What is Postpartum Depression?
The best way I can describe Depression and Anxiety Disorder is like a dark, black, sadness filled hole where the light at the top represents everything your life is not. You keep climbing yet sinking deeper and deeper.... until you think this new way of living in this dark hole is just normal.
This is just life now. It’s brutally difficult and joy is non existent. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your family? Women with Postpartum Depression need help. This article is here to assist you in overcoming depression and anxiety. It is part one in a series. Parts two and three can be found linked at the bottom of the article.
I always thought depression and anxiety were a state of mind. Until I got Postpartum Depression after the birth of my son, Titus. I figured the pre-pregnancy Sara could use some chill out techniques and some self help books, but the post pregnancy me had a full blown mental imbalance.
I want to tell you that PPD is real, common and very, very hard to get out of.
Being a new mom, you have just been through the long, grueling experience of pregnancy. You probably haven’t slept well the past few months. You probably want your body back by now. You probably want to be able to take an Advil once in awhile! After the baby is born, you are thrown into this new life that is so unlike the baby books and anything on TV.
Sleep deprivation, poor appetite, stress and worry and constant “being on” takes it’s toll. For some becoming a new mom may come easier than others (I have yet to meet a mom that would say that...) but for me and many other moms it was shockingly unexpected how hard becoming a mom would be.
How Postpartum Depression Started
My son was premature and was taken to sick kids hospital right after birth. This traumatic experience would take a year to begin healing from. Plus, because of this separation, breast feeding was awful. My milk wouldn’t come in plus the hospital staff already had Titus used to bottle feeding. My physical condition was a nightmare. After my 40 stitches I was confined to a wheelchair for 4 days after delivery. I felt useless, exhausted and overwhelmingly sad that my son had to go through this. I could not look at him connected to his IV without completely breaking down.
After 5 days my husband and I got the amazing news that Titus could come home. We were over the moon. We put his tiny body in his huge car seat and set off.
Once we got home, reality set in. No nurses to help with feeding. No supervision so my husband and I could sleep. Titus was one of those perfect angels that only slept in 40 minute stints. We continued to struggle to breast feed. Usually ending in both of us crying while my husband went to warm up a bottle. Baby crying, breast feed attempt, bottle feeding, diaper change, more breast pump, baby crying, etc. etc. went on for weeks.
By this time I had lost 40 pounds because the thought to eat food never phased me. My husband and I both weren’t sleeping. Then about a month after Titus was born the real PPD started.
I woke up one morning and thought to myself “why even get out of bed. Why even try. I suck at being a mom, I suck at life and want to crawl into a hole somewhere and just sleep”. The days were monotonous, my energy level was so low. I wasn’t eating, I was barely showering and full days went by where I did not get any fresh air. I started to have really bad anxiety.
Because of Titus’s labor and delivery, I had constant panic about his well being. I also had no clue what I was doing as mom despite constant googling on the matter. Every sound he made, every small cry, was like a dagger straight to the heart. I couldn’t possibly protect him from everything, therefore something awful will inevitably happen to him so why even wait for that to happen? If anything happened to my son I would just kill myself.
I was blessed to have my amazing and supportive husband, but had no one else. I tried to hide my depression and anxiety from my husband, knowing he was tired too.
Then One day I broke. I laid on the couch, no tears, no drama in my voice, just certainty. I told my husband I was done living and wanted to die. I was finished. The world I lived in was dark and my son deserved so much better than me. I, as a person, did not matter anymore.
That was an awful day for my husband and I. He did a great job talking me down, but I knew I had to get help, and fast.
Help for Postpartum Depression
The Postpartum Depression and Anxiety journey is something that took me 2 years so work through. It is a battle to overcome but it does not have to take this long.
Please read the Postpartum Depression Checklist article about where to go from here. If you can relate to my story, and need help, this next article will outline the steps to get you going in the right direction.
For the Free Guide to banish depression and anxiety as a Stay At Home Mom, see HERE.
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