Post # 1
Hi Bees –
Dh and I welcomed are first daughter 12/31. She was definitely planned and a part of our life we had been looking forward to for a long time. Prior to having her I had a few friends mention experiencing baby blues after giving birth but never provided much detail other than it made them very emotional and cry for no reason. Since have my daughter I now know what baby blues are and can say they have hit me hard personally. It’s something I am struggling with as I know it is normal but feel guilty and wish I did not feel this way. I have shared my feelings with family and friends and have amazing support however I am still struggling every moment of every day. I wanted to write a post of my experience with baby blues sharing all my feelings how I coped etc once I got over them however I find myself needing extra support. I was wondering if there are any Bees that experienced the baby blues that could offer tips and advice of how to get through them. Please no judgement as I already feel terrible emotionally. Also I’d like to add I do not have negative feelings towards my daughter or thoughts of harming her or not wanting to care for her so I do not believe this is PPD. Any advice is appreciated. I have recurring irrational thoughts that I perseverate on that are what keeps my baby blues going. One thought is about my husband and my relationship. I think to myself that my husband and I will never have time alone again and we will drift apart and get divorced. I also find myself already missing him though he’s been off with me for the whole week he is doing stuff I am unable to we are sleeping in shifts I already miss our 1:1 time and wish we had that back. I’ve expressed these feelings to DH he reassures me it’s an adjustment and he loves me more now than he ever has and I know that true but I still have this thought every day. He goes back to work tomorrow and I am absolutely dreading it. Also a big factor is I just feel isolated. I have had visitors however I’ve been stuck in my room for a week as the doctor limited the stairs to 1x per day. I think lack of sleep and boredom just had my mind stewing and is making things worse. Sorry for rambling on. Looking forward to your responses and hopefully finding a little peace and comfort !
Post # 2
Intrusive thoughts can be a part of PPD. I would talk to your doctor.
Did you have a c-section and that is why you are limited to doing stairs?
Post # 3
No I had a vaginal birth. They just limited the stairs to 1x per day for the first week. Luckily I am past the first week now and can climb them more so it does help to get me out of my room however I have still been stuck in the house. It’s too cold out to even take the baby for a drive.
Post # 4
The best advice I can give to you is to give yourself time, and be kind to yourself. DD is 5 weeks old and I started to feel “normal” again at 2-3 weeks. I would cry if I spilled formula and I was sooo sensitive I was starting to get on my own damn nerves lol. My husband could come home from work and ask me if she ate, and I could take it a completely different way! On top of that, I wound up having to supplement because my milk didn’t come in until day 5, and that was rough on me and the baby, especially at nighttime feedings.
Lean on your DH for support and have a plan of action if you don’t start to feel better soon. If I didn’t feel better by the time I did or if I felt worse, my next step was to seek help. Like you, I never ever wanted to harm my daughter but I had so many other emotions going on outside of caring for her that I had to adjust to as well. We’re learning as we go along, so it takes some adjustment. Don’t be too hard on yourself!
Post # 5
I had some pretty bad baby blues. Honestly the first few weeks were hard for me. I loved my daughter, never felt like it was PPD – no feelings to harm her or me EVER crossed my mind. But I didnt feel totally connected to her that first week. I felt overwhelmed and anxious and a lot of it worrying of worst case scenarios. I also remember thinking our whole life is changed..what did we do to this amazing relationship of the 2 of us and so afraid I’d never feel like me or us again. I deal with anxiety so I talked with my husband who really encouraged me to talk to my doctor and she referred me to talk with someone and it helps SO much. We work on cognitive behavior therapy. Something that helps me is for eg you’re worried about your relationship. Write down your fears then write down factual reasons it is likely/dislikely going to happen. When you force yourself to use facts to face your fears its almost impossible to ignore that they’re just that. Fears. Now the bond my daughter and I have is amazing. She is the best thing my husband and I ever did and our marraige is so much stronger after these past 17 months.
I also forced myself to go out almost every day even to just pick up something from the supermarket. Dress myself, and go out and see people! When you can, try and spend some time just you and your DH. And let your husband take the baby and take some time for you. It’s important to be kind to yourself. It’s a hard job and others want to help. Let them. If you ever want to pm me please do!
Post # 6
It gets better. It turned around for me at 6 weeks when my son started smiling. He’s 14 weeks now and I still struggle but it is way better. Go out of the house every single day. Even if it’s just a walk around the block or a trip to Target.
Post # 7
“Also I’d like to add I do not have negative feelings towards my daughter or thoughts of harming her or not wanting to care for her so I do not believe this is PPD”
I just wanted to note that someone does NOT need to have the symptoms you mentioned in order to have post partum depression. Thoughts of harming your baby are generally a symptom of post partum psychosis, which is very different from PPD.
I’m sorry you are going through a tough time. Since you had your baby so recently, and have been cooped up in your room, it’s possible this will pass on its own. It’s worth mentioning it to your doctor, though.
Post # 8
I’m so sorry you have the baby blues! You JUST had your baby so this definitely may pass on it’s own, your body is still adjusting to major hormonal changes from birth! I definitely think getting out of your room will help. I camped out on the couch with snacks and water and Netflix in the early days- being stuck in my bedroom sounds miserable. Can you have help or even just visitors during the day? Just having company (and a reason to get dressed!) can help tremendously. And they can watch the baby while you shower or nap if you are uncomfortable doing that there alone with her. Also, you CAN leave your house if you want to and it might really help to go have a hot drink or get quick lunch somewhere. We live in Alaska, it’s very very cold here right now but people leave the house with their newborns all the time. You just need proper clothing/carseat cover/blanket. Let your car run with the heat blasting for 5-10 minutes before you load up. Anyways, best of luck! I hope you are feeling more like yourself soon! The first few months with a new baby were a tough adjustment for me and my husband (especially me). You’ll get through it! And if it doesn’t pass in a couple of weeks or it gets worse definitely talk to your doctor.
Post # 9
My little one is a month old and this past week is when I finally started to feel like I was getting into a groove and feeling like myself. I had an emergency section and felt like I was stunned for the first week or so. I couldn’t get over the section and mobility issues. I also felt like I wasn’t able to connect with the baby like I thought I would. The overwhelming love that people talked about wasn’t there, I couldn’t soothe him and I felt like a milk machine. I felt like a failure for these reasons that was further compounded by an infection that would not go away. However, time and patience seems to have lifted the fog to where I am back to myself. If it doesn’t lift for you, talk to your doctor about it as it could be PPD. The fog could also lift but suffer from PPD months later. This whole creating life thing is hard on us!
Post # 10
Absolutely no judgement at all. I could have written this when I was a couple of weeks postpartum. I am sorry you’re battling the baby blues. In my experience it was a really unwelcome and unexpected cloud over what I expected to be the most joyful time of my life. (Not to say I did not expect it to be difficult, exhausting, etc., but like you, I feel like my friends and family maybe didn’t share the full picture with me.)
I also want to echo previous posters that while these feelings are totally normal in these first few weeks, please don’t discount the possibility of more lingering postpartum mood disorders if it continues beyond that time frame. PPD is not the same thing as postpartum psychosis — the thoughts of harming baby or self, etc that we hear about on the news in those tragic cases. There is also such a thing as postpartum anxiety, which I suffered from (ultimately around 2 months postpartum I started seeing a counselor, which was a huge help). Admitting you need help climbing out of any kind of postpartum funk does NOT make you a bad mother, it makes you a good one. (I am not saying you need that sort of help yet, but please just keep that in mind and don’t beat yourself up.) Having a baby is wonderful and miraculous but it’s also a lot like setting off a bomb in your marriage, your life, your brain. It takes time for that smoke to pull back and for you to figure out what’s still in the same spot and what’s moved/changed. Be gentle with yourself.
Here’s my advice, in no particular order:
- Make sure your husband does some research and has a crystal clear understanding of the difference between baby blues and PPD/PPA. In my opinion, this is one of the most important obligations of mom’s primary postpartum support person — to be a lookout. When I was in this fog and still unsure if it was just baby blues or something more, I would often ask my husband what he thought because I didn’t feel I could trust my own instincts. He was the one who comforted me through the normal stress of the first few weeks and then encouraged me to talk to a counselor once it became clear I was dealing with something more persistent.
- I definitely understand the divorce worries and the sadness of losing something with your husband. Again, a bomb was just dropped into your marriage. And one of the side effects of all these hormones and this new baby is that you are feeling intensely vulnerable and dependent. You may even be fighting more with your husband due to the stress and confusion. All of that is okay, and normal, and temporary.
- I also remember dreading the isolation when my husband went back to work. My advice is not to push yourself too hard to go out and Do All The Things immediately postpartum, because your body is still recouperating, but when you feel physically able, try to find a new moms meetup group or get coffee with a friend. Or have someone come to you. Either way, company and adult interaction really really really helps.
- When you can, let your husband watch the baby and send you to the grocery store. Sounds stupid but that first trip to the store without the baby was liberating and refreshing. I really did feel like a prisoner, which feels like such an awful thing to admit.
Post # 11
The first few weeks are so intense. Honestly don’t worry too much you’re still really really in the thick of it. Even a few weeks from now you will feel so much better. I totally understand having the feelings that are sort of like grieving your former life. My baby is eight weeks old now and I finally feel more adjusted and no longer have those negative thoughts as much. It’s a huge adjustment!
Just a thought – your baby is still really young so don’t worry about it now but if you’re going to have winter where you live for several more months I would think about buying some gear so that you can take the baby out. For instance you can buy a Bundle Me which is like a sleeping bag that goes over the car seat. And you can stuff extra blankets inside of it and put a hat and mitts on the baby. I know it’s hard when you can’t put him in a snowsuit and then put him in his car seat for safety reasons but if you can figure out a way to get out and about you will feel much better. I finally invested in a bundle me, a rain cover for the car seat and a mirror so that I can see him when I’m driving with him alone and it’s made getting out in the car so much easier. Plus the fact that I can snap the car seat into the stroller.
Post # 12
Thank you for all the replies! I have read them over and over the past couple days when I feel overwhelmed and frustrated. It helps to know that I am not alone and this is a somewhat normal thing to go through after giving birth. I am staying open and honest with those close to me (DH, sisters, Mother-In-Law, and mom) about my emotions and thoughts each day. They are all aware of PPD and signs and symptoms so I have asked them to let me know when they think I should call my midwife / counselor if it is becoming more serious than baby blues. I have noticed as each day comes and goes my emotions are leveling out a little bit. I still have the ups and downs however being stuck with irrational thoughts doesn’t seem to happen quite as often. I realize thinking that DH and I will drift apart and get divorced because we have a baby is not rational. I know that having a baby will and has impacted our relationship but there are wonderful aspects to that as well. We have talked about and looked forward to being parents for so long and are genuinely excited to see her grow up and experience life with her. Actually I feel like having her has brought us closer together becasue he has been such an amazing support system to me. We haven’t bickered or snapped at each other once since having her (knock on wood) and are doing a great job at tackling the responsibilities of a newborn as a team. I do still feel like I miss him even though he is around everyday because our focus is primarily on her but I know that this is a phase and temporary and eventually we will have our time together. It has helped just to let him know my thoughts and feelings as they occur too. He is able to listen and then reassure me. Anyways sorry for the long ramble. I just wanted to follow up and say thank you to everyone who replied and offered me advice and words of encouragement I greatly appreciate it 🙂
Post # 13
I see you have received some awesome advice already and i just wanted to throw in a little “hello” and offer some words of encouragement too. The first month (ok, more like first couple) were awful for me. I cried every day.
But it truly gets better. Once the baby was able to interact more and I became more confident in what I was doing, I fell into a rhythm. I too felt so alone when my husband went back to work. (To make matters worse, we only have one car!). I found it so important to get out and meet other moms. I have made an effort to join mommy groups and even go hang out at the mall (since it’s so cold and snowy right now). If you start meeting other moms and chatting, you’ll soon discover everyone is going through something similar.
Sending you all my love Bee!
Post # 14
Hi Hun, having a young baby is hard, and you second guess yourself the whole way through. I had anxiety over everything. Ridiculous things would go through my head. Recently I read a book that helped to heal a few of my mummy guilt issues. They don’t ever really go away but they change as your kid gets older. Anyways it’s not a self help book, it’s just a comical book about the truths of being a mum and it’s very empowering. She also has a blog on Facebook. Her name is Constance hall. You could check her out and if you’d like the book is be happy to post it to you for free. * I’m not making money off this, but just a random act of kindness. 💕
Post # 15
I know exactly what you are going through. When my daughter was born I was a ball of nerves. I would cry over everything. The only thing that helped me was the support of my husband. He could see when I was getting emotional and would take over. I also had him home with me the first 5 weeks which was amazing! I would say after about two weeks I felt a ton better! I am thinking my hormones just needed to level out. My daughter is now four months old and I am completely back to normal. I am hoping this happens for you as well but if not, do NOT feel ashamed to talk with someone. Hugs**