Baby Blues: I Would Not Have Committed To Attachment Parenting If I Knew I Was At Risk For PPD
But at 18 months old she’s still in our bed and I’m still nursing her to sleep, so I give up a huge chunk of my personal time at night to get her settled in. She usually wakes up two or three times throughout the evening, too, meaning I don’t really get a chance to spend time alone and “reset” before bedtime. I have no doubt that this contributes to my own sleep problems, and an interrupted sleep schedule makes my depression worse.
Aside from attachment parenting, I also would have taken our health insurance situation (lack thereof) much more seriously. Seeing a therapist helped me immensely when I was in my early 20s, and knowing this, I would have found a plan that would make this option a little more affordable than paying straight out of pocket.
I just wonder if I could have eased up on myself all-around if I’d had this testing early on. So much of my stress as a mother came from believing I could give all of myself to my daughter all the time — and furthermore, if I didn’t, she would fail to thrive. This sounds ridiculous, but I really, truly believed that being a perfect mother was an attainable goal, and if I wasn’t doing it, I wasn’t trying hard enough. So when I went from “nearly perfect” to having PPD, I didn’t take it as an opportunity to focus on my own health. I took it as another example of how I’d failed.
Even though this research is still incomplete, and we may not have PPD pre-testing for quite some time, I’m hopeful when I think of how this may help other women prepare for the throes of new motherhood. Maybe if more women can find out that they’re susceptible to this common condition, we could see a cultural shift in expectations for mothers, allowing us all to ease up on ourselves when we’re not doing everything perfectly.