When my wife and I first conceived our little boy, we were excited and terrified at the same time. We had no idea how to raise a child, and frankly having children wasn't on our agenda for a few years. Our family has a saying though, "God laughs when we make plans", not to get overly religious, but I believe that God has certain things in store for us, and sometimes our personal plans get in the way of his, and in that tug of war, my money is definitely on God. So during the 9 months that we were waiting for our little way, we diligently prepared the only way new parents know how - frantically! During this time we had heard of some of the things to watch out for before and after birth, and one of those was postpartum depression. I personally had dismissed this and thought " that won't happen to us", but therein lies that old family saying again, I think God gave a chuckle and thought "sorry, but its another hurdle for you to jump". A few months after Liam came to this world, my wife and I were having arguments more frequently than usual, and finally in culminated into a big fight, but from the ashes of that argument we agreed that my wife needed to go see the doctor to see if she may have postpartum depression.
I should explain a few things, my wife was very excited to start breast feeding our new born baby to have that connection with him, and I supported her no matter what she wanted to do with him, I was just happy to have a healthy baby boy. That first night he was wisked off to the NICU, my wife was also going through a hard time after birth, she had been in labor for 37 hours, she had planned on doing all this naturally, but after 30 hours they told her that she needed medicine to take the pain away, because they were already starting to talk about having a c-section. Our OBGYN insisted that they wait and her have the baby naturally. At 37 hours she pushed and Liam came out with the cord around his neck. This didn't allow my wife and I to have that very first bonding moment with our son, but we were just glad that he was safe. I went with our son while my mother-in-law stayed with my wife in her room. I didn't know it, but the birth took a lot out of my wife, she lost a lot of blood, and it was stressful on her body, she essentially blacked out, and wasn't able to feed Liam that first time either. After all that though, things went pretty normally, my wife started breast feeding and pumping on a regualr basis, and little Liam was very healthy and very happy! Unfortunately that little thing called life got in the way, and we had to start going back to school and work. So we made the decision that my wife would try to pump as much as possible, and we would make up the rest with formula, I personally thought that as long as he had a full belly and was a happy boy, I was a happy dad. I didn't realize how important it is to some women to have that experience with their children to breast feed them, and it made my wife very depressed not being able to breast feed all the time. She tried to hide it, and tried to push it away, but her postpartum depression had manifested, and its something that we have to work through.
Our son is on formula now fulltime, my wife's supply diminished pretty quickly, but he is in the 70% percentile for his weight and 60% for his height, so he is a very healthy little boy, and my wife does such a good job taking care of him and working with him. But those negative feelings are still there, and its at times like this that I wish I could understand and cope with my wifes feelings more, so I could help her through this tough time in her life. I above all always reassure her of my love for her, and reassure her that she is a wonderful mother to our baby boy. I hope that she knows I really do mean those things, and think the world of her. But those negative thoughts and feelings permeate, and she sometimes feels like she isn't as good as she can be. I wish I could adequately express how much I love and appreciate my wife, and what a great mother she is to our son. She is just so caring and loving towards him, and he really is such a lucky little boy to have her. I'm sure that most every father thinks that way about their baby's mamma! While this time has been trying, I just try my best to be there for her, and reassure her how much she is appreciated! To those fathers who have experience with their partner having postpartum depression please share your experience!
Here is my wifes version of her story: