Although this isn’t the most popular topic, ever since I had my baby, I heard more and more women talk about their experiences and how it affected them post-baby. I know this sounds crazy… but I honestly thought that only the women who dealt with depression prior to getting pregnant could experience postpartum depression. Man… was I wrong.
This is still hard for me to talk about because of how it affected me, but after having my baby I was in a bad place. Once we were done in the delivery room and they took us to the postpartum room, I was holding my baby in awe but I knew something was wrong. His breathing was too rapid. I asked my nurse to check him, and she did, but just told me he was fine. I knew he wasn’t and I’m so glad I didn’t just take her word for it. I requested a pediatrician and she took Micah away to see one and he never came back to that room.
As I’m sitting in bed waiting on him to come back, the pediatrician walks in instead, sits down, and says he needs to explain what could be wrong with our baby. My heart SANK. I thought everything was perfect! This was supposed to be something minor and I just knew within minutes I’d have my baby back in my arms. Well, they took him to the NICU and turns out he had fluid in lungs, he wasn’t eating so they needed to put a feeding tube in his nose, his blood sugar was low so they had to constantly take his blood, he was hooked up to an IV and other machines and I was just destroyed.
Now, I’m fully aware that some women go through far worse. However, that doesn’t change what I was experiencing at that moment. My husband was very surprised when I finally shared how I was feeling because I showed no signs — I just needed to be strong for my baby. By the time we got home, I started to process what I had just dealt with the last 3 days. We got home on a Saturday afternoon and I thought I was okay until Monday came and my husband started a pretty busy week. For those who know me… I never cry. I cried almost all day everyday for that whole week. When we went to Micah’s first doctor’s appointment and I had to fill out the form about how I was doing, I lied and said I was good. My husband saw it and asked me why I’m lying and I immediately got defensive. I was fine! I was just… tired, maybe?
I’m not sure why this stigma around depression exists, but it’s poison. How can we get past anything in life without help? I was being so hard on myself and I couldn’t understand why I had just given birth to this perfect little child who was all mine and I was miserable. When my husband would leave to work, I thought my life was over. He saw what was going on and after a few days he told me I had one more day like that and if I didn’t get better, he was taking me to a doctor. I’m very stubborn… lol so he knows when he needs to put his foot down. The next morning I asked him if we could go for a walk, and I swear my life changed. Just feeling the wind touch me made a huge difference and I felt happy for the very first time since giving birth.
For any moms who have gone through this and are willing to share their experience with other moms or moms-to-be, thank you! It’s so important that we know that this happens to most moms and that it’s okay to seek help or look for ways to help it. Here are the things that really helped me get over the depression:
This was my first step to getting better — I spent every day in my room with my blackout curtains closed and barely moved. Once I realized how unhappy I was in the dark and actually decided to do something about it, I felt so much better. I understand that this may not be easy for everyone and had my husband not given me just one more day in the state I was in, I probably wouldn’t have done anything to change it. But, I definitely encourage this step towards getting back to your old self.
I’ve never been a fan of having people over my house. Mostly because I feel like I need to play host and be “on” all the time and that gives me serious anxiety. But, I’m working on that. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone. The same day that I went outside for the first time, I also got a visit from my best friend aka goddy ;) and it was amazing. We hang out and gossip frequently lol but this was just needed. I’m so glad she was able to come and it really helped me get better. Human contact is needed — especially for mamas who were working outside of the home and now only sees the baby all day.
This is TOUGH. At least for some and it was tough for me. I wanted to be with my baby at all times, even though it wasn’t healthy. Not because of him but because I needed time to myself. The first time I had this was to wash my hair. Not everyone experiences this, but I have A LOT of hair. A lot of curly hair. So, wash days are a whole ordeal. My hubby took Micah out to run errands and I took the most glorious shower. After that it was work time to myself. I said I wouldn’t work until 1-1.5 months after having him, but my brain never stopped working. I was eager to work on anything design related. So, I got that time — just a little bit, but it made me feel so much better to know I was still myself.
To be completely honest, I still don’t feel 100% like my old self. There are certain things that still trigger those feelings, but it’s nothing like it was before. I’m still not able to look at pictures of my baby with those tubes and hooked up to machines, but I know the steps I need to take whenever I get into that funk.
Good luck to any mama going through this!