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Hi, I'm a single new mom, and I got post partum depression, plus my son has colic. I'm also bipolar, I don't know if that makes the post partum any worse or not... My doctor put me on another antidepressant for the post partum, but I think I need to get the dosage adjusted when I go in for my checkup next week. I'm so depressed all the time, and crying a lot. My son's colic is driving me crazy! Even on days when he sleeps a lot, he cries whenever he's awake and I'm not handling it very well. Thankfully he is at least sleeping through the night though, so I am getting my rest at night. His colic isn't from gas or reflux, so I have no clue what's wrong and nothing I try helps. A lot of times I just have to hold him and let him cry, or put him in his swing and pray he'll cry himself to sleep.
I'm in school online for medical transcription, and had started studying again for about a week, and now for the past week I just don't want to study any more and I feel like I'm getting so behind, which just stresses me out even more. I stay stressed out and tense all the time now. I keep catching myself clenching my teeth without realizing it, I do it so much that my teeth hurt!
I just feel so alone right now... my friend said I needed to look for forums online to connect with other moms, especially other single moms, who can relate to what I'm going through.
Hi Dixie, Even though I am not a single mom, I hope maybe I can help. Or at least commiserate! You need a hug. :)
My son is going to be 11 months old this week, but for the first two
months or so, I had post partum depression. I never was diagnosed or
anything, but all the signs were there: super weepy a lot of the day,
felt very hopeless, and the exhaustion from delivery and sleepless
nights with a new baby didn't help! I felt very overwhelmed and just...
My main thought after reading your post is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Always remember that. Being a new mom is tough, plus you're doing it without a partner. Give yourself a pat on the back for each hour you get through successfully. You are doing a great thing and I promise you that each day your baby gets older, the easier it gets and the less he will cry! (The beauty of being a human is we develop language skills to communicate what we want, thank goodness!) I noticed that slowly, he started to babble his frustrations rather than cry them to me. And your son will too.
I think you should go talk to your son's pediatrician about the colic. A good friend of mine thought her son had it (he is six months old now), but it turned out to be a terrible allergic reaction to dairy she consumed which she then passed on to him when nursing. They did all sorts of tests to determine this. She listened to him scream for the first three months of life straight, and finally they figured it out. In retrospect she wishes she'd have sought her pediatrician's help on this sooner. (My son didn't have "colic" per se, but he did have pretty bad gastric distress every night for about three hours. He screamed and writhed in pain, and nothing we did helped. Our pediatrician said we just had to get through it and he would outgrow it. He eventually did and life is SO much better now!)
The main piece of advice I can offer you that helped my post partum sadness so much is this: FIX THE ISOLATION. When your son is having a crying bout, go outside to where people are. A park. A mall (nothing soothes a crying baby like a moving stroller and some open space!). Make it your thing to leave the house at least once a day. Meet up with a friend for coffee and bring the little guy along. Join or create a local playgroup ( I did both online - so easy to organize that way). Attend a story hour at your local library, or sign up for a baby music class, a gymboree class, or even a swim class at your local Y! I have done all these things and have found them to be invaluable and giving me a reason to get up and showered, a reprieve from the confines of my house, and a nice outing for me and my son together. I call them our "adventures." They are great. Especially now that the weather is getting warmer, it's going to be even easier for you to get outdoors and explore!
Hang in there and go re-enter the world. You will feel so much better.
Jenny has given some great advice. Also keep in mind that the more anxious you are, the more anxious your baby will be. Hopefully, you will be able to find an outlet to help calm your nerves resulting in a happier you and a calmer baby.
Being Bipolar may indeed affect the post-partum depression. Especially if the medication for the post-partum impacts your bipolar medication. You should speak with your psychiatrist and make sure the medications will not cancel each other out (or boost one another - I know that too much can trigger manic episodes in some bipolar persons). You might also ask about a mood stabilizing medication if you are not on one already, they can be very effective in conjunction with anti-depressant medication for many people.