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Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

The Tough Reality of Postpartum Depression

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this one about one mom's first-hand account of her bout with postpartum depression.

It's been almost seven months since my second baby was born. Not coincidentally, it's been almost seven months that I haven't felt like myself. I've been having a hard time since becoming a mom for the second time around, and I'm beginning to understand why. The days have lost their luster for me, and I'm finding that it's becoming more and more difficult to get through them.
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The feeling that has dominated the last several months is guilt. I feel guilty that I'm not enjoying motherhood to its fullest. More often than not, I'm in tears by the end of the day. Most of the time, I can't even pinpoint what started my emotional breakdown.

After having my first daughter, I went through the baby blues for a few days. Once that postpartum hormonal surge quieted down, things were good. I took C. on walks, we played outside, we cuddled a lot, and I was happy. This feels vastly different. This time around, I've holed myself up in my house. It's been really hard for me to get out. I'm so overwhelmed at the thought of taking two very young kids out, that I almost always avoid it. This, among other things, has made me feel like a failure as a mom.

Click here and see if you can relate to this mom's struggles with postpartum depression

I'm not the only one out there with two little ones, yet I feel like I'm the only one struggling. I've gone dark on most of my friends and family. I've been avoiding one-on-one interactions from almost everybody because I'm afraid of shattering the ideal that life at the Buckley house is perfect. My husband has been amazing. He holds me while I cry and try to figure out why I'm having such a hard time. He tries to get me out of the house on my own to have a break from being a mommy, and he helped me sign up at the gym because they have childcare, just to get out of the house during the day. I know he's worried about me, and he doesn't know how to help me.

I've tried to keep these feelings a secret for so long. I'm afraid of being judged, of well-meaning yet unhelpful advice like "get out of the house more" or "maybe you should put your kids in daycare." I don't think either of those will help. Most of all, I'm afraid of getting a diagnosis of postpartum depression. I didn't even know that was a possibility this late in the game until about an hour ago. I know that I can't live like this anymore — it's getting too hard to pretend that everything is okay. I owe it to my family to be happy and healthy, I just don't know how to get there.

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