Shortly after Lil’ Kiddo was born, I had to come to the realization that I wasn’t enjoying my time with baby as much as I had with Big Kiddo. Here is my story on how bringing up my feelings to my doctor helped me feel the magic the second time around.
Is It Postpartum Depression?
Before they released me, my midwives had screened me for PPD and made sure I knew how to recognize the symptoms of depression. I wasn’t feeling miserable. It never occurred to me to hurt myself or my baby. Technically I was caring well for my baby. He was strolled outside several times a day, fed on demand, carried in my arms almost at anytime of the day. On paper, there was nothing wrong with me.
But I was annoyed. Annoyed that it was raining all day long (a perk of having a September baby in Vancouver). Annoyed that I couldn’t leave Lil’ Kiddo by himself, not even to go to the bathroom. Annoyed that somehow my husband never seemed to do things right.
After having enjoyed my maternity leave with Big Kiddo so much, how come I wasn’t with Lil’ Kiddo? He wasn’t a bad baby. He didn’t have any health issues. And why was I always mad at my husband?
As I read articles and testimonies on postpartum depression, it occurred to me: maybe I was suffering from a mild depression. I found it unfair for Lil’ Kiddo that I wouldn’t keep such a great memory from my maternity leave with him as with Big Kiddo, and that’s what triggered my bringing up my feelings to my family doctor.
The doctor asked me questions on my mood and my feelings. He didn’t seem convinced I was suffering from PPD but he decided to humour me and labeled it “borderline postpartum depression”.
The doctor prescribed me a low dosage of anti depressants. I believe they really helped. I know not every mom is comfortable with drugs while breastfeeding. But you might be interested in the two other types of help I got from talking to the doctor.
Someone on my side
The doctor spent some time identifying what my grievances were. It became apparent that I was mentally drained because baby didn’t have any routine whatsoever. When I put him to bed, I didn’t know if he would wake up in 5, 10, or 45 minutes. And he hardly ever napped for more than 45 minutes. I didn’t get any compassion from my family because on the other side, at only 2 months old, baby was sleeping for 11 hours at night in a single stretch. Don’t hate me right now, the 4 month sleep regression took care of that.
Just having the doctor acknowledge that yes, I had reasons to feel frustrated, made me feel tremendously better.
A plan of action
The doctor then gave me a plan of action to help put Lil’ Kiddo on a more predictable schedule. Honestly, he didn’t tell me anything I didnt’ know yet. But having it formalized in a plan of action and validated by the doctor somehow helped too. And it was only a matter of weeks before I felt this magical feeling that every new mom should feel.
In a way I’m happy that I had my first experience to compare to. If I had felt like that with Big Kiddo I would probably have thought that I wasn’t cut out to be a mom and never considered seeking for help.
I wanted to share my experience because reading other testimonies helped me identifying that maybe there was something wrong with me that could be cured. Being a new mom is challenging but it should be a happy, fulfilling experience. If it isn’t then have a chat with your health care provider!
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