Depression After Weaning..I didn't know this was a thing (@17 weeks pregnant)

10 March 2022

Depression after weaning - 21/01/2021- 10 pm - after an hour of lying in darkness and crying my lungs out (silently because the baby is sleeping)

I feel validated. This is real. After feeling sad, depressed, unhappy, and ‘lacking joy’ for a couple of weeks, it finally clicked. Is it weaning that’s causing this massive bout of sadness? Why am I not feeling like myself? Why is suddenly all joy and happiness evaporated from my life? Despite carrying a life inside me, why I do not feel any excitement or attachment to this child? Mostly, why I do feel so lonely? I’ve never felt so lonely. I’ve never cried so many silent tears. I’ve never been so bewildered by my own emotions. A quick Google search after weeks of suffering has validated my feelings. It’s weaning. Weaning Aiza off breastmilk. Little did I know that my emotional health was strongly tied to my breastfeeding journey. Prolactin and oxytocin had my mood propped up. The hormones for calmness, relaxation, and love. And now that we are on our weaning journey, my body is on an emotional/hormonal roller coaster. Articles say some mothers have it worse. I think I’m on this spectrum. 6-8 weeks they say it lasts. The quicker/more abrupt the weaning, the worse the after-effects. Hence a recommendation to drop one feed a week. I dropped several. No wonder I’m losing my mind and myself in this process.

I knew no better. I didn’t know all this until it happened. We had to wean. Thanks to pregnancy my boobs are sore. Aiza sucking on them at all odd hours during the night has me writhing in pain. Gone are the days I could sleep through her feeding on me. I feel every suck of her mouth and it’s bledy painful. Hence the decision to cut back dramatically. I can’t be lying awake in pain waiting for her to stop sucking so I can breathe again. So I can sleep again.

I needed a break too. Break from pumping. Break from being needed constantly. Until it all begins again that is! In 5.5 months' time.

So yes we dropped several feeds, too quickly perhaps. Little did I know, my body/brain would react this way. Honestly just reading about it makes me feel better. That I am still a rational person and not losing my mind is comforting.

I am now prepared for a few more weeks of this mind f*ck. This waiting game of hormones stabilizing and doing their bledy job. Their very important job of keeping me happy, calm and less anxious.

I am sad to wean Aiza. I loved breastfeeding. It was our time together. But I’m also exhausted from it. I need my body back, for a little while. It might be selfish but it’s the right thing to do for my sanity. 2.5 years+ of being needed every few hours has me drained.

Some mothers don’t feel a thing during or after weaning. Some like me are train wreck. Do any of you remember feeling a certain way during weaning?

I can’t wait to smile again. I’m so over this cloud of sadness, anxiety, and despair.

21/01/2021- diary note at 17 weeks pregnant

This time I know the drill. I know it’s about survival for the first few weeks. I know I gotta take one day at a time. I know I have to give myself a lot of grace. I know there will lots of crying..from both sides..from all sides this time. I know I won’t be able to do the things I said I’d do. I know I will be on a time crunch. I know I will be hungry all the all hours. I know I will be up all hours. I know I have to make the baby sleep..however, he/she prefers. Be it on me, rocked to sleep, put it a sling/carrier or buggy. Even swaddled if the baby prefers. I know the days will seem long but once they are gone..I’ll long for them. I know I’ll blink and they’ll grow. I know I have to savor every moment. The only thing I don’t know is how to do all this with a toddler around.

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