Motherhood is surreal. I still have a hard time grasping that I have a daughter, a baby, a child that belongs to me. I spend my days tending to her but somehow it just never properly sinks in that she is ours, here to stay. It’s a huge life adjustment, and mental shift. Even though I had years of hoping and waiting and nine months of pregnancy to get used to the idea, it’s different until the baby actually arrives.
My life is completely different now, which I fully expected; instead of going to work and otherwise generally doing what I please, I mostly stay home taking care of baby C and planning our daily lives generally revolves around her. It’s been a tough adjustment, and though I love her to absolute pieces, it’s still hard.
I’m fairly certain I have a touch of postpartum depression. In the beginning (first six or so weeks) it was bad, but I think that’s more normal and most people probably have the baby blues to an extent. I had a really hard time, especially because we had breastfeeding and sleeping issues to boot. I was not in a good place, and I’m thankful my mom was with me nearly everyday for many weeks after J went back to work. I did, and still do, have a great deal of guilt because there are times that I wonder if we should have had a baby, if I can do this and then I feel awful because of how much it took to get here, and how many other people would give anything to be in our position.
When I had my 6 week postpartum check up my OBGYN asked how I was doing, I was still struggling pretty good at that point so she offered to put a referral in for postpartum support. They called a few weeks ago to set up an appointment, and I am seeing a psychologist this week. I am doing much better but I still have some struggles with my emotions; anxiety, guilt and feeling overwhelmed. I figure I may as well take advantage of the help that is being offered, even though sometimes I feel like I don’t need it.
I wonder what people do who are in dire and immediate need, as from the time I spoke to my OB to the time I am actually seeing someone will be five weeks. That’s a long time when a person is struggling. Perhaps my OB didn’t sense an urgent need, but I’m not sure if she has any influence on how fast I get in.
I have also been asked by the public health nurses that I’ve seen how I am doing, and I did a sort of diagnostic quiz a couple of weeks ago to see where I fall in the spectrum of PPD. My score was low, indicating I’m doing pretty well, but it does fluctuate for me somewhat, and there are days that my emotions get the better of me. I’m grateful that there seems to be a lot of concern for a mothers wellbeing from my healthcare providers and that help is readily available (albeit at somewhat of a delay).
I feel like there are some people that are cut out to be parents, and take to motherhood (as I’m more specifically speaking about moms, not dads) easily. I am not one of those people. And that’s ok, I mean it’s not ideal because I have more anxiety about things in life now, and I think I will struggle with motherhood more than some. But I don’t think it makes me a bad mom, it just makes life a bit more difficult for me and that’s on me, not my daughter or my husband. Perhaps having someone to talk to will help with this but part of it is just my analytical personality shining through. Some days I have my stride and things feel great, but a good lot of the time I’m still a bit shell shocked and overwhelmed. I make myself get out of the house, we attend a mom and baby group and usually have at least one appointment for something each week. I am just trucking along as best as I can, and one thing I learned from infertility is one day at a time and one foot in front of the other.
*I’m not saying I have it harder than anyone else, but I think my personality and ability to cope coupled with my postpartum hormones are making things tough, for me.
**Over the course of writing this, my appointment had to be rescheduled to next week, so to be continued on that…