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Postpardom depression evaluation: thoughts and feelings!

March 5, 2012

[Written on 12/27/2011; revised on date submitted]
Let me start with this disclaimor:
Postpardom depression is real and I am not trying to negate anyone’s experience with such a serious condition. Although I have never experienced it myself, close friends have told me how debilitating it is. “Baby Blues,” seems to minimize the experience. and, then, you feel guilty for not being able to enjoy your baby. If you feel that you might have post pardom depression, here are some links that you might find helpful.
The Mayo Clinic’s pages on PostPardom Depression
There is even a “post pardom.net website:
A great site for all things postpardom
I also encourage you to find other: (online or in person) support groups or individuals who understand your feelings and can help you through such an ordeal. Baby Center, What to Expect and the Bump all have interactive message boards with women who have gone through the same exact thing and who can help you get through it. I have only been on the “What to expect” message boards and they are pretty accessible, but I don’t know if the others are accessible. I dislike the emphasis that our culture places on “dependence.” the fact is that we are all “interdependent” and we all “need” help much more than we want to admit. You can never have too much humility. I empathize with those who have Postpaardom Depression, but I also admit that I would not be the best person to talk to because I have no frame of reference.
Anyway, With that being said, I’ll move on to my own experience. while I was in the hospital, no less than three times (in a 48hour timeframe) did someone (usually a nurse) use their little evaluating questionaire to discern whether I was depressed. It got to be downright annoying. Certainly, there were a few nurses that I actually liked, but for the most part, my hospital stay consisted of nurses trying to evaluate my state of mind (while simultaneously scolding me for sleeping with my baby) and pediatricians who were skeptical about my care of the child. I was much more annoyed than depressed and it was not with my baby, but with them. I just wanted to bond with my baby and their constant intrutions: (billyruben tests[yes, he had jaundice], taking temperature, etc) were nerve racking. And, I started thinking:
1. if I was depressed, I wouldn’t admit it to a hospital nurse whom I barely knew. I would disclose my very personal feelings to a family member first. In fact, a social worker/psychologist did come to our room and offer services. I am a human service worker (or have studied to be so) and I do understand the need for them, but Why do they all have to seem so impersonal and distrusting — at best, and kind of deceptive at worst? I imagine that I am not the only one who feels this way: so their evaluation tactics are not working. Maybe they need to find new ways at discerning whether a woman is suffering from such traumatic emotional challenges). Out of all of the services that they offered, I don’t remember them once telling me about their hospital advocate; which I might have actually taken advantage of. Using an advocate can be a tricky thing, but I’ll discuss that more in another post. In any case, I wouldn’t share my feelings with someone whom I barely knew, someone who might not understand (or have any reference points to understand) my blindness, my marriage or even having a baby. I am not saying that you always have to “go through something” to have empathy, but it sure helps! If I was depressed, I would admit it to my husband, my daughter, my mother and a couple of friends. I would ask them for a reference, if I needed to talk with a counselor. The closest I came was about 6-8 weeks after Azaan was born when I realized that he would never be a baby who drank milk straight from the breast. I would always have to pump. But, this state of sorrow was short lived and essentially, I talked to friends and family who helped. Again, (keep reading and I’ll get to that subject).
2. I would expect that postpardom depression might not kick in until you and the baby are home and all of the hype has died down. I am not sure that you can give an honest evaluation of yourself when it has only been 24hours since you have had the baby.
3. those questionnaires are quite subjective in nature and depending on the day and the time, I might answer said questions quite differently. I am sure that I am not the only one.
Now, I am not depressed, on the contrary. I look at my baby and have overwhelming feelings of joy and love. I thank God for such a blessing and that I can stay home and enjoy my baby every single day of his life… Today is the 99th day after his birth…. … … so far. Really, I am on a baby high! My mother asks me: “Have you made your husband change a diaper yet?” My answer is “no” because I still don’t mind changing my baby’s diaper. when it gets monotonous, I’ll teach him. He is not chomping at the bit to learn, anyway. but, really, my baby’s poop really doesn’t bother me that much. the worst part about baby crying is that I know that he is unhappy and I want to make it better. I just always know that this time won’t last long. I want to soak every minute up because I know that it will go by so quickly. So, I don’t have time to get depressed. Even when I had to finally resign my position at work: (which happened Friday, February 17th), I only felt mildly sorrowful that I would be leaving work to stay home. I still talk to a coworker/friend that I have made. And, baby songs, talking to baby, doing baby things, they just don’t seem to bother me. In five (maybe) years I will try again at a career. maybe I’ll get a job at Bosma, maybe not. But, even then, I think I’ll miss being with my baby. this is a job and an important one. And, this is where my heart is. I am blessed to be able to stay at home and care for my baby! If there was a questionnaire for postpardom Euphoria, I think I’d top the charts.

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One Comment
  1. zaxy permalink

    postpardom? now you are inventing diseases 🙂

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