No one talks about Postpartum Depression.
I was warned about PPD during my pregnancy visits and our child birth classes. I remember when I had Brooklyn, being asked a series of questions every visit after my check up; a few days after due to my unplanned Cesarean delivery, a week after with my midwife, and 6 weeks after for my final check up. Questions that were supposed to tell me if I was at risk for PDD, “Have you thought of hurting yourself or the baby?” “Do you not find joy in the things you used to anymore?” My answer was always very quickly, “No, of course not'”.
Because I thought PPD was, honestly, when you had a hard time connecting with your baby and if I knew anything, I so deeply loved that new little baby, so there was no way I had PPD.
But what I didn’t know is that PPD shows up in a variety of different ways, for different mothers.
For me, I developed an extreme anxiety about Brooklyn.
It started out with me googling, researching on Pinterest, and browsing Facebook. And what I found was overwhelming amount of information that scared the shit out of me. Germs, diseases, SIDS, sex trafficking, and so much more. My baby wasn’t safe and if I messed up and made the wrong call, than I could hurt my baby. I became terrified. I didn’t sleep. Because if I was awake, than I could make sure she didn’t suffocate in her sleep. I washed and washed bottles because I read a horror story online. I didn’t leave the house because if I was with Brooklyn, I knew she was safe. And if we left the house together, I was on edge because she was no longer in her safe bubble.
My anxiety hurt my relationship with my husband. I would yell and act out, because of fear and exhaustion. I know Blair would never do anything to harm our daughter, but he wasn’t reading what I was reading, and so he didn’t know the dangers of the world like I did. I was taking out my frustrations on him and he didn’t deserve it.
And on top of all that, my body was different. My body didn’t look like mine. It didn’t feel like mine.
I felt alone. And lost. And scared.
Four months postpartum, I felt my spirit break. I needed help.
So I decided to start talking about my PPD. I spoke to Blair. To my friends. And I realized I wasn’t alone. I heard other stories and realized that I shouldn’t be ashamed for feeling this way. This mom stuff is really hard and I’m going to make mistakes. Instead of driving myself crazy with articles online, I just call our pediatrician with my questions about Brooklyn. At the end of the day, I’m going to do what is going to be best for Brooklyn. As time continues, the anxiety has lessened and I feel more confident as a mother. And now I make time for myself, whether it be a long hot shower, or happy hour with a girlfriend.
I’m still trying to figure out my new normal, and balance my new life. Some days are still hard, but I am loved, supported, and a damn good mom.
If you feel you may have PPD, talk to your friends, family, or a physician. You are not alone little mama.