Do you all remember when you were pregnant with your first baby?  All the fairy tales you had in your mind about how perfect everything was going to be.  How birth is going to be this magical thing, that everyone tells you about, when your precious baby comes into this world you will be overwhelmed with this love and affection.  You all hear about the mothers that instinctively know how to hold their tiny newborns bobble head and have so much confidence when it comes to nursing.  They don’t stay up worrying for a straight 48 hours that something is wrong, or could go wrong with their baby.  They have this sense of calm come over them called “maternal instinct.”  So many moms told me about this instant connection I would feel and it would be the best feeling of my life.  They told me I would never forget that first moment that I lay eyes on my daughter and fall madly in love….

They were wrong…

After having Finley I just sat there and waited.  I waited for that instant love.  I waited for that strong connection to knock the wind out of me.  I waited for the “maternal bond” to make itself known to me.  I laid there listening to her cries and I waited…..

baby
About an hour after she was born…I cringe looking at this picture, cause I can see how distant I was.

When they put her in my arms I cried…but I wasn’t crying for joy like the room of nurses and family members thought I was…I was crying because that feeling didn’t come….it hadn’t come, and I felt broken.  Here was this baby who was absolutely breathtaking with long gorgeous dark curly hair, big round eyes, a perfect round head, the cutest little nose I had ever seen….and I felt nothing but panic.  I took one look at my husband and could instantly tell he was madly in love with her.  My mother, grandmother and mother in law were also in the room and they were completely taken with this beautiful baby as well.  So what was wrong with me?

baby girl

That first night in the hospital I was so vacant.  I went through all the motions of getting her to latch, smiling for pictures, acting in love with her…but inside I was numb.  I was afraid of her, afraid of this tiny little 7 pound girl.  I was afraid to hold her, touch her, love her, and bond with her.  I was convinced that something was going to happen to her and I didn’t want to get attached to her.

first sight

What is wrong with me?

I knew pretty early on that something was wrong.  I did not change one diaper while in the hospital, I never changed her clothes…my husband did everything.  He was so amazing and looking back at that time now, I have no idea how I would have survived without him and my mother for never judging me.  They never once made me feel like a bad mother for the things I would say, or not wanting to hold my own baby.  They would try and comfort me as much as they could…but nothing helped.  I would cry all day and all night.  I wouldn’t sleep for fear of something happening to my baby while I was asleep.  I was terrified of SIDS and I just knew it was going to happen any minute.

baby finley

This went on for a few months before I said anything to my doctor about it.  I got the normal answer that it was just my hormones and a case of the “baby blues” and it would pass…but it didn’t…it kept going on and no matter what I would do it got worse.  I continued to go through the motions of taking care of Finley.  I was a stay at home mom, so the responsibility of a lot fell on my shoulders.  My poor husband had to go to work every day worried about his wife and how she would be that day.  I never had harmful thoughts towards my daughter and I assume that is why my doctor wasn’t worried at first.  When I went for Finley’s 6 month check up our family doctor could tell that I still wasn’t better.  I cried so hard in that exam room that day and told her everything I was feeling.  I laid it all out there and feared she would think I was a monster and a horrible mother….but she didn’t!  She held me and told me I was going to be okay and that I had Postpartum Depression….

To Be Continued….

More about after the diagnosis and what I learned from it next!

XO,

 

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31 Comments on When Will I Feel It? Part 1

  1. Aw bless your heart, I know that had to be hard on you. I didn’t have it with my first but I definitely went through it for about 3 weeks after having my 2nd baby. I think it was mainly just because I was so overwhelmed with having 2 babies so close together at such a young age. It was glorious and terrifying all at the same time and I was pretty much all on my own as my husband was gone all the time on deployments. Thankfully it only lasted a short while though, but know that you’re not alone and you should never feel ashamed because of it.

    • I couldn’t imagine raising 2 babies without my husband! I can’t imagine what that would have been like for you! Props to you for getting through that on your own. It is very scary and confusing.

    • I wish more women would talk about their struggles and then maybe it wouldn’t be such a stigma for women. I didn’t even really know much about postpartum when I had my first baby. If more women would talk about it and not be judged…then it could really do some good!!
      xo

  2. I know many mommies go through this…whether they want to admit it or not to other. By you telling me this many years ago I was able to recognize it in myself when I had Lyla. Mine was compounded by her having colic for almost 6 months. I’m sure you will touch on it in your follow up post but one thing that I have struggled with is even 3 years later I don’t feel that I have ever truly mended my pain with Lyla. I love her so deeply but there is always this pain that is hidden deep down from those early postpartum feelings. It’s heartbreaking that I instantly bonded with Jack and I missed that with my sweet girl. Another hardship of being a mommy!!

    • As you well know..my relationship with Finley is so different because of this and I will for sure be touching on how I am now and what I learned from it! I am glad that my honesty helped you! I wish someone would have been that honest with me!
      Love you!

  3. Carole, what a hard thing to go through! I had post postpartum after my 2nd child. Mine was more of a depression than a lack of connection. I love that you are sharing this. There are always those who try to set us up for this amazing parenting fairytale, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes we need to hear the truth of childbirth as well. Linking up at Mama Moments Monday.

    • I honestly don’t think those women meant harm at all, but because of this I am always careful about what I say to new moms. I never want to put that kind of pressure on them, and I want them to know it is okay if they don’t feel something right away! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thank you for being so open to share this. Motherhood is hard mentally and emotionally, and such a huge responsibility, not to mention a shock to the system. How hard it really is soon forgotten and not talked about enough in truth, when relaying what to expect to expectant mums. I remember my SIL saying just that, that no one told her “it was going to be like this”. Too much light is given to all the airy fairy stuff about babies, and not the REAL stuff.

    • Thank you Alicia! I have always vowed to be open about my struggles and I think that is why God chose me for this role. I am not afraid of judgement and harsh words. I do it for people like your SIL and others to follow! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to encourage me!
      xo

  5. I’m 56 years old. When my son was born, when I was 22, I had never heard of post partum depression. When I told my doctor about my panic, he got impatient with me and told me to get my mother to come and help me. That didn’t help. I suffered with it for a whole year. For the first 3 months I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. Mu son was colicky and hardly slept at all. He failed to thrive and gained only ounces his first 3 months. But the biggest sadness was that we were unable to bond. Now he’s a whopping 34 years old and we still have issues. Now my heart breaks for him. But God is SO good! We’re working on it and waiting for my son to return to the faith. I love him so much my heart could burst!

    • I understand the bonding issue unfortunately. As I will talk about in part 2, I still have a strange relationship with Finley because of the postpartum. It is something I struggle with daily and have a lot of guilt about it. I am so happy you and your son are working on it and I will be praying for your relationship!
      xo

      • Whatever you do, don’t feel guilty about it! That’s one my most important lessons. We are children of a loving Father who has made it possible for us live a guilt free life!
        Work on what makes your relationship with Finley best but don’t carry guilt. That’s a trap!

  6. Everyone’s expressive with birth and motherhood is so different. The courage and strength it took to share this is so amazing and I think you are wonderful for doing so. Women have to know they are not alone in this and bare more burdens on their shoulders. As a mom I think your opening your heart and life in this post!

    • Thank you so much Anne! I have always wanted to talk about my struggle and have been trying to figure out how to get it into words. I am so happy you liked it!

  7. Oh, I know that had to have been so hard. I had a touch of the baby blues, but nothing like this. I’ve walked with good friends as they’ve dealt with PPD, though. Just identifying it seems to be such a huge part of the struggle. I pray things continue to improve for you.

    • Thank you Amy. This happened with my first child about 7 seven years ago. I do still have struggles because of it and I will be touching on those in the near future in part 2.

  8. Aww I went through the same thing when I had my son but it didn’t last too long. It only lasted about 2-3 weeks. I remember telling my husband and we walked through it. I am so glad you are sharing your story.

    • Thank you Miranda! My husband was also a huge part of me making it through it and continues to help me through the scars because of it.

  9. Blimey, that takes me back to when I had Lewis and in a way to how I felt too. I never questioned it at the time, I just numbly got on with it. I went back to work when he was 7 months old and I still felt distant from him then, I needed to get away. Something somewhere later down the line clicked and now I cant bare to be away from him – he’s now 6 years old and in school.The 6 hours of the day are the longest hours ever until I get him back with me. x

    • I understand that completely! I will touch on my relationship with Finley now in the near future when I tackle part 2…but it is very similar to you. I am very protective of her and miss her a lot when she is at school!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Thanks for sharing your story. As mothers we’re expected to love our babies and want to hold and cuddle with them all day long and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And then we feel like awful people because we don’t feel that with our babies.

    • You are so right Stephanie! That is the main reason I wanted to write this and let others know that it is okay if they don’t feel it right away. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Post partum depression is so so tough. I went through it myself and the first year of my son’s life was the hardest time of my life. I totally get all that your saying. Vacant is the best word to describe how I felt in the days after my baby’s birth. Shell shocked is another one. I will be reading your next post. #brilliantblogposts

    • Thank you Rach! I am so happy to hear other mothers talking about it and not feeling ashamed of what happened! That was my main goal in writing this post. Part 2 will be up on Monday as it has taken me a while to figure out how to describe our relationship now.

  12. It’s so amazing for you to share your story, because I imagine many women think they’re alone in these feelings. Talking about this issue and bringing it into the open is so important. Thank you for sharing at the Manic Mondays blog hop!

  13. So brave of you to share your story and experience so others may recognize and know they are not a lone. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. Sorry to be late commenting we have my mother visiting from America. 🙂 Thanks for joining in. #sharewithme

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