My Postpartum Struggles - One Year Later
So some of you may already know, after giving birth to Roscoe, I thought I had lost my damn mind. Turns out, I had a little postpartum depression, with a heavy dose of postpartum anxiety. If you'd like to read all about how I figured it out, what it felt like, and the steps I took to take some control, you can head over to Postpartum Realness.
After recognizing what actually was happening to me and what I was going through, it was a slow process. Yes, a huge weight was lifted once I realized what was actually going on and that I could take back some of my sanity, but I wasn't magically all better. It took some time to emerge from the dense fog that weighed so heavily on me. On my heart. On my mind. On my soul.
I started by going back to my counselor. Met with her multiple times and talked. And talked and talked and talked and talked and talked. She gave me so many tools and ways to deal with some of the things I was going through that felt so foreign.
I continued to walk and push my babies through town almost daily. And finally, after what felt like YEARS, I was able to get back to the pool. To the place that has been the number one place for me to sort out any and every thing that weighed on me. You know that part in Legally Blonde where Elle is talking about how people who exercise couldn't murder anyone because exercise causes endorphins and endorphins make you happy? IT'S SO TRUE!
So for the next 8 weeks, I did both of those things. I leaned on people around me, I asked for help(even though it just about killed me), and every day was a little better than the one before, life a little more clear.
Until I was free. Until I no longer felt anything weighing me down or prohibiting a deep breath. I could look at my Coe and know that he was made for me. That I had friggin' made it. I conquered my demons and came out on the other side. Better. Stronger.
Do I sometimes still feel the pull to fall back into that anxiety? Into that heaviness? Do I feel that niggling feeling sometimes when the sun starts to go down(my trigger time)? Do I get twitchy when things are chaotic? Yes to all of the above. But instead of running from it and trying to ignore it by going, going, going. I stopped. I regrouped.
My entire adult life, I always claimed to want a big family, lots of kids. People would as how many we thought we'd have and my answer was always, "a litter". My experience with PPA/PPD changed that for me for a while. My husband would talk about trying again and I would straight up refuse to even think about it. I NEVER wanted to feel like that again. What if it happened with the next one? What if it was worse?
But you know what? I still want another baby, maybe two. Because even though it was awful dealing with that and trying to not lose my mind, he is so worth it. I also feel better equipped to not just deal with it, but recognize it sooner. To realize something is off & to assess what's going on. To not be afraid to speak up when I'm not feeling myself. To ask for help from anyone who will give it, just so I can make it through the day.
For so many of us, we feel like we have to suffer in silence. Like we're less of a mother for not feeling that immediate bond with our baby or for the shame for feeling so sad after receiving the greatest gift there is. And in turn, the guilt. The guilt by itself is suffocating enough without having to worry about being judged for how we're feeling.
But please, listen to me, hear me when I say.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.
YOU WILL MAKE IT THROUGH.
I AM HERE FOR YOU.
YOU'RE A GREAT MOM.
Here are some resources for reaching out should you need them:
Postpartum Support International - 1.800.944.4773
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