First Born, Postpartum Depression, and Empty Nest Syndrome

Today my man child turns 17. I can’t believe time has flown so fast.

I never knew how wonderful, frustrating, exhilarating and annoying motherhood could be when I had him.

I so long to hold him and never let him go, which is so unlike me. When he was born, I refused to see or hold him. I admit, the first words out my mouth, when he was born was, “He’s ugly!”. I exclaimed these words as the Doctor pulled him out of my stomach.  He wasn’t what I expected, the birthing experience wasn’t what I expected. It was so unlike television births. It was too much. I was a single mother and extremely overwhelmed.

I had postpartum depression.

At the time I had no idea what that meant. I just knew being a mother was not as wonderful as other people said it was.  IT. WAS. HARD.

He didn’t sleep at night which meant neither did I. I was extremely sleep deprived. I was also sad because of my break up, disappointed that I was not producing enough milk to breastfeed, and mourning the loss of my two cousins’ babies. 

I should have been happy. Karl survived because of an emergency C-section. I knew this, but … I wasn’t.  

I was in survival mode during the first six months of  his life. I did my duty as a mom. That was the best I could do at that time.

Eventually, that changed. I began to look at him with new eyes. How could it be that this little creature, this tiny being, was mine?  He had become my world, my reason for existing. I began to see the world differently. Friends didn’t beckon me as they once did. Parties didn’t either. I wanted to be around other mothers. I wanted to be a better mother, for him.

My teen changed my life for the better, as did my ten year old. They spur me, ignite my passion and are the reason I work so hard. I can’t imagine my life without them, here by my side, and so I find myself in a dilemma…

I have one more year before my teen goes away to college.

I’ve prepared him for the world, but forgot to prepare myself.


Click here to read my letter to my sons or read about Karl’s STRONG 16.


Spanish Version

Hoy mi hijo cumple 17 años. El tiempo ha volado.

Cuando tuve mi hijo, yo no sabía que siendo una mama iba ser tan maravillosa, frustrante, estimulante y molestoso.

Me encantaría abrazarlo y nunca dejarlo ir y eso no es comunión para mí. Cuando él nació, yo no quería verlo o aguantarlo. Yo admito, las primeras palabas que salieron de mi boca fueron, “¡Es feo!”. Exclamé las palabras mientras la Doctora lo estaba sacando de mi estomago. El no era lo que yo esperaba, dando luz no era lo que yo esperaba. No era como los nacimientos de televisión. Mi situación era demasiado para mí. Yo era una madre soletera y mi situación me tenía abrumada.

Yo tenía la depresión posparto.

En el momento, yo no sabía lo que significaba eso. Yo sólo sabía que ser madre no era tan maravilloso como la gente decía que era. ERA. DIFICIL.

El no dormía por la noche y yo tampoco. Yo estaba súper cansada todo el tiempo. También estaba triste porque la relación no funciono con el papa, deprimida que no estaba produciendo suficiente leche para él, y todavía sufriendo los muertes de dos bebes de mis primas.

¡Yo debía está feliz! Karl vivió porque mi hicieron una cesárea. Yo sabía eso, pero… no me daba alegría.

Yo estaba en modo de supervivencia durante los primeros seis meses de la vida de él. Yo hice lo que tenía que ser como madre, pero nada más. En ese momento era lo único que podía ser.

Con tiempo, eso cambio. Yo empecé a mirar a mi hijo con nuevos ojos. ¿Cómo podía ser que esta criatura, este pequeño ser humano, era mío? El era en mi mundo, mi razón para vivir. Empecé a ver el mundo alrededor de nosotros con nuevos ojos. Mis amistades no eran tan importantes. Fiestas tampoco. Yo quería estar rodada con otras mamas. Yo quería ser una mejor madre, para él.

Mi hijo mayor cambió mi vida para mejor, al igual que mi hijo menor.

Ellos me estimulan, encienden la pasión para luchar adentro de mi alma y son la razón por la que trabajo tan duro. No puedo imaginar mi vida sin ellos, aquí a mi lado, y por lo tanto me encuentro en un dilema…

Tengo un año más antes de que mi hijo vaya a la universidad.

Lo prepare a él para el mundo, pero se me olvido que tenía que prepárame también.

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Lisa July 10, 2011, 11:22 am

    I can relate to this b/c I was the same way. But it didn’t last too long. I left my first born at the hospital b/c of his Jaundice issues. When I got home, it hit me. I was a mom and I didn’t have my baby. I cried all nite. I also felt guilty for denying him. And now I love them all with all my heart. Great post Mig.
    Lisa recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Love in 1995 (#linky)

  • Patty July 10, 2011, 1:14 pm

    Wishing Karl the happiest of birthdays! I’ve read stuff he’s written and I think he is an amazing young man. You have done an excellent job raising him. You should be very proud of him as I’m sure he is of you. We all have to grow up and find our own lives but families with a strong foundation never grow apart.

    I commend you for sharing your story.
    Patty recently posted..From The Archives: The Traveling Tea Ladies Death in Dallas {Summer Reading}

  • Jaime July 10, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Happy Birthday Karl!!!!! You are a handsome young man and I know your Mom has loved you and helped prepare you to be a vessel of strength in this world. Enjoy your day. Ms Latina you will continue to have joy in this time of transition:)

  • Nikki @ Blasian Baby Notes July 10, 2011, 3:28 pm

    I know how you felt since I also had my son as a single mom after my break up with his dad. Motherhood sometimes dont start the way we planned and hoped but we can finish the way we want in the best way possible. You raised wonderful boys. His birthday is also a celebration for you. Happy birthday to both of you :)
    Nikki @ Blasian Baby Notes recently posted..A Blasian Families Day Out with Thomas the Train

  • Andrea July 10, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Happy birthday to your baby! Even if he’s not a baby anymore, he’ll always be YOUR baby, right? ; ) You should be so proud. That last line is so true. I can’t imagine a mom can ever be ready, ya know. Whew. Glad mine is only four right now. hee hee.

    Thank you for sharing the postpartum experience. I think it is so important that women know that PPD/PPA happens to so many of us, and any discussion and support we can offer is essential. Thanks for telling us what you went through and I’m glad you got through it. {Hugs} Mami!
    Andrea recently posted..Stream of Consciousness: It’s Random

  • Bicultural Mama July 10, 2011, 11:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. A close family member had post partum depression 15 years ago and back then people didn’t know much about it. She had a really hard time, but pulled through with the help of doctors. Very nice photo of your handsome son. You’ve done a great job!
    Bicultural Mama recently posted..Poll Results: Who is the Hottest Mixed Race Male Celebrity?

  • Carolyn G July 11, 2011, 7:26 am

    What a lovely story.

    Happy Birthday Karl. You mama is one great lady and you are one great man.

    Carolyn G recently posted..Our First Tomatoes!

  • Alicia July 11, 2011, 10:08 am

    What a beautiful post!!! Oh my..I can’t imagine my son moving out in a few years!! I know I will be a mess!!!!!

    Happy Birthday to your baby! Mine just turned 15 today!!!!!!!!!
    Alicia recently posted..Happy Birthday At Camp!

  • Sabrina July 11, 2011, 12:40 pm

    Happy Birthday Karl!

    As a fellow mom, it will not get easier. My oldest is now 20 and I still find myself sleep deprived when she’s out late.


  • Elisa July 11, 2011, 1:27 pm

    Happy birthday, Karl. Y felicidades mami for raising such a confident young man. Motherhood is NOT easy!

  • Ms. Latina July 12, 2011, 6:16 am

    Thank you everyone for your responses! He had a wonderful day with his friends and I only cried a little, ok A LOT but I’m hoping that will get better with time! :)

    Btw, he cked the comments and said THANK YOU for all the birthday wishes!

    Ms. Latina recently posted..CoverGirl Smoky Eyes Make Up Tutorial

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