I have dealt with depression before but never really had anxiety. Very quickly after getting home a debilitating anxiety set in. Robert and I were both having difficulties with breastfeeding. I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t listen to my intuition. My poor baby’s tummy was rumbling all the time and I didn’t know what to do and didn’t know that I wasn’t getting him enough food. I have no idea whose brilliant idea it was to not have a mothers milk come in for 3-5+ days after birth. We came home from the hospital on a Friday and thankfully we had an appt at the hospital on Sunday to check on him. Thankfully Similac formula had sent us some samples of premade formula so we gave him an ounce at one point.
When we got to the hospital they weighed him and he had lost almost an entire pound since birth. I could not stop myself from crying in that appointment thinking I had been starving my sweet baby boy. They said it was ok and he was fine but that we were going to start a 3 step program where ever 3 hours on the dot I try and feed him from each boob for at least 10 min, then pump for 20 min and feed him formula and anything colostrum that would come out when I pumped. Thankfully pretty quickly he started gaining weight again and my milk came in. We did supplement for awhile with formula and I am ok with that.
The anxiety though meant that even though my mom was here to help I barely slept, afraid that my baby would need me and I wouldn’t be there. Even though he was gaining weight we were having serious breastfeeding issues and he would just scream because he wasn’t getting anything and i was having trouble getting him to latch and I would just cry and cry. I went to a breast feeding support group at the hospital and that made all the difference in the breast feeding area. By his 2 week appt we were able to start dialing back the 3 step program because he was gaining weight well.
But overall at this point the anxiety was so bad I could barely eat and sleep. I was taking melatonin to try and get myself to nap which of course just made me more tired when I had to get up and stay up in the middle of the night. I was sick to my stomach and lost almost all of my pregnancy weight in those first 2 weeks, and no I was not trying to lose weight. After the baby’s 2 week appointment I went to my Dr. and asked for help, I knew I was in an unhealthy place and honestly I was hating motherhood. I loved my baby and thankfully the depression and anxiety didn’t manifest in a way that made me wand to hurt myself or my baby but I honestly regretted having a baby at that point.
My Dr. and I talked and decided medication would be a good option for me. I started it that night. The pharmacist warned me that the first week was going to be rough and he was right. The meds made me sick. There was one morning I was breastfeeding, sick to my stomach but forcing a banana down to get some calories in me and then I puked it up while feeding the baby.
After a few weeks the meds fully started to kick in and I was able to eat and sleep (when allowed by the baby hahahaha) and things started to get so much better. I bought a newborn sleep program and learned about babies habits and things really started to turn around. My mom stayed until I was 5 weeks post partum and was doing a lot better.
I am now 14 weeks post partum and we are doing so much better. Most nights the baby sleeps from 8:30pm-7am with one feeding around 10:30 to top him off for the night. Not every night, things do happen but, overall the sleep is great. I have a pretty good routine with him during the day and overall we are good.
I am definitely not perfect though, there are still days and times that I get frustrated or am tired but overall I am loving being a mom. When he smiles at me it is the most amazing thing ever and I am so excited to watch him grow up and see the little man he is going to be.
3 thoughts on “Post Partum depression and Anxiety”
Thank you for sharing!
I’m so sorry you had such a difficult pregnancy and birth, Ariana. Thankfully your meds have helped you turn the corner.
The fantasy of having a baby and being a mother is vastly different than the reality.. It’s a job that lasts forever, as you can see with your mother. She worries about you now as much as she did the day you were born. The same with me and my 47 year old son..I still worry about him as much today as when he was little, just in a different way. I am sending you prayers and Reiki energy each day to help you heal.
Oh my goodness so much of the reality is different from the fantasy! In some ways soooo much better but in other ways sooo much harder.