Post-natal depression

February 27, 2012 4:21pm CST
When you're expecting a baby, everyone talks about this amazing rush of love you will feel the moment you hold your new baby, and how you will forget all the pain instantly, and the only thing in the world that will matter is your beautiful new baby. What nobody seems to mention is that it isn't always like that. When I went into labour with my first child, things didn't go as planned. Both of us nearly died and I ended up having an emergency c-section after several hours of pain and panic. Afterwards, I just wanted to sleep, but I was worried something would happen to her so I didn't sleep. I wouldn't allow anyone else to take her, she was always by my side. But I didn't feel that rush of love. I went through the motions, feeding and changing her, because that was what I was expected to do. It was about 6 weeks before I finally started bonding with her and felt the emotions flood in. Until then I just felt that I couldn't cope, and I couldn't tell anyone - what if they had thought I was a bad mother and taken her away from me? I wanted so much to fall in love with her in those first few weeks, and it hurt that I couldn't, and made me feel useless and unworthy of that precious little baby. I wish someone had talked to me about postnatal depression before she was born.
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8 responses
@ladym33 (11008)
• United States
28 Feb 12
My first pregnancy resulted in a situation similar to yours. I was in labor for 24 hours then they tried to deliver my daughter naturally and then I also had an emergency C-Section. My daughter was also pretty beat up due to the whole ordeal. I could not stay awake for the life of me after that, so they took care of the baby in the nursery. They would bring her in to try and nurse every often but I could not fall asleep. I felt terrible because I couldn't stay awake long enough for a full feeding. It was about 48 hours before I was awake enough to start caring for fully myself. I have to admit I was scared more than anything else. I didn't want to hurt her or anything like that. As soon as I realized that I could feed her, and change her, and change her clothes without breaking her that is when the love started to over whelm me. Being a first time mom is scary and especially after having a major surgery such as a C-Section. They do it often these days that people tend to forget it is a major surgery. You can't expect to be 100% yourself after one, and then you have this new baby you need to take care of and you are new to it, it is not easy. It was easier with my other two kids as I already knew how to take care of a baby when I had them.
1 Mar 12
I find it worrying how many mothers opt for a selective c-section. If I could, I would much rather have suffered through labour than had to spend months recovering from surgery. When my third child was born (they were all c-sections) I couldn't even manage a 10 minute walk into town without being exhausted and in pain. So even with the third, I felt completely useless in some ways. Not to mention the amount of times I tore my sutures by doing simple things like putting laundry in the machine!
1 Mar 12
*elective not selective - had a sleepy brain moment there lol
@laura1991 (178)
27 Feb 12
i understand. i didnt bond with my 1st child for months after she was born. it was horrible and i new that it wasnt right. she was born with the cord wrapped around her neck and she wasnt breathing. after a few minutes she started breathing again though so it was ok. i think this was why i didnt bond with her because i panicked when i didnt hear her crying. it difficult to deal with and you dont like to talk about it because it sounds bad but its something that you cant help. the girl who used to live downstairs to me killed her baby a year ago when she was 11 months old. she was a single parent and obviously depressed. not long before this she was telling the social services that she needed help but they didnt do any thing. when you need help they dont help you and when your trying your best to do the right thing they interfere.
28 Feb 12
OMG. That is terrible... why didn't they help her?! I wish I had the money to be able to set up a centre, not necessarily with doctors but with mothers who can really sympathise and help people.
28 Feb 12
i dont know why they didnt help her. they probably didnt think there was a problem or something. the bad thing was that knowone saw it coming. i was speaking to her only a few weeks before and she told me that her daughter was the one that kept her going so it was a real shock.
@drolfes (17)
• United States
1 Mar 12
You are so right. PPD is not a fun surprise. I had it with my first child and I thought I was crazy. I couldn't be without her either, which probably didn't help. That makes you sleep deprived and your hormones are still raging right after birth. It wasn't until I got back to work and realized that I had driven around the baby sitter's block dozens of times and stopped to vomit on the way to work that I knew something was wrong. Fortunately, I saw a poster in the employee break room and called the number. A nice man said, "And today is your first day back to work?" Yes. "You need to call your doctor. Your hormones don't go back to normal for 12 months. He can give you something to make this better. It's not you. It's physical." I wish someone would have told me as you said, during all of the preparation for labor and birth. It's the time AFTER birth that needs preparation, too. Good luck to you. You are NOT a bad mother. You just needed information and all of those feelings will come. Bonding happens over a life. Mine is 13 now and we are very close. No permanent damage. Please don't worry. Just call your doctor, if you still need help. Much love to you both.
2 Mar 12
She's 6 now and she's my best friend in the world, but it took me a few weeks to make a connection with her. I find it disturbing that people aren't informed about this. When I went for my 6 week check-up after the birth, they asked me questions on their list, which were obviously to assess me for depression, but I lied on many of them because I thought I should feel differently.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
3 Mar 12
I experienced a degree of postpartum depression when my daughter was born as well. I was scared of her and I was also afraid that something would happen to her because I was left alone with her. That said, I wasn't in a severe enough situation to be medicated for it, but it was something that scared me. However, when my son was born things were a lot different for me and it was easier to bond with him.
@deedee328 (1127)
• United States
28 Feb 12
marianne I was very fortunate not to have suffered from postpartum depression. I had an extremely difficult pregnancy and labor had to be induced for my second baby. You are human. Maybe your emotions just needed time to get back in order, just like your body did. I think that it is horrible to feel as you did. I couldn't imagine the turmoil you went through. The fact that you were so torn up about your lack of feeling toward your baby prooves that you are not a bad person. We are taught that we are suppose to automatically love our children and that doesn't always happen. It doesn't make you a horrible mother, just human. I think that we can control our behavior, but not our feelings. You feel what you feel.
@GemmaR (8526)
28 Feb 12
There is nowhere near enough education about depression after you've had a baby, and this is something that really has to change. Young people are brought up to think that having a baby is the most wonderful and natural thing in the world, which it is, but then they're not given the other side of the story about things that could go wrong. Anybody who feels as though they're not coping after they've had a baby should go to see their doctor, because it might be that a small dose of medication could help them to cope a lot easier.
@asyria51 (2870)
• United States
28 Feb 12
I was lucky and read a few articles about it. I thought that it would never happen to me. While I did not have a full blown case of depression, I did do a few crazy things including a few marathon crying sessions. I was nursing, and felt that it was important to nurse ever few hours. I finally pumped a few bottles worth and spent an entire day at the library in a study room. I fell asleep on the floor, went and pumped in the bathroom and finally went home about 8 hours later. I think that it was probably the best thing I could of done. Had I had the money I probably would have gone to the local hotel.
@choybel (5059)
• Philippines
27 Feb 12
This sounds something serious. It's a good thing I get to read about this here. It's a heads-up for single people like us who might have babies in the future. I wouldn't want the future mother of my child to experience such without me helping.