** I hope by sharing this post, I will breathe hope into even just one person, and help them not feel so alone. I truly am almost always happy. I pride myself on being naturally energetic and positive, but that wasn’t enough to protect me from postpartum mood disorders.
We don’t choose to feel this way. Anxiety and depression chooses us.
I wrote the first half of this post when I was in the thick of the storm, and now at almost 3 months postpartum, I recently wrote the last half. None of this is glamorous and it is unfortunately all too common (as many as 1 in 7 mamas).
If you are ever battling suicidal thoughts, please call the suicide prevention hotline, which is available 24/7, at 1-800-273-8255. **
Postpartum depression is having moments where you feel completely okay, and moments where you can hardly breathe. It’s seeing a picture of yourself and realizing how much you are not you anymore. It is suffocating + drowning + sinking in the deepest water. No amount of self-care can take away the constant knot in your throat and butterflies in your belly.
PPD is feeling so numb, all you want to do is lay in bed. This is the only thing that makes you feel safe and far away from any triggers that might set you off.
PPD is desperately needing your closest friends to reach out, but ignoring their calls because it takes too much energy to explain the pain you are experiencing.
PPD is feeling extremely guilty and ashamed of who you are, truly wishing you died so your husband could have a happier/healthier/more beautiful wife and wishing your kids could have a better mom - a mom who smiles and plays on the floor and doesn’t have to fake her feelings every time she is around them.
PPD is looking at your babies and crying so hard because you are overwhelmed with love. It’s also looking at your babies and crying so hard because they are the very reason you grieve who you once were. It’s being mad at the people you love most.
PPD is loving your newborn so much it hurts yet cringing every time they need to be nursed.
PPD is OCD. It’s doing everything you can to have a constantly clean home, because it’s just about the only thing you think you have control of.
PPD is knowing you are doing all the “right” things for your health, but the fact is, it still isn’t enough to lose the baby weight because we can’t choose our hormones and we can’t choose our genetics. It’s knowing as a Women’s Wellness Coach, this is completely normal and okay, yet not being able to separate your logic from your emotion. It’s being stuck in your own head.
PPD is when you no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s feeling numb and disconnected.
And for the first time, truly feeling like it would be okay if you were no longer here.
Sometimes, PPD is wanting to die.
To the core of my very being, I honestly felt like I couldn't do it anymore.
But I had faith and hope.
I’ve learned PPD is also an opportunity to lean on people like you never have before. To be as vulnerable as can be, and to accept help when it’s offered. The second my best friend called and I told her what was really going on, I felt a million times better.
In the darkest of my PPD I constantly searched for my health and I didn’t settle. Right after the birth I started feeling really sick - always dizzy, weight gain, pounding headaches, nausea, shaking, hot flashes, and insomnia. I was scared to hold my baby because I always felt like I was going to faint.
For a couple of weeks, my appts were one on top of the other - a naturopath, OBGYN, chiropractor, and my therapist just to name a few. Having this support team helped balance my hormones, which allowed me to more easily separate my logic and emotion. It helped me feel physically better, which gave me brain space to mentally begin healing.
A lot of my PPD was spent sitting through the pain and processing feelings, because I knew this was the only way it would pass. When triggers came or emotions overwhelmed me, I went in my room and closed the door so I could scream and cry. I yelled at God saying, “I can’t do this anymore.” And I begged him to carry me through.
And you know what?
Postpartum depression is ugly and horrible. Not only for me, but for my family. Jacob and I would just sit on the floor as I cried and he would hold me and tell me he loved me because that’s really all we could do. I knew that time would heal, but time felt like an eternity.
There is always hope and there is always prayer.
If you happen to be struggling through anything similar, I can’t stress enough - fight for yourself. I know how hard it can be to even get out of bed, but choosing to do something with all of the negative energy is what will save you. Whether that is medication, a phone call to a loved one, meditation,
or praying like you never have before.
MAMA, I PROMISE,
YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS.