It’s extremely cliche but the reality of it is this, as first-time mothers, Postpartum depression is mentioned but we all think “Oh I am strong, I won’t get it” or “That won’t happen to me, I am good”…But that is not the reality. The reality is that so many women are battling PPD. Some choose to battle alone and in silence and some battle it out in the open. I have done both.
The Birth of My son
I had my son on September 25, 2016. So much was going on in my life at the time that I thought I was just stressed. Which I was, but I was also showing signs of PPD and I didn’t even know it. At the time my 8-week old niece passed away, I had just given birth, I was in my last semester of undergrad and I was trying to maintain a relationship with CJ. I would cry but I chalked that up to being sad about my niece passing. I would lash out and I would just say, “I am angry because my newborn didn’t let me sleep last night.” I could go on and on about how I acted after having my son.
So at the end of January and early February of 2017, I remember getting into a huge argument with my brother and my father and I just burst into tears. My dad kept asking me what was wrong and if I was okay. And it was at that very moment that I was vulnerable enough to admit that I needed help. I was emotionally and mentally broken at that point. That was the turning point.
I realized that something was wrong but I was still ashamed to speak much about it. So I went to my doctor and she mentioned putting me on medicine and I remember my first initial thought being, “I am not crazy so I don’t need medicine.” So I turned down the medicine and decided that I would talk to someone. So my job at the time offered counseling and so I utilized those services. I walked in the office and I remember the couch being like one of those plaid couches that looked like it was made in the 70s. I was extremely uncomfortable and out of my element.
Although I was uncomfortable I still managed to open up to this woman that I didn’t know. She just kind of looked at me as if I was crazy and it made me feel even more uncomfortable. So after leaving that session I decided that speaking to someone just wasn’t going to work. So I did everything in my power to work out, eat healthy, and change my outlook on things. None of that helped. People would ask me how I was doing and in order to avoid talking about my mental health I would always just lie and say that I was fine.
I know for a fact that I am not the only woman that has ever lied about their feelings in regards to their PPD. Sometimes it is just hard to talk about. Sometimes you just really do not want to talk at all. And other times where it just none of someone’s damn business how you are doing. I completely understand.
The Birth of my Daughter
Baby Shower for Caidence
I had my daughter on September 17, 2018. I was breastfeeding and I was at home on maternity leave. Before I had my daughter, I had read about women eating their placenta because it would help their risk of getting PPD. I had PPD after my son and it was awful so at this point I would try anything to avoid getting it again. So after I got home from the hospital, I cooked and ate my placenta. 4 weeks after having my daughter I went in for Tubal Ligation surgery to get my Fallopian tubes completely removed from my body. After I got cleared at my 6-week check-up I started working out EVERY day. I was feeling good and I had loss all the pregnancy weight that I had gained. I was in good spirits and would always tell people that, “Eating my placenta really helped me not get PPD this time around.”……. WRONGGGGG.
In the middle of January of this year I noticed a slight shift in my daily mood and I was feeling overwhelmed with emotions. I was still breastfeeding but something in my head told me that I needed to stop because that was what was going to be best for me mentally. So after 4 months of exclusively breastfeeding I gave my daughter a formula bottle and never breastfed or pumped again. That same week my husband and I took a short trip to Miami for my 25th birthday and I noticed that my mood overall was off. I had a great time but I just felt off.
About a week after I stopped breastfeeding I had woken up one morning to get ready for work. I went to the bathroom to use the bathroom and as soon as I sat down on the toilet I burst into uncontrollable tears. I mean full out sobbing. I knew at that point I was going thru Postpartum Depression again. To this day I cannot even tell you why I was crying. I cannot even tell you what triggered it, but one thing I do know for sure is that same day I called my doctor and made an appointment.
I met with my doctor and she offered medicine again and this time I jumped on it. I knew that this time around was completely different than the first time. I felt worse this time. I felt “CRAZY.” I felt like I didn’t know who I was and that I was having an outer body experience just watching myself emotionally and mentally go down a hill until I would hit rock bottom. Not only did I take medicine, I also started seeing a therapist. My therapist was amazing. I found someone that I connected with. Someone that could coach me thru the unknowns of my PPD.
This time around I wasn’t ashamed about my PPD. This time around I promised myself that I would be open about it because I knew there were other women out there that doesn’t have the voice I have, that are suffering in silence and I promised myself that I would be their voice.
Fast forward to today, August 22, 2019. I am here to be your voice. I am here to tell my story in hopes of you one day being able to tell yours. I say all that to say this, DO NOT BE ASHAMED. You did not ask for this to happen to you. No woman wakes up and asks God for them to get PPD. It is NORMAL and you are not “crazy”. I challenge you and encourage you to seek help. Stop suffering in silence.
Thank you for checking out my blog. If you have questions or just want to reach out because you need help, please email me at email@example.com. Or reach out to me on Instagram at @Mrs.parchment.
Stay tuned for Part 2 or my 4-part Blog series about PPD called, “My Marriage vs My Depression”
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