Gretchen Rossi ‘wasn’t connecting’ with her baby, she had postpartum depression

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Former Real Housewives of Orange County star, Gretchen Rossi, welcomed a daughter, Skylar, in July. Gretchen is 41 years old and her fiancé, Slade Smiley, is 50, so they consider Skylar a miracle baby, given their ages. Even though Gretchen was so excited leading up to Skylar’s birth, she found herself struggling once the baby was here. She had trouble connecting to her daughter. After always reading how ‘miraculous’ becoming a mom is online, she could not understand why she was feeling the way she did. As it turns out, she was suffering from post-partum depression and now she wants to warn people of falling prey to Instagram Motherhood.

Gretchen Rossi has learned that the highlights of new parenthood on social media don’t always tell the whole story.

“I make a joke that I’m gonna write a book called It’s All a Lie,” the former Real Housewives of Orange County star, 41, says on the Thursday episode of The Doctors.

“Legitimately, I had no idea what I was in for. I just thought, ‘This is gonna be great,’ ” admits the first-time mom. “You see Instagram, you see social media, you see the media making it look like it’s so perfect, and you just sit there and breastfeed your child and you look magically into their eyes. It was nothing like that.”

Rossi goes on to share that she “went through a difficult period where, I realize now, I was depressed, and I had a lot of anxiety” — but it took a trip to the doctor’s office for her to understand what was really going on.

“I really wasn’t connecting with [Skylar] at the very beginning,” she says. “Then I came to realize [when] I went to my pediatrician’s appointment and I was crying and broke down in that appointment, and my pediatrician said, ‘You know, Gretchen, I think maybe you need to think about the fact that you might have some serious postpartum.’”

“I was like, ‘No, not me. I don’t have that. I’m happy! I’m such a positive person all the time,’ ” she recalls of her response to the doctor’s suggestion.

“I was really struggling, and I was having an internal conflict with the fact that I had this beautiful, amazing miracle baby — literally, she was a miracle for us — and I just was having a hard time compartmentalizing how to manage my life now with this new baby,” Rossi explains.

[From People]

‘Instagram Motherhood’ is what I’m calling what Gretchen described. And it’s not just the perfectly lighted and framed shot of a peaceful moment between mother and child. It’s the declaration of hearts bursting with joy and how nothing else in life mattered before this child entered their lives. I say this every time and I truly mean it: if that is what you felt at the birth of your child, I am absolutely thrilled for you.

I didn’t feel that way. I felt like Gretchen. I didn’t connect with my son. By the time I got home from the hospital with him, I regretted having him. I thought I’d made a terrible mistake becoming a mother. It took three months for my hormones to adjust and allow me to fall very much in love with him. But there was no one to whom I could say that. Who resents their baby? I thought was a monster. But I did say it. Not the full extent, just a mention here and there. One by one, moms started confessing similar feelings. And like Gretchen, I kept wondering why no one had said anything before. “It’s All a Lie” is right. Reach out to each other and try not to judge when someone says something that’s not Instagram worthy, it could go much deeper than you think.

And I’m glad she opened up on this because when I checked out her Instagram, she looks like maybe she fell prey to Instagram Motherhood herself. Although, in her defense (?), most of her perfect shots looks like sponcon. Still.

Photo credit: WENN Photos and Instagram

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54 Responses to “Gretchen Rossi ‘wasn’t connecting’ with her baby, she had postpartum depression”

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  1. Lara says:

    I don’t know if it’s right to share on this website but here goes… 6 weeks ago I was at my best friends wedding. Her and her partner had been together for 14 years and they had a 3 month old son, which is why they got married. Nearly 2 weeks ago I got a call from her husband. She had left the house in the middle of the night and committed suicide. This was because of post natal depression. It is such an important thing to talk about and I beg anyone who feels a certain way to get help. No one should be in the position that her husband and son are in.

    • Kittycat says:

      That is terrible

    • Jess says:

      Oh my gosh I’m so sorry, that’s awful and she probably was too afraid to reach out and ask for help, our society can be so judgmental when it comes to mental health, especially after a baby. I’m sorry she suffered:(

    • HK9 says:

      Lara I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing because I think it’s important that people go and get the support they need. I think with motherhood, it’s presented to us as if we’ll just naturally adjust and it’s much more complicated than that.

      • Lara says:

        Thank you all, it’s an incredibly tough time at the moment as we try to understand why. She had a very hard pregnancy and I don’t think that helped. I totally agree that social media paints a picture of perfect mothers so it can be so hard to reach out.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I think I read somewhere that part of Brittany Spears problems came from having two children within 12 months with the resulting postpartum depression making her bi-polar disorder much worse. After reading this gossip tidbit (which may or may not be true) I have always cut Brittany a whole of slack.

      @Lara, Thank you for sharing your story.

      • Mo says:

        Not at all. There is a reason doctors recommend waiting until the first child is two before getting pregnant again. It’s just healthier for the mother. And if the mother needs to go on and off meds for the pregnancy, it means she can have a good on meds stabilization period between children.

    • smcollins says:

      That’s awful! I’m so sorry.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Oh my God, Lara. I am so sorry. I can’t imagine how horrible this is for you and your friend ‘s family. This is exactly why women need to stop this mommy shaming bs. Women should not feel ashamed to seek help for post partum depression. It is NEVER their fault and it doesn’t mean they are bad mothers or don’t love their babies. It’s heartbreaking.

    • tealily says:

      Thank you for sharing this. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  2. Stormyshay says:

    I have struggled with postpartum following the birth of my daughter five months ago. I have struggled with postpartum before and can relate to that feeling of disconnect. But this time feels different. It is not that I do not feel connected to my daughter. I do. I adore her. But I feel so lonely. I see no one. I talk to no one. And why is everything so hard? It just feels like every aspect of caring for my baby is difficult. We battled a severe tongue tie that was preventing her from gaining weight. We spent months in speech therapy and other specialists. She had to have a procedure to fix the problem. Fortunately, she is thriving now. But she does not sleep. She is up all night long and is not a good napper. I thought by six months I would be getting more than 1.5 hours of consecutive and uninterrupted sleep at night. I feel exhausted and my self-care is non-existent. I go days sometimes without showering. I have gained 20 pounds because I eat to momentarily feel something, otherwise I am just numb.

    • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

      I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. The sleep deprivation plus stress of your child’s condition could put anyone into depression and anxiety. Have you spoken to her pediatrician about her sleep and your own doctor about how you are feeling?

      • stormyshay says:

        The Pediatrician does not say much about her sleep schedule. She is gaining weight and otherwise is healthy. He just says some babies are like that. Our oldest was like that the first several months but things eventually got better. It does not feel like things are getting better.

    • Jess says:

      I’m so sorry you’re struggling, I’ve been there. My daughter had colic for months and I didn’t sleep, it was exhausting and depressing and I felt so alone. Do you have friends or family you could reach out to for help? That’s my biggest regret, not asking for help and thinking I had to do it all myself. People always want to help but they may not know what you need or how to offer. If not try mom groups on Facebook. I see women reaching out to each other on those boards all the time. Also talk with your doctor, and join a gym with daycare. You can get a couple hours to yourself and working out may help you feel better mentally and physically. I would just sit in the locker room and enjoy the quiet for 30 minutes some days. I know it’s cliche but keep telling yourself it will get better, this phase won’t last forever and you will sleep again. But please reach out to someone, it’s nothing to be ashamed of I promise, you don’t have to go through this alone.

      • stormyshay says:

        I do not really have anyone to reach out to. We live near both sets of grandparents but it seems like they are dealing with their own issues/health related stuff. I thought I had friends but not one has reached out, came by, etc. since our daughter was born.

        The gym is a good suggestion. I actually have a gym membership to a facility with childcare. I never go, even though I am paying for the membership. But I should start. I feel so self conscious about all the weight I have gained that it actually has me avoiding going to the gym.

    • MaryContrary says:

      Please reach out to your doctor and let them know how you’re feeling. This is so, so common. Your hormones are all over the place, you’re sleep deprived, have been under severe stress-it is SO hard. You are not alone-so many women feel this way at the beginning. It can be so stressful and exhausting. Also, when my oldest was an infant I joined a Mommy & Me group that was my lifeline. We’d get together once or twice a week-it was super casual but it was so great to connect with other women and get real life support.

      • stormyshay says:

        My doctor is aware of how I am feeling. I went to my yearly checkup a month or so ago. I was screened for depression and anxiety, which she acknowledged I was struggling with at the appointment. But other than things will get better that was the only advice or guidance she offered. It could be because of my career. I am a therapist (just not working at the moment) and I guess everyone thinks I have it together all the time. I usually do, just not at the moment.

    • CharliePenn says:

      Stormy I also had a baby who would not sleep more than 1.5 hrs at a time (and I was lucky if he even did THAT!). It was incredibly hard and I never thought it would end.
      Please put ZERO pressure on yourself to do anything other than keep your kids healthy (not living perfect days every day, just alive and fed and hugged and healthy). That’s it! Everything else can begin again when you begin to sleep again. No one can really know what that level of sleep deprivation is like unless they live it. I remember more than once sitting in the driveway in the car, and then coming back inside because I didn’t feel fit to drive. 100% sober, but I didn’t trust my sleep deprived mind.
      Give yourself credit for each and every thing you do. You will get through this!! And you will recover. Be open about the struggle and take every bit of help you can get.

      • stormyshay says:

        Thank you. I am not really accomplishing anything, other than feeding and caring for my daughter at the moment. I do the bare minimum in terms of household chores, like laundry. I can relate to not feeling well enough to drive. We were travelling to appointments 1.5 hours away for the baby for months. There were a few times I felt really drowsy, even though it was midday. I cannot rely on caffeine at the moment because I am nursing. Any caffeine seems to really agitate the baby.

    • Melissa says:

      Oh honey. This was exactly me with my second baby. She did not sleep. She was colicky. She was crabby. She seemed so unhappy. I blamed myself. I was at a loss.
      Gradually (very) it got better. One better feeding. One longer nap. My mom took her for two hours a week so I could wander through Hobby Lobby ( eyes glazed over, yes, but it a good way). I changed pediatricians and found one that would listen to me and reassure me. It took months. I hung in there. It was worth it. I feel your pain and despair. I was there. It does get better❤️

    • Amy Too says:

      You might want to consider talking to the nurse or doctor at one of your check ups or even one of baby’s pediatric appointments, like Gretchen did, as you might be more likely to see the pediatrician again before you see your own doctor. It can be hard to get up the courage or even the will to call your own doctor, but if you’re already going to the pediatrician, it might be easier for you to talk to them first. A prescription medication, even if only taken for a year or so post baby, might help with the post-partum depression and anxiety, which can present as feeling super lonely, along with the other more talked about symptoms.

      I feel for you very much. Not sleeping is the worst and can wreck havoc on your emotional, mental, and physical well being, and yet it seems to be something that isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. It’s often joked about or brushed off as just one of those things that everyone goes through. When my son was born, we could not figure out breastfeeding very well and I didn’t know how often I was supposed to feed him. I had heard every 2-4 hours and that stuck in my head and I kept trying to go off of that instead of what he actually needed. I feel horrible saying this, but I think he was hungry a lot until we switched to bottles after 3 months, and he was up a lot during the night, which meant I was up a lot during the night. I don’t have any tips or tricks or advice, but I just wanted to let you know that you were heard and you’re not alone.

      • Jess says:

        I agree on the sleep issue, sleep is a basic human need and everyone handles deprivation differently. Some people can function fine on 2 or 3 hours, others need 8 to 10 hours, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We literally can’t survive without sleeping, so I don’t get why it’s brushed off so easily, or why women love to judge others for not handling it the same way they did.

        Every night for 5 hours straight I had a screaming baby and wanted to kill myself or run away, and when other moms would tell me oh it’s just part of it you’ll be fine, I wanted to cry:( or that whole humble brag bs they do, “yeah I had 3 other kids and a c-section so you have it easy on sleep”, ugh.

  3. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

    I am glad that she is being open about her struggle, but maybe it’s perpetuating the problem for her to post her own Instagram Motherhood shots.

  4. Eliza says:

    My friend kept putting her very newborn baby down to fall asleep on its own and complained when it didn’t. I thought this was so strange. Later she came out with PPD and I feel bad I didn’t see that as a red flag and tried to help more. Is there anything friends can do to help if you suspect something?

    • Bgirl says:

      Eliza, be there for them, don‘t judge or critize them, take them to a doctor/midwife, which is maybe the most important thing to do

    • Claire says:

      Sounds like she fell for the Babywise scam. Where if your baby isn’t robotic on her sleep schedule you’re doing it wrong. Babies don’t have an off switch. I never thought of strict adherence to this philosophy as a sign of PPD. It does make some sense.

    • Yzzie says:

      I had PPD, and one aspect of mine was being overwhelmed by every day tasks around the house : cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, etc. It seemed like a herculean task for me, on top of having to care for a new born. My partner was home and was helping, but he was also overwhelmed, to a lesser degree than mine.

      So, in addition to Bigirl’s suggestions, I would add : help your friend around the house, even if they say no. Do some dishes, wash some clothes, sweep the floors, etc. Anything to lessen the load & help them.

      • Amy Too says:

        My mother in law would do this for me, and I am still so grateful, 13 years later. She would come over to visit or see the baby, and she would just walk into the kitchen and do the dishes or she would fold a basket of laundry. Sometimes she would ask, and I’d say “oh no, it’s fine, I’ll do it later,” and she would insist, and I would always feel so grateful later. When my son was only six weeks old or so, she called to ask how everything was going, and I broke down and told her I hadn’t showered in days and things were hard. She started coming over one night a week no matter what, and she’s stay and take care of him for a couple of hours so I could shower and take a nap. A standing appointment like that helped me so much. Just knowing that I had a guaranteed break coming up helped push me through the days leading up that break.

        What also helped was when the daycare lady suggested that it was okay to add formula to a bottle of breast milk. I was having a hard time breast feeding anyways and then when I had to start leaving him at daycare so I could go back to school (I was in university at the time), I could barely get enough pumped to last him. So she would supplement with some formula in his breast milk bottles and it made me feel so much better. It’s almwthing I hadn’t thought of, mixing breast milk with formula, and it made me feel better knowing that if I could pump enough, he wouldn’t go hungry.

  5. RoyalBlue says:

    I used to watch a baby Story on tv and when I had my son I was expecting to feel this overwhelming feeling of love, tears and emotion but instead I felt nothing. Nada. We think it’s great that women are sharing this aspect of childbirth. The baby classes we went to while we were expecting teach you how to prepare for the baby’s needs like feeding, bathing, sleep training but nothing prepared me to take care of my needs. I questioned whether I should have been a mother when all I was seeing were friends posting on social media videos of their kids doing baby sign language and rolling over when mine was doing none of that. It was depressing.

  6. Isa says:

    I felt really happy and adored my baby, but I could not stop sobbing- really loud, gut wrenching sobs. That physical pain in your chest when something really bad happens? I felt that…and yet I was so happy and in love. So strange.

    • Originaltessa says:

      ISA, this was me. I could not stop sobbing. Just deep guttural sobs, several times a day. I wasn’t sad, I just needed to cry so badly. It was the only way I could get through the day. In hindsight, my anxiety was so bad that the only way for me to get away from that paralyzing feeling was to let it out in screams and cries. I felt utterly insane. It didn’t get better until I stopped breast feeding and got some actual productive sleep. Then the switch flipped and I was myself again. Sleep was huge for me.

  7. CharliePenn says:

    Love and support to all these moms. Our brain and brain chemistry is part of our body, and our body goes through so much with pregnancy. You’ve done nothing wrong!! You deserve all the support and help!!

    I had postpartum anxiety with my first and it was HELL. Everything I did, I imagined how he could be hurt, maimed or killed. Just walking from the front door to the car, I would imagine all these absurd scenarios where he could be injured or worse. Every time he coughed in his crib my body would recoil with extreme panic. It was incredibly hard. I’m glad I knew it wasn’t normal. I have an anxiety disorder so I knew what was up but it has NEVER been that bad before or since.

    I was so lucky to find an amazing postpartum therapist and she made it possible for me to work through this and enjoy my baby, and get my life back and my brain back. It was the hardest work I ever did in therapy though. And I was a very well supported mom with lots of help, love, support and I was in a very comfortable financial situation etc etc. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances of your life are. Every mom is susceptible and every mom deserves to recover from it.

  8. smcollins says:

    I struggled with PPD after the birth of my second child. I had a hard time bonding with her, it wasn’t like with my son which seemed so instantaneous. I felt distant with her and not as emotionally attached, almost indifferent. When her crying wouldn’t stop and/or she wouldn’t go to sleep my thoughts turned dark, like I just wanted to throw her down the stairs to make it stop. Luckily I was aware enough (and had the support) that when my mind did go to those dark places I would put her down in her swing, leave the room, and get my husband to take over. I mostly kept it to myself and rarely talk(ed) about it, a part of me still feels guilty even though I know it was beyond my control. Reading about other women’s experiences is definitely helpful and lessens the guilt & shame, so I know that if I’m more open about it maybe I could do the same for someone else. My daughter’s 3 1/2 years old now and a total mommy’s girl, my little ray of sunshine.

  9. Seraphina says:

    Been there and no the feelings. The struggle is real. So important for women to open and talk about it for other women. No shame, no guilt. It’s life. And we are all in this together. I applaud her for saying what she said. I felt like a horrible mother because I never connected with my oldest the way I did with my other kids. I felt like a failure. And to this day I try to “over mother” to make up for it due to the feelings of guilt.

  10. Cat says:

    Being a parent is hard, hard hard and nobody tells mothers that. Of course, each experience may be different but I remember, when my baby was about a month old, that I was bundle of nerves, and conflicting emotions: happiness, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, breastfeeding and just all around out of whack hormones. I loved her deeply and connected with her but, at the same time just wanted some time off, I felt isolated and lonely. And my husband was super supportive and my mom was around a lot, preparing meals,and doing laundry and just being helpful. I did have a relapse with selfharm, which was my coping method for years, and then, slowly, began to feel like myself again. Going back to work did wonders. But I could have used the help of a therapist! Now that I’m expecting my second child, at least I know what I’ll face and try to prepare my support network. I hope Gretchen can connect with her daughter and enjoy motherhood eventually,

  11. Murphy says:

    Post partum is significantly more common than current statistics let on. Some cases are worse than others, but SO MANY women go through something.

    • justwastingtime says:

      I think women underestimate the trauma and the hormonal changes generally, I didn’t have PPD with my first biological child but I sure as hell had a traumatic premature labor, and the “baby blues” for 24 hours (thank god a friend of mine told me about it) and I was off the charts stressed about the fact that my 5 week preemie wasn’t nursing (thank god for the lactation consultant who told me to give it up as he was too weak to suck long enough). With my second who we adopted and who came home at 3 months I had immediate bonding and I felt well enough just to enjoy her.. IT’s great that more women are speaking out.. Good for them.

  12. CatWomen says:

    You can’t begin to imagine the way a baby child changes your life. People need help and women are tasked to do it all. After the first 3 weeks your so tired you don’t know what you doing. Having a child is not something I recommend unless your dead set on doing it.

  13. brooksie says:

    I am having my first baby in January and this is my biggest fear.

    • Amy Too says:

      I would honestly suggest preprogramming the number of a therapist or a depression hotline into your phone. Or bookmarking websites about postpartum depression or mom support group type websites. Just doing little things like that now to prepare for “just in case” can be very helpful to your future self who may be too overwhelmed, tired, depressed, anxious, or despondent to do the work it takes to find whatever resource you might need later on.

    • styla says:

      I think a lot of the problem is that motherhood comes with massive lies. Its presented and spoken about as this wonderful earthly thing. Its so hard, especially if you have a few of them! Both times when my kid were born, it took awhile for me to have a bond with them. I didnt know them, they didnt know me, it was hard and exhausting and I had little help. No one talks about how normal it is to feel like this. There is this idea that it should be instant earthly motherly goddess love and bonding, but please know it likely wont be. Its a massive change in your life and your interpretation of not only life but yourself. So don’t feel alarmed by the realities of motherhood… but if you find that you dont provide care for baby in ways that are essential to their emotional and physical survival, then you need to seek help. As much as I felt like I was drowning, I always still felt like I wanted to hide my baby in my shirt and shield her from the world. As long as I still had that instinctual desire to preserve her at all costs, I knew I was on the right path out of the dark world into happier days. So just keep something like that in mind rather than fearing anything. You’ll be ok.

      • Allie says:

        “I think a lot of the problem is that motherhood comes with massive lies.”

        It’s not only motherhood but parenthood in general.

        What I always find really interesting is the hate childfree individuals and couples receive from many parents. I’m talking about my experiences in Germany here. On the one hand they act as if having children is the greatest, most fulfilling thing in the world and the on the other hand they accuse one of being egocentric, lazy, basically rich and constantly vacationing (it really is that ridiculous). The ultimate punishment they wish on anyone who dares to live a childfree life is to take as much as possible from their income, even though childfree people pay the highest taxes already they want them to pay even more. To me this shows that they are in fact deeply unhappy with a certain part of their life and envy other people’s freedom…and yes, maybe also the fact that childfree people do not have to feed anyone but themselves.

        I think one of the reasons for this might be that society of being very dishonest with the pressure, risks and heartbreak that can come with parenthood. People are having kids without knowing what they are getting into. Regret is not a socially accepted option so what they spit out is hate towards people who made a different decision.
        Parenthood is not a walk in the park. It’s also not for everyone and society should be honest about this.

    • Your cousin Vinny says:

      Excellent advice from Amy and Styla.
      You will be ok, Brooksie. Even if you aren’t immediately ok, with time and support you will be. Better than ok, even!

      Congratulations on your pregnancy and best wishes for a safe and healthy delivery and post partum period.

    • kgeo says:

      Even if you know what to look for, you may not realize you have it. It can slip up on you. I was never diagnosed, but after having my second one, I realized that I was suffering from depression with my first one. It wasn’t in the realm of suicide, I just was going through the motions of life.

  14. Jenny says:

    Those photos do look fit for Instagram. However, since I’ve been through it, I feel like I can see the look in her eye of “I’m trying to look like I have my shit together.” There’s no sparkle of happiness. Thankfully, my 2nd baby is now seven months old and we are getting out of that phase. It gets better.

  15. 2lazy4username says:

    I had a week of feeling sad and cried a lot. Most of it was the intense sleep deprivation and, of course, hormones going insane. I can’t imagine that feeling being extended for months and months – and in some cases, even YEARS.

    There was a documentary called “When the Bough Breaks” that focused on PPD and PP Psychosis. One woman featured in it, Naomi Knoles, suffered severe PPD and Psychosis, and tried to kill lherself. When it didn’t work, she killed her baby, fearing for her baby’s own sanity. Despite the obvious state of psychosis she was in, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Upon her release, she became an advocate. Unfortunately ,she was never able to pull out of her depression, and committed suicide.

  16. Amanda says:

    I’m just over 3 months PP and it’s so damn hard- And I had a relatively easy pregnancy, fast and healthy homebirth, and supporting husband who also works for home but it just sucks sometimes. We don’t have any immediate family close by so it can be tough since it’s basically just me and my husband unless someone is in town visiting. I only have one close friend with a seven-year-old, none of my other friends have kids yet so I didn’t have a lot of people to relate to about pregnancy and childbirth. I know I need to start getting out more and meeting more people with kids for my mental health. I tend to be an introvert by nature and moved a couple years ago to a new city where I don’t know too many people yet so I have to force myself to interact with people. I did join a local moms Facebook group and they post a lot about meet ups and baby friendly things around town so I plan on participating more once my daughter is a little bit older. A few weeks after I gave birth to my daughter my sister-in-law came out, who has two young kids of her own and helped clean our house, cook the meals and hold the baby so my husband and I could get a break. It was honestly the best thing ever and what I plan on doing if any of my friends decide to have a babies. A lot of people say stuff like “let me know if you need anything” but it’s so hard to actually accept it and ask them to do a chore or errand. The most helpful thing would be saying something like “I’m going to bring you a meal over, what would you like” or “I’m going to the store now what groceries can I pick up for you?”

  17. Suziesuzoooooz says:

    Not an hyperbole to say that Zoloft has saved my life 2 times after the birth of both of my daughters. PPD/PPA is a special kind of hell.

  18. CairinaCat says:

    If you have any mental illness, especially in the affect disorder family (depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, ADD, Bipolar, schizophrenia) you are much MUCH more likely to experience PPD/PPA and to a much more severe extent.

    People don’t seem to know about this, anyone can get PPD/PPA but people with affect disorders almost always do. And yet it’s not talked about and plans aren’t made for a support strategy after birth.

    So if anyone is pregnant or has had a baby in the last two years and has a history of affect issues please keep an eye on yourself.
    Look for sadness, depression, worry, crying, anxiety, dark thoughts, excessive worry about your kids health and safety, problems sleeping, anger ect. Please talk to your Dr or OB.
    Short term to moderate term medication (usually Prozac) works amazingly well.

  19. Scorpio ♏️ Rants says:

    I fell in love with my son at birth so I never had a “not connecting” emotion……but sure, the the wildly fluctuating post birth hormones in the first 3-4 days, I do recall sheer terror of regret, what have I done, my life will never be the same, etc etc etc.

    It wasn’t …..it was better. But it took a few days for that terror to pass.

    I’m sorry everyone doesn’t have that experience. They should.

  20. StrawberryBlonde says:

    I have PPD. It is managed at the moment. My son will be 7 months old this week. When he was born I did not feel that overwhelming moment of all consuming love. That took awhile to come. The first few weeks were good bc my husband was home. But then he went back to his job (straight nights) and I felt like I was in Hell. I was anxious and terrified every night. My anxiety would steadily increase as the day went on. I would be up all hours with the baby, alone and terrified. I had intrusive thoughts of tossing him out the window, of hating him, of regretting ever having him, resenting him. And then guilt. Sooo much guilt. I still feel bad about those early days even though I know I was not well. I would just sob and sob. Around 7 weeks pp I knew it wasn’t just baby blues anymore so went to the doctor for help. Then things got better. Sometime after that I fell head over heels in love with my son.

    New motherhood is isolating, lonely, and often terrifying. Thankfully for me it has gotten a lot better but I still sometimes feel like I am disappearing, like I don’t exist except to take care of him. Getting back into some of my favourite things, like running (now with my running stroller), has helped. I am open with my husband about my feelings and struggles. I am in a couple mom groups and we talk pretty openly about PPD/PPA. It is so common amongst my group of friends.

    I still have down moments where I kind of wonder how I got myself into this – having a baby is being constantly needed. Constantly on the clock, never being able to turn my brain off. But I know it’s the PPD and the feelings are fleeting.