I’ll be honest with you…
I didn’t even know that I HAD postpartum depression. I know what you’re thinking, “How could you NOT know?”. The truth is, I honestly remember being, overall, generally very happy.
After all, my husband was home for the Summer without having to go to work (he’s a professor and gets the summers off for the most part), I had a brand new beautiful baby boy, I was on maternity leave for several months, and I was letting myself eat anything that I wanted since I just went through…ya know…a big life changing surgery.
Basically, other than being drop dead tired, I was living the dream. I remember thinking, “Wow! I’m really surprised I wasn’t affected by PPD. I thought for sure I would have some sort of issue but its really not been a problem at all.”
My was I wrong.
So, how does a grown woman go about 8 months without realizing what she was actually going through? Because PPD is a sneaky, conniving, little, bitch, ladies.
I recently spoke to my sister and she confirmed my suspicions. She thought I might be suffering without realizing it, but let’s be honest, anyone going through that needs to realize it for themselves or they won’t change anything. So, let’s get real…
When Flynn was first born, I couldn’t be any more in love (and I still am!), but I genuinely thought he hated me. I mean I literally thought this little guy who had barely been on this Earth more than a couple of months loved my husband and hated me. Now that I look back on that, it makes me really sad. How could it have not dawned on me that feeling that way was my mind crying out that something was wrong?
To carry something that you’ve grown yourself around for 9 months and watch your body change is an amazing and extremely hard thing to do. Pregnancy, while beautiful and life changing, is HARD you guys…like…harder than you expect.
For the first few months I was so sick and in one of the worst depressions I’ve ever been in. Maybe that’s another blog post though. Let me know if you’d like to hear about the first trimester from my perspective.
MY point being…
You spend all that time growing and keeping something safe inside you and then the big day comes. You meet your sweet baby and everything feels just right. And then, it happens, PPD comes along and makes you think the thing you worked so hard to have despises you and that they don’t need you. And, you know what? It’s not fair at all that I felt like that.
I know someone who thought about physically harming herself after giving birth. I also know someone else who had thoughts of hurting others too. I feel extremely lucky that mine never got so bad. However, any kind of emotional distress you’re going through that rocks you to your very core…needs to be addressed. That’s why i’m writing this blog- as a warning and a reminder from your friendly neighborhood blogging girl.
Are you listening???
LOOK FOR THE SIGNS OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION BEFORE IT GETS OUT OF CONTROL! None of us have to feel this way! PPD can be helped in so many ways.
I remember lying in bed and hearing Flynn start to cry- and I wanted to cry because it was two in the morning and that meant it was time to try breast pumping again. My husband would bring our boy close and feed him his bottle while I tried pumping; one of the most painful/exhausting/ and alienating things that I have ever done. Plus, I was barely producing so all of it felt like it was for nothing.
I’d watch Zack feeding Flynn and I’d feel my boobs getting more and more sore and I wanted to burst into tears…and sometimes I did. But again and again, I told myself it wasn’t PPD. I thought it was sleep deprivation and that was the end of it. All the while I thought about how I wasn’t helping Flynn and Zack was doing everything. I couldn’t help it. No matter how much I told myself, “You just went through a HUGE surgery. You need to take it easy. The dishes can be done later. You’ll get your body back in time.” I always felt like I wasn’t providing enough to my family (and sometimes I still struggle with this thought).
Now that Flynn is sleeping through the night and I’m a bit more rested, I can see that sleep deprivation was only one factor in what was going on.
Before I make this blog into a super bummer of a post, I’ll sum it up here.
PPD is not something you have to go through by yourself. Speak up and don’t be ashamed. No one deserves to feel like that and there are plenty of others who will understand what you’re going through.
I’m SO PROUD to say that I am now seeing an amazing therapist who gives me homework each week I see her. I’m changing my outlook on life and I am becoming a much happier person for it. I truly think everyone could benefit from seeing a therapist. No matter how good your life is, you know you still have your stuff.
Self care is important…and don’t you forget that!