On PPD & Baby #2

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I'm writing this as my toddler throws eggs onto the floor next to me, I'm heating up a cup of green tea, instead of a second cup of coffee because my body can't handle caffeine like it used to anymore, and I'm trying to figure out how to put into words all the changes that have happened over the past (almost) year and a half.

Physically, I bounced back fine. I didn't tear during birth, I lost the baby weight quickly (which I totally attribute to breastfeeding) and although breastfeeding was a struggle in the beginning we held on for 8 months. On the outside, everything looked fine.

Emotionally, it was the most trying time of my life - and I'm still working on it some days. Hormones are a crazy thing and for a long time, it's what kept me from ever thinking I'd be able to have a second child. I got diagnosed with PPD at 11 months post-partum. How's that for stubbornness? It wasn't all bad but so much of that first year was spent angry, crying, or just plain miserable. I finally got help, things took a turn for the better around the 1 year mark, which coincidentally, is also when my son started sleeping through the night.

Looking back, I know the bulk of it was being a first-time mom, becoming a SAHM, and of course hormones. I was on this ridiculous high during pregnancy and then the second he came into this world it was like a crash. I was sobbing uncontrollably in the hospital and I couldn't express why. I placed so much guilt and blame on myself and kept asking myself why I couldn't just keep it together. I thought I was missing the mom gene or the trait that would make me ever want to do this again.

Now I'm sitting here with a toddler and I have the smallest seed of yearning. Our family doesn't quite feel complete. I think about the all night feedings and the fact that I won't be able to "just sleep when the baby sleeps" because I'll have a toddler to care for too. I counter that with the thought that I might be a better mom to two. I won't be so hyper focused on the baby and myself and I won't have time to psycho-analyze. I'm sure I will look back on this post and roll my eyes at my own naivety but that's okay. Motherhood is about learning and growing and changing. I remember being super pregnant and thinking "I can't wait to get my body back". And I laugh thinking, that's not even important! Becoming a new woman is the hard part. Being completely selfless 24/7 and making time for it all without going completely insane is the part you should have researched. Oh and breastfeeding - should have taken that class. Live and learn.

But I know all of that now and I feel stronger and more capable and I have the tools to get through it. Baby #2 will come and I'm not sure when, but I know now that it's at least on the table and I feel more peace than I've felt in a long time about it. It's leaps and bounds from where I've been the last year.

I think about the little boy I envisioned for our family and Harrison is him to a T. Curious and cuddly and ridiculously smart and funny. Oh and stubborn like his parents ;) I'm not sure what baby #2 looks like. I know everyone wants to hear that I want a girl, but honestly (again) we don't care what we have. We'll probably find out what we're having this time around just to do things both ways. I can see a little tom girl like myself or a little, quieter brother for H. Or I could be totally off base and have a wild child on my hands. Either way, it will be perfect for our family.


If you even THINK you might have PPD whether it be a week after baby is here, or a year, I urge you to call your doctor. It doesn't always mean medication, or therapy, or either. You will find what's right for you and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I promise.

1 comment:

  1. I am definitely anxious to see how I handle postpartum. I know I am the type of person that thinks I can do it all, so this is a good reminder to seek out help if I do need it. I'm trying not to have any expectations for who I will be in the months (year?) after birth, but I'm also hoping that having a baby won't change me too much. Only time will tell! I am lucky to have so many girlfriends that have already experienced it that can give me real advice. And although I know nothing of caring for a toddler or having baby #2, please feel free to reach out if you ever feel like you need support or just need to vent <3