My Anxiety About Post-Partum Depression

I cried a bit when I found out I was pregnant again. Not because I was sad but because I was scared. In my eyes, I had such a traumatic experience with my delivery and recovering from Baby #1. I read my Birth story before I wrote this and I'm shocked at how much I actually forgot. What is still fresh in my mind is the C-Section, problems with breastfeeding, my scar ripping open a few days in, and the emotional struggle of the every day life with a newborn. This is what I held on to. Not the beautiful moment they announced we were having a boy or the waves of happy family and friends coming to visit, but my emotional breakdown.

Sleep deprivation is a bitch but I know what I felt was much more than that. I believe it was more than baby blues because it got so bad that it almost ruined my marriage. My hormonal rages and the need to control everything and judge my husband's every move lead to 2 years of hell. I didn't want my family near me and I withdrew from friends because "no one understood." The holidays followed the birth of Joaquin and I hated every moment, every party, every day I had to step out of the house. I said what I felt like I was supposed to say to everyone around me. I'm so in love with my new son. I love every moment. It's so amazing. I am so happy. It was all so confusing.

And then there was breastfeeding. The pain. Oh the PAIN! The struggle. The feeling of having to do it outside of my home. The anxiety of that new lifestyle change. There was no bonding. There was no joy. What the hell was wrong with me? The thought of giving Joaquin formula made me feel like the worst mom in the world. To make matters worse... I was a cow. I could pump 10 ounces in a 15 minute pump session. It was insane. I was able to stock so much but then, I got thrush and the doctor ordered me to throw that golden liquid in the trash. That's when I threw in the towel.

But, I still had this baby. This new life to take care of for the rest of MY life. It took me a very long time to wrap my brain about that. I am just now feeling comfortable as a mom. That's all thanks to my supportive husband and family and all of the moms, new and old, who told me their struggles and didn't lie to me and tell me that motherhood is all french fries and chocolate.

That's my favorite, when moms tell me that they hated breastfeeding too or when they tell me they ate out almost every day this week because they were too tired to cook or that they accidentally dropped their baby from the couch or that they failed at something. Sounds cynical that THAT is my favorite but it helps me see that I'm not alone. I'm not crazy...well...that's still debatable, I guess.

So, what do I do now? I plan. I prep. I get ready for my hormonal battle once again. I'll be talking about what I'm doing now and what I plan to do then on my next post. Have a great rest of the week everyone!


  1. Sometimes I half-joke that I have late-onset post-partum, now that Scott is back working- I'm more tired and overworked now than I was in the beginning and some days, well, you know how it goes. I think though, for you, that the knowledge and experience you're bringing in the second time around is going to be monumentally helpful. You'll be able to be more flexible, less nervous, and you're gut (which better stay CLOSED) will guide you in the right direction. And if all else fails, I hear that eating your placenta can be super helpful. Maybe check to see if your insurance covers it.... ;) I MISS YOU!!!!

  2. This post was such a breath of fresh air! Thank you so much for sharing your side of things. It gives such great perspective for all of us non-moms out there as well as the moms who read this, too. Have a great Thursday!!! xo

  3. Oh Joanna! I feel like we went through so much of the same experience! The unknown can be so scary. I remember saying the things I knew I was supposed to say and feeling so anxious about every little thing. I hope that your experiences from your first pregnancy will give you the strength, courage, and knowledge for your second. I wish we could sit down over coffee and share our experiences together! It definitely helps to talk about it :)

  4. I'm sitting here right now hooked up to my medela pump. I told the hospital staff breastfeeding just isn't my thing. We tried, but I'd rather just pump. I always say I was not a fan of the newborn days, but with number 2, it's been different. I hope it will be that way for you.

  5. I can only imagine what you've gone through. Your previous pregnancy obviously scarred you mentally and emotionally, and I'm sure you were more than confused as to what to feel at that time. I'm so glad to know that you have gotten over the fears and the emotional struggle, and that you were able to adjust to your newfound adventure as a mother. You are very strong to have overcome that, Joanna. I'm proud of you! Thanks for sharing that! All the best! :)

    Lyle Larson @ Superior Psychiatric Services


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