Meet the *new* Motherly – your free all-access pass to motherhood. Register now!

Tiiu on feeling guilty for the scary thoughts she had about her baby

Tiiu with baby- postpartum depression

Content warning: Discussion of postpartum depression, birth trauma, domestic abuse or other tough topics ahead. If you or someone you know is struggling with a postpartum mental health challenge, including postpartum depression or anxiety, call 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (tel:18009435746)—The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline This free, confidential service provides access to trained counselors and resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish, and more than 60 other languages. They can offer support and information related to before, during, and after pregnancy.

My baby turned one yesterday. I had a horrible pregnancy. I felt sick all the time. I kept losing weight because I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, my back was hurting so bad and I had weird stomach aches all the time. The doctors told me, “Everything is fine. It just hurts for some people. It is only few months.”

I was depressed already, but I thought, “Well, how could anybody enjoy this?” and kept thinking it was normal and maybe everybody felt this bad while pretending, “I am so happy and I love the baby already so much.” After all, I was telling the same thing to everybody, even though I felt like it would be better to just miscarriage.

When I was 38 weeks pregnant, I told the doctor that I was done, that I just can’t do this anymore and I cried. She said she could induce the labor.

It took two days, and 17 hours in labor—giving birth was as horrible as the pregnancy was. I thought I was going to die from the pain. After the baby was out, I was so happy it was over. Now I can start to live again. That lasted about a week. I started to feel irritated every time the baby was crying. Then I started to feel irritated every time she was awake. Then I started to cry all the time and didn’t get out of bed all day.

My husband had to stay on sick leave because I couldn’t stand to be with the baby. I felt like the worst person in the world. Then, one day I started to feel hopeless. I was ready to kill myself. I sent a message to my maternity clinic and they told me to go to the nearest health center and get medication. I went there, and I am so happy they took me seriously. The next day, I saw a doctor and she gave me medication and made me an appointment with a psychologist.

I started to go to therapy. It helped a bit, but there were so many horrible thoughts I couldn’t say out loud. Like that almost everyday when the baby cried, I felt the urge to jump off the balcony with her. I was so afraid that I would hurt her if she would cry one more second and that I sometimes wanted to just leave and never come back. At the same time, I couldn’t leave the house with the baby because I was so afraid someone would hurt us.

These feelings were so confusing and scary. I felt completely alone. The best description I have read is that, “I carried the baby around like it was a cardboard box.” I didn’t feel anything but irritation, anger, tiredness and hopelessness carrying this thing around and taking care of it.

Then I found your account. I felt so relieved that I’m not alone and there are so many other people who feel the same way. I cried when I went through the stories about postpartum depression and read about exactly the same feelings that I dealt with.

One day about a month ago was the first time I felt empathy for the baby when she started to cry, and I really wanted to hug and comfort her. It was an amazing feeling finally being able to feel that, but at the same time, I kept thinking, “Oh my god, I’m such a bad mother that it took me eleven months to finally feel this.

Now I’m trying to learn how to live with myself after I couldn’t wait a few more weeks to give birth naturally, even though I knew the risks of inducing. And after I chose medication over breastfeeding. And after I had to leave the baby to cry in another room because I was afraid of what I might do. And after I told her that I don’t want her in my life and she was the biggest mistake of my life.