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August 18, 2006

Comments

abogada

I was not attached to my daughter either at first. I never felt the "take your breath away" feelings. And I did have thoughts of harming her, accidentally or on purpose that were unbidden and scary. I didn't want to tell anyone for fear that they would think I was ungrateful (we went through four years of infertility treatment), or perhaps they would think I was crazy. I did know that I was going to be OK because I also knew that I would never act on these crazy thoughts. It is nice that at least some people will talk about it -- I never realized that it was so common.

Mom101

Bravo, Lindsay.

naomi

The thoughts and images I had after my second son was born freaked me terribly! I loved him dearly, was SO excited by him, was thrilled by my achievement to deliver him naturally after experiencing a C-section first time round, yet only a couple of months after he was born I had the most horrendous images flash before me, really negative thoughts about physically handling him, and bad dreams. And he was SUCH a good baby! He fed, played and slept like an Angel from the moment he was born. So, I was totally mystified by what was going on in my head because I certainly wasn't sleep deprived, and all was well with the baby as far as feeding etc. It didn't occur to me that it was related to hormones or that it was something you can experience with Post Natal Depression. I'd never heard of anything like it. And so I kept it to myself, feeling like the most dreadful person God ever put breath into, and living with such loaded guilt. Then I took the baby for his check-up and ended up crying to the Dr before I knew what was happening. He told me what I was going through was common... Hah? I'd cared for babies for 15 years before having my own, I have so many friends who'd had children before me, and I knew nothing of this type of trauma... This needs to be talked about - I haven't stopped... Good on you for being brave and battling through the tears, Lindsay. God bless you as you welcome your new little one into the world and may you be spared from going through any forms of Post Natal Depression this time round.
Kind Regards, Naomi

Darci McGrath

That woman who mafe that comment in play group...she probably had the same thoughts but was scared to death to admit it. With both of my girls at 3.5 weeks I freaked out for 48 hours and then moved on. I can only imagine the torture of having the thoughts for an extended period.

Be aware and stay safe.

mistressofthedorkness

Oh, you're definitely *not* crazy. I understand totally. I had read everything about pregnancy that I could get my hands on, so I was mentally prepared for these things. They still knocked me off-balance, but, I wasn't afraid of setting down my son in his crib where he'd be safe, so that I could go cry and wail in another room. Or, even better, I'd call my (then) sister-in-law to come over and sit with us for awhile. She'd make me feel more sane, as well as provide a safe pair of eyes to look at my little one.

It's a rough time. Obviously worth it, but, it is something very bizarre to go through.

Forget about those 'well-adjusted' women... there's nothing wrong with you, or weird about anything you experienced!

Melanie Perry
***not all who wander are lost***
http://mistressofthedorkness.blogspot.com

malia

I had those same types of thoughts with my first one and didn't know till later about the PPD. I felt the exact same way, I knew I would never hurt her but I couldn't figure out why I kept imagining her being hurt. And then one night she did get hurt (not badly, just a bump on the head), it was completely unintentional and probably happened because I was so sleep-deprived. I thought I was going to have to be committed to the psych ward. I was inconsolable, my baby was fine but I was mess because I thought my worst nightmare had come true!

Andrea

Sorry for the double post. Typepad had a brain fart and I thought my first one was lost to the Internet Gnomes.

Andrea

The woman who wroter this post: http://gimleteye.clubmom.com/the_gimlet_eye/2006/08/unspoken.html

had PPD. She was the director of a child care facility, has a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education specializing in infant care, and was the LAST person people would expect to have PPD.

But she had it. And she talks in this post about the trauma, about the uncertainty, frustration and helplessness, and the silence she endured. It's powerful, and she said if talking about her scary thoughts will help just one woman, she'll risk the ire of other mothers to help any way she can. Maybe talking about it enough will bring about education and awareness so that mothers, new and seasoned, will know when their post-childbirth frustrations are normal and when they should get help.

Andrea

The woman who wrote this post:
http://gimleteye.clubmom.com/the_gimlet_eye/2006/08/unspoken.html

had PPD. She was the director of a child care facility, has a master's degree in Early Childhood Education, specializing in infant care, and was one of the people who would NEVER be suspected of PPD and scary thoughts about her child.

But she had them. And she's candid about them because she knows that if one woman, ONE, benefits from her admission to these scary thoughts, then it's worth provoking dirty looks and snark from others who haven't been there. And just maybe, enough talk about it will bring about education and awareness so that every mother, new and seasoned, knows when their frustrations after childbirth are normal and when they should get help.

Erin (erin-erin-bo-berin)

I wish I had only known about these disturbing, hormone-driven thoughts BEFORE I gave birth to my first daughter. I spent the first four months with a screaming baby. Sadly, I spent many days either holding my preeemie daughter, bawling my eyes out or placing her (still screaming) in her crib, closing the bedroom door, and crumpling to the floor in a sobbing mess. Fortunately, I got medical help, and was able to prevent problems after my second and third daughters were born. Whew! That first one was a doozy!
Thank you so much for telling the tale that first time moms don't hear enough. They need to know that they are NOT crazy, nor are they ALONE in the post-partum misery.

Mel

I'm going to broach the subject of PPD with my doctor *before* delivery this time because I felt/thought the same things you did. I would never, COULD NEVER EVER hurt my baby, but why these damn thoughts?!?!?

Thank you for sharing your experience. It may not happen to every mom but I just knew I couldn't be the ONLY one.

Mother

Thanks for sharing that, Lindsay. And that piece by Meghan spoke to me too - not only about PPD but the power of what sharing those stories and words can do for women.

Kelly

Lindsay, I feel for you.

I have been there many times. I has ppd with 3 out of 4 of my children. It is hard to go through it alone. I did with my first one and with the second I suffered greatly and it took me years to get better. With my 4th I knew the tell tale signs and left from the dr's office of my postpartum check up with a prescription in hand.

Being down that scary road to often has lead me to a wonderful career and education. In my area there where no support groups, hotlines and such. Now there is. I want to euducate the world about this because women do not speak up. They feel ashamed and confused and in reality it is as normal as the flu. It happens to alot of women.

Thanks for share your story because it will help another mother to know that she is not alone in this. It is normal and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It can be helped!!

amy h.

Lindsay,
Thank YOU for being so courageous in writing about an experience that is common but totally taboo to discuss in many mommy circles. I had many of the same emotions and thoughts after the birth of my first child, and it was scary and isolating and tough. I KNOW that your post will be an important story to read for many women who come to dot-moms searching for a "me too" experience. Knowing that these thoughts happen and that moms, like you, can get through them is an invaluable gift. Good job!

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