Why I Experienced Postpartum Depression After the Birth of My Twins
Writing this story when my twin boys are almost 9 months old requires some digging into my memories of those first few months. They were the most difficult in my life. Reflecting on how I functioned then, and also hearing feedback from close loved ones who were around, I certainly had an episode of postpartum depression which I crawled out of with time.
I fell into crying spells every single day while holding my babies, who were swimming in my tears. There were no particular triggers for the spells.
I stopped taking care of myself appropriately in terms of self-grooming as I had little to no motivation.
I had episodes of anger and rage from lack of sleep and balancing breastfeeding, pumping and formula.
I held strong beliefs that my babies would be better off with another, better and stronger mother — that they are angels who deserved better than what I have to offer.
Being a therapist myself who was just on maternity leave and hiatus, I did cognitive self-talk where I told myself this phase is temporary. Temporary.
Despite strong family help and support, I felt lost and overwhelmed.
Reflecting on those first few months, I realize what was so daunting about the whole experience; it was the extreme radical change in my lifestyle and day-to-day life once these babies came into my life.
Everything changed. I could no longer be selfish. I could no longer watch a TV show without being disturbed or interrupted by babies shrieking for my attention. I could no longer go out with my friends or husband whenever I wanted; I longed for the lost days of nice dinners and wine, lounges, movies or just sitting around laughing with my friends. (Nothing’s better.)
My whole existence was being “enslaved” by two little creatures. That’s how it felt.
Slowly but surely, things started to get better with time. Yes, I went to see my therapist, which surely helped; I feel lucky to have finally found a good match.
I’m realizing now that becoming a mom, especially a twin mom … it’s not that I’ve completely lost myself and everything changed forever. It’s that my new “normal” comprises everything I already knew plus these two little humans I created. I will find a way to incorporate them into my life and identity without completely losing who I am.
So, I look forward to getting better and better at that as time passes so that I can return to myself with my amazing kids.
Getty Images photo via bernardbodo