Feb 16, 2012

Baby Blues, Weepiness & Postpartum Depression

I have been vocal since the beginning about my fears of postpartum depression. I have grown up battling my own personal demons and am terrified of waging that war while trying to be a new mom. Not to mention, I grew up reading horrifying news stories about crazed mothers doing unspeakable things to their children. It was not until I was much older did I learn about Postpartum Depression and the devastating effects it can have on a new mothers psyche.

Don't worry not all new moms suffer from it nor do they get it to the insane degree of the mothers in the news stories. All that being said, my being vocal about my fears persuaded a courageous and wonderful reader of my blog to email me and tell me her story. Thankfully she has agreed to let me share it, along with her methods for helping new mothers fight the battle against the baby blues and postpartum depression.

This is her story, (in a condescend version)

"… Approximately eight hours after my son was born I found myself in a very dark place. I was sobbing hysterically for no reason and felt an impending sense of doom yet I couldn't explain what kind of doom. The hospital gave me all sorts of literature about being a new mother and what changes my body was about to go through. One pamphlet talked about the "baby blues" and how it wasn't uncommon for a woman to experience these blues the first couple of weeks after delivering. When a nurse would walk into my hospital room I would of course be sobbing and she would say, "Oh honey this is perfectly normal. Well...it wasn't

.... Around five weeks post partum I started planning my suicide. On the night I made my decision final, I leaned into my son's crib, kissed him and told him I was sorry. My husband walked into the nursery and asked me for the millionth time, "Why are you crying again?" I told him to leave me alone and I went to lie down. He grabbed me by the arm and pulled me out of the nursery. He told me to pack my shit and get out because he and our son didn't need me. I told him to go fuck himself and the fight was on. He told me that something was wrong with me and I needed to talk to a doctor. For once I agreed with him. I sat down on the couch and tried to think logically. I came to the conclusion that I must be suffering from post partum depression. I started to cry again because I felt like a piece of shit for bringing a baby into the world and then making plans to abandon him. What the hell was I thinking? 

I immediately started taking Celexa and within a week my whole world changed. My old self was reborn and it was at that moment I looked at my son and realized I would never love someone as much as I loved him. The last six weeks of my maternity were fantastic. I wish I would have sought help sooner and not cheated myself out of the first six weeks of maternity leave..."

Then she said this…

“With what you are experiencing now, I would encourage you to read about post partum depression and what signs to look for after delivery. If you or your support system recognizes any of the signs you need to talk to your doctor immediately. Don't try to figure it out by yourself, because it will make you crazier than you already think you are.”

I am trying to keep my emotions and thoughts in check at all times. I am definitely having issues with the weepiness, irritability and for lack of a better way to say this, glimpses into the dark side. Due to the insane lack of sleep, poor eating habits and ragging hormones, every day can be frustrating and difficult for me, if I don’t stop and breathe once in a while. Thanks to this wonderful reader I have some great tips, THAT I HAVE TO FOLLOW, to help me stay on the sunny side of life so to speak.

Nearly 5 months ago she had another child and so naturally I asked her if she was battling postpartum depression again. Here is her response, which has been so incredibly helpful for my daily life.

Not this time around thank god, but I definitely had a couple of crying episodes during the first two weeks that I attribute to raging hormones.

1st time - I popped my son's balloon on accident...he cried so I cried.
2nd time - I'm not a breast feeder so I pumped and felt like a failure for not being able to keep up with pumping for more than five days. I got over it.
3rd time - I made the mistake of looking at my hoo-ha with a mirror about six weeks post partum. Should of learned that lesson with the first child.
4th time - A good friend of mine lost his 9-year-old son to cancer. Couldn't stop crying about that one because I started to worry about my kids being healthy now, but getting sick later.

If after the first couple of weeks you haven't bonded with your baby, you're not enjoying being a mother, or you are considering wrecking your car into a concrete wall...it's time to call your doctor. Just keep daily tabs on how you're feeling about things. Remember some sadness can be attributed to lack of sleep and just being totally exhausted. To help keep things in check, don't hesitate to accept help from friends and family, unless your family is like my evil Satan mother-in-law, then feel free to say NO and figure things out yourself. If someone wants to come over and watch the boy while you take a nap...DO IT!!!! If someone wants to bring you guy’s dinner...take it!!!!

Time for you is important. The following are things I promised myself I would do everyday when I got home from the hospital, and I actually stuck to it...I showered daily, brushed my teeth, put on clean comfy clothes, and deodorant. I also always ate breakfast and lunch. These "me time" goals seem a little ridiculous, but you'll see how meaningful they are to you once you actually get home.”

Now for how I am doing at 2 weeks postpartum…

Today I woke up sleepy and crazed from a sleepless night of three feedings. I was completely incapable of thinking clearly. I fed the baby and immediately went nuts picking up around the house, yelling at my, “lazy worthless husband.” Yes, the man who does 85% of the cleaning, 100% of the cooking and loves our son and me more than anyone ever has or will… I ate breakfast (thanks to my readers voice in my head) and at his instance I finally got into the shower. Two minutes later the warm water washed away my attitude and I was able to get semi focused. I finished the shower and went so far as to do my hair and make-up. I had no plans to go anywhere I just wanted to feel normal. I NEEDED to feel normal.

I felt 110% better and felt wonderful when I looked in the mirror and saw myself staring back, not a zombie with two black eyes and unruly hair. Ladies, postpartum depression, baby blues, whatever it may be, take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby. Be prepared so you will be able to pounce if you need to. And ALWAYS remember, no matter how bad it seems, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

Now, on a great note… I ended up running out to get a few things. While I was checking out I saw the “In Style” magazine spring issue. The magazine has to be the most beautiful thing I have seen since my son, all 500+ pages of it! I pulled it off the rack and hugged it, I truly had to fight back the tears. I have spent the last 10 months out of style. It was at that moment that I realized I could be In Style again! I have a new goal to work off this baby weight and be fabulous by spring. I feel focused and renewed!

Ladies, go get the magazine, and embrace YOU. It’s true, nobody is pregnant forever… that Duggar lady is proof of that. God knows if anyone can do it, it’s her!

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


  1. This was a really powerful post. Thank you both so much for having the courage to be so candid!

  2. Couldn't have posted this at a better time- I've been feeling a bit of the crazy-lady myself today- and just need to remember what's important. thanks for posting!

  3. Thanks for this. My pregnancy wasn't planned. I have a 15 year old and was happy to be done with kids. Really. I've been on an emotional roller coaster since that second line appeared on the test. Everything from feeling sorry for myself to being terrified over threats my now ex is making to take the baby to anger over what he did to me (I'm convinced it was intentional) to pure joy at the wonder of child birth and breast feeding. I've been terrified of PPD because of it. But, this makes me feel better. I remember. There are good days and bad days. I just have to remember to step back and take it one day at a time.