Mommy uncensored: living with PPD


So this post has been weeks in the making…mostly because my hands are never free long enough to type two sentences, plus the whole hand thing.

Currently I am typing this at 2:45 AM while in the midst of yet another night of what I have started to call “the lonesome nights”…the nights where my beautiful child, who once slept 16 hours a day…

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won’t sleep for more than 20 minutes, unless I am holding her.  She wakes up and screams like she is dying for hours on end, and nothing I do makes it any better.  These are the worst nights.  I decided last week that I would not be spending another night on our sofa. Ever.  It’s leather, and we live in the 3rd floor.  It’s like sleeping on the furnace.  I miss my bed, and the ability to spend more than 15 minutes sleeping in it.

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These are the nights when the Postpartum Depression starts to rear it’s ugly head.  These are the nights when I doubt myself.  The nights that I am positive that I can’t do anything right, that I am the worst mother in the world.  These are the nights I want to take my screaming child into my blissfully unaware husband and hand her over.  And leave.

I’d only go to a hotel for the night, just long enough to get some sleep and be fresh for the morning.  Because the next day is always worse than the night.  With no sleep, for either of us the day after these nights is enough to make me lose my sh!t.  I love to hold my daughter, but I also require food and the ability to use the bathroom on occasion.  The day after “the lonesome nights” she only wants to be held, she will scream and thrash for diaper changes and is only soothed by nursing.  Meaning I get no food, or bathroom breaks.  By the time my husband gets home, I am a blubbering mess.  A hangry, exhausted, blubbering mess.

And all I can think is that I don’t want to do this anymore.

I think that I clearly am doing something wrong, that my child doesn’t want me and that both her and my husband would be better off without me.  I sit paralyzed in the middle of the night trying in vain to console my screaming child, unable to get up to get help, unable to fix her problem and it kills me.  I think that I am only making things worse, and there must be something I am doing to cause her to be this way.  So then of course the Mommy Guilt swoops in to remind me that I couldn’t even make a baby properly, she had problems in utero, and it was all my fault.

Now…logically I know that none of this is true.  I know my daughter loves me, I can see it in her face every time she sees me.  I know that my husband would be lost without me, he has told me as much.  I know that I did nothing wrong during the pregnancy, it was not my fault.  But when you are going on 3 hours of sleep for months on end, and it’s ten minutes to four…logic goes out the window.

So how do you know if you have PPD?

  • You feel restless or moody
  • You feel sad, hopeless and overwhelmed (check)
  • Crying a lot (check)
  • Without energy or motivation
  • Eating too little or too much (check)
  • Sleeping too little or too much (check)
  • Trouble focusing or making decisions (check)
  • Memory problems
  • Feeling worthless or guilty (check)
  • Losing interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy (check)
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Having headaches, aches or pains, or stomach problems that won’t go away

As a new mom many of us experience these on a daily, or even hourly basis.  I had started to feel many of these symptoms during pregnancy.  This is referred to as Prenatal Depression.  I just blamed it on “being hormonal”…but I see now it was much more than that.

The worst part of this…is that I cannot bring myself to approach my husband with the news that “I think I need to talk to someone”.  I have wanted to initiate the conversation for weeks now, but I push it off.  Mostly because I don’t want him to worry.  But also because most of the time I am in denial.  I had that “I’m not gonna” moment when it came to the possibility of going through PPD.  Clearly it’s an issue for me.  80% of new moms experience it.  And since I got the sh!t end of the stick with everything else as far as the pregnancy was concerned I am not surprised that I am experiencing it.

So nearly 5 hours after starting our normal bedtime routine, 10 oz, 2 bottles, 2 boobs, 2 diaper changes, a clothing change, rocking, walking, swaddling, swinging, snuggling, swaying, and 1 meltdown and 1 blog post later my house is silent.  But I don’t know for how long.

The one thing I do know: TGIFF…because I am taking the next two nights off.

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6 thoughts on “Mommy uncensored: living with PPD”

  1. i know EXACTLY how you are feeling. when my first son was born i had many of the same issues you are talking about. my husband would walk in the door after work and i would hand my son over, grab the key to our only car which he had for the day, and leave. i would go walk around the grocery store for hours, walk aimlessly around the mall – not shopping, just walking so i didn’t have to be at home. finally i joined a gym and when hubs got home I would go work out. eventually I would take my little guy to the gym with me as they had daycare. it was the best thing i did. i had some me time and the workouts totally took my mind off all the mommy stuff for an hour. every child and parent is different, but know you are not alone. we’ve all been there and had those same doubts. I does get better…i promise. parenting is not easy. there is no instruction manual. you pop out the little one, they ask if you have a car seat and they send you on your way. it’s all trial by error. you will find your way and Hadley will be just fine…even if she has to cry for 20 minutes in a bouncy chair while you have a nice, hot shower. And talk to your husband….maybe he doesn’t really understand how you feel. if you want to talk to someone professionally you should. i’m sure there are lots of resources out there…make use of them. everyone will benefit from a happy mommy. xo

    1. Thank you so much for the encouraging words. This has been, and continues to be a wonderful, challenging, and difficult transition. You always hear that the transition from woman, to mother is hard; but I didn’t think it would be like this. I am beyond happy and love this journey. Even the rough parts. 🙂

  2. I have no words of comfort or advice other than to say “this too shall pass”. Hang in there hun, hope it goes smoother in days to come. And never doubt yourself – you are probably doing an ace job at being a new mom, even if you dont feel like it. 🙂

  3. Hi Krysty,
    I know EXACTLY how you feel. In 2012 after a difficult pregnancy, my son was born. Six days after he was born we found out he had a congenital heart defect and would require open heart surgery at some point, but we had to wait for him to get worse. Because of his condition, he could only eat a little at a time, so he ate every two hours. And we couldn’t let him cry because he would start to turn blue, so I had to hold him – ALL the time. And did I mention that my daughter was 15 months old when he was born? I had horrible nights. He had yucky, runny, poopy diapers at least 12 times a day. He required several wardrobe changes throughout the day. And he squeaked. He also had a little problem with his trachea, so he would squeak as he was breathing. There were SO MANY nights that I just looked at him and thought, I want to run away. I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t want to be a Mom any more. It broke my heart because I had always wanted to be a mom and now all I wanted was to be by myself, in the quiet. So I know how you felt. The best thing I did was talk to my husband. It was difficult to admit that I wanted nothing to do with my beautiful little boy, but I needed to tell my hubby. He was wonderful. After we talked, I would wake him up sometimes and just say, I need a break, I can’t do this right now. And he took over. I can’t tell you how I got through it, because it seems so long ago. I just know I learned to lean on other people for support. I have wonderful parents and in-laws that took the kids overnight once in a while and that also made a world of difference. So hang in there!!! Ask for help, and know that it will get better. Now my little guy is almost 2 (he had the surgery to repair his heart a year ago) and my kids are the best part of every day!!

    1. Kate, thank you so much for sharing your story with me! I think sometimes as new moms we expect it to be easy, but when reality sets in…it’s a hard pill to swallow. I did talk to my hubby about the rough days, and felt so much better after. For us, it’s challenging as he is a CPA and we are now in full tax season mode. So that means for me it’s time to call on mommy friends, and get out of the house. The older she gets the better it is. I have learned so much in the last month or so, and discovered things that I should have been doing all along to make the nights easier, and get more sleep. Which I now know, little sleep, is a big trigger for me to feel overwhelmed and if my sleep suffers I am more likely to lose my sh!t. Thanks again for sharing your story, and SO glad that your little guy is doing good!!

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