How can you tell postpartum depression from normal new baby adjustment? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-26-2010, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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don't think I am doing too well. Our daughter will be a month old next Wednesday. I also have a 2-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old stepson. I stay-at-home and am with all three kids during the day.

Before the baby, I would have said I love being at home. Now I want to call the creative directors I used to work for and beg for my copywriting job back.

The house looks like hell.
I look like hell.
Someone always needs me.
Someone is always talking.
It is summer and the baby swelters and sobs every time we try to go anywhere.
I am so exhausted. I remember when our first daughter was born I never minded waking up at night. Now I dread the evening because I know how tired I will be.

We have the money to hire help. But I don't even know what kind of help I need or want. I have hired babysitters to take the older two kids out while I nap with the baby but I feel so bad when my 2-year-old says, "my baby sitter coming to watch me again, Mama?"

I feel so guilty because this is the last baby we'll have and I am not enjoying it right now. With the first baby, I stared at her for hours and felt so enchanted with motherhood. With poor Charlotte, I just feel too overwhelmed with everything else to even have time to focus on her.

I am not the mom I was before. I yell more, and let them watch more tv, and don't appreciate the little moments nearly as much. We don't do fun things like we used to. For the last 6 years I've prided myself on being a good stepmom. Now I just want his actual mom to make other daytime arrangements and give me a break.

The question in all this complaining is, what is normal? What is the adjustment process to having three kids and what is post partum depression?

Is anyone loving life and feeling on top of things in the first month after having a baby? I am just feeling very bummed to be feeling this way.
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#2 of 4 Old 06-26-2010, 06:51 PM
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Oh, my gosh, mama, I am so sorry that you are feeling this way

I don't have specific knowledge about this other than surface stuff but I did find this screening for it:

I think maybe a mother's helper might be good to hire b/c they can come in and help you interact with your children and keep things positive by helping you meet everyone's needs. What do you think?

Walking in the light with DH, DD (11/08), DS (4/10) , four dogs, and one insouciant cat.
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#3 of 4 Old 06-27-2010, 10:52 AM
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Oh gosh, I could have written your post Stacy....minus the step son part. I have 4 kids now, and my youngest is a month old also. You can see my kids ages below....they are all still young and majorly stressing me out also. I actually came on this board today to see if anyone else was struggling with PPD or if this is normal. My dh works afternoons and evenings so i am alone with the bedtime routine every night. My 2 yr old co-sleeps as does baby and my 2 yr old doesn't stop talking and takes 90 minutes to fall asleep. The baby is great all day long but fusses all evening. I HATE bedtime now. Hate it. It is soooo stressful putting them to sleep.

I could probably go on and on, as I am sure you wanted to also. I usually love this period, and don't get me wrong, I LOVE my new baby. She is such a blessing. I just wish I enjoyed all these little moments with her and my other kids instead of just praying for a moment of peace. I am also dealing with a recent loss of my father, which doesn't help my emotions. For the first time ever in 6 yrs since my first was born, I found myself googling Mother's HElpers to get someone fun to come in and play with my kids. What terrifies me is, I am supposed to start officially homeschooling in the fall and I don't know where I will find the patience.

I will be watching this thread. Hope someone has went through this and can offer encouragement that it WILL get better.

: and 3 dd's (5, 4, 17 mos) and anticipating Michaela Skye (after my late daddy Michael.) May 26th 2010
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#4 of 4 Old 06-27-2010, 11:56 AM
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I've been where you are! My first baby was pure bliss, not a moment of sadness or anger, and everything was great. The second time around I had PPD pretty bad, and I think I realized it when 2-3 months had gone by and I was feeling worse, not better.

It's tough to be at the point you are at right now, because the feelings you are having can be totally normal for a mom who is adjusting to having a toddler and a newborn (plus the 8yo!) and you're still only a few weeks postpartum. I think it still has the potential to get better, but definitely watch yourself and if YOU feel worse in the coming weeks, then seek help.

If I were you, I would take FULL advantage of the fact that you can hire help. If you're feeling guilty about someone else taking care of your kids, then hire someone to come in and clean, help with laundry, and cook meals- like a mother's helper- who can also keep your LO entertained while you take a nap. This would allow you to spend the rest of the day focused on the kids and not the house- which for me, is very difficult to balance now with 3 kids. We get so little free time each day when baby is asleep, it's hard to decide if I should clean, make phone calls, take time for ME, or spend it with my older kids.

For me, the two key components to avoiding PPD this time have been SLEEP- DH and my older kids know that I NEED to sleep- a LOT. Sometimes I feel guilty, but I'd rather sleep in a little in the morning and take a nap in the afternoon so that I can be fully present and content when I am with my family. Much better than being a raging b_tch all day because I didn't get any rest!

Also- time for myself is essential. I take a little each day, since the baby is too little for me to leave for a long time yet. If all the kids are asleep and it's just 15 minutes before I go to bed to read a magazine and drink some tea- or take a bubble bath while someone else is watching your kids for a half hour in the evening. A quick trip to Starbucks while I crank up my favorite CD in the car is fun too- it really makes a difference!

I hope you feel more like yourself soon- coming to terms with the new "normal" that happens after each baby is always hard. It only took my until my 3rd baby to lower my expectations of myself and of my baby. My 9only acheivable goals right now are to eat, sleep, shower, and take care of my children the best way that I can. If I leave the house, clean, do laundry, or cook- that's a super productive day!

Jessica- married to David- parenting our 3 monkeys- DS #1 (age 7) DS #2 (age 4) and a brand new DD (born 5/10/10)
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