Could It Be Postpartum Depression?As I patted my pregnant, growing belly, I imagined what my daughter E would look like and what personality would emerge. I dreamed about dressing her in pretty clothes and kissing her rosy cheeks. The transition from working woman to stay-at-home mom was the supposed bliss I wanted.
In these moments, I never once considered how difficult it might be to adjust to being a mom – the disruptive schedule, the late-night feedings, the highs and lows of hormones. I didn’t realize how much caring for another would deplete me.
But at the time, I didn’t detect the subtle signs. You see, I didn’t endure overwhelming depression, crazy mood swings, crying jags or suicidal thoughts.
Once I acclimated to the new daily schedule, I went through the motions. When she was hungry, I fed her. When it was time for a change, I diapered her. I simply adored and loved baby E but something was missing.
I mustered no enthusiasm or will to leave the house and take the baby out. I only left the house when my husband was home and could take me somewhere. I spent long days cooped up in my stuffy house, taking care of E, reading, cleaning and listening to the radio. Functioning but not living.
At the time, I couldn’t fathom that my lack of motivation and agoraphobia could be linked to PPD. Now, 12 years later, after reading more about it and hearing other moms’ stories, I know that was probably the case.
I want to share my story with other moms so that they know – you don’t have to have a complete mental break down to have PPD.
Here are some symptoms of PPD (just to name a few):
- Feeling overwhelmed or guilty
- Not feeling bonded to your baby
- Feeling confusion or scared
- Lacking patience
- Feeling empty or numb (doing through the motions)
- Get support by calling 1-866-380-2229, 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
- Attend a support group. Call 1-844-896-6367 for locations and times.
Updated June 6, 2016