I really never had much trouble with Leesa as a child. She was the last of three and our only daughter, which made her a bit spoiled. Plus, we were older when she was born and half the lessons learned with the other two were either forgotten while the other half of those lessons were enforced.
By the time she was a teenager, we were too pooped to properly deal with some of the surliness and moodiness associated with her raging hormones. Of course, we now know that was a mistake, because she would become a mother and we would learn of her pregnancy, well, on the day she went into labor. That’s what we get for writing off her personality changes.
Well, this last time was a doozy. Not much has changed with her keeping mum about her pregnancies, this time she just showed up with the new baby. I can overlook that, but what I can’t overlook is that she dropped off both children and left them with me. In hindsight, I don’t think this was something she did out of sheer irresponsibility. There was something more behind it worth exploration.
I believe my only daughter suffered from Postpartum Depression. So I decided to do some research on the Internet. Let’s start with this one thing: Postpartum depression is not the same thing as “the baby blues,” which is a mild, temporary form of postnatal depression. Postpartum depression symptoms are more complicated (Found here at MayoClinic.com):
- Loss of appetite
- Intense irritability and anger
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Loss of interest in sex
- Lack of joy in life
- Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Severe mood swings
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
These are just some of the symptoms, the ones to watch before they get worse and someone experiences confusion, delusions and the desire to harm herself and the baby.
Remember when I told you all that Leesa wasn’t hungry? She loves to eat my cooking, so for her to refuse a meal was a bit disturbing though she said she was just tired. You also have to admit that a woman who drops off a newborn has little interest in bonding with the child. I know that she struggled with guilt and shame as well as the fact that she withdrew from the people who loved her. And it had been ages since I’d seen the joyful girl we all adored.
Does all of this mean she suffers from postpartum depression? No, it simply means that I’m going to have a delicate chat with my child and suggest we (I will support her) seek the wise counsel of a professional to get to the bottom of her behavior. In the meantime, I’m going to share some personal stories I found online and hope she receives some encouragement to get help.
- Beyond the Baby Blues: Post Partum Depression and Black Women
- Sharing My Story: Post-Partum Depression
Take care of yourself,