New Feelings for New Moms
I always envisioned that bringing my new baby home from the hospital would be one of the happiest days of my life. It's not that it wasn't a happy day, it's just that happiness was one of the millions of emotions I felt when my husband and I were finally alone in our home, with our son.
My girlfriends had warned me that I shouldn't be surprised if I had mixed emotions when I brought Sam home, especially because he was our first child. At first, I wasn't sure what they meant, but staring into my new son's eyes, my emotions went from pure love, to total fear, to regret (yes regret), to anxiety, to total bliss. And all this in under 30 seconds!
It was the same race of emotions when we brought our second child, Rachel, home. I felt guilt for taking time away from Sam, excitement over my first daughter, anxiety about the future, and unconditional love for my new little girl.
I wanted to share this with you so that when you bring your baby home, whether it's your first, second, third, or sixth, you'll know that whatever you are feeling is perfectly normal and most new moms experience these mixed emotions. Our hormones are struggling to balance out after the surges they experienced during labor and delivery. We are sore, physically drained, and there is a new person looking up at us that we are completely responsible for. It is a lot to go through in just a couple of days!
If you have overwhelming feelings of sadness or depression that don't seem to be going away, or inhibit your ability to take care of your new child, it is important that you reach out to family members, friends, or your physician. Post-partum depression might be the culprit, and with the proper help, you will be able to cope with these feelings. Post-partum depression can happen anytime within the first year after childbirth.
If you feel that you may be suffering from post-partum depression, please don't feel alone or guilty for the feelings you have. There are biological reasons for post-partum depression and it is important you reach out to support groups, other moms, and your physician, so you can start enjoying your new life and your new baby!