Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Baby Blues


... is no joke. I can't even imagine nor will I pretend to know what postpartum depression is like. All I can say is that I'm thankful and lucky that my baby blues didn't spiral into something more serious and long-term. I'm sure not sleeping for two nights in a row at the hospital didn't help, but it wasn't just the exhaustion, it was that mixed with an emotional state that I've never felt before. I felt empty inside, eyes blank, as if someone sucked the life out of them. Although I was able to care for Emma - I breast fed, changed diapers, gave her sponge baths... none of it felt right, I felt more like a programmed heartless robot and none of it felt natural. I remember staring out into space a lot and random thoughts would enter my mind like summer is over, soon the leaves will fall and all this green will turn into a yucky brown... then I would bust out crying. Or I would be carrying Emma and I'd look at her in awe I can't believe you came out of me! and again start to cry. It was like my mind couldn't handle feelings (both happy and sad), like a screw was loose in my head and it couldn't properly filter through the flood of emotions that I was feeling. I couldn't even explain it to Hillsy - poor guy thought I was losing it.

One of the nurses at the hospital discussed baby blues and PPD - so I knew that the symptoms were similar, I just had to keep an eye out on how long I felt the symptoms for (no more than two weeks). By the time week two came along I started to feel more like myself again (hallelujah). What a relief since I was seriously starting to think that I was on my way to postpartum depression. My appetite was back, I was finally returning phone calls, I was no longer crying (at least not from sadness) and the thought of being alone with Emma no longer put me over the edge. Don't get me wrong, her shrilling cries still bring me to tears sometimes but I no longer feel like a helpless robot. Everyday I feel a little more confident... I can do this!

Milestones this month:
she slept from midnight to 6am straight!!, smiling (and I'm pretty sure it's not gas), back to her birth weight and then some, is one inch longer, has discovered her hand and is starting to soothe herself by sucking it, moved up to size 1 diapers, finally using her bouncy chair and the baby bjorn.


Ez said...

Oh Marichelle. I just wish I could give you a big hug. You are so brave to share this here and I'm sure that a lot of other mom's (myself included) can relate to you completely. Sometimes it's okay to fall apart, it gives you a fresh place to start from. Of course it doesn't feel like all hearts, rainbows, and jazz-hands in the middle of it, but the other side is brighter, I promise. Just take it at your pace. You are doing a great job and I'm so glad to know that you have a good man by your side to help you through (and the sweetest baby too).
Sending lots of love and hugs your way. xo Ez

Kelly De Luca said...

I completely understand where you are coming from. And glad to know it didn't pass the 2 weeks time. Being a mother is hard and you are put through so many mixed emotions. What's important though is to take time for yourself, no baby. Say shopping, go for a walk, or go see a friend. Oh and don't stay in the house all the time. It will drive you crazy.
I'm still learning with Mavrick being 9 weeks old. But it gets better. Way better I promise. Hugs xox

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

I've been there! It's such a strange feeling/experience. My baby blues/PPD lasted for 2 months with my first...I'm hoping it will be shorter with my next one!!! Definitely not looking forward to it.

Karen said...

definitely had the baby blues with my first one...walking zombie, plus crying at night thinking "what the hell did we do!!!"...but the haze starts fading away, and then things become more clear :-)
welcome back mar!!! you're doing great!

carla said...

it's amazing you can be so open about it, since there's such a taboo about baby blues/PPD. I went through PPD with my little boy and I felt I couldn't tell anyone because I wanted to be seen as a strong mother. At the end, it took me over a year to learn and feel like myself again, thanks to the help of my family and psychologist. I'd realized 'me' time is very important, although it might take a while to learn not to feel so guilty when leaving your baby, sometimes you need to give yourself some TLC. Because a healthy mummy is a happy yummy mummy! You'll get there. It just takes a bit of time. Everyday is a learning process...welcome to motherhood!

Melissa de la Fuente said...

I am so proud of you my friend....I know I keep saying this but, I really am. None of it is easy and the learning curve is crazy. :) Also, you know what else I admire? Your is never easy to admit that you are fallible or having a hard time. When you share something like this, you help so many others too...who might have gone through the same thing. Which makes me think maybe I should talk about my bout with ppd might help someone else.
At any rate..I have seen first hand how well you are doing & I love that little Emma so. You are awesome....truly.

Zandra said...

Love how you are sharing your experiences after child birth. Now everybody knows that those emotions can be normal and expected. Lack of sleep, raging hormones, overwhelming feeling of happiness, abrupt change of lifestyle, and lastly trying to process what happened during labor is a lot for a new mother to handle! Each day is a learning process but it is soooooo well worth it. You are a such great mother and Emma is a beauty! As you know, the love for a child is love like no other. I still can't believe we're mothers!!!

MMIMS said...

I applaud you for sharing your very personal experience. Thank you.

heather yalin said...

This sounds like my first trimester. It's really good to hear stories like yours (the natural birth, everything--that's what I'm going for too), because it's SO comforting to know or at least to hear that those emotions do pass. I had a really (+ unexpectedly) emotionally tough first trimester. And thank goodness, it did pass. But when you're there. Hoo boy, you certainly start to wonder: will it pass? So, thank you, it's good to read that it can be bad wicked bad, but not forever.

p.s. Emma has the most beautiful eyes ever!

Marichelle said...

(From Fabienne)

hey sweet, baby blues is a very tough thing i think and i have been so high during my pregnancy that i'm really scared of the lows already..... good thing you're feeling you're getting over it and you have a beautiful baby and the nicest husband and family and friends around you (close and far) to support and love you. cant wait to see you. will probably come over with the baby in january. lots of love .... fabienne

(sorry Fab, I accidentally clicked reject. Argh iPhone)

Anonymous said...

I can totally realate to your experience. I spent the first two weeks after my son was born, crying my eyes off. I felt like I was holding a little stranger and felt super guilty for not having a "connection" right away. Although my baby blues went away after a few weeks, I still didn't feel connected to my baby in the way hollywood moms/ads/other moms/the rest of the universe did. It took me about two months to feel like I was bonding with my baby. Two long months of feeling guilty.
Reading your post definitely brought back memories of when I became a mom (19 months ago). I know everyone ( must be telling you it get's better. It does!
Your little lady is a doll! :) xxo

Marichelle said...

I'm so sorry guys, I know I'm a little late in thanking you for leaving comments on this post. I'm glad I was able to share my experience and just wanted to let everyone know that I'm doing so much better now - I've got a little routine going and even getting a lot more sleep these days (makes all the difference). Thanks again for all of your comments!