My hubby instructed me to “calm down,” but I was unaware at the time that my constant fury after giving birth was a frightening sign of postpartum depression, often referred to as postpartum rage. Recognizing this manifestation of a larger issue is crucial for addressing the problem effectively.
Immediately after delivering my daughter by emergency cesarean section, I recalled that I wanted to contact the phone company over a billing error. I yelled at the customer support representative while high on painkillers and sobbed in anger, “You cannot treat me this way. You are charging too much. It’s not right!”
My husband heard my screams from the hallway, entered the room, and removed the phone with care. “I apologize, but my wife just gave birth, and she’s exhausted,” he explained. We will contact you at a later date.
He told me, “You need to calm down.” It was not the last time he spoke those comments.
My Postpartum Rage Symptoms
Everything served as a catalyst for my postpartum rage. I yelled at the nurse who awoke me early in the morning to check my blood pressure. The social worker at the hospital asked me if I felt unhappy or unable to care for my daughter during a standard examination of new mothers. I felt insulted and yelled in response, “What are you discussing? I can provide for my daughter. How dare you question me!” She departed quickly and shut the door behind her.
I was also angry with the incompetent lactation nurse who tried to compel me to breastfeed despite the fact that my nipples were ripped from feeding my kid milk.
Although I was appreciative that the hospital permitted my husband to stay with me during my recovery, he probably regretted his decision each time I lost my anger. I became furious at any disruptions, and my husband’s incessant computer tapping drove me nuts.
The continuous wrath I felt at the least provocation, which made me feel as if my eyeballs were about to burst, gave me an unusual sense of empowerment. But, the night terrors left me feeling like I was drowning in a sea of emotions. I’d had them before giving birth, primarily concerning medical accidents during delivery, but they’d returned with a fury. My new dreams had strangers in parks stealing my baby’s stroller from me. I would awaken with my fists clenched and ready to fight, adrenaline running through my body.
What Led to My Postpartum Aggression?
Unbeknownst to me, my constant fury after pregnancy was a frightening sign of postpartum depression (PPD). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in nine women have symptoms of postpartum depression during the first three months following childbirth.
Many attribute it to fluctuating hormone levels and life pressures. I’m not the most laid-back individual, but I’m typically reasonable. The rage manifested my dread of isolation in my new life as a mother and my worry of failing at motherhood. This was caused by my inability to breastfeed and the fact that I became a mother in my mid-forties.
Managing My Anger After Pregnancy
I realized I needed assistance, so I spoke with a therapist after leaving the hospital. She helped me realize that my position was normal and that I was not insane. She reminded me that my postpartum wrath did not make me a bad mother; it only made me a stressed-out new mother.
My therapist urged my husband and me to address circumstances that made me furious; for instance, if his tapping on the computer irritated me, he moved it to another room. We also observed that my fury would escalate if I were weary or sleep deprived, so we limited the length of visitors’ stays.
I quickly felt appreciated and supported. As I healed over the following months and adapted to my new life, I could let go of the postpartum wrath that had consumed me.
The morning I awoke from a night without nightmares, looked over at my darling baby sleeping peacefully in her crib, and heard my husband typing on his computer without wanting to throw him and it out the window, I knew I would be okay. And I was.
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