Post-Partum ‘Fun’

Today I was reading about a fellow blogger who has just had a baby and is back at home.

I’ve been there and done that. Three times. Each one different and fun in its own way.

I thought I’d take a moment to share some thoughts.

  • The first time we brought our new baby home, we thought the smallest thing might break her and I drove at about the speed of a ride-on lawnmower, oblivious to the honks and shrieks of other drivers and passing joggers. By the time, we’d had the third baby, I think we might have stopped by the shops and a restaurant before going home.
  • After the second baby, Danielle had an hilarious case of the ‘hormones’. Even she thought it was funny (after the event). We’d been back in the house with Brigitte for a night or two and we were watching a movie. Not a sad movie. Something normal, maybe an action movie. It finished and the credits started rolling. She burst into tears. Big leaky tears. I asked what was wrong. “The movie,” she sobbed, “it’s OVER!” Yes, guys, new moms have raging hormones. No harm done, just expect to be there for the new mom. Expect to be mystified. Don’t worry, she’s just as mystified. Also, it passes in a few days.
  • For the first baby, we had advanced radar tracking her at all times. We watched her, knew and monitored all her movements (both kinds), and generally loved her rather restrictively. By the time the second baby was born, we’d keep her in sight unless we were busy with something important, like a good book. With Charlotte, we’d have conversations like this: “Where’s Charlotte?” “I thought YOU had Charlotte!” “No, didn’t you take her with you to the store?” “I might have, let me think.” (Charlotte cries upstairs). Together: “Never mind, that’s where she is.” This is sad but true…
  • There were quite a few years between the first and second baby. This is because of a miscarriage which won’t be covered in the blog. Nevertheless, I had forgotten that new babies are ‘trained’. My first one used to lie still and giggle while I changed her diaper. When Brigitte finally came along, she’d wait until I was just about to stick the tie down and then squirm. Again and again. Uggh! It was a few months before she figured it out and enjoyed having the new diaper put on (so she could fill it with a special movement, just for me to clean up).

And now for something serious:

Sometimes, post-partum depression happens and you don’t notice. For me, I discovered something was seriously wrong when I couldn’t find my wife. I eventually found her in the garage, in the car, with the keys in the ignition. The engine was off or my life would have changed that day. Prior to that, no one had even mentioned post-partum depression to me. It’s real. Read about it. Don’t ignore it. It’s treatable. It’s no one’s fault.

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About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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10 Responses to Post-Partum ‘Fun’

  1. backonmyown says:

    I’m smiling at the memories this post invoked. There is a huge difference in attitude by the time the third daughter arrives. My third one had a very strong upper body and she could climb to dangerous heights when she was only six months old. (She was later to become a gymnast.) I had to watch her carefully. Her older sisters were pretty good watchdogs, too. Now she has four children of her own and has more than paid for any frights she gave her dad and me.

    Thanks for calling attention to Post-Partum Depression. It can be a sadly serious issue in some families.

    • I’m really looking forward to the (distant) future when I can be a grand-parent and watch on with quiet joy as my own girls discover that parents aren’t as dumb as they currently assume, that dishes don’t magically pick themselves up from the floor/sofa/table and transport themselves in dishwashers, that rooms don’t become tidy overnight without human action, and so on. And, most of all, that noisy crying children can be returned to their parents and I can go home to a quiet night in a vaguely tidy house!

      Bliss…

  2. I wanted to throw my second son out the window. Seriously. I was on the edge of getting a divorce, he had colic and I had no help…I had no idea what was wrong with me at the time. I finally went to the doctor on the verge of a total breakdown, he put me on anti depressants. Felt better nearly right away. I still got divorced and the baby still had colic, but I had coping skills…hard days, but if I had known what was wrong I would have had a way easier time of it way sooner. No one even tells you that it can happen to you, at least no one told me.

    • I’m surprised I had a *second* child after the first. Colic, lack of sleeping skills, extreme sensitivity to noise, uggh! But little Brigitte showed us that kids could be calm and quiet fun. And Charlotte showed us that kids could be inquisitive little barbarians. 🙂

      As you say, it’s a shame that parenting books and doctors and even our social networks don’t do a better job of letting us know what problems some kids can cause. Forewarned is handy when things look bleak. I imagine we could reduce the divorce rate with better dissemination of this info…

  3. Kelly says:

    Thank you, for the mention, of course, but more so for speaking up about PPD.

  4. TikkTok says:

    Women need midwives who will make home visits postpartum. There. I’ve said it. Postpartum doulas are nice, too. Mother the mother for a few weeks and let her stay in bed and breastfeed. THOSE hormones can help combat PPD. New mothers shouldn’t be doing anything (imo) besides resting, nursing, and getting to know the baby- certainly not entertaining relatives. (although, with baby #1, I came home from the hospital the next day and did all the vacuuming and laundry- I wasn’t smart enough to take advantage of the situation, lol)

    I remember thinking with baby #4 (who was to redeem our breeding stock after intense baby #3 😆 ) that I was too old for the nighttime stuff. Over 7 years on, I can say without a doubt that while breastfeeding and slinging made everything easier (especially nighttime stuff), I would not start over again with another.

    Babies don’t read the same books their parents do, and parents (and grandparents!) often have unrealistic expectations which cause all kinds of problems. Follow the baby. Nurse on cue. Sleep when the baby sleeps. And someone be around to take care of mama!
    {/rant} :mrgreen:

    • Hi TT,
      I agree … except PPD doesn’t always show up in the short-term. It can be 6 months or 2 years into dealing with a baby. Dads need to know about PPD so they can recognize the symptoms if it does happen and mom can get the treatment or support she needs.

  5. 1smiles says:

    I love every aspect of this post. I applaud your courage and wisdom in posting both sides of bringing home the new baby.

  6. Pingback: Parenting Woes – Take #3763 – Teenage Depression | Four is a Family

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