Going through the motions — The Bump
Postpartum Depression

Going through the motions

I was diagnosed with depression & OCD  3 or 4 years ago. I was on Prozac for a year until I could get my OCD in check, at which point I was weaned off.

My pregnancy was unplanned. My husband and I had no intentions of having children for at least 3 or 4 more years, if at all. It took me a very long time to come to grips with being pregnant. I fell into a deep depression and had a great deal of anger and resentment directed at my husband (I'm pro-choice, he's pro-life and I felt guilted into keeping the baby). During the second trimester my doctor and I finally decided that I wasn't getting any better and that going back on Prozac was probably the best course of action. It was. I was able to somewhat "enjoy" the second half of my pregnancy and accept the fact that life was going to change and it didn't have to be the end of the world.

I gave birth to my son on November 18th (right on his due date actually) after a very very long and difficult labor. Toward the end of labor my doctor and nurse kept trying to encourage me by telling me that he would be here soon etc etc, but all I could think was "I don't care -- get him out so I can go eat something and go to sleep." Obviously that was a bit of a red flag.

Since then I kind of feel like I'm just going through the motions. No highs or lows. I haven't been able to say that I love my LO. I just can't get the words out. Obviously I'm fond of him, attached to him and I even feel protective over him, but I don't know if I can honestly say that I love him yet. I don't feel bonded to him and it's really bothering me. I feel like there's something wrong with me. My parents are completely smitten as is my husband, but I just don't feel it.

I change his diapers, feed him, talk to him, take care of him, and yet I feel a noticeable lack of... feeling. Which brings out the guilt. I know that bonding isn't always instantaneous, but people never talk about that. It's frustrating to feel alone in this. And although my husband is a wonderful man and is trying to be understanding, I can tell it's worrisome to him and he really just doesn't understand how I could not be absolutely in love with our child.

I'm still taking Prozac, but I'm on a very low dose (20 mg), so I think I'm going to talk with my doctor about increasing my dosage to try and get things in check. For a normally emotional creature such as myself, the lack of feeling is particularly disconcerting.

 

Wish me luck!

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." - Nelson Mandela
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Re: Going through the motions

  • I wish you lots of luck and wanted to tell you that my cousin was 2 years old before my aunt could say that she loved her. She wanted a boy and she did not get one until me and my cousin were both 18 so I guess she just one day realized that a daughter was what she had and that she did in fact love her.
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  • Def talk to your doc and see if perhaps talking to a therapist would help?  For me therapy and talking through how I was (and wasn't) feeling really helped.  I can honestly say I  felt no love or bond to my DD until she was 2 1/2 months old which was horrifying since I'd wanted to be a mother my whole life.  I also had a long and difficult labor ending in a c section.  By the time I finally saw her, I honestly couldn't have cared less about her.  Talk to your doc  because it DOES get better!  You can and will bond with your LO.

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  • Thanks for the words of encouragement!

    My LO has a doctors appointment on Thursday, so I'm going to talk to my doctor then (we have the same doctor - family practice) about increasing my dosage and possibly getting a referral to talk to a therapist.

    "There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." - Nelson Mandela
    imageBaby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I wish you luck.  It gets better.  I promise.  I felt very similar feelings.  I can honestly say, that I didn't fall in love with DD1 until she was 3-4 months old.  Like you, I took care of her and felt protective of her but I didn't feel that overwhelming feeling of love.  Thankfully, my Mom told me that it was normal, not everyone falls in love immediately. 

    Now, I love my DD more than anything.  My love for her grows exponentially each day.  In fact, I had DD2 in July and although I didn't feel the immediate bond, it definitely happened faster this time around.

    Chin up, you'll be a great mom.  What you are feeling is normal.  And upping your dose might be a good idea.

    GL to you. 

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  • I understand completely where you are right now.

    In the beginning when I said that I loved my son, it felt so awkward & alien to say it.  I didn't feel it & I hated saying it.

    It took me a solid 9-10 months to truly fall in love with my son & enjoy him, but I promise, it will come.  Especially with the right medication & therapy.

  • As you can see, you are not alone. I agree that this is something which is often taboo. It shows great responsibility as a mother to post about it on here. Talking about it and reaching out is the first step. I wish you the best!
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