Monday, May 9, 2011

Postpartum Depression

I found this wonderful blog about postpartum depression, it is on a website called Goop , created by Gwyneth Paltrow. This particular blog is close to my heart.

Sadly when I had my first child instead of wonderment I was filled with no emotions, mixed emotions, overwhelmed, helpless, my life had gone in an instant. I was more than happy to give the little baby, my beautiful baby, to my husband and be done. The blog goes on to describe what a lot of women feel and what can easily go un-noticed by the new mother and those around her. I had no idea there was anything wrong with me I just found being a mother a chore, hard work and nothing pleasurable about it. Breastfeeding was difficult and being forced, pocked, prodded and jammed by nurses to get my baby to feed did not help at all but you read books and magazines and breastfeeding is the best thing to do for your baby. In my opinion, it is, only if it works for both of you.  Part of the problem I had was feeling like a failure not been able to breastfeed. I had no connection and consequently my beautiful little girl who is now five, is attached to her dad, she is a daddy's little girl and I am glad to have had his support through the whole thing and that she is what her dad always wanted, a daddy's little girl.

Today it makes me very sad that I did not have that connection I was meant to have (according to the books that is), guilt driven at times. But despite the crappy healthcare I got (by the way I paid for private on this occasion), we both survived. My second child was the opposite in comparison. Breastfeeding was easy, my 'injuries' from giving birth were no where near as bad, my weight dropped back to pre-birth within a week, whereas my first born, I gained a lot of weight and I never regained my pre-pregnancy body, and with today's celebs going back to 'normal' quickly did not help my self esteem.

All in all, I love my girls - LOVE them. The pressure from the media and the healthcare system lets mothers down - they set high expectations. Mothers need to be able to do what they can and make the best of what they have given the circumstances. We do not live in a perfect world and we do not live in a text book environment. More communication from the nurses would have helped - been constantly told that I was not feeding my baby enough upset me even more, I was not provided with choices I had to figure it our for myself and I had no idea. When I got back home, and they begrudgingly let me go home, we both thrived as time went on, it was a slow process but we got there and help from family meant that it made life for all a little easier.

I can't say enough - go with your instinct, if it is not working for you or your child or both then try something else and listen to yourself, not what everyone else thinks you should do. Motherhood is a powerful thing, no matter how much you prepare you may not be mentally prepared for what lies ahead, in this instance help from family, friends or even neighbours will assist with the transition of self to selfless.

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