There is something I want to share with you, something I really was too afraid to share before now. Something I thought I COULDN’T share, because of this reason, or no reason at all. Just plain fear. But I am going to. Because I wish I had read something like this, and I hope it will help even one mom, one time.
Being a mom is my favorite part about my life. It’s what I always wanted to be, and it has been even better than I ever could have imagined. Although, there have been some things that I didn’t ever anticipate happening to me. That’s how it always is though, right? You hear about bad things happening to other people but think, “that would never happen to me!” And sometimes, you are right. Sometimes you are unscathed and those bad things don’t happen to you.
And sometime’s, you are wrong. So dead wrong that you don’t even know what to do, or where to turn because you never even considered that it might be you.
This was me.
When we lost our first pregnancy, I wanted to get pregnant again right away. I didn’t know how to cope, and I knew that was what would help me. And it did. My pregnancy was hard, I had HG and struggled to keep up with life. After her birth, I expected everything else to be soooo easy. Yet, I was wrong, again. I fell into depression, while unable to cope with my struggle to breastfeed. Back then I didn’t even realize I had postpartum anxiety, and depression. I thought it was normal. I blamed it all on breastfeeding and grew an unhealthy and unrealistic (for me) attachment to it.
After going through that, I knew I needed to have no attachment when we wanted to get pregnant again, and I didn’t. I was as unattached to it as I could be. I thought everything was going fine. The birth left me with a lot of anxiety and terrible thoughts, but I had some of those thoughts while pregnant (morn=bid thoughts that Calum and I were going to die), and brushed them off as best as I could. I still didn’t realize I was suffering postpartum anxiety and depression. The first few months of Cal’s life were hard, and I blamed the way I was feeling on that.
Until finally, one day it hit me. Amelia was standing on the toilet and I saw her falling off of it, several times, but she wasn’t falling. She was secure, and she was fine. I felt crazy and then was hit with the thought: “something is wrong. I think I have postpartum anxiety.” So I called my midwife. We talked about all the things I was feeling. All the things I was feeling so anxious about, all the emotions I was struggling with that made no sense and were so intense that I couldn’t cope with the basics of life. I couldn’t leave my house. I didn’t talk to anyone. I was depressed.
I got on several herbs and supplements and started taking more of my placenta pills (yeah, I encapsulated mine each baby, and I am so grateful I did!). I wanted to share all the other things I did to help:
The herbs I took daily:
- 2-3,000 mg fish oil
- lemon balm
- passion flower
- evening primrose oil
Other things I did daily:
- time for myself
- Spending time outside (even just walking to the mailbox to start)
- eating healthy again (when you feel this way you really do stop taking care of yourself)
- talking to my husband and my best friend about the things that were hard to talk about
- Taking one day, one moment, one task at a time
- each day I wrote down 3 things that went well, no matter how small!
- got back to writing
- started my blog (something I always waned to do!)
- prayer and meditation
- slowly worked on being present in each moment, and finding the joy in it even if it wasn’t the most joyful moment.
- getting more sleep and rest
- (probably the biggest) spending quality time with each of my kids
There are so many things that will help, and some were not for me, and some won’t be for you. I wanted to share what helped me. I am 9 months pp now and mostly doing great. I am definitely feeling more normal than I have for a long time, and I am so grateful to all of the people who helped me get here. My biggest advice is do NOT try to go it alone. I thought I could the first time, and I ignored it, and I never healed. It made the second time so much harder and so much more severe. It was terrifying, and I hate that this happens to so many mama’s. Being a new mom is hard enough.
I honestly never wanted to share any of this, but lately I have been feeling that I need to. I feel that if I had read something like this all that time ago, I would have maybe realized what was going on, or understood it better. I would have started getting help a lot sooner, and I know that if ppd was talked about more, I would not have been so scared to share it publicly.
But I hope that changes. I hope that more women open up about it, and share it with others so we can all support and lift each other. We need it so much, sometimes more than we realize.
If you think you might be suffering postpartum depression, anxiety, or psychosis, please tell someone. Please get help, and please know that you are not alone. It happens all the time, more than we ever even know. And it’s okay. There is a light at the end of that tunnel. If you ever need anyone to talk to, you can always reach out to me. I am not a doctor, of any kind, but I know what it is like. I have survived it. I can and I will be a friend, someone to talk to, to vent to, to lean on, someone who can understand, someone who will help you in anyway you need and in anyway that I can.
Never forget that you are amazing, and strong, and you are doing an amazing job as a mama. There are millions of other moms out there who are cheering you on, who have your back, and would be there for you if you ever needed them.