I was that mom who sat next to her baby's cot for hours while she slept just to make sure they were still breathing....Posted by Tova Leigh - My Thoughts about stuff on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
It's normal to feel anxious after having a baby. You have this delicate new baby you have to keep safe for the rest of your life — that's no small responsibility.
So when does normal anxiety turn into something more troubling? When does it become postpartum depression?
Tova Leigh, a mommy blogger known for her humorous video posts, opened up in a recent Facebook post about her experience after giving birth to her first child, and it should be required reading for all expectant mothers.
"I was that mom who sat next to her baby's cot for hours while she slept just to make sure they were still breathing," she wrote. "Mike begged me to go to sleep and the only way he got me to agree was by promising to watch over her while I slept."
If that doesn't seem that atypical — what new parent isn't nervous to leave their infant alone? — Tova describes how her sleeplessness became debilitating. She'd keep waking up to make sure he was still there. When she did sleep, she'd have "weird dreams" about losing her baby. When she'd wake to feed her baby, she'd find relief in not having to pretend to sleep. She wrote:
I remember sitting there, shattered and broken and utterly exhausted but I just couldn't let go.
The fear that something might happen to her, and the overwhelming love I felt made me completely crazy and although I knew I was being ridiculous — I just couldn't help myself.
It felt like I was slowly losing my mind. Like everything was foggy and unreal. I felt alone and desperate and I didn't know what was wrong with me. But mainly, I didn't realize I needed help.
That's what postpartum depression looked like for her those first three months.
"The reason I am telling you this is because I want you to know the signs," she wrote. "I want you to know that for each woman, they may look different. I want you to look out for them, and look after the new mamas, because they may need your help more than you think."