The Real Deal


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…

13 thoughts on “The Real Deal

  1. I’m sorry that you’re having a bit of hard time with the baby blues. I imagine that those that have struggled with infertility may even be more susceptible to this because we’re fully aware of all the things that can go wrong from the moment we’re pregnant. I hope that talking to someone will help! You will be in my prayers.

  2. I’m so sorry you are feeling this way. I don’t know anything about ppd but glad you are taking advantage of things that may help. Good luck at your appointment. Xoxo

  3. Sorry you’re going through these emotions. You are right some women get it and others don’t. It doesn’t define what kind of mother you are at all so don’t assume you are a bad mother.

  4. You are going to be okay. We have crazy hormones at the moment, and the demands of a baby on our energy do not help our brain function at all. Your feelings are completely valid. I am 100% sure there is such a thing as PTSD associated with pregnancy after infertility. When I have bad days, I can still recall how much it hurt not to be a Mum at all… And I would much prefer a million bad days WITH my baby than a single good day without him.
    Well done for hanging in there, for speaking up, for asking for help, for sharing.
    And if no-one has told you today, YOU ARE A WONDERFUL MOTHER AND YOU ARE DOING A FABULOUS JOB.

    • Yeah, I definitely feel like infertility has played a role in some of what I’m feeling. Thanks for the love. When things are good, they’re so good I just try and hold on to those moments when things get tough.

  5. It is a huge life change, and everybody (and every baby) reacts differently to this new life they’re thrown into. So glad to hear that you have access to resources and are not afraid to use them. I remember reading a study that said a majority of women with PPD don’t bother to ask for help because they think they should be able to get along without it. I think it’s better to get the counselling BEFORE things get really tough. Solidarity!

    • My mom has issues with depression and anxiety so I am hyper aware of trying to see it and catch it in myself before it gets out of hand, as it can be hereditary. I think that’s part of the reason I am more vigilant with taking care of myself. But I think if the help hadn’t been readily offered I may not have sought it out, so I have to give kudos to our health system (I’m just 3 hrs north of you ;))

  6. Not that hormones were my issue, but I struggled a great deal and it didn’t help that I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. I knew there was resources for post partum depression, but after you adopt? Not so much. I felt even ashamed to be feeling overwhelmed after all the years and all the crap I had to go through to even have a child. Though writing about it a little in my blog did help somewhat. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, search for the little moments of joy and hang onto them for dear life.

  7. hbwittman

    You’re not alone. It took me five years to become a mother. When my son was born, I did NOT feel the way I expected to. It was not instant love, but rather instant panic. I felt freaked out for the first year at least, as well as deep grief for my old life. It took me awhile to fall in love with my baby. My days were full of lonliness, fear, and frustration. Today, my son is six and my daughter is four. I love my children dearly, but I have to work hard at being a good mom. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I often have to force myself to smile and be sweet to the kids when I just want them to leave me alone. Give yourself a break. Your life has been turned upside down. You will become accustomed to it over time. It’s okay to not feel happy. I’m glad you’re getting help if you have true PPD. I wish you the very, very best. Don’t EVER feel ashamed or guilty. You are NOT alone!

    • I certainly get the sense that I am not the only one to feel this way, though when I am physically alone, it does feel isolating literally and figuratively. I definitely have good days and bad days and the bad days make me feel guilty. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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