It's taken me weeks to write this. In fact, it's taken me weeks to even have the motivation to write on my blog again which might come as a surprise to most of you if you've ever seen me talk about blogging. My blog is almost like a third child to me! I cherish this space where I can come and express myself without barriers, a place that also helps me support my family while doing what I love. In fact, more and more, I'm finding that I'm happy this path found me instead of going to school for journalism. The media today is a scary place, and my blog? My blog feels safe.
Let's get down to the point. I have postpartum depression. For the second time. It'd be easy to lie and say I had it all under control this time around because I was prepared. But I won't do that here. I started this blog as a way to openly express myself, no matter what. I want to help people remove the stigma of postpartum depression and encourage treatment. So yes, I'm saying it. I had postpartum depression. Again.
It started off with gradually less and less sleep. I was awake all night long and napping all throughout the day with my kids.
Then, I started noticing the mood swings. Were things feeling bad in my marriage because they were actually bad or because postpartum depression was wreaking havoc on me?
I remember the final thought that made me think, "okay, it's time to get help." I was dealing with severe mood swings all day and my husband and I got in a fight. I went to bed just sobbing because I couldn't control my emotions, over something SO trivial. I remember thinking, "my family would be better off without me." I didn't want to die or anything like that, I just felt like getting away. This isn't a normal feeling for me. I'm clingy to my husband and my kids are my everything! As soon as I recognized that, I headed back to my OB.
What's different about postpartum depression this time around?
There are so many differences between the first and second time I had/have postpartum depression that it was hard for me to identify the second time. The first time around, I started feeling this way immediately. I was able to get it under control without any medication or counseling, but looking back, I wish I had at least done counseling.
This time, I felt like I was drowning. Before, I was "barely keeping my head above water", and this time, I wasn't keeping my head above water. I was drowning. I wasn't cleaning, I wasn't cooking, I was just surviving... and barely.
You might wonder why I've chosen to write about this and be so open about it. I find that a lot of women are having children and don't know what to expect with PPD. They're too ashamed to get help, or they just don't know that what they're experiencing is totally normal.
This time around, I've chosen to medicate and seek counseling as a combination to treat the depression and once I feel like I've made some progress in counseling, I'll wean myself off the antidepressants. I have to say, after having been in treatment for 2 months now, I feel astronomically better and much more like myself. There are still days when I really struggle to see the light, but I'm a better mom, wife, and human because of my decision to seek help.
I'm writing this as a plea to other moms out there: do not be ashamed. Please seek help. What you are feeling is normal. YOU are worthy. YOU are important. Do not let the depression make you think you aren't worth help.
If you're struggling with this as well, feel free to comment below or email me! I love helping women seek help!