Bittersweet Amazingness. (The ghost of PPD)


His deep trusting eyes look up at me, and he grins the slightest grin.  He nurses in silly happiness at my breast while I caress his foot.  This is our moment.  This is our moment of relaxation in the midst of our chaotic life.  This is our moment of connection.  This our moment where he tells me how happy he is to be my baby.

He demands a lot from me.  He needs to be close.  He needs to explore… but only if I’m near.  He needs to feel my heartbeat several times throughout the day.  He has my love, my attention, my soul – every ounce of me.  He demands it.  He demands the acknowledgement that he was inside me, that he is a part of me, that we are tied.  It’s exhausting… and marvelous.

I look down at him as he pulls himself close to me… he smiles – milk spilling out of the corner of his mouth.  He will be a year old  this week.  How is this possible?  Has he lived outside of me for that long?

He looks inquisitively at me and puts his hand on my chin.  I know he knows I’m thinking something.  We communicate so often even though he has no words.  The gesture is so unbelievably tender that I cry a little.  I cry because of the thick sweetness of it.  I cry because of this titanium bond I never knew could exist.  I cry because I feel guilty…

for not having felt this with my first son.

It was my postpartum depression… later my postpartum psychosis.

My firstborn is four now and quite an amazing child.  I feel we truly began to know each other around his first birthday.  He is my heart beating outside of my body, but sometimes… in the quiet moments… I wonder if I cheated him.  I know him.  I know his heart… the winding path his thoughts take… but I didn’t then.  We have an amazing bond – we truly do, but I wonder how much stronger it would be if it had started earlier?  This was a question I had not asked myself until my second boy.  I did not know it existed.

I am truly struck by the amazingness of fully experiencing my infant as a mother.

It is bittersweet…

this primal attachment between mother and baby…

because I’ll miss it in the future…

and I’m missing it in the past.

I’m trying to move forward in joy…

while holding hands with regret.




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16 responses to “Bittersweet Amazingness. (The ghost of PPD)”

  1. Alison says:

    I’m so glad you are experiencing it now with your second. And I’m sorry you didn’t with your first. But mostly, glad that you’re okay now. xo

  2. I was fine with my first. With my second, who is 10 months old now, I wasn’t. And I marvel every day that my children are as happy and whole as they are, despite all we went through.

    Glad everything is well for you now.

  3. michelle says:

    I love how honestly you write. Life is beautiful and tricky and complicated. Your boys are lucky – BOTH of them.

  4. I hate that so many women miss this with their children because of PPD. It’s not right. It’s not fair. But I’m so glad you have it now.

  5. Jessica says:

    Oh this realization is so tough isn’t it? I never knew the fog I was in until the clarity I finally experienced with my youngest child.

  6. oh friend, i am learning this. i am only at (almost) 6 months and i am learning it. goodness it comforts and it burns. thank you for voicing it.

  7. Imperfectmomma says:

    This is something I feel too, regret. The bond that I didn’t get with my daughter. I only now after a year of her being here am really bonding with her. But I fought for that bond. I fight everyday still. That to me makes our bond stronger

  8. I have regrets in different ways for different reason and I can tell you what I do. I acknowledge it because I can’t run away, but I don’t wallow in it or I will cry and be unable to parent either of my kids today.

  9. I had the same feelings except reversed. I only started bonding with Samara after a year. Ari was my first and he was easy to bond with. But I think I had PPD with Samara.

  10. anymommy says:

    I haven’t experienced this, but you write about it so beautifully and it speaks to my heart because oh my do I know regret. I think we all do.

  11. You are such a beautiful writer, even in this bittersweetness, you melt and rend my heart at the same time. Love you, my friend. (And this post is definitely making it into my monthly round up of “What I Loved on OTHER People’s Blogs” at the end of October – I’ll notify you when it’s up.) xoxoxo

  12. Alexandra says:

    Jenni, this has been the hardest thing for me.

    So hard that I push it out of my mind.

    I had no PPD with my second or third.

    But my poor first. My first baby, the one I waited my entire life for.

    I can’t stand to think about it.

    I can’t.


  13. beth says:

    “I cry because I feel guilty…for not having felt this with my first son.”

    i know that feeling all too well. even now, with my oldest almost 6, i still get teary-eyed when i think of how much of his newborn/infant days i missed before i realized i needed help. i am thankful that i was able to have a different experience with both my second and my third. it is something every mother should get to experience.

    i am so sorry for all you have been through, but thank you for sharing and i am happy that you are in a good place now.

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