My Pregnancy: Postpartum Week 5

postpartum week 5Postpartum anxiety and depression are very real things for many mamas. It is not something I can speak about from personal experience, so I will link a resource below. I will speak to my daily experience as just a typical overwhelmed mom—I imagine all new mamas feel overwhelmed.

I feel overwhelmed for short bursts about half the days of the week. I feel tapped out, sometimes as early as the moment I wake. I’m an introvert and spend all my hours with children. I’m the classic prototype for the flourishing mommy presence on the Internet, particularly in Facebook groups these days. I did the working mommy thing for a year last year but I’ve mostly been a stay-at-home-mom. It’s very isolating unless you make effort to connect with others. For some mamas I’ve heard it’s isolating even when you make the effort to connect or are already well connected.

I’m introverted in my socialization. I don’t say that as an excuse but rather to emphasize that it’s not my style to initiate friendship. At the playground I sit to myself. I am not one to jump at social outings like mommy and me or MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) groups. Did I mention I’m already tapped out? Strangely the bonding with other people over three feet tall would probably do me good but it comes at the cost of energy, which I have very little of these days. Luckily I have a couple of mamas I can rely on when I need some contact.

My occasional isolation plays with my mind sometimes. Seeing the clock says only 9 AM and knowing I won’t come in contact with another adult for eight more hours can make me feel a little on edge. I get sad and feel desperate for a half-day here or there. I have short patience with my children sometimes and then feel guilty that I’m not fully engaged with them all day. I get anxious, a little fearful sometimes. I lend this, again, to my years in social work and hospital chaplaincy, fields that tend to see tragedy far too often, far too up close. Every night I check our doors to make sure they’re locked even though I am fairly certain I already locked them.

I say all of this to share that being a mama is hard for everyone. We’re human. But if it’s more than what I’m describing—if there is no hope, little or no connection with your child, strong feelings of guilt, sadness, unexplainable or frequent tears—talk to your doctor. If there is deep anxiety that harm will come your way or to your child, maybe you don’t often leave the house because of that fear, you can’t sleep or eat because your mind leaves you too tense or shaky, talk to your doctor.

There’s more. I can’t speak to your specific situation, but again talk to your doctor or read more about postpartum depression, psychosis, anxiety, and OCD whether you think it’s you or not. Because if it’s not you it is someone else, maybe even another mama you know who could use your support.

Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and four, and now a newborn gal. She is taking in every moment of every day because, let’s be honest, she’s not getting much sleep. 

Tags: anxiety, fourth trimester, multiple children, new baby, postpartum, postpartum depression, PPD, pregnancy, third trimester

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