I Never Believed I Could Feel Blue After A Baby {My Struggles With PPD}

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10433760_10102286579583198_5049758513775282023_nThis is a topic that I have come to feel more comfortable talking about one because I now feel better and two because sometimes just sharing/hearing someone else’s struggle can help another sufferer.

I was one of those women who knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a mom.  One might say that I prepared myself by starting out babysitting at a pretty young age and working in childcare since I was able to at 18 years old.  I was pretty prepared to take on the challenge when my daughter came to our family in 2012.  We were financially stable, had good jobs, bought our first house, friends and family close by – life was aligned.  The whole no sleep thing wasn’t a huge deal to me since I had 8 weeks off and I typically didn’t need a whole ton of sleep to begin with.

I was naïve and thought that since I had such a smooth and positive experience when welcoming my first child into the world, the 2nd would be no different, I was terribly incorrect by that assumption let me tell you!

*In NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM am I looking for sympathy.  I want to cause awareness that post partum depression is REAL and can happen to the best mom’s out there.  DO NOT be scared to share your story, talk to your friends and family, and SEEK help!

So what was so different between the 1st and 2nd child?  Well for me A LOT!  With the 1st child I had very little change in my life other than the obvious change of having a human to take care of. It was during the summer so I wasn’t working, was able to basically focus on myself.  My husband and I did purchase our first home when I was 6 months pregnant, but we were all settled in plenty of time for her arrival.  This situation looked completely opposite with the 2nd.

Shortly {I am talking days} after our 2nd was born we left our 1st house in a city that I loved and where many of my friends lived to move in with my parents.  I LOVE my parents don’t get me wrong, but having a brand new baby and a toddler in a house where our stuff was in disarray was just miserable.  My family dog was also very old at the time and having a hard time getting around, needing constant care.  I had a hard time being around him at  because I knew it was only so long before he would pass.  After a short period of time we moved into our new house in a new town that I did not know anyone but my sister and brother-in-law AND I decided to quit my job that I LOVED {it was going to be a long commute and with two kids not worth it}.  So a quick overview – new baby, new house {that not to mention needed some TLC}, new town with only knowing my sister and brother-in-law, and getting used to being a stay-at-home-mom.  If this was not enough change for a hormonal post partum mama, my sister and brother-in-law found out that they would be moving out of state for a job advancement.

With all of these changes I fell quickly into a depression.  I was angry, sad, and just wanted for everything to go back to “normal”.

What it looks like…

Well for me it looked like depression and a very unhappy person.  I cried and got upset over things that would normally not even phase me.  For example, I LOVE to plan parties – BUT this was the wrong time for me to plan one.  My dad had asked me to help plan a family party at his house and I took it on thinking that I could do it….to sum it up, I got frustrated, he got frustrated, it caused an argument and I was not understood by him or even by myself.  It was hard for me to deal with my emotions and on top of it having a family member angry with me and little did he know I really did not have much control over the way I was acting {who could blame him?}.  I tended to take my feelings out on others {not my kids} by making unwanted comments or saying things that I really didn’t mean which in turn pushed people away when actually I was crying out for help.

What it feels like…

It is literally a terrible feeling.  It feels like life is not fun.  It feels like life is a job and you are living to die.  Day in and day out, you wake up feeling like total sh*t and wait until the moment it’s time to get back in your bed.  The horrible part about the entire thing is that you can not figure out or pinpoint why you have these feelings.  I felt guilty for feeling this way – it wasn’t fair to my kids, friends or husband but most of all it wasn’t fair to me.  I did not want to feel this way, who would?!

Who suffers…

ANYONE!  As I mentioned above, I did not suffer with my first but did with my second.  I am not sure with my third but was told that if you have had PPD in the past, you are at a higher risk for suffering in future pregnancies.  With that being said, I decided to immediately start on an antidrepressant immediately following the birth of our 3rd bundle of joy.

What Worked For Me…

*Recognizing that I was NOT myself.  This did not happen over night, it was gradual.  Like I mentioned before, I felt great emotionally after my first child so I was not expecting to feel this blue post 2nd baby.

*Talking to other moms who have suffered.  I joined a Facebook group of moms who have suffered or are currently suffering.  It helps to discuss how I felt, how I feel and fears that I have.  I also LOVE helping others, so this is a win-win.  With this group in place, I can see that I am not alone and others have struggles with PPD but are able to overcome those feelings and get back to “normal”.

*Talking to my doctor – By talking to my doctor and explaining how I was feeling, we came up with a plan that would focus on my well being so I could get back to the momma that I wanted to be.  Before getting straight to antidepressants, she decided that blood work would be our first step.  When the results came back my Vitamin D was “extremely low” this was what could be causing me to feel tired 24/7 so she put me on a Vitamin D supplement and would retest my levels and chat about the next steps after a few weeks.  I took the supplement but did not feel much had changed.  After explaining my feelings and weighing out the options we decided that I would start on an antidepressant that would allow me to still nurse while taking it.

*Being active and proactive.  Keeping myself busy with things that I enjoy such as spending time outside, having time alone, dancing {I love a good dance party}, taking walks, listening to music, doing things for others. and doing things for me and just me.  I was proactive with the 3rd child by talking to my doctors the entire time I was pregnant about my PPD and the experience that I had with my previous baby.  We discussed options and how we together were going to try to prevent me slipping into that again.  I also am active in speaking with a group I am in about my fears, how I am currently feeling and helping others work through their struggles.

So What Now?

I am feeling really great and I am on month 3 post partum!  I have been proactive {as I discussed} and making sure to talk about how I feel.  My husband is a great support person and if/when he notices I am not myself, he asks in a polite way.  I have enjoyed my newest baby and my other two children without having the huge emotional struggle of PPD {how awesome is that?!}  I am not saying that I don’t have days where I am “off” but I am in no way depressed.  I feel so much more laid back and comfortable in my own skin, I am so thankful!12801542_10103830171183258_8116065750998703728_n.jpg

Have you struggled with PPD?  If you would like to share your story, send me a message or comment. 

Thanks for stopping by!

~Kelsey~

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Abby says:

    Good read and it’s great to share for those that feel alone in this situation!!

    Liked by 1 person

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