When It’s More Than The Baby Blues

Today I am introducing you to a new friend, Bianca Avelino from Rant  Rave Crave.  She shares a story close to my heart.  I love her honesty and I’m honored she shares it here with my dear friends and followers.  Many women can relate to postpartum depression and the angst and tumultuous journey a mother can endure.  How many of us have been through something similar?  I wonder…

When It's More Than Just The Baby Blues I’ve been an anxious person my entire life. My dad would call me a nervous wreck from time to time. I was never offended by it. In fact, I had accepted it.

So it was no surprise that I was completely nervous throughout my entire pregnancy. I miscarried a few months earlier, so I was always scared that something would go wrong.

When my son was born, I breathed a sigh of relief that was quickly replaced with a crippling fear. It had dawned on me that I was responsible for this new life I brought into the world & I would feel completely awful if something happened to him. SIDS was what worried me the most. I found it extremely unsettling that a baby could just die at any moment. It didn’t help that I was given pamphlets about it during my time at the hospital.

I spent our first night at home with my hand on his chest so I could feel him breathe. I tried to fight sleep. I felt like I needed to be awake all night long because if something was to happen to him, I could save him. I told myself that I’d sleep while my husband was up.

Of course, I’d end up falling asleep. What I wasn’t prepared for was these scary thoughts that would wake me up in a panic “the baby isn’t breathing” “the baby is going to die” were the phrases that kept echoing in my head. These phrases would continue to wake me up through the first weeks of my postpartum life. Those weren’t the only things that would happen. I recall buying a few things at the store while my husband took care of our son. He encouraged me to get out of the house. I knew he would be fine with the baby. Yet, while I stood in the checkout line, a sudden panic came over me. I had an urge to get out of the store. I needed to be with the baby. No matter how much I told myself that my husband and the baby were fine and I would be home in a few minutes, I felt a panic that was so suffocating.

I read up on the baby blues throughout my pregnancy, but I knew that this was much worse than that. My books would only say “if you feel like you would hurt your baby, call 911.” That was it. It didn’t say anything about having panic or anxiety having to do with your child.

I knew I needed help. There weren’t that many counselors in my area that specialized in postpartum depression and the ones who did unfortunately didn’t take insurance of any kind.

I did manage to find one that took insurance and I also joined a new moms support group through the hospital. It was comforting to hear that I wasn’t alone and that a lot of new moms have experienced the same thoughts and anxiety that I did. After a few weeks of therapy as well as 6 months of Zoloft, I felt much better.


Bianca Avelino

Bianca’s first foray into the blog world happened in 2009 when she started a restaurant review blog. After her son was born, she started a mommy blog. Feeling a little overwhelmed, she combined her food blog and mommy blog to create Rant Rave Crave. Bianca still posts restaurant reviews every Monday but has also branched out, participating in link ups and blog hops. She also writes mom & baby posts from time to time. Her son will be 2 in June and she is amazed at how fast time has flown.

You can follow Bianca on Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/rantravecrave

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  1. says

    I must admit I think I was just too tired from Emma being up all night pretty much for the first few months of her life to feel much int he way of Post Partum to be quite honest. And by the time Lily came, I was truly exhausted and didn’t know what sleep even looked like, because Emma still wasn’t sleeping through the night and then I too babies to get up for at any given time. But still, my heart goes out to anyone who experienced any degree of it and I can also be anxious at times, so on that level I can understand a bit of anxiety here and there. Thank you so much Bianca for sharing with us today and Chris for giving her a place to do it.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing your story, Bianca. I think more women, especially new moms, need to hear stories about postpartum depression. I have friends who have had PPD, but I didn’t know it until later. So many women suffer in silence, and it doesn’t have to be that way!

  3. says

    It’s brave to admit you need help and get it!
    I used to be on the board of directors of an organization aiming to provide postpartum support globally. They’re called Motherwoman.
    I didn’t have postpartum depression but I had the blues and I did have anxiety too, although that wasn’t new to my life.

  4. says

    I <3 Bianca and am so happy that she shared her brave story here with you and us today, Chris. While my anxiety was not as intense as this, I did have awful thoughts about dropping my son on the hardwood floor, him stopping breathing, all of it. Being responsible for these tiny people is intense and scary. I'm glad you got the help and support you needed, Bianca!!

  5. says

    Thank you for sharing your story here Bianca. With my first kid, I was okay I guess but when my 2nd baby was born, I was a train wreck. I hated how I felt so inefficient as a mom and in turn it made me into a spiteful person who was bringing her family down.
    I realized I hit rock bottom when my husband and I separated for a while. That was when I started opening up and accepted help that I previously denied needing.

  6. says

    Chris, your blog is such a warm, safe place to share a story like Bianca’s. Thank you for sharing, Bianca – new moms need to know that they are not alone and that there is help for them. And happy almost 2nd birthday to your son!

  7. says

    I was very much the same way. My husband would check on them at night, because I couldn’t. I would sit there and watch them breathe, so scared they might stop. Even when they were a little older, I did the same thing for years. I never imagined there was help.

  8. says

    There was a point just after our second was born, when I honestly thought my husband would have to get me committed. And here I was The Second Time Around — I should have this!!?? But thankfully I had a great support network who swooped in and gave me a few days of much needed rest, and I was able to bounce back. I’ve always remembered that — I didn’t do it alone, and I feel so bad for anyone who doesn’t have that help.

  9. says

    Reading this brave post and all of the comments, brings my feelings rushing back. I would worry every minute (it seemed like) that I would drop him or hurt him in some way. Or that he would stop breathing. It was crazy, I had no peace. Sharing stories like this helps everyone who reads it, thank you Bianca and Chris!

  10. says

    One of the hardest things to do is admit we need help and take action. It is so hard to accept that we have very little control over what happens in this life. Faith and trust in a power greater than ourselves is the only way to find peace. Good for you in seeking help and thanks for sharing something so personal.

  11. says

    I can relate to your post-partum depression and I’m so glad to hear that you were brave enough to admit you needed some help. Well done! Thanks for sharing your story!

    • says

      I agree Elisha. I think there is strength in asking for help. I appreciate you coming by to read this, and I hope you are doing WELL now!

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