I gave birth to my second son 7 weeks ago and I have been feeling up and down emotionally. Sometimes I feel pretty good and happy and like I can handle having two kids, and sometimes I am just overwhelmed. I have noticed that my mental state is greatly improved when I get out of the house and/or have some social contact, even just for a little while. I had two weeks or so, where I did nothing but stay home, and was definitely feeling down. But in general, I have just been feeling sad. It's not really bad, just a mild, kind of almost constant sadness. Especially when I think of my birth. I planned a HBAC (it was a big deal to me) and I had a VBAC but not at home. So I'm struggling some with my feelings about it all, this event that I had hoped would be really healing has brought a mix of emotions. I feel like if I do have PPD it is probably mild and could probably be helped by supplements and vitamins, therapy and exercise. Insurance doesn't cover therapy, and I don't know how to afford more than a few sessions, but think it could really benefit me. I know exercise would help, but have not managed to find time to work that in. I hope to go on some walks this week. I have been severely depressed in the past (suicidal as a teenager), and while it is not severe now, I don't ever want to go back there. How do you know when it's PPD, or when it is just normal postpartum adjustment and hormones and will just improve on its own with time?
Oh, mama! I feel for you.
I had the same sorts of things happen to me. Clinical depression runs in my family (my grandma was hospitalized for psychosis), so I have taken an anti-depressant for a while now. I also had suicidal ideations as a teenager.
I did have some trouble with agitation and sadness for a while after DS2 was born. I was also a VBAC birth, although I wasn't necessarily planning an HBAC like you. Mine did take place in the hospital and wasn't exactly as I had pictured it, but still was SO MUCH better than my C/S.
Anyway, I felt the same as you about getting out of the house. IDK if you have partner who is understanding, but sometimes I just needed a shoulder to cry onto. I would definitely make it a priority to see a therapist (even if it is just a few sessions) to talk through what you are feeling. Even a postpartum doula might be able to listen and validate your feelings. If your mood is affecting your daily life, then I'd say it is PPD even if it is mild. Sometimes medication can be very helpful, even if it is only temporary.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for your reply. I had a rough night with the kids, DH was out late, and my toddler was being really difficult and I ended up yelling because I felt so stressed. I know that does nothing to improve his behavior, and I hate doing it. He is really frustrating me lately. The baby was fussing and crying at the same time, and I find that when both of them need me at the same time I am really overwhelmed. My VBAC was MUCH MUCH better than my c/s and I'm trying to feel proud of myself, but I am still sad that I didn't get the birth I really wanted. And somehow, having a VBAC is making me sad all over again about my c section. I wish so much that I had never had a c section and I am sad all over again for what my son and I missed. I do want to get some help, do some things to hopefully feel better such as exercise and supplements and hopefully therapy, even if it's only a few sessions. I miss my midwives a lot, as I grew really close to them through pregnancy sharing all my fears and doubts about being a VBAC and then going through labor/birth with them which was so intense, but I know they are not therapists, even though they have talked with me, and listened, I think I do need to find someone else. While my DH is very supportive, he doesn't like to see me cry, and tends to want to "fix things" even when there is nothing to fix. Plus, he feels that my birth was great, and I don't know if he understands the mixed feelings I have about it.
Try looking up your local chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) also look for local postpartum resources. In New York state we have a Postpartum Resource Center with a 'warm' line and free meetings where similar Moms can meet and talk. Your first step would be to talk with others who can relate.
Happy at Home Mama to DD 4/95 DS 4/98 and DS#2 8/10
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