Mourning Maternity Leave — The Bump
October 2018 Moms

Mourning Maternity Leave

So I want to see if their are any mamas out there that have any insight/advise/encouragement, etc!

My beautiful baby boy was born 10/24, easy labor and delivery, bit of a hard time of sleepless nights in the hospital and high anxiety over breastfeeding, but we made it home and began our journey as a family of 3. 

I have a history of anxiety, not HIGH anxiety, but enough to where I have always been on a light medication for it.

Due to low supply and other factors we supplemented with formula and DS got breast milk for a little over a month. This was a stressful process and decision but in the end it was what was best for mom and baby.

The first 4 weeks were awesome, exhausting, stressful, but they will always be a great memory in my heart. My husband was off for those first 4 weeks with me and we bonded with baby and with one another and I will always cherish that time.

Hello week 5...I was hit by a semi-truck called PPD/PPA and it took my breath away. The next 7 weeks were an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved. Even our outside family members who were our support system.

I won't go into too much detail because although I was able to love and take care of my baby boy I was not myself, I felt the worst mentally I had ever felt in my entire life, and hated every minute of those feelings. I do have happy memories sprinkled throughout the hardest times of my life but it still tugs at my heart how rough of a time I had.

After much trial and error I was able to find some meds that helped me get out of that dark cloud. I am now back to work (came back to a job I love 3 days a week and am very blessed to be able to work PT and spend the rest of the time with my family) and I am loving it. 

The first day back was not as rough as I thought it would be...my entire support system kept telling me what I needed mentally was to GO BACK TO WORK! And I even knew that myself. I am now on the 3rd day of my first week and I feel great. I love our sitter and my mother who both will be watching him when I am working, and I am loving being back among adults and doing what I love.

My question to you all is...has anyone had a similar experience and look back and get sad over the hard times over your leave? I knew it wasn't going to be a fairy tale but nobody prepared me for the possibility of how hard it would be just dealing with my own hormones and myself mentally. I knew PPA/PPD was a possibility but I was totally taken by surprise when it hit me after 4 weeks of amazing moments with my new baby and husband.

I feel embarrassed, sad, and am mourning that time. But I am also so relieved to be back at work and have something to focus on other than my child and being in a place for many hours that is not my own home.

Can anyone relate? Have any thoughts? Encouragement for me?

Close friends and women who have experienced similar say that the sad memories fade and soon I will forget about most of it.

I just wanted to reach out to see if anyone had a similar experience.

TIA :)

Re: Mourning Maternity Leave

  • I think I’m the only one still around so you might not get much of a response.  

    I completely understand the mourning of maternity leave.  Mine stems from having my 2.5 year old home with us and moving into a house that needs work when LO was only 2 weeks old.  I feel like I spent my whole leaving ignoring the baby bc DD1 was so demanding and I had anxiety about getting the house situated. I’ve been back at work for almost a month now.  I still cry over how I feel like I didn’t make the best use of my leave and I didn’t get that bonding time with baby.  DH tries to reassure me that I was doing the best I could with our crazy lives.  
  • Thank you for responding! I bet that was so stressful I am doing my best to focus on the future and no look back on the sad times and know I was present...just not like I wanted to be with my newborn baby!
    KFrob
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  • I have PPD/PPA right now and I got it after going back to work. I was fine my entire leave but right when I started working I was worried about baby, exhausted from not sleeping. I would have days where I would come home from work and not want to touch my baby because I would just have a mental breakdown and didn't want my boy around for it. I also have a history of anxiety and depression, but when I told my therapist this, she didn't prescribe meds, she said to leave my baby be for a bit and to focus on myself, but I don't think it's helping. I work Mon - Fri 9-6pm and on Saturdays my fiance tries to have date night so I honestly feel like i don't see my son enough and that makes me more anxious.
    I have the reverse problem. I lose my mind and have my dark cloud at work, but am comfortable at home. But I also was only on maternity leave for 7 weeks which I don't believe is long enough. I went back the week after my 6 week postpartum check up.
  • I did not have PPD/PPA and I can frankly say that I do not enjoy maternity leave. I am not ok with being home with not much to do. I barely shower, I barely get out, I watch too much TV and eat too much. I am much better with being busy and at work. I started going into the office at around 3 weeks PP 1-2 times a week and then i returned to work at 6 weeks with baby until she went to day care at 9 weeks. Mat leave and/or stay at home mom isn't for everyone. AND ITS OK! Always know that! Always know that we are all different people, different moms. You are bonding with baby all the time! I promise. Especially now that they are a little older and are reacting to you now. The smiles, the laughs, the learning. I'm glad you are doing well with the meds but try not to think back too much. We have a ton to look forward to! 


    Me 32 and DH 40

    Fur-baby named Bella

    1 MC Nov. 2013

    DD born Nov. 2, 2014

    Little 2 EDD Oct. 1 





    KFrobmamabearcj
  • I struggled with that same regret when I had my daughter 2 years ago and had PPA during my leave. I can honestly say that now I look back and my memories are mostly of the positive aspects of my time with her. The difficulties due to my anxiety are something that I look back on as a small part that came with the life changing event of having a baby (although at the time it felt all encompassing). After having my son in Oct I began to worry about those same issues but thankfully my PPA resolved well before I returned to work this time.
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