Despite hating the pregnancy process, I loved the bond the I had with each of my children. That natural love and nurturing instinct that expectant mothers feel with their child(ren) in utero is undeniable.
I don’t know how to describe it, but the bond you have with your baby while you are pregnant is different from the bond you have with your baby when he or she is born
Now you’re about to meet your child. You have been anxiously awaiting for this beautiful moment for 40 long weeks. The next time you bring your baby home, he or she will share the experience of your world.
For many mothers, the moment doesn’t start out as beautifully. After all of the adrenaline wears off, negative emotions start to deep in.
Of course you love your baby. It’s not the baby’s fault. Imagine just having a tiny human ejected from your body. The same tiny human who kicked you relentlessly, made you nauseous, and was the reason you always slept.
Now that baby is living on the outside of you. You are shocked into a new reality.
I suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of all of my children. Each time brought a different experience.
I suffered the most after I had my oldest. When I was pregnant as a teenager, it didn’t seem like I had as much responsibility. Just go to the doctor and stay nourished, right? Was I hoping everything would fall into place after I gave birth? Kind of.
I had a traumatic labor and delivery experience in the first round. People tell you all of the time how the routine goes, but there is nothing like experiencing it. I was scared when I went felt the first contractions, the epidural that I was given didn’t work, and I tore to my asshole. That was the easy part.
When I held Ariana for the first time, reality came crashing down on me. I spent most of my pregnancy crying because I felt worthless. A lot of people looked down on me. I had no plans or structure. I felt entitled to help that I was not entitled to.
The truth is, I expected my mother to rescue me. The reality was that she couldn’t. Even through our ups and downs, and despite her being upset, I felt like my mother was the main one in my corner. I burned so many bridges when I was growing up, but the bridge of my mother’s love was indestructible. Thank God for infrastructure week!
First, I became angry. I was angry at myself for wasting time. I was angry because instead of preparing, I was feeling sorry for myself. I was angry because I only had a car seat, 8 onesies, 4 bottles, and $30 to my name when my baby was born. I blamed everyone, but myself. I started to question if I had made the right choice.
Anger turned into self-doubt. How am I going to do this? I can’t do this!Why didn’t I let another family give my child a better life? Why am I so selfish?
Self-doubt turned into sadness. By the time Ariana was three days old, I was overwhelmed. My baby wouldn’t stop crying and she barely slept. I couldn’t stop crying, and my appetite quickly diminished. I guess I can credit postpartum depression for my “Snapback”
I received inpatient treatment for postpartum depression. Being away from my newborn for a week was different. My parents were taking care of Ariana, so I knew that she was in good hands.
Being in the hospital was an odd experience. Yes, I saw someone get “the needle”. Yes, I was traumatized. I felt like I was in a daze the whole time I was there. I wanted to go home. Every morning, I was given a pill. After the nurse checked to see if I swallowed, I went to the common area for group therapy. It wasn’t productive. Then, I went back to my room for 1-on-1 therapy with a doctor. The rest of the day was pretty much free time. All of the patients gathered in the TV room to watch reruns of “America’s Next Top Model”. This was the routine for 7 long days.
I had to get out of there. I did anything I could to prove to the doctor that I was ready to go home. I faked a spark in my personality and a glee in my voice. I became very social with the other patients.
My ruse worked. I was on my way back to my daughter. My mother offered to keep Ariana another night so that I could get readjusted. I refused the help. I wanted to be with my daughter.
Reconnecting with Ariana was very difficult. She still cried a lot, but that wasn’t the reason why I was still struggling. My daughter wasn’t to blame for any of it. I shouldn’t have never pretended to be well so that I could leave the hospital. At the very least, I should have accepted my mother’s help. Yet again, I was selfish.
Today, I am glad to be a wiser woman. I can admit my mistakes and learn from them. Remember, we are not perfect. We will all reflect on our mistakes. This is fuel for growth.
Postpartum depression is very real, and not to be taken lightly. When starting a family, make sure that you have a strong support group. If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. If you feel like you may be suffering from postpartum depression, seek help immediately. Don’t ever think that you are above this. There is no timetable for recovery, but you will feel better. We all love our babies, but the most important thing to remember is that self-care is VERY important.
Postpartum Support International: 1-800-944-4773
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call the emergency number in the country you reside in(United States 911).
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