Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression is real for many new parents. I didn’t realize I was depressed until I became pregnant with my second son. My heart aches for our sweet, darling first born. In retrospect he must have felt my sadness and desperation during that time. I spent the first two years of his life not knowing who I was anymore, an identity crisis that too many parents experience without talking about it.

New Mother

 

My Postpartum Depression

Can you relate? Are there days when you wake up, or stop whatever frantic chore you are doing for a quick second to catch your breath and think: “Who is this person?”  The wretched “how did I get HERE?” thought that most parents, especially stay at home parents, don’t like to acknowledge because, well, that might seem ungrateful.

Here is the thing. I am so very grateful. I practice gratitude every day. {Health. Family. Friends.} It frightens me to think that I could be ungrateful. So, I am paralyzed to admit truthfully when I am in pain, when I am sad, when I need to talk to someone…so afraid to admit when something doesn’t feel right because feeling ungrateful, for me, at least, is the worst feeling of all.

That circular thinking is what led me to suffer for two years.

Mom Depression

 

I am not sure if I didn’t recognize it or didn’t admit it, or both. This having a kid thing is no joke: Sleep deprivation, a total loss of control in your life and the defining moment of realizing “this” is the way of your new life.  Those circumstances are tough. I also had a difficult labor and delivery, which, admittedly made my recovery a bit more arduous relatively speaking. So, my sadness, well, it HAD to be because of all those THINGS. Right?

Two words: POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION*

{gasp}.

Truthfully, I had always been vulnerable to depression and anxiety. I probably should have dealt with that earlier in life but better late than never. Having a baby gave me an out, finally, after two years that is…

…and a very honest conversation with a good friend who was suffering similarly. She recommended a therapist to me. Then I took the giant leap and moved forward. I finally admitted to MYSELF that I needed to work through these feelings. That decision on its own merit was enough to make me feel “better’.

Postpartum Depression

I wasn’t alone.

Going to a therapist was such a relief. Finally I felt like I could let my guard down, process outwardly, and, the best part, it was acceptable to talk about myself for an hour to this person I am paying to listen and to help me make sense of “my story”.  I wasn’t burdening anyone. I wasn’t wasting time that could otherwise be spent thinking and doing “happier” things. We parents internalize a lot of things. Talking is so important.

I will never forget what my therapist said to me at our first meeting. She said, “Marnie, there is nothing we can do to change your narrative, your life story, but what we can do is change how you view it.” Such a great foundation to start the journey of feeling “better”.

Thank you for choosing to read my story. I look forward to connecting and sharing more with you.
Marnie

* For me, dealing with postpartum depression was two fold: 1) chemical and 2) emotional. A woman’s brain chemistry changes PERMANENTLY during the experience of having a baby. So, sometimes that chemistry shakes a woman a bit and medication is required in the interim. I don’t think I have to explain #2.

** The statistics on postpartum depression are startling to say the least. If you think you are experiencing PPD, even mildly, please do yourself a favor and seek help. Many extraordinary resources exist to help you and/or someone you love.