The final trimester is here!!!
*I’m really tired. Probably 10 times more tired than I was when I was pregnant with Brooke. Not sure if that is because I am older now or because this time around I have kids to chase around all day but either way, I am getting in as much sleep/downtime as possible.
Luckily, I can convince the kids to take it easy with me sometimes too…
*40 miles of running last week. My pace has stayed pretty much the same throughout the second trimester. Usually it is anywhere between a 9:00-9:40. I don’t look at my pace until the end of the run and just run what feels comfortable and usually that means a 9:20. It’s harder and harder to get myself motivated to go run but two things get me up… 1. I know it will make me feel better. 2. I know I’m going to miss it big time if I can’t run my entire pregnancy and during the recovery process.
*I love watching my belly move around as she does her flips and kicks.
*Sitting straight up isn’t very comfortable anymore, I need to find a portable recliner chair that can just go everywhere with me.. 12 weeks of that is going to be fun ha. I am laying down a lot and for some reason the kids think that is their signal to make me their pillow.
*I’m wondering if my chest is going to stop growing at some point…
*This video made me laugh pretty hard:) Definitely some differences for me between my 1st and this one but at the same time since they are so far apart… I feel like there are still a lot of similarities too.
*I feel like this image below properly describes my eating lately. I’m trying to get in a good amount of vegetables and things but there is a whole lot of chocolate covered raisins and donuts happening too.
*She now weights around 2 1/4 lbs! This Friday we have a doctor’s appointment with a glucose test. I’m supposed to fast for 2 hours before I go in… that is going to be rough (I feel like I snack all day long ha). Hopefully the drink isn’t too bad!
*I came across an old post that I wrote about how I personally started running too quickly after having Brooke and it reminded me of how lucky I feel to be getting this chance again.
*I’ve randomly had some of the nausea coming back but it is not nearly as bad as the first trimester. I am just really hoping that ends soonish!
*I didn’t know it was possible to love fruit as much as I do right now.
Hormones are a crazy thing. They have such a huge affect on us. I have not struggled with postpartum depression but I definitely remember a lot of postpartum anxiety after I had Brooke. Feelings of anxiety is something that I feel like I experience normally but after I had Brooke I felt like it really took over some days. There were nights where I remember getting up a dozen times throughout the night to make sure Brooke was still breathing because I was so worried. After I had her my brain would think of the worst possible things that could happen and then I would stress out for awhile on how to prevent those things from happening. I think the extreme anxiety lasted for just about as long as I was breastfeeding (I’m sure those hormones played a role) but maybe that is why I jumped into running again so quickly, it helped me calm down. Hopefully this time around I can figure it all out a bit sooner but I’ve definitely already talked to Andrew about what I experienced with Brooke so that he can help me if it happens again.
I would love to hear your experiences with different postpartum things that you have experienced. For me I feel like I struggle more with sadness during pregnancy than I do afterwards (well, at least with Brooke that is how it was and I definitely have really down days during this pregnancy too). I know many women that struggle with postpartum depression and it absolutely breaks my heart. Thank goodness for the modern day medicine (or whatever YOU FIND that helps you!!!!) that we have to help us out in any way that it can in different situations like this one and hopefully we all know how important it is to reach out for help.
Did you deal with postpartum depression or anxiety or other postpartum things?!
-My mom actually had postpartum arthritis in her fingers that really hurt her a lot. It lasted about 8 weeks and she would have to run her hands in warm water before using them or to pick up the baby. Her sister-in-law had the exact same problem, both of them with the worst pain in their ring fingers!
Oh my gosh this is something I feel like I wasn’t prepared for at all and I want to shout it from the rooftops to women to let them know that it’s normal and it gets better!! After I had Kennedy I had such bad anxiety anytime I was alone or it was time to sleep. The last couple weeks of pregnancy my blood pressure creeped up until the Dr finally decided it was time and he induced me, BUT because of that you get the talk in the hospital about the possible side effects from high blood pressure including stokes and even death. That is not what a new mom wants to hear!! I couldn’t sleep at all for a couple weeks because I would lay down and my heart would just race and I would think about who would raise my baby because I was surely going to die. I called the Dr and all I could do was cry, that’s all I did for a good 2-3 weeks so I went to talk to my Dr and he assured me it was normal, I was normal and medication could help. ultimately I decided I wanted to try to talk to others and see if that would help me first. My sister (a saint) told me she wanted to take the baby through the night for me to get some uninterrupted sleep… I was so hesitant and bawled my eyes out the whole way to her house because I felt so sad leaving my newborn baby, “what kind of crappy mom am I, I can’t even function”? blah blah blah! I went home and slept for 12 hours straight and I swear from then on I was a new woman. it’s amazing what hormones/lack of sleep do to your body!! I am so thankful for Dr’s and family who can see a need and will step in. Sometimes others know best and we need to just let them help! I feel like I am a MUCH better mom for letting her talk me into that because I wasn’t functioning and being there for Kennedy. I couldn’t be alone for two seconds with her without crying and feeling completely overwhelmed. It’s a real thing and luckily (usually) it isn’t long lasting!! So if that happens to you or anyone know you are not alone! Talk to someone and get help and you will be so thankful, babies are hard on us in so many ways but they are so great too!
I had the same type of postpartum anxiety with my first born (he’s turning 17 tomorrow!) and my sister took him overnight too, to let me sleep and I, too freaked out about leaving him but I, TOO WAS A NEW WOMAN after that night! So many cultures raise children together as a family, yet I feel like North Americans really seclude them(our)selves and the overwhelming feeling of isolation is SO SCARY. I kinda wish I had my parents and my inlaws and everyone all helping me out… but then… maybe not. HA HA!
I’ll be 15 weeks on Friday with our first, and I’ve been surprised at how down I’ve felt some days- definitely not like myself, and for no reason! The hormones are rough. Turns out antenatal/prenatal depression is a thing, too. Luckily I talked with my doc and am feeling better now!
That’s interesting. I also struggle with ppa and I’m still breastfeeding my two year old, I never made the correlation before but you’ve got me wondering now! I’m sorry you deal with that too. I can’t run since having Noah, my back is not right, but I do find yoga helps, and I can modify as needed.
I have mild post partum anxiety. Some days its just awful but luckily I was prescribed medicine. I was the happiest I’ve ever been when I was pregnant but after it took a long time to connect with my boys. Hopefully you won’t have any post partum issues this time but at least you will be prepared!
I had such a great pregnancy with my first, (much like I am having with this one), and then I had him and I got hit with some HARDCORE postpartum anxiety. Like basically I would sit in the room with my kid and stare at him like he was a ticking time bomb and any minute he was going to explode because I did something wrong- it was horrible. Fortunately my husband, who is not generally very “sensitive,” was smart enough to call out that I was basically being totally irrational and I was able to get help pretty quickly. For me it was medication and running again that helped get me back on track. In fact, I sort of wonder if part of the anxiety was that I ran every day during my pregnancy and then stopped cold turkey for 4 weeks and missed the endorphins (?) Anyway, I’m pretty nervous that something similar will happen with the next one, but at least this time I know I have a supportive partner that will help and there are answers (sounds like you know this too)… It’s so important to talk about this stuff openly. Thank you!
Jenny | Running On Life
Two out of my 3 I had Postpartum depression with. My second was the worst. I think it had a lot to do with her sleeping habits and me not getting as much sleep or nutrition as I needed also it took forever to recover with her because I got a 4 degree tear with here (yikes!). With my son I didn’t have any postpartum just a few days of baby blues and it was so much easier to recover with him.
I had severe PPD with my first–Like you I had a traumatic delivery and he never slept so I was just so broken physically. Compounding this was a pelvic floor injury that has curtailed my running severely. But we are hoping for another now, and I’m anxious about PPD but knowing you had others without it being so severe gives me hope! Thank you for sharing
I didn’t think I had postpartum with either of my kids, but looking back I think I did. I knew I was sad and didn’t feel like myself, and maybe it wasnt full on ppd, but it was definitely something. And breastfeeding STRESSED me out like nothing else in this world (usually not much stresses me out) and honestly being pregnant with my 3rd I got anxiety thinking about breastfeeding. Around 30 weeks with my 3rd I decided maybe it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I didn’t breastfeed, and once I made up my mind I never looked back. I had major guilt with my first 2 when I lost my milk/they weaned them self and with the 3rd I had ZERO guilt about giving him formula from day 1. I can honestly say it is one of the best parenting decisions I’ve ever made! And I had ZERO stress/ppd after him. Anyway. I think the hormones of breastfeeding were just a lot for me. I think breastfeeding is great if it works and obviously it’s the best Nutrition but wasn’t the best for mine and my family’s sanity. ANYWAY. Holy crap can you say tangent?? I don’t even remember what my point was when I started. Sorry to get all crazy.
I wasn’t too bad after my first but I remember crying every night around 5:00pm, I think I would just be exhausted and when my husband got home I had an outlet to let go! Once I went back to work things started to feel like a new normal, but I would cry every night thinking we ruined the perfect life we had as a couple! Which only made me feel worse for thinking that! It definitely just takes time to level out again! I’m 14 weeks with my second now and hope I know what to expect this time but I’m sure I’ll get upset over something else!
I can remember worrying the worst anytime something seemed less than perfect. They came back in the hospital to recheck her hearing, and I thought maybe she was born deaf. Pediatrician mentioned something about watching her belly button and I had her getting full on hernia surgery. And the WASTING time reading on the internet about babies with umbilical hernias. This is one of those times that typing it seems comical, but in it the belief was REAL. I agree husband support is key that he understands the power those thoughts have.
With my first I don’t recall having any real postpartum sadness or blues, but with my second it hit me BIG time- I think a lot of it had to do with hormones and my failed VBAC resulting in another c section- I had a hard time getting over that and would cry hysterically out of no where- like while eating dinner. It lasted about 3 weeks and then I was completely fine so it was definitely strange to feel that way a lot.
I don’t have children yet (hopefully one day and I can’t wait!) but I still wanted to comment because I have struggled with anxiety and depression for the last 5 years. I can’t imagine the anxiety that comes with having a baby, I struggle to wrap my head around it and how I would feel, especially if you already struggle with it before. It’s even worried me so much at times that I’ve convinced myself I shouldn’t ever have children and that my anxiety would make me a bad mum. When I was suffering badly with depression I remember thinking that my dreams of having lots of children were so far-fetched and would never happen. But hearing people who are pregnant or have children talk about it comforts me and shows me that anxiety/depression etc doesn’t automatically make you a worse parent than someone who doesn’t struggle with it. I think depression and anxiety can literally hit you at any point in life and the most important thing is to talk about it and be open- or at least that’s what I’ve learnt and I’m really happy you’ve shared this part of yourself with us. It’s so important to talk about mental health. I pray that you won’t suffer with anxiety this time around and that if you do are able to talk through it and find comfort.
On a lighter note, you look amazing- such a cute bump!! My best friend is pregnant and has just started showing and I literally can’t wait to feel the baby kick. It must be such a surreal feeling :)
I’ve had postpartum anxiety with both kids. No depression, just worried about EVERYTHING. Something that has helped me relax some is I got the “Snuza” diaper clip. I would highly recommend it. Or the owelet. I sleep so much better!
I totally know the feeling of post partum depression and anxiety. I just felt like I was no longer this amazing person where my body was incredible because I was growing a human. And once I had her I was then worthless. I was really tuned in with my emotions and I told my husband to tell me I’m pretty snf give me extra hugs and kisses etc… But the thing that made the biggest difference. Like over night difference was giving myself a shot of vitamin B12. Having that hormone controlling vitamin was a life saver. I felt same again. If you think about it out hormones are completely crazy during and after. If you are struggling with those feelings try b12 it might help.
Mine are 20,18 and 14 …..I think I still suffer from postpartum anxiety. ha! OK, well maybe the anxiety just changes from worrying if they are sleeping through the night ( not worrying about SIDS…..when my first was born a friend from college had a baby around the same time…her baby died of SIDS so I was a freak about watching mine sleep)Then, you worry that they are wetting the bed to not getting out of their “big bed” fast forward many years and lots of worry in between and finally once they are driving you stay up waiting to hear the garage door go up knowing they are home safe.
UGH….who forgot to tell us that once you become a parent your life as you knew it is over. (For the better of course!!)
I was 30 when I had my first baby and I had waited all my life to be a mom. I’d babysat since I was 12 and absolutely loved babies/newborns anytime I could snuggle them. But I had such severe postpartum anxiety, that my husband had to drive me and the baby to my parents’ 20 minutes away when he left for work. He worked 2nd shift, so then my dad would drive us back home about 2 hours before my husband would come home. I cried every time I was left alone with the baby for 2 weeks because I was so full of anxiety. He’s now almost 12 and suffers from anxiety, so now I wonder if I passed it on to him. (Yet another thing to worry about, ha!) We both have been to a counselor and that helps tremendously.
I had pretty severe postpartum anxiety with my 3rd baby. I wasn’t able to breastfeed him because of a combination of him refusing to latch and my milk never coming in. I had had big problems with breastfeeding my older two, so I thought going straight to formula with my third would save me a lot of stress, but my postpartum anxiety actually made it more stressful because I was convinced my baby was allergic to formula. His doctor and everyone around me assured me he wasn’t allergic to formula, but nothing would take that fear away. It didn’t help that I was doing all of the nighttime feedings and pretty much taking care of the baby all by myself because my husband was working his normal job and doing all of the farm work on his dad’s farm while his dad was gone on a mission. Thank goodness it did go away on its own before too long. But I’m so glad there are treatments out there if we need them.
After my third, this last November I had a lot more post partum depression than ever before. It was every time I nursed, so luckily I realized it was my hormones that came when my milk let down.
The best thing hat helped was knowing it gets better and it will pass. Also being able to vent to my mom haha now I’m almost 10 mo pp and feel like myself and I look back and think, “hormones are crazy!” Haha
Looking back I struggled with PPD. I think for me it was a combination of not getting any sleep and like you breastfeeding did not work for me. Both of my daughters had posterior tongue ties and despite getting them clipped and working with lacatation consultants and craniosacral therapists I could not get either of them to latch. Our society seems to make this huge deal out of breastfeeding and I felt like such a failure. My first also had a dairy allergy that took me 4 months to figure out and she was just crying all the time. And I was pumping 8 times a day which took away all my time away from sleeping. I pumped for a whole year with my first and it was not the right choice for me. With my second I only pumped for 4 months and mixed in some formula. Getting some sleep made me such a better mom. I could enjoy my kids and be my happy self. And personally I think that has a huge impact on our babies. I am a health care professional and when you really look at the studies that are well controlled there is not much of a difference from formula if you have access to clean water. I really admire you for being so honest and sharing your story. It is so important for moms to hear that if breastfeeding does not work out for them or they have to supplement their babies will be just fine!
I was way more anxious with Ford than with Asher. There are still some moments where I get anxiety about things I can’t control, but with Baby #2, I felt like I just was so much more relaxed. I worried WAY LESS about what everyone else was doing, or if I was being judged, or if I was doing the right thing. With Ford I felt like I was constantly under scrutiny for not breast-feeding long enough, going back to work at 6 weeks post partum, or just going back at all, etc, etc (and in hindsight, it wasn’t that bad – I just had a lot of guilt with those things). With Asher, it was more like “I’m doing the best I can. My son(s) are well-loved, well-fed, and well-cared for. I couldn’t ask for more (except… maybe some sleep! Ha!).” I guess I became more confident in myself as a mother. I’m not perfect, but I’m doing a dang good job. ;) Another thing that helped me was to keep sending Ford to daycare/preschool while I was home with Asher while on maternity leave. It really let me bond with Asher and get rest when I needed it and Ford kept up with his schedule (which he thrives on) and enjoy all the fun holiday stuff at school (Asher was a Nov baby). It was hard financially, but we made it work.
Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner
I’m currently four weeks postpartum and just recently diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. My husband noticed it right away in the first week when I didn’t even see it. I’m grateful he made me acknowledge it and get help right away. For me running has always been my therapy and unfortunately I haven’t been cleared to do any working out and it has really affected me. Recovery has been really hard on me, not what I anticipated at all! The hormones are pretty much out of control and it feels like I am having an out of body experience dealing with my emotions. It’s like deep down I know I shouldn’t feel the way I do because I have a beautiful baby girl that I prayed for but my mind thinks otherwise. I truly hope it gets better soon especially when the doctor gives me the green light to run again. I don’t like feeling this way at all!
Thank you for talking about such an important topic! I struggled with post partum depression after my first daughter, but didn’t realize it because it happened after she was 10 months old. I thought I was crazy, that it couldn’t possibly be post partum depression. Thankfully, I had a great doctor and was able to figure out a treatment plan. Mine did not include medicine, but I am so grateful for medicine, therapy, exercise, and all the things that can help women during this time. I also feel it is so important to talk about it so women don’t feel ashamed. The more I talked about it the less shame I felt and it helped others to understand what was going on in my mind.
My mom had undiagnosed post-pardum depression withe me — the middle child — only. It seriously impacted our relationship for the duration of my life — and is still a factor in our struggle to bond.
Basically, my older sister and younger brother were treated better by my mom — and everyone knew it. EVERYONE in the whole family, including my mom.
Until recently, she claimed it was because I was the “problem child” or that I was just a “difficult personality” — but even my dad will tell you that’s the opposite of reality. My other siblings are admittedly spoiled, but it’s not really their fault.
The postpardum went undiagnosed, so my mom honestly didn’t know why she had such harsh feelings about me. As a baby, she couldn’t stand to hold me or nurse me, or hold me, or really even be near me. With my sister being only a year older, it was just easier for her to blame me.
It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that she admitted to me that she only recently doesn’t regret not aborting me…. “her phrasing…” Super harsh…
Needless to say, postpardum depression is a “hot ticket” phrase in my life — and I’m super thankful that it’s more widely known and understood… left untreated is just unfair to the mom and the baby!
I am so sorry to read this. Hugs for you! You sound like a wonderful and intelligent person that had not let your Mom’s mistakes define your life.
Oh my gosh that video made me cry! I don’t think it was supposed to do that. Lol. Nursing hormones?
I totally have had the ppm anxiety with both pregnancies. I slept on the floor of my daughter’s room next to her crib when we first sleep trained her because I was so paranoid. I still go in and check on her, and she’s 2.5. ;-)
ALSO, for you or any of your readers, a PSA. My doctor allowed me to substitute the glucose drink for a bag of jelly beans. The drink made me really sick the first pregnancy, so I asked him if there was another option. You just need the right amount of sugar. It’s totally worth asking if you know you don’t have a good reaction to it! xx
For me the depression and sadness was really hard in my third trimester, which made me so worried about it being worse postpartum. We got through it though. My postpartum anxiety ramped up pretty quick, and the depression faded…like they switched. I was diagnosed with postpartum OCD and put on meds, and it’s something at almost 5 months PP I am still working on. It’s really scary, and challenging but we are working through it and finding things that help. The combination of the medications, and making time for myself to work out and get those endorphins is what seems to make the most difference.
This topic is really controversial, put I encapsulated my placenta into pills and took them like vitamins for 6 weeks post birth. I never experienced PPD or PPA… Now, I have no idea if the pills helped but I can’t help but think… What if? Even if it is placebo effect, that is enough for me because I never had the baby blues. I was convinced enough that I am going to do it with my next babe.
Yes! So important! I was completely blindsided when I couldn’t stop crying for weeks after my son was born. I cannot say enough good things about counseling! I went for five months and it helped so much (with my whole life, not just postpartum troubles). Next time, I am planning to schedule the counseling sessions in advance–so worth it!
I had delayed postpartum depression/anxiety. It didn’t hit until my second child was about 9 months old, and I feel like it came out of the blue. I didn’t experience anything like it after my first baby. I started taking a mild anti-anxiety med that I still take today and my youngest is 8 years old. Motherhood changes you. It changes your hormones, your brain…so many things. Some days I wish I could stop taking my med, because I feel like it’s a crutch. I’ve tried going off of it a few times with not so great results. My doctor reassures me that it’s a low dose and it’s not bad to be on it long term. Thank goodness for modern medicine, I guess!
That video is hilarious…..give me all the drugs…ha!
My husband and I struggled with infertility and I felt so amazing once I got pregnant and during pregnancy that I was completely blindsided by the feelings I had after my daughter was born. I had such awful anxiety and I cried constantly. For me I felt like breast feeding was making it worse so I stopped breast feeding her at 10 weeks and the anxiety went away.
I loved my glucose test, my drink was fruit punch and it was delicious! I chugged it down!! :-D
I had no anxiety/depression during my first pregnancy or PPA/PPD after my daughter was born. But my hormones were off (causing me to deliver preterm) and I never produced milk. THIS time (I’m 18 weeks) my hormones are on track, I’m obviously producing milk (yikes!), and my mood has been so low! I cry all the time. I worry endlessly, which causes me to not sleep, which makes the sadness and worry even worse. It’s been like this for the last 10 weeks and I worry (ha!) that if this is how I feel DURING pregnancy, what kind of postpartum issues will I deal with?! I also worry what all my tears and worrying are doing to my sweet little baby. I don’t want him/her to feel my emotions or internalize it (science proves unborn babies feel their mother’s emotions). I’m truly happy to be having this baby, I just feel sadness and worry about everything else. It’s frustrating, but I take care of myself the best I can and remind myself these feelings are not permanent and most likely not even rational!
Heartbreaking reading through some of the comments but at the same time therapeutic. I wish blogs like this were around when I had my twins. It would have been so nice to know I was normal. They are almost 10 now. I didn’t have PPD but I did have PP anxiety and didn’t know what I was going through. It’s amazing to see just how many people experienced it. I felt like such a bad mom at the time and so lonely when my husband first went back to work a month after having them. And just like that about 3 months in, I was fine but whoa…the first 3 months were horrible. Praying that you’ll be fine this time around! :)
Thank you for addressing this important issue! I had severe postpartum anxiety after the birth of my first son. He was perfectly healthy, but I was just crippled with anxiety. Going from a non-parent to a Mom was such an overhaul of my entire identify. I didn’t know what to do with a baby, or how to be a mom. Time, running, therapy, and medication all helped tremendously.
My second son was born with a serious health issue, but miraculously, I did not experience the same anxiety at all. I was really at peace . I honestly do think it was a miracle, and I am so grateful. I also think it was due to already being a mom, and having confidence in that role. Btw, he’s 18 months old now, and thriving =).
I hope the second time around goes wonderfully for you!
I had a great pregnancy, labor, and recovery – and nursing came really naturally to both of us. “Peek” ( full name Percival, a boy) is now 18 months. I didn’t have depression, but did get (mild) anxiety after he was born. I just lived with it and talked through it with M (husband) a lot. The dread, the worries, the uncertainty. Once I stopped nursing (14 month) I started running and that made a ton of difference and at that time I talked to a doctor and got medication. The medication actually made me depressed, so I stopped that and ran more regularly (daily). I think I did a lot of things right, but I wish I would have started exercising while nursing so I could find a way to deal with the anxiety on my own sooner.
Everyone different and I think being honest with what is or isn’t okay with for you is the trick.
Kid1 – no depression or anxiety difficulties. Little did I know how lucky I was!
Kid2 – PPD from month 2-6. I didn’t realize what it was until I started to come out of it but I just felt like I was drowning all the time with a baby who ate every 1-1/2 hours (day and night for six months) and a 2 yr old.
Kid3 – anxiety during the pregnancy and so. much. anxiety! for at least 6 months afterwards. I didn’t know then that PPA is a real thing but it is and help, talk, and/or meds can help.
But most importantly to me in this post – after Kid3 my hands and fingers hurt sooo bad for about 3 months. Everyone said I was crazy and it wasn’t real and definitely not pregnancy/baby related. But I’m saying if HRGMom and HRGAunt had it, too…I’m not crazy and it was real. Thank you!
You spoke to my heart!! I felt so much anxiety after my first – and I’m 36 weeks now with my 2nd (our combined 3rd as my husband has a son) – and I am more scared of the coming home part. It took a few days to adjust – but once I made a decision about breastfeeding too, then it seemed to calm down. I breastfed at first with my first, and I will try again with this one – but if it doesn’t work – NOT WORTH THE STRESS! Got to look out for yourself too, mama! I am on anxiety meds going into the birth of this one, as well as I was the first time, and I am perfectly happy staying on them as a healthy mommy is the best way to go. It all will be OK in the end – and having a support system that KNOWS YOU and will talk with you is the way to go. Too many horror stories about mommies who have taken their whole life has made me almost TOO AWARE at every feeling and emotion I have. Hang in there!
I definitely struggled after baby #1 – I don’t know that it was anything specific. It was just overwhelming, and breastfeeding is hard, especially when your milk doesn’t come in! So thankful for my amazing sister, a really great lactation consultant and breastfeeding support group. I made myself get out of the house with my little one and drove 1.5 hours round-trip to go to that bfing support group every week during my maternity leave (my husband drove me at first) and am so thankful to have had that group of women to rely on. I breastfed until my milk dried up due to pregnancy, but I didn’t feel any shift in my attitude because of breastfeeding.
I’m hoping to take what I learned from the first baby and be more gentle with myself when baby #2 comes. Plus, I’ll ask for help. Though not necessarily from my in-laws because they are one of my sources of anxiety! The other thing I’m making sure to do is use my boundaries and don’t let anyone cross them so that I have time to heal and be with my family.
I’m just past the 6 week pp mark with my first baby, and I can definitely relate to the anxiety! Since it’s my first, I definitely wasn’t prepared (even though I read EVERYTHING and took all the classes). My girl is a snuggle bug- meaning she wakes up the second we put her down- swing, pillow, cosleeper- and she was nursing constantly the first 4 weeks! I felt the anxiety creeping in and paged Dr. Google a LOT. I cried a lot. I got mastitis the first week and felt like I was already failing my baby. I wanted the freedom to go outside and do stuff- and felt guilty about it. Now, even just 6 weeks later, she still loves her snuggles but we have a wrap that lets both of us get out more. I was able to pump just enough to leave her with her dad for an hour a few days a week so I could start running again (after six months!) and it helped me regain a small sense of autonomy- which helped the anxiety and felt like I could handle anything.
In other words, with all the anxiety and hormones, it got better for me, but I did have some close friends and a supportive partner watching closely in case things got more serious!
Postpartum is so tricky. I had a friend that gave birth to her daughter a month before me and she was the glowing mom with a child that ate well, slept well, and was so calm. Then I had my twins. I was a wreck. I would cry at the drop of a hat, I was constantly worried that one or both were going to stop breathing while they slept, and I was so worried they weren’t eating enough (i was breastfeeding so there was no way to tell ounces and such). It was so hard to watch my friend have the perfect time and look at myself and think, “maybe I’m just not cut out for this.” I let my postpartum depression/anxiety go for far too long, but once I sought the help I so desperately needed I have been so much better. My twins are 21 months and still nursing (I’m so done haha), and I still have days where I question my life choices. Overall though, I have done much better and I know I’m the best mom for them.
I wish I would have gotten the help I needed sooner, but now I can help other moms dealing with similar things, and next time I know what to watch out for.
I think we throw around the words postpartum depression A LOT. What most women feel is exhaustion and extreme sleep deprivation which exhibits like depression but doesn’t cause thoughts of self harm or harm to the baby. ACTUAL postpartum depression needs to be treated by supportive medical professionals, friends, and family. Though I haven’t had postpartum, I’ve seen dear friends whose diagnoses were challenging on so many levels. I feel so much sympathy for their struggles because being a parent is challenging enough! My pregnancies are hard, I am currently going on 18 hours of not being able to keep anything down and throwing up bile and blood… and I’m 34 weeks pregnant. It is like this my entire pregnancies which make sleep deprivation and breastfeeding seem like a party. For real. The SECOND I deliver my babies I feel like a normal human again. Before that it is nine months of feeling like I have the stomach flu and throwing up continually. I hope things go smoothly for you when your little one makes her arrival. And I hope ANYONE with postpartum depression gets the help they need.
Michele, I just read your post and I’m so sorry you’re going through that! I hope you’re being followed very carefully by your healthcare providers and you are somehow managing to get the nutrition you and your baby need.
Thank you, Stacy! My doctor is a champ about the whole thing. My first pregnancy I was very against taking any medicine and just hoped it would get better… that lead to a hospital visit, loss of 20 lbs (before I could afford to lose 20 ;) ) and having to have IVs four times a week for a month. This is my fourth pregnancy and has been my easiest by far, though the month of September has been challenging. Baby and I are both doing great for the time being and I can not WAIT until he gets here in November!
I haven’t had a POSTpartum experience yet, but I have struggled with sadness and a lot of anxiety during this pregnancy. I’m a NICU nurse, so I’m painfully aware of so many things that can go wrong in pregnancy, and I’ve seen a lot of truly horrific things happen to moms and babies. Luckily, my manager and coworkers are very supportive and understanding, and have really tried to shield me from the tough cases recently. We just met our pediatrician yesterday, and she actually brought up the issue of anxiety in pregnant NICU RNs without me even having to say anything. I am worried about the postpartum period and my mental health, but will just try and take it hour by hour and see what happens. I’m lucky that I’m very in tune with my emotions, and have a supportive husband and family.
Thank you for sharing your experiences, Janae, and for admitting that you probably jumped back into running too soon last time. Take care!
I’ve been a long time reader of your blog but I never post…..I feel compelled to post on this subject. I’ve suffered severe PPA after both kids (for about 2 years after each) which seems to express itself as anger…….After reading all the above posts, I really question if it is caused by the hormones associated with breast feeding and lack of sleep. Neither of my kids slept through the night until 22 months and that is exactly when the anxiety/anger seemed to lessen.
Like another comment above, I can definitely tell when my milk is letting down because I have overwhelming feelings of depression but it only lasts for a minute. It helps to know it will soon resolve.
My anxiety has been so severe (and I never had an ounce of it before kids) that we won’t have more children…..but If I did have more kids…..I’d give then formula on occasion to alleviate some of the hormones/stress/anxiety/resentment that came from exclusive breast feeding.
Hormones! Yes, they play a huge role in pregnancy and postpartum feelings. I have dealt with depression so I was sure that when my first child was born I would have postpartum depression. My husband deployed to the Middle East when I was 20 weeks pregnant, missed her birth and finally met her for the first time when she was almost 3 months old. As luck would have it, no postpartum depression.! Looking back, I’m convinced my mind and body knew I had to be there 100% because I didn’t have any backup.
2 year starts later we had our second child and my husband was there for everything and I suffered severe depression. My whole point is hormones really do have such a strong impact and you never know how it might affect you. I think it’s great you are so aware of it and have already talked to Andrew about how to help. That alone shows a great amount of insight!
My first was born 4 weeks early and although she was a decent weight, (5 lbs 6 oz), we were advised to stay in the hospital for 5 days so they could monitor her. I spent all day long with her and she was a strong breastfeeder. At night though, we were separated and they put her in an incubator. I will never forget those 5 nights, I cried and cried until the morning when I could hold her again.
I just recently had my 4th and I will say that my anxiety has been A LOT worse this time around and I’ve also experienced some depression. I’m doing good now but I still get triggered here and there. I just use my coping tools to ground me before I have an attack.
I used to be the same about checking on my babies all the time but I use the owlet with my newest and it seriously helps my anxiety so much. Before this I used the angelcare monitor (monitors movement and breathing) and that was really helpful too. I actually use both of them (because I already had the angelcare monitor from my previous babies) and it just helps me so much. I know they aren’t foolproof but to know that I’ve done everything I can to protect my baby keeps my anxiety in check (most of the time lol). Just thought I’d share my experience :).
Thank you so much for talking about this subject, Janae. I suffered from postpartum anxiety and panic attacks with both of my kids and was totally caught off guard. I had no idea what it was and thought I was losing my mind. Counseling, medication and opening up about what I was going through helped me tremendously. I started a blog (mindovermomma.com) to hopefully help other women make sense of all the changes that happen when you become a mom. I’m wishing you a smooth delivery and complete health with your newest addition! I found that knowing the signs to look out for the second time around helped me deal with my issues much quicker. Hoping the same is true for you.
I love how people are opening up about this. I’m not pregnant, but becoming preggers was a fear of mine. My mother is schizophrenic and bipolar and after pregnancy my sister got sick with postpartum psychosis. She still is on meds to regulate her hormones( she never had any symptoms prior to post baby) This is a very tough thing for me to process since I’ve been around it all of my life. People just need to talk and be open. It’s common, and nothing to be ashamed of. Now there’s so many resources out there to help. My husband and I have already met with a doctor to discuss signs and ways to be aware of this even before getting pregnant.
Whenever my brain starts brewing I just think ” God doesn’t give you the spirit of fear ” nor does he ever give you what you cannot handle.
Conversations about postpartum issues are SO IMPORTANT. A dear friend took her life last summer due to postpartum depression (she battled it secretly and NO ONE new). So thank you for being honest and keep being honest!!! It’s so huge for us as women to know that hormones do insane things and that we are not alone!