Twinning Attitude!

Join Fran Pitre and friends for uplifting, supportive, healthy conversation and information on topics important to all moms (and all women) today!

Postpartum emotional challenges … June 12, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ... — twinningattitude @ 7:52 pm

Hi everyone …

Welcome to my new-born blog, June 12, 2010!

I began a conversation on my Facebook fan page about any information that can be shared about postpartum blues or depression of any level. Since Facebook isn’t really a format for blogging, I started this site for just this reason. I hope that anyone of you who have had any experience with feelings of depression, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, or any other symptoms associated with postpartum emotional issues, please share. How did you overcome? What was the biggest source of relief during your most difficult days?


7 Responses to “Postpartum emotional challenges …”

  1. twinsx3 Says:

    2010/06/13 at 6:46 pm

    A friend of mine (Melissa) had her first baby about a month ago. She had expected everything and everyone to be so “happy” following the end of a very long pregnancy and the welcome to the world of her beautiful, healthy daughter. About two weeks ago, she called and asked me if I “cried and cried” after the births of my babies. I told her that because of the crazy circumstances following my first delivery of preemies, and again after my second delivery, I did have bouts of crying on and off … mainly due to worry, fear, and that “lack of control” feeling I was experiencing. After my 3rd delivery, however, I told her that I had a HUGE GRAY CLOUD over my head for weeks that I attributed to the strain of having two sets of BUSY twins, and a new born set of twins … but did this time experience a true form of postpartum depression that lasted for a few months. Is there any words of wisdom that anyone else can give that I can share with Melissa? Is anyone going through it right now? Please share your thoughts, recollections, and suggestions! It would be so appreciated!! ~ fran

  2. Karen Quaiel Says:

    Postpartum depression has so many different symptoms that I’d be surprised if not everyone could be diagnosed at one time or another. The severity depends upon individual makeup and circumstances. Our world today, as the stay at home mothers continue to stress, doesn’t recognize the real work of motherhood and it’s challenges because their isn’t a paycheck attached to it. But bigger than this is the fact that we women and our spouses are used to our jobs being our social networking and with a precious gift of children this changes. No one told me this. What do you do with the day when it is quiet and the house is clean and the child is asleep? Can you really “take a nap when the baby sleeps”? Who do you talk to/bond with? When your working spouse gets home, will he want to socialize with you to the extent to make up the lost “connecting” that you are used to? Will your dearest friends that you’ve worked with and socialized with for years call you for lunch? Will you go a second time once you experienced packing a mule for a 30 min lunch? Most of us want our friends around us..especially when we feel lonely. Your work friends want to hear about your baby but also have their own venue…the one you used to share with them. So, what I learned is you can keep these friends and cherish the difference you now share but the real work is ahead… finding friends that have a now common link. I am amazed how many friends I now have but they are kept in different compartments (lacking a better word). This information may not be helpful for the initial “let down” or “lonliness” someone might be experiencing but I hope it is informative from my perspective. Finding friends is hard… keeping “work” friends is harder and the relationship my shift to “aquaintances”. I won’t tackle the hormone changes or the financial changes that we face with the birth of our cherished children, that would be a whole new blog, I just wanted to talk about the social changes and the emotions behind this “vacation”/maternity leave, and wish all of you luck, love and understanding.

    • twinsx3 Says:

      Wow, Karen … your post really hit the nail on the head from the perspective of the “cultural shock” working women face when they find themselves in that very strange, isolated, alienated world of the stay-at-home mom … especially when she’s had her first baby.
      From a personal perspective, I really went through this after the birth of my first set of twins. When they were not yet 6 months old, we moved from the city/state where we’d lived for nearly 10 years … where my husband and I established and put roots down both socially and professionally. We made the choice to move to Gainesville, FL in order to move away from “beltway traffic” and the fast-paced life just outside of Washington DC. What I wasn’t prepared for was the unbelievable loneliness and isolation I felt in our 2 bedroom apartment, knowing NO ONE in town and profoundly missing my friends and my “old life” as a working girl!
      Becoming involved with our church’s “parents of preschoolers” group as well as the Gainesville Area Parents of Multiple, began to connect me with other ladies with similar daily challenges and similar feelings.
      Keeping active socially is the answer, as far as I’m concerned, to the “loss” new moms experience when they realize their “past life” as a non-mom is now over forever!
      Also … try to grasp onto all the little joys each day presents … babies grow SO FAST!!

  3. Susan Says:

    I truly wish that doctors were more proactive when it comes to postpardum depression. First letting new moms know that postpardum is real and can effect anyone. Also by encouraging things like exercise, balanced diet, and sleep. Also, that you are not expected to do this alone that you need/must line up people to help you during the first 6-12weeks.

    I am so looking forward to hearing more from you.

    • twinsx3 Says:

      Hi Susan ~
      You are so right! I know that I was never warned about or even informed at all that I may experience the moodiness, sadness, crying spells, wishes for solitude, and the other unexpected emotional challenges I did experience after having my babies. After twin sets one and two, where I did have bouts of crying and exhaustion, I didn’t really experience a full-blown case of postpartum depression until after I had my third set of twins. I researched and learned that the more children a mother has prior to the present birth, the more likely she is to experience a degree of postpartum depression because of all the added pressures, continued expectations and demands from her other children ON TOP OF having a demanding newborn(s)!

      Check out this link to Dr. Sears:

      It discusses causes, likelihood, and possible treatments.

      As far as I was concerned … I turned to my Ob/Gyn and was placed on an anti-depressant, one safe to take while breast feeding (Zoloft), and after a few weeks, the clouds began to clear away. I also focused on caring for myself and the babies, and allowed my husband and mother-in-law to handle “little issues” with my other four children, until I felt strong enough again to be the mother they needed.

      As far as wishing our doctors would prepare us better: tell your doctor how you feel at your next visit. Sometimes telling one will cause the suggestion to travel! Let’s think of other ways to inform those “unsuspecting moms”! 😮

      Thank you so much for your comment!!!

  4. Kristi Hinckley Says:

    I have four month old twin daughters, and I am experiencing a lot of the culture shock now! It is getting better now that I am getting out of the house more, but going from working all day to staying home with babies is so hard. My husband doesn’t really understand. It’s not that he is not supportive, it’s just that he really doesn’t understand why I am so on edge and overwhelmed, or why by the end of the day I do not want to talk to anyone! He seems to get offended when I don’t have responses back to his conversation, but I am SO tired by the time the girls are in bed!
    One thing that did help me was something my sister told me when the babies were a few weeks old. I was crying all the time and exhausted and feeling like I was losing my mind. Then on top of it, I felt guilty for feeling that way. She told me that the secret no one talked about was that usually other people (grandmas, aunts, friends, etc.) enjoy your newborn more than you do. Other people get 100% enjoyment because they only do the fun stuff, but the momma does so much work that the work to enjoyment ratio is much, much lower! It made me feel more normal or less guilty.

    • twinsx3 Says:

      Hi Kristi,
      Don’t you just love those amazing words of wisdom … your sister hit it right on the nose, and it’s SO TRUE! Everyone who visits sees and experiences your amazing new baby(ies) from the “outside”, all the sweetness and temporary little things that arise, …. but then they leave! You’re left with the 24/7 demands and it’s OVERWHELMING to say the very least!
      I hope that things are easing up a bit for you. Please know that it WILL GET BETTER … I promise! You’ll become more rested, they’ll grow, sleep more, and you’ll find that you’ve emerged from that cloudy, (let’s say it:) often miserable place when babies are brand new. Talking things out with your husband will help, but I know the feeling of wanting to be left alone for the innate sake of self preservation.
      Again, it will get better … just hang on!
      And, CONGRATULATIONS on your new twin GIRLS!!

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