HOW HAS YOUR POSTPARTUM JOURNEY BEEN?
When I gave birth it was so amazing, so that’s why I was in denial about me having postpartum depression and anxiety. I love my son and I absolutely love being his mom! The anxiety had always been with me but once my depression kicked in it tripled and went full attack mode on me.
The first day home was so hectic for me I had a good 8 people here and maybe 6 or 7 of them I wasn’t comfortable with at all being there, my milk came in that day, I only had my medella bottles washed because those were the only bottles I planned on using and stick to breast feeding and pumping. But my mother in law and sister in law insisted to my husband they wanted to help wash them I told my husband no but he said just let them help. So, I did, come to find out months later they had negative things to say about me not being ready as a mother - when in reality I had already done what I NEEDED. Knowing that you’re being judged with anxiety can be the worst for a new mom. I was constantly worried about my supply and why I wasn’t producing enough, I hated eating for a good 3 months, I was still losing so much hair, I lost so much already during my pregnancy, it just made me so insecure of myself even more. Still, I was convincing myself that I was fine and just going through baby blues.
I remember before I gave birth I asked my husband what if I got ppd, his response was “Only weak people get that babe, you’re one of the strongest people I know, you’ll be fine.” So that’s why I told myself, it wasn’t me. I remember one day my supply dropped significantly and I wanted nothing to do with my son by the evening because he was crying so much (because he was constantly hungry and I couldn’t feed him myself). But at the same time, I just wanted him near me to comfort him. So, formula it was and I still kept pumping but it just wasn’t in my cards breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. So, my birth plan, my personality, my hair, my homecoming, my breastfeeding plans literally blew up in my face. I kept saying it could be worse it could be worse, but I was still so sad. I cried every night for a month after the last time I breastfed, my husband had no idea how to deal with it. Finally, 6 months after I gave birth I got really bad with no sleep and more crying and finally realized I had a huge problem on my hands. My husband was in denial, I think till this day he still is, and has no clue on how to cope with this. But I knew I was scared, I finally told him a few days later, I told my few people I was comfortable with a month later, because my husband told me, you’re not going to events, you need to tell them why. I avoided food, I avoided sleep and I avoided people. It seemed people just vanished after the first 2 months and I had no friends around, I hated bothering them to come over just to talk but I needed it more than I let anyone know. I drove myself crazy during the days, not just being a first-time mom, but a stay at home mom who had worked for the last 10 years before. It was so hard!!!! Here I am 13 almost 14 months later and I still don’t sleep much maybe 4 to 5 hours a night, I cry maybe 3 times a week like a really good cry, I worry about what I do constantly - but my son is happy, growing and learning every day, he loves me and my husband (mostly me right now!!!)
I have to think that the worst days are the days I’m the strongest and fighting the hardest. I never had any real thoughts of hurting myself but when it crossed my mind if my family would be better without, I couldn’t leave me son because my anxiety would kick in and slap me in the face and say who is better than you to take care of your son? Nobody, he needs his mamma, healthy and around!!! I just take it day by day know and understand myself a little better now.
WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?
Other mothers should know, that PPD/PPA doesn’t have a timeline. It doesn’t make you a bad mother. Ask for help from those you trust. Its okay to cry when the baby cries, place the baby in the bassinet, crib or bed safely. Put the camera on or at least make sure the baby is safe, walk in another room and cry and breath! Do not hold it in, that only makes it worse and if you have people around you who aren’t supporting you or just make it worse, its okay to push them away. You need to have positive people around you. You will know who you can trust and who will help you. Great moms have bad days too, its okay if all you do that day is just simply take care of the baby. Just because you have PPD doesn’t mean you don’t love your child. I had a bond with my son I was just insecure of it and scared 24/7. It’s hard enough to deal with your feelings at this time, keep the negative out!
WHAT RESOURCES HELPED YOU GAIN CONTROL OF YOUR PPD?
I didn’t have insurance any longer by the time I realized I had an issue, so I didn’t get to get any meds. My sons dr office, the lactation consultant actually talked to me about it and helped me realize it. I used some cbd oils just to sleep, not a lot but I took maybe 2 puffs the first time and I slept so well and felt amazing the next day. But I don’t have access to it all the time, with lack of money at the moment. My son was honestly the one who helped me the most believe it or not. Seeing him grow, walk and being active every day, saying mom. Knowing that if I wasn’t a good mom he wouldn’t want me around him!!I have learned he will be fine, and my worries are just so intense with my PPA. One of the first times my son had ever seen me cry was when he was 7 months - he wouldn’t sleep late at night and was teething like no tomorrow. Tears were just rolling down my face like a river and he grabbed my face, touched my tears and smiled, just kept smiling. It made me cry more because he had no idea what was going on with mom but he was smiling at me. When he does that it makes me feel better about myself and calms me down. I use sage once a month to cleanse out my home from any negativity, but one day at a time mama!!
I know there is going to be a day where my son won’t need my comfort like this, those sleepless nights will be a blur to me sometime in the future. But just remember there are always moms out there that understand what you are going through. It helps me to see that my son is constantly growing in every aspect! Just focus on you and the baby’s health, that’s what matters. Just like any other job we train, and can still ask for help along the way even after 2 or 3 months, it should be the same for moms. It takes a village and I truly believe that. Ask for help, nap at least once when the baby naps and the other naps, clean, relax, or do whatever you need or want to do. The important thing is you don’t lose yourself, you just rebuild the woman who is now a mom, it’s an upgrade of who you were.