Are you Happy?

“Are you happy mom?” says my four year old. She’s been asking me this question almost every day lately, and it scares me.

It’s not that I’m super unhappy. The weather has been beautiful. I’ve been reading poetry with my girls, and baking cookies and muffins together. We went to the zoo yesterday, and had so much fun looking at all the brand new spring baby animals everywhere.

But since the birth of Baby Boy, I’ve been a bit more anxious then usual. I’ve had too many nights where I struggle to fall asleep even though I am desperately tired. And too many days where I have a hard time coming up with a reason to take care of myself.

I’ve smiled. I’ve fed my children all their meals and snacks. I’ve given hugs and snuggles. But I’ve also had days where I wanted to disappear into the closet and shut the door. Or moments when I couldn’t keep back the tears.

Old lies creep into my head.

Ugly and fat and awkward. Failure and worthlessness. Stupid. Never good enough.

And it scares me. This last year has been the happiest of my life, but that doesn’t completely drown out the memory of the months of Post Partum Depression after Ms Pooky’s birth.

Is it just the normal mood swings and hormonal fluctuation after birth? Or is Post Partum Depression setting in? Is Ms Action asking if I am happy because she is worried that I am not? Are my emotions already affecting her? What is this year going to bring? What is tomorrow going to bring? What is today going to bring?

  • Anonymous

    Two quick things: one as someone who works with pp women, the first question we ask about ppd now is 'Are you enjoying your life like you were before you had the baby'. It works a lot of the time as a door opener to investigate more one way or the other, so maybe something to think about for yourself. Second I know you had a home birth – if you have your placenta kicking around you might want to consider encapsulation. Good luck with finding your self-care happy :)

  • Caravelle

    I'm sure it's normal to have such feelings this soon after a birth, but if this worries you why not talk to a therapist about it ? Nip it in the bud as it were.

  • Amy

    ((((BIG HUG))))
    YM, grace grace grace to you, lovie. I soooo remember those first few months after baby being born…those sad days for no reason. It is most likely hormonal because of sweet baby boy. You can have postpartum way past babies first few months. It will pass, but if it doesn't, please take care of you. Talk to your dr. and get some relief should you need it.
    Sleep deprivation can do it too. Changes in life can do it. And those darn hormones.
    It's so intense tho when you are in the midst of it tho. I so understand that.
    Thinking of you today… Amy

  • Anonymous

    Go get checked out right away. Don't let it get worse. Start taking a vitamin if you don't already. I recommend women's one a day. Give it about 10 days it will help. But go talk to the doc. I suffer from ppd too, there are no excuses for us who know we have that tendency to wait to get the care we need. Go. :-).

  • Anonymous

    Hugs. I don't have answers for you, but I know sleep deprivation makes the world look. Hope you get some rest. Saying a prayer for you.
    Leigh Ann

  • Jill

    Holding you in my heart.

  • Edita

    "Ugly and fat and awkward. Failure and worthlessness. Stupid. Never good enough."

    When I read your blog, I'm usually challenged by your thoughts. You think of things I'd never have thought about. In a way I don't think I could come up with.
    Your posts make me smile, make me laugh, but also make me sad or angry. I look forward to every new post of yours.
    Yesterday, the post you wrote about funny pages on the internet, I looked at some of them and I ended up laughing tears.

    To me, you're a precious, beautiful friend (even if I dont know you!) and hearing that you're not feeling well makes me want to hug you.

    Maybe you should see a doctor just to be safe. Until then, I hope you find some sleep and rest!

  • Young Mom

    Anonymous- That is a good question, and I can still answer yes. That was not the case after my third child’s birth, so I will watch out for that feeling as though I do not enjoy life like I did before the baby. Thank you.

    Caravelle- I’m hoping to get to my therapist soon.

    Amy- Thank you! I’m feeling so much better today than I did yesterday, that I do think that it is mostly just hormone and sleep issues. Trying to remember that making the effort to take care of me is soooo worth it in the long run.

    Mel- I do notice that I feel better on the days that I take my supplements and drink enough water. I am going in to the Dr to check on a foot problem I’ve been having, and I think I will mention this to him as well.

    Leigh Ann- Sleep makes such a difference.

    Jill- Thank you!

    Edita- Thank you so much. Alot of my friends are online, and I count you as one of them. I read a couple of those websites myself yesterday to laugh again, and I slept well last night, so I am doing better today. : )

  • Anonymous

    Please, please, please see a doctor. I struggled through depression (post partum and other) for years thinking that maybe it would just get better. You deserve to enjoy your new baby and feel good about life.

  • ‘Becca

    It can be difficult to feel happy all the time in any case, but especially with a big load of hormones, lots to do, and disrupted sleep! I hope you're feeling more stable soon.

    Also, don't worry about how frequently your daughter is asking about your mood. My son went through that phase. Yes, he was noticing genuine low spots in my mood. Yes, it was right to take that as a "wake-up call" about how I was managing my life. But no, I was not setting him up for lifelong emotional problems. :-)

  • Caravelle

    I am so glad to see you're conscious of your issues and know what to do about them. Best wishes, and good luck !