She is 11 weeks old, and she rarely smiles. Maybe my post-partum depression has contributed to that. Maybe she is just a serious baby. Only time will tell. Things started out well. I was happy. My husband was happy. Even her big brother seemed happy. A large part of this happiness was that I was wearing A around the house and out of the house since the day we came home from the hospital. I used a K’Tan and a Moby, and after a BWI meeting at two weeks, I ordered a mei tai as well. We were a happy baby wearing family, and everybody noticed. I got compliments all the time.
Then, at four weeks, after a blessedly long paternity leave, my husband went back to work. I wore Baby A. I kept up with Big Boy B’s preschool schedule. I kept house. I allowed myself the luxury of ordering groceries because two kids and grocery stores just didn’t appeal. But something wasn’t right. I read more about babywearing. Keeping A close was the only thing that made me feel completely at ease. I decided to order a woven wrap. It came, and I worked hard on the front cross carry – poppable and good for newborns.
Things were not going well for me. I was angry at everyone who was not A. I was anxious whenever A wasn’t right there with me, even when I could see her across the room. She also started crying more, especially in the evenings, and the only thing that soothed either of us was wrapping her close and wandering about the house and neighborhood singing. I couldn’t even begin to deal with anything else if she wasn’t near me, and babywearing facilitated that. After several frantic phone calls to my psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with post-partum depression.
I was absolutely beside myself. I felt like I couldn’t give my family or my baby anything that they needed. I was especially worried about my growing A who I felt like needed so much from me. At her two month check up, which I wore her to, I broke down in front of the doctor. I tried to explain that my PPD was being treated, but it was hard for me to play with the baby or show her toys or do anything other than wear her. That doctor saved me. She told me that right now, what my daughter needed was to be close to me, to feel me, to smell me, to hear my heart beat. She told me that if all I could do for my baby was feed her and wear her and make sure she got her tummy time, then I had nothing to worry about. For the first time in weeks, my tears were tears of relief. For everything I couldn’t handle, I could handle this.
BWI has done so much for our journey. We’ve been coming to meetings since I was pregnant with A, and we’ve learned so much. The wonderful volunteers have taught me about the different carriers, checked my positioning in whatever I’m wearing, introduced me to new ways to wear old carriers, and so much more. Their assistance and education has made wearing A so much easier, which in turn has made having PPD a little more bearable. Wearing babies makes life better in so many ways.
Posted by Mama C
Editor's note: If you are struggling following the birth of your child, please talk to your doctor. You aren't alone, and you CAN get help. Also, talk to us at meetings, there is a lot of support to be found in our group for finding the right treatment, or just agreement that being a mom is really hard work.