Postpartum depression. It is a very real disorder, and I don’t believe it’s spoken about nearly enough. There’s information out there if you look for it but I do not believe I hear enough about it on social media, tv, or even at the hospital after you deliver. Like it’s a taboo subject. Those of us who suffer or have suffered with it should not be ashamed about it. We should be open and honest about postpartum depression disorder.
For myself I was one month away from turning 21 when I gave birth to my eldest son. It was an emergency cesarean since he was stuck, and his heart rate was racing at 220. Probably the most scared I have ever been with any of my deliveries, and I’ve had all 5 via c-section.
We are shown how to clean them, take care of their umbilical until it falls off, how to breast feed, and how to swaddle them. Nowhere in that time that I was there was I ever spoken to about postpartum and signs to look for.
I think our first four months were smooth for him and I. I got the rest needed and had plenty of help from my husband and mom. When I started Medical Assisting school is when everything started going downhill. I enrolled when my baby was 3-4 months. My mom had mentioned one time that I may have postpartum depression and I shrugged it off. You know like we all do when our moms tell us something we don’t like. We ignore and move on. Nope it wasn’t helping me to just move on and continue to ignore it.
Now, I believe that we all experience it differently. Like I would go 0 to 100 real quick. Just completely flip my lid if I didn’t like what I was being told on how to care for my child, or if my husband said something I didn’t like, I would just get so angry. It was scary because I had no idea why I was being so ugly sometimes nor why when my baby would cry, I was like whatever he will be fine. Or just feel so totally displaced in my mind that when my child would touch me I would feel so frustrated and always when I nursed. Some days I would just cry, and I had no idea why. I mean he was already 6 or 7 months so surely, I should not be so hormonal anymore, right? Wrong. I was so very wrong. I never even sought help nor did I tell anyone what I was feeling. I felt alone, scared, and depressed over feeling I wasn’t good enough for my son since I couldn’t even love him the way he deserved. It seemed to go away on its own eventually and so we move on with our lives.
I ended up pregnant with my daughter and gave birth 2.5 years later. My son was going on 3 years when I had his sister. This pregnancy was smooth just like with my sons and with this delivery I knew what to expect since my doctor had already told me I was going to have to have a c-section. So, my appointment was early morning and everything went smooth. No issues other than another rude nurse. Honestly, if you’re going to be working in labor and delivery then try not to be a jerk. Especially when you get new moms, its already uncomfortable having someone change your pad and having your whole hooha out in the open. Rant aside, my girl came out a healthy 7lbs.
It was a good 2 months before I started to feel the same way I did with my oldest. Now prior to giving birth I did look into postpartum and even told my doctor, Dr. Brown about what I felt and went through with my first. Now, Dr. Brown did end up explaining postpartum symptoms, but he never mentioned the anger I would have. So for a bit I just thought maybe I was bipolar. Anyhow, he told me to come in if I ever felt frustration from holding him or cried a lot more than usual.
Well turns out with my second I ended up feeling suicidal from feeling like I was letting my daughter down and not being able to love on her like I had imagined I would. I would wake up every day feeling guilty from the day before and try so hard to just do better. One day it was just too much. Too much sadness, too much anger, too much guilt, and I just thought maybe my family would be better off without me to keep causing such turmoil.
God saved me. He gave me a man who fought for our family, who helped me the day it was too much and wanted to be done living. He gave me a choice, to seek help or I had to leave. I mean men don’t really know much about ppd. How would he know what I’m suffering from when he has never heard of it?
After one week I felt the change. I was able to breathe again. I started to feel more balanced, more connected, just more alive. I have dealt with PPD with all of my children and made sure to get help each time. I don’t think I ever told my family what we went through until years later. Because I felt ashamed. That is the worst feeling, because it is not your fault and many women still tend to blame themselves. Please do not.
Seek help! Postpartum depression is common and treatable. Get the help needed and know that by doing so it doesn’t make you weak, broken, or unworthy of having children. Love yourself enough by helping yourself. You are a mother, a superhuman in my opinion.
I do want to share that in my darkest days I pray to God through the rosary. It is the one thing where I feel Him when I cant be in church. Let’s speak up and share what postpartum depression is so that other mom’s are aware of it and know when to seek help. Surround yourself with support.
Stay blessed my friends.