Was It Postpartum Depression?

Written by: Brandy Ellen from Happily Blended , mother of three children who will be 1 and 3 in August and 7 in October.

I was reading Nikki’s blog post,The Lasting Effects of Post Partum Depression, and found myself relating to her in so many ways.  When my first born came into my life back in 2002 nothing could stop by smile, but in 2006 when my second child came into the world, no one could see me smile.

solitudeI drove myself home from the hospital the day after giving birth. When I arrived home little AJ sat sleeping in his baby swing, looking all cute and sweet. At some point my sweet baby turned into a fussy, always nursing, never sleeping baby. I have little recollection as to when it happened but would say within a few weeks of birth my 9lb 5oz baby boy had turned into “chunk” and “grumpy butt” all at once. He wanted to nurse non-stop, I could no longer keep up with his no sleeping habit and nursing him while tending to my almost four year old daughter.

My mind went into shut down mode, I no longer wanted to be mom to him, I wanted to give him up I wanted to turn back the tables and make different decisions I wanted out as fast as possible. I do recall getting upset and handing him off to my then boyfriend {now husband} and walking out the door for a cigarette more often than I care to admit. My tears welled up almost all day long, the lack of sleep probably didn’t help this emotional roller coaster my family was now living.

I took very little pictures, I didn’t care to have memories of this time in my life. I wanted this baby to grow up fast, I didn’t enjoy every waking moment or all the little baby “firsts”, I simply wanted him to be a toddler. As AJ’s appetite became larger, I stopped wanting to nurse. I did give up nursing around 8 weeks after AJ’s birth and switched him to strictly formula feeding. This boy would have to eat two 8oz bottles of formula to get to bed each night and he was so chunky. AJ would not sleep through the night, he stayed  in a bassinet beside our bed so I could quickly tend to him so that he would not wake his sister every hour.

Every moment of AJ’s baby life was miserable, he tested my patience to no end. I would often be crying to my boyfriend telling him I could no longer do this alone, I couldn’t handle AJ, he was too angry, too hungry, too much for one person to handle. Ki was not getting my attention and I hated that!

Eventually my boyfriend moved in with me when AJ was three months old, and he helped take on the burden I felt he was.  As much as I knew AJ going to his biological father’s family was not the answer I do recall thinking that and possibly saying it aloud. Luckily my boyfriend knew that is not what I wanted in my heart, I was just having a hard time, AJ was a lot to handle alone but things did get better after my boyfriend moved in. We both worked from home and so we were able to share baby duty and eventually AJ turned one and started to be a little more independent. I was no longer the emotional wreck I was during that first year.

I look back in time and wonder, could it have been postpartum depression? Could it have been solved if my doctor had simply heard what I was trying to tell him? I told him many times “I can’t handle this baby, he is too much, I am crying and unhappy all the time, I need to figure out why I am always crying, and angry.” My doctor did nothing, aside from saying that’s how babies are. It’s scary to think I was telling my doctor these things and he didn’t seem concerned, yet I was telling them how upset I was, how I could not handle this little boy, how at times I wanted to put him in his crib and just walk away.

Lucky for my children, I am one to admit what’s going on and how I feel. I talk my feelings out and I tell people what’s going on, like I did many times with my doctor … but there are those new moms out there who are scared to admit these feelings, afraid that someone WILL take their baby from them. Was I scared? Oh heck ya I was scared! I was frightened that my baby would be taken away from me, and sometimes that sounded much better than dealing with the no sleep, constant eating and crying.  In all honesty I never wanted my AJ to be taken away from me, but I do wish the doctor had listened to my words, and I do hope they listen to future moms. I was not a “new mom”, I had one child who was almost four and so I knew what responsibility a baby took, I knew that they cry, they poop, and eat a lot, however, I was not ready for baby AJ, emotionally I was not ready to handle another baby and so I do believe I quite possibly had postpartum depression and my doctor didn’t feel like diagnosing me or dealing with it.

If you are a mom feeling in such ways please talk to someone, get help, seek advice, do something, whatever you do, know that you are not alone, there are millions of moms out there suffering from postpartum depression just like you and they, just like me, may not be diagnosed properly by a physician.

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image credit: Lisa via wikemedia

About Nichole Smith

Nichole Smith has written 760 post in this blog.

Founder of Chaos in the Country and (original) The Guilty Parent blog, Nichole is a professional writer, blogger, social media strategist, and collector of yarn, books, and pretty paper.

Comments

  1. Brandy (and Nikki, since you experienced it also),

    I read this in my feed and I had to save the email until I could come back to comment.

    My son is now 13. I wish I knew then what I know now. Shortly after giving birth to him, my then boyfriend went to jail and left me alone to care for a newborn. I also had to begin working when he was 2 weeks old, which you are not supposed to do, but I had no options at that time.

    My son became colicky and wouldn’t sleep. I remember rocking him for hours and he would just cry. It passed within a month, and luckily, I had family that lived with us, but I remember times when I would be rocking him, and cry right along with him, thinking “I can’t do this”. I was tired, emotionally and physically. Unfortunately, I didn’t seek help because I was uneducated. Luckily, as I said above, his colic was gone very soon after it began but that was very rough for me.

    Thank you for sharing your stories, ladies, and I hope that any woman who reads this will get help. If the doctor won’t listen, find another. and another, if necessary.
    .-= Angie´s last blog ..$500 Back to School Giveaway from Cookie’s =-.

Trackbacks

  1. […] birthday. Mister AJ is three years old today and oh how he has grown from the baby who drove me to tears nightly to a young boy who makes me smile and laugh more often than cry.  My sweet AJ is certainly […]

  2. […] October 4th, 2009 · No Comments Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet BoxIt’s been a while since I’ve provided an update about my AJ who turned three in August and has been my most challenging child out of my three. When AJ was born I became pregnant for the second time, it was very hard on me emotionally.  I was so worried about so many things off and on that it almost consumed me and created a sadness inside of me that hadn’t been around in many years. Finally little AJ was born and looking back I wondered if I had postpartum depression. […]

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