Postpartum – Part 2 with Joud. Raw and personal

Postpartum with depression

A totally different story than the Part 1 [READ PART 1 HERE]. This story is way too personal, but if 1 mom felt she needed to read this today, it makes it worth writing about it.

Every pregnancy is different even for the same mom, and my second pregnancy started to be hard at 33 weeks, with 2 cm dilated, false regular contractions up until 39 weeks. I felt heavy, tired and desperate to get the baby out of me.

at 39 weeks and 4 days, I went into real labor at 4am and had to change the hospital I was planning to deliver at, as I couldn’t have reached there on time.
My mom was not allowed inside labor room during the last part of the delivery, the mid-night shift medical crew were so mean, and I was a coward for not taking epidural, it was the worst experience in my life, and this will explain the rest of my story.

New born baby

Once Joud arrived at 9:30 am we had the most incredible skin-to-skin moment, the only advantage for not having family or husband around me at that time was that I spent the first 10 minutes of Joud’s life alone with him, breastfed him immediately, it was fascinating, pure love and happiness, he smiled to me and I felt my heart expanding the second I met him, I felt all the magic in the world in that moment, so I decided to let go of the bad delivery experience and focus on both my boys and their health.

Labor and delivery for mom and baby

It’s my second baby so I was so sure that this time I know what I was doing, it will be easier, and I will do it the right way, no need for baby blues, just focus on the baby and fall in love with him, But it’s not always what we expect, some things are a bit bigger than us, little did I know the minute I stepped foot outside the hospital I had a weird feeling of loneliness, even though everyone around me was supportive.

I assumed I am fine and totally ignored all negative feelings and anxiety, and was eager to take back control of my life immediately, I even drove to pick up Karim from the nursery just the next day I was out of the hospital, even though I was still ignoring all feelings I was crying for 2 weeks non-stop and I couldn’t know why.

New born and mom

A while after that I started coping, breastfeeding became easier, the baby is healthy, I became healthier and started to gain my strength back, I felt everything was under control physically, but sadly every time I looked at Joud I didn’t feel much anymore, I thought because I was tired in the beginning, and then I started to realize that I would breastfeed him and hand him over most of the times, I knew something was wrong, but I did not want to push myself, I remember holding him and squeeze all my feelings out and I would get nothing out, I would barely feel him, then I would get upset and anxious.. “why am I not feeling it, is love even there? am I bad mom?, I’m a horrible mom, this baby does not deserve me…”, and thoughts would go on and on and on. so here is where I decided to see a therapist.

driving to my therapy session thinking “This is silly, the Doctor is just going to tell me I have baby blues, everything is fine and that’s it, I don’t have to fall in love immediately with my child, love increase more and more with time, I had a bad delivery etc..”, then my second thought was, “maybe she will have a suggestion on bonding with Joud, I got nothing to lose”.

second baby love

2 hours in my first session, and at the end she realized that I had a severe depression and all my feelings were numb, and not only my feelings with Joud, this explained everything around me, and a lot of thoughts that came to my mind in the past couple weeks.
I left the session honestly relieved, I went home looked at Joud with no anxiety of not feeling him, and I felt a tiny bit of love, that’s where I knew the love for him was huge and it was there but it’s numb, it exists but it’s numb, I love him so much but I was numb.

The good news was that nothing irritated me at that time, but the bad news is that I was numb to a point if someone so close to me would die I wouldn’t feel a thing, and this alone scared me.

Mom and baby after postpartum

Therapy sessions became my happy place, as much as you think you know yourself, you know nothing until you speak to a therapist, they can lead your brain to places you need to see or realize, I became more aware of my needs, I learned where I push myself and when I need to slow down, I learned how to stop and breath as I was very resistance of breathing and it actually scared me to stop for a minute.
I am an anxious person from a very long time and I learned how to deal with my anxiety.

but the most fun and hardest part was the psycho analysis, to make it simple for you, psycho analysis take you back to your childhood, understand how you were wired (based on your life before puberty, mirroring our parents and certain events that is stuck in our unconscious brain), and then rearrange those wires the way you want to.

It’s not an easy process but I promise it’s a fun process, more fun when you take full control of your mind, it takes a lot of practice and most times it wont work in beginning, but trust that it is possible and you will see change, see who you really are, and becoming the woman you want to be.

Mom and baby

few months after all the ups and downs, the best feeling of it all is falling in love with Joud all over again just like the minute he came out to the world, and I still feel the magic today every time he smiles, indescribable feeling every time I hug him, and ooh the look in his eyes melts my heart. he makes me feel complete, he makes our family complete.

Family of 4

[If you are in Qatar, Sidra Medicine provides almost free therapy sessions for pregnant and new moms, please see Perinatal Mental health services at Sidra Medicine. And if you are not in Qatar here are some  helpful links and hotline for immediate support.
If you are not a mom, I would still suggest therapy sessions after the age of 24, it will help you grow wiser in a clearer mind.]

Depression is not always pale, frown and in bed. Depression can be there with a smile, in a crowd, and with a sense of humor.

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