This is what Post-Partum Depression (PPD) looks like.
See that smile? That lady out and about? That’s me. I am what PPD looks like.
PPD looks like the mom that’s all put together. The socialite who is at every playdate – just never hosts one.
PPD looks like the smiling successful mom that’s patient with her kids – at least in public.
PPD looks like an estimated 15-20% of women who have given birth in the last 12 months.
Post Partum Depression feels like…
… your to-do list is too long to finish, so you might as well not start.
…you’re failing your children and your family.
…selling off all of your crafting supplies because you don’t find joy in creating anymore.
…going through the motions to just barely survive.
…getting up isn’t even worth it anymore some days.
…rage, even at the littlest things.
…sadness, over nothing at all.
… like that little bundle of joy, whom you’re supposed to love unconditionally, has brought you nothing but sadness and hormones and you just don’t know what to do anymore, or whom to ask for help, even with supportive family members and health workers.
Prior to having my daughter, I had never been depressed. While I was pregnant with her, I suffered through ante-partum depression, and struggled all the way up until she was born, at which point the weight was lifted.
Since then, I’ve always been watching myself for cues of depression.
Everything had been great, until about 3 months post-partum with my son. Suddenly, I stopped creating. I stopped cleaning. I was barely keeping up with chores and keeping us all fed and clothed. My husband helped how he could, and many nights that was just holding me while I wept for no reason at all, again.
It wasn’t every day, either.
Many days I was fine. But the days that I wasn’t started to increase in frequency.
I saw my doctor and received a prescription for an anti-depressant. I started taking it that day.
Within two days, I had developed a debilitating migraine. I hurt too much to move at all. This continued for four days until I discontinued the medication.
Medication options are limited for breastfeeding mothers, and as I’m tandem nursing, I haven’t tried others. I would rather be sad than in pain.
Instead, I manage however I can. I have a few things working for me, namely sunshine and routine. I’ve created a sort of routine that keeps me moving on throughout the day, I always know what the next thing to do is, so I don’t have idle time to dwell on how sad I am. I also try and get us at least 15 minutes of sunshine each day. On worse days, we go for a walk to the gas station and I buy a fountain Sprite. The walk buys me at least 30 minutes of sun time, good fun for the kids, some exercise, and a treat for me to lift my spirits.
I’ve also taken on the biggest project of my life in the last month – launching a LuLaRoe business – in hopes that it will keep me busy and the community and camaraderie I have found through my sponsor and my team, will keep my spirits lifted, my life focused, and help me dig out of my depression hole. It’s been a huge help so far, and I am eternally thankful.
So, I suppose, all of this is to say, “Sorry I’ve been gone. Sorry I’ve been quiet. My readers mean the world to me and I’m so sorry I’ve let you all down. I am trying to do better. I love you all.”
I will do better for you all and bring you more fun, fresh, and awesome content. Thank you for sticking with me.