A Postpartum Story

From a former patient, her narrative of the experience with postpartum depression and the mixed feelings of love, excitement, worry, sadness and hope.

Several years ago, I was singing the baby blues. I had just delivered our first kid, a beautiful little baby girl and by the time we brought her home I was filled with a wave of emotions. I remember being so upset with myself… My husband and I had been married without children for five years! During this time, we traveled, went on last minute adventures, and had nothing tying us down. After we had our daughter, I couldn’t see her as our new adventure but just as the reason our fun and carefree life was ending. It wasn’t as if she was an unplanned pregnancy; we had been trying for a while to have a baby. There was just this disconnect between me and her. I worried that my husband would blame me for “ruining his life”. I cried every night after I put her to bed, thinking about how tired I was and how things were never going to be the same. People would come over to see the new addition to the family and I would just get so overwhelmed. I thought, “Will they notice how depressed I am?” or “Will they see that I ‘m not bonding with my baby like I’m supposed to?” I felt like I was drowning with no hope, and no end in sight while my mind raced at the thought of “What will happen if this doesn’t go away… or gets worse?” Afraid of what was going to happen I decided to talk to my husband about my feelings one night; I told him, “please don’t think bad of me” as I explained my situation. It’s now been four years and I still remember how he listened, hugged me and said, “these are normal feelings and they will get better. You just have to keep talking about it with me” (Great guy, right?!). It wasn’t long after we talked that I started to feel better. The worry and sadness started to wash away and I began feeling hopeful and happy. That time of my life was scary and when we got pregnant with our second, I feared it would all happen again and maybe this time it would be worse. Thankfully, I had no baby blues with my newborn baby boy. My only regret was that I wished I could have bonded immediately with my daughter as much as I did with my son, but postpartum depression was something I could not control. I survived it just like so many others out there. Life gets better and being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me.