Postpartum Depression and Motherhood

OVERVIEW

I first published this post on my previous blog on Dec. 10, 2015, 3 weeks after I gave birth. Now, it’s been almost 9 months since our little angel was born but there are still days when I look at his handsome little face and I’m just filled with disbelief and awe at how I ever became a mother. The road leading here wasn’t easy and how my life changed since then… and just like the theme of this blog post, I am once again having feelings of sadness. Maybe it’s because of the monsoon season our country is experiencing for several days now. We’ve been cooped up inside the house even last weekend because of the bad weather and the out of town anniversary celebration we were planning didn’t push through. Maybe it’s just hormones… post partum depression? Whatever it is, I hope that blogging about it will somehow lessen this melancholy I’m feeling.

omg! i’m a mom!

 

Describing the 9-month journey of carrying our little angel inside of me as a one long roller coaster ride is definitely an understatement! Never in my wildest dreams did I really think I will become a mother and now that it’s happening… that I am one, I can just say.. WOW! Thank you, God!

 

 

Tama nga ang sabi nila — ang pagiging ina ay masarap na mahirap!  (It’s what they say — motherhood is hard but all so worth it!)

And indeed, at the end of the day, I know it’s all worth it.

 

I would love to share the journey with you as I resume blogging again but for now, I need to vent my current state first before I go insane…

 

And oh boy! I must say… being a new mother is physically and emotionally exhausting!!!

The physical exhaustion is expected. But this feeling of deep sadness that’s engulfing me is oh so sudden considering that I’ve been mostly happy the past several months (the 1st month of my pregnancy I went CUHRAAAHHHZZZYYY — blog post about this some other time)!

 

 

This feeling of sadness is quite overwhelming. I’ve been feeling more and more melancholic lately like I wanna cry every chance I get. Don’t get me wrong. I love this new gift of motherhood that God has bestowed upon me. I love our cute little baby Tuz. I love my Mahal who is boldly facing this new parenting adventure with me. I love our new little family.

 

There are just times when I catch myself feeling too much… like too much physical pain (note that I have very low pain threshold) from  breastfeeding, from my Caesarian section, from my right wrist (yep, the one I had a splint put on months ago at Cebu Chong Hua hospital is still not healed and seems to be getting worse), from headaches when my blood pressure gets high (my BP started shooting up —they call this gestational hypertension— during the latter part of my pregnancy, especially when I was getting induced for normal delivery that my obstetrician decided to do an emergency C-section), and overall body pain from not getting enough rest and sleep like a normal human being.
 

postpartum depression?

Could this be early signs of postpartum depression? I hope not! I started researching about it and here’s what I found:

 

“Postpartum depression may be mistaken for baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and last longer, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth, but may begin later — up to six months after birth. 

Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

  1. Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  2. Excessive crying
  3. Difficulty bonding with your baby
  4. Withdrawing from family and friends
  5. Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  6. Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
  7. Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  8. Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  9. Intense irritability and anger
  10.  Fear that you’re not a good mother
  11. Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
  12. Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  13. Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  14. Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  15. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide”

Well thank God I’ve only been feeling sad for one day and I am not experiencing all 15 symptoms, just a little bit of #1, 7, 10, 11, and 12 above. I tremendously enjoy being skin-to-skin with our baby… carrying him, feeding him and playing with him. I love having my mom over and friends are definitely welcome in our house. I eat well enough especially since Mahal cooks delicious and healthy meals. I sleep every chance I get like when Tuz is asleep, when Mahal is taking care of him, or sometimes, I close my eyes when breastfeeding is taking so long and Tuz is still latching and sucking. I just make sure our position is secure and comfortable that Tuz won’t fall off or something. And  I’ve only cried once so far, like the real kind of cry with tears just flowing freely…

 

It happened yesterday while breastfeeding. Baby Tuz seemed to have “bitten” my nipple that I inadvertently screamed in pain. I was in such agony that I handed him to Mahal, went out of our bedroom in a hurry coz I didn’t want them to see me crying in frustration and pain. I stayed in our guestroom, laid in bed and just cried my heart out — I felt like such a failure for feeling all sorts of negative emotions: frustration, fatigue, anger, guilt, shame, etc.  From where I was, I can hear baby Tuz wailing. Mahal is good at soothing him so he stopped fussing after a little while. I stayed in our guestroom since I couldn’t stop my tears from falling. After several minutes, as my eyes were starting to swell, I heard the master bedroom door open. Seconds later, I heard footsteps and soon enough Mahal was also in the guestroom talking in his cute baby voice saying “Mommy, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Please come back inside our bedroom.” It was so cute that my heart started to melt. I lifted my head up which was buried under the pillows and saw him with baby Tuz in his arms all cute and cooing. I said sorry too and that I didn’t mean to feel bad about breastfeeding. So I got up and all three of us went back to our nursing station. I carried Tuz again, fed him and put him to bed.

Perhaps, it’s just baby blues. And according to this link, it won’t last that long. If it does, then I should seek help coz it could be early signs of postpartum depression which I don’t want to happen coz I love my family too much.

MY TAKEAWAY

Ahhh… the joys and pains of early motherhood. It’s like my life has just begun! And tomorrow and the next day after, all this shall start all over again. Knowing that things will get better each passing day (and they always do as evidenced by my previous post on my daily routine) gives me hope that whatever this pain I’m feeling will get better too.

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