Looking back, I knew something was wrong.
It had been 8 weeks since my daughter was born.
I had been told to watch for signs of the baby blues, which are also called the ‘postpartum blues’. I was told that about 4 out of every 5 mothers (80%) experience the postpartum blues within the first few days after the birth of a baby, but normally, the blues don’t last more than a week or two.
Soon after my daughter was born I had mood swings where I would feel happy one minute and sad the next. I was often anxious and worried that I couldn’t take care of my new baby. I didn’t feel I was good at being a mother. I cried often, but I couldn’t ‘pinpoint’ a reason. I felt disconnected from my partner and I had no interest in sex. I remembered having some of these thoughts when I was pregnant but I thought they would just go away after my baby was born. But they didn’t go away.
Instead of getting better, I started to feel worse. I worried all the time that my baby would be harmed by something. I stopped wanting to go for walks because I would imagine a car leaping off the road and crashing into the stroller. Sometimes it was so bad that I would get into a panic and my heart would race. I would then have sudden thoughts and pictures in my mind of throwing my baby down the stairs. I was so disturbed by these images and what they meant about me as a mother that it would take me ages to fall asleep at night. My body was so tired but my mind never stopped racing. It was hard to get through a day and do even the simple tasks. I felt completely overwhelmed and alone. I could not imagine ever feeling better.
I just had a baby. I should feel happy but I didn’t. I knew my feelings were not normal but I was afraid to talk about them. Growing up, I’d been told that people who had problems coping or had crazy thoughts (like the ones I was having now) was a sign of weakness or a problem with their upbringing.
I thought that if I told anyone about them, I’d embarrass those around me. I was also afraid someone would say I was unfit to be a mother and they would take my baby away. I knew I had to do something but I was unsure what to do. I was afraid.
200 - 7342 Winston St.
Burnaby, BC V5A 2H1
Business Line: (604) 255-7955
Our mission is to end the isolation and distress
experienced by many women and their families with
the profound life change that accompanies the birth
or adoption of a child.
We provide telephone support, weekly
women's support groups, partner education
sessions, community trainings and resource materials.
Copyright 2011 Pacific Post Partum Support Society