I wanted to share a part of my book so those who have not read it yet can understand why the book, and the chapter this part is from are called Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine…
“From the time a woman is pregnant, her life changes forever. When people hear that, they think of the fact that you have a tiny person living inside you. You bond with that person, which forever changes your life for the better. But suddenly, you are not just one person anymore. You can’t even walk around in public without some stranger thinking they have the right to touch you without asking because you have a baby inside you, and it fascinates them. They believe they should have a say in how you should give birth and the right to tell you how to raise this child that hasn’t been born yet, even though they don’t know you. This doesn’t stop once the baby is born. People think they can walk up in public and touch your baby without asking, and that you should listen to them about everything: how the child’s hair should be, what clothes they should wear, what they should eat, what you should be doing to prepare them for school. If they aren’t potty-trained fast enough or don’t seem smart enough for their age or tall enough or skinny enough or don’t act well enough in their opinion, you are going to hear about that, too. I now realize everyone is excited and trying to help, but when you have just become a new parent, all this input can overwhelm you and make you feel like a failure. When you learn you can’t please everyone, you can quit trying and do your best.
Another thing that can be overwhelming: People don’t only tell you what they think you should do when it comes to the baby. Because you are now the baby’s mother, they have opinions about what you should do with your life. This is especially true when you are pregnant. When I was pregnant, I didn’t get depressed. I was one of those happy pregnant women that other pregnant women hate. I felt very bonded with Aubrie. I talked to her all the time and couldn’t wait to meet her. However, I now see that some things started then that did affect me over time—especially the feeling that I could never be good enough as a mother, a woman, or a wife. I never did anything I thought could be dangerous for my child when I was pregnant, but that does not stop people from telling you how much rest you should be getting, what you should be eating, etc. You already feel these concerns have little to do with you and everything to do with the baby. After the baby is born, it starts to feel like the only reason anyone is concerned with you is so you can care for the baby. Being a mother is a very important role in life, but what about your other roles as wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee, or simply a human being?
Some people, especially women who have been through this before, understand and try to think of the woman. They give her attention when she is pregnant and when the baby is first born. I have heard someone make the statement before that they bought someone a new dress so she would not get postpartum depression. If only it were that simple. It is a nice gesture, but it would be even nicer if everyone was aware of this happening and tried to give mother and baby both the attention they need, knowing it benefited both mother and child. This would not require gifts or constant attention, just showing a legitimate concern for the person and making sure they feel loved too.
It is easy to love that little baby so much that you forget to give the mother the attention and love she still needs. After having the baby, the mother typically gets less medical attention and fewer checkups than the baby. She is expected to continue her everyday duties and care for a newborn while recovering…. People always think the husband should step up, notice if something is wrong with the wife, and help her. Often, he does, but other times he is as affected as she is. Approximately half of men whose wives get postpartum depression will get depressed, too. Your husband is your partner, and what affects you affects him. If you experienced deaths in your family and a layoff, your partner did, too. They have a new baby, too. They are also working and not getting any sleep. They also miss the time you two used to have together, and their life is completely changed as well.”
Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook, or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here. Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.