickr

 

bonding, mom secrets, newborns, postpartum recovery

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nonmember avatar mary

Yes, I did. I had my second while my hubby was deployed & both me & my son got very sick soon after he was born. It was an awful year all around & I was in denial about having PPD. The only thing my OB/GYN ever asked was if I wanted to hurt myself or my son. I didn't but I never felt happy. I was so stressed all the time it nearly killed me last year (poor diet, lack of sleep & taking care of myself gave me a massive kidney infection where I went into septic shock & kept me in icu for 4 days). Finally in January of this year 18 months after my son was born, I've started treatment for PPD. I could kick myself for not doing it sooner. I was in denial before. All I can say if that if you feel so stressed all the time no matter what, please talk to your doctor. Don't waste time like I did. Now that I'm getting treatment, I'm much happier & so is my son.

Kwiat2 Kwiat2

Yes. I also started to come out of it around 4 or 5 months. I wish more moms would talk about it, instead of trying to prove who's the more capable perfect mommy or whose baby is STTN first. Becoming a mom is HARD. It's a total change, a shock to the system in every way. And there's no escaping it, haha! Coming from someone who changed majors every semester, and switched jobs every year, I think that was the biggest thing, the permanence of it. There's no going back, only forward, but it keeps getting better and you learn as you go.

Melis... Melissa042807

Oh yes, I know that feeling - that feeling that you're just babysitting, that the real mom is going to show up any minute! That was definitely the first several weeks for me. Nothing bad, just very blah and not over-the-moon like I expected. 


The bad stuff didn't hit until 8 weeks, when my period came back. Oh gawd, that was the period from HELL and I turned into a complete raving psycho depressed up and down b!tch. In hindsight, I should have called my OB. But I talked myself out of it because I was way past any of that stuff, wasn't I? Apparently not. This time around, I'm doing things differently if it happens again. 

Eques... EquestrianMom

Oh yeah, it hit me hard. I had no help with my baby after about a week after he was born. I mean no help, my husband was useless. And worst of all? I tried to talk to him about my feelings, like "I feel like I'm not a very good mother, I am doing a good job right?" Which was met with helpful comments like "well, if you feel you aren't mother material, maybe you shouldn't have had this baby." Like I immaculatly conceived him, and could send him back to the baby factory! LMFAO! 


 I got really really depressed without any support. Like, I layed around constantly beyond doing the bare min to keep the house going and take care of my husband and baby. We are talking days without showering, cause it seemed like a wasted effort. It was bad. But it too got better, as my son got older and became mobile. If I had known I wasn't the only mother who felt this way, I would have pushed through it better.

nonmember avatar amanda

Thanks for sharing this. I just had my second child a week ago. with my first, I had PPD and considered leaving my newborn son and husband so they could find someone better. I didn't bond with my son until he wad 4 months, I had a few good moments but was mostly sad. I was open with my friends and family about my feelings and that helped me through - though sometimes I felt like I was on suicide watch the way they spoke to me gingerly. I just had my second child a week ago and its been totally different, I was afraid to have another baby because how awful my first experience was. It's impossible to expect to love someone you've never met. We have been together one week and I'm surprised at the love I have for her already. I know I'm not always the mom I want to be but I know I am a better mom with each day.

Momma... Momma2blessed

Thank you for this reminder. I am in the middle of it now with my 2 month old and 2 year old which is compounded with my hubby being gone more than he is home cause he's in the military. I didn't get the blues with my oldest daughter but all the stress, lack of sleep, lack of help because we are away from family and new to this base so I don't have friends yet... It's REALLY hard! I keep reminding myself it will get better but knowing another deployment is around the corner doesn't help. :(

Momma... Momma2blessed

It doesn't help when other moms pretend it's easy and they never break a sweat! That pisses me off and does us all a disservice. My BFF and I talk weekly to vent to each other and we both are sick of the fakeness of some of the other moms we come across.

nonmember avatar F





WAH, WAH, WAH.



THE BABY IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUSSING, NOT YOU.



SOME PEOPLE DON'T HAVE ANY HELP WHAT-SO-EVER, AND THEY AREN'T ONLINE COMPLAINING ABOUT IT.



GET OVER IT.

butte... butterflymkm

^ someone sounds bitter...

jessi... jessicasmom1

:-) pure joy here and had no help 

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