Helping the hurting?

So this will be the third post I have started. I am just having a hard time finishing posts. About half way through them I just lose interest. I don’t think that will happen this time.

We are on night four of sleep training. It is going decently well but that isn’t what this post is about. I am pretty sure a good friend has postpartum depression. It isn’t severe but I can see she is struggling. She is a friend friend not a mom friend. We have known each other for years. Back in my naive pre infertile diagnosis days, she was the first person I told that we were going to try and have a baby. She told me that they were also going to start trying.

Of course she got pregnant the first month, almost by accident. Even then it stung a bit but I was genuinely happy for them. I figured I’d follow suit and we could be pregnant together. She had a beautiful son who is now two and a half. I did get my wish, though. She was pregnant with her second when I was pregnant with E.

Before our babies arrived, we had a seemingly innocent conversation about how I still really wanted to get out and about after E showed up. She agreed and mentioned that she didn’t really leave her house for three or four months after her son was born. She said she didn’t want that to happen again. Then her daughter arrived two and a half months after E. She is now 4 months old and my friend has barely left her house.

I am worried for her. She can’t manage to leave the house with both kids on her own, which would be a big task. So what happens is I go over to her house. While I was there last week, she told me, with a cracking voice, that she had yelled at her son. She had screamed at him. His new game is to headbutt his sister. Obviously, not a good game. She felt awful. So guilty. Then, as we are sitting on the floor, she starts to feed baby A. Her son is behind her on the couch, kicking her in the back as she sits there. He is not a bad little boy, he is just a little boy who now has to compete for his mother’s attention.

I can see the strain on her face. The frustration. I have invited her many times to go to the park to walk around or just simply sit while S plays. There is a bit of a problem though. S hasn’t really had much chance to play with other kids. He has been pretty sheltered which had left him shy and withdrawn. I really don’t know how to help. I continue to make her offers, as well as go to visit her at her house but I don’t know if it is enough. She said her husband has been trying to get her out of the house and while she knows she should, she can’t bring herself to do it. She is also trying to get out of annual social opportunities with our friends that are at least six months away.

Again, all I can think of to do is try and be there for her and listen. I sent her some flowers, nothing fancy. I just want her to know she isn’t alone. I also just finished blankets I made for each of her children out of left over satin from her wedding dress. I made it for her years ago and held on to the material for something special.

If anyone has any advice. I would gladly take it. Mostly, I just want my friend to be happy.


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