Friday, June 21, 2013

Struggling With Postpartum Depression {PFALO}

Today I’m linking up again for the Preparing For a Little One series J I love this!  I’m taking a post I previously had written about this.  Here’s my story!

Preparing For A Little One

Your hormones are raging – crying one minute, laughing the next, all while you have a baby on your chest nursing and trying to stay awake.  That’s pretty much how the first weeks feel like.

My Experience with Hadleigh
I was on bed rest in the hospital, which made me depressed all by itself.  Being in that all white room alone everyday takes a toll on anyone.  So, I was already at a disadvantage mentally.  {The nurses actually told me, most of the women on the floor end up being prescribed anxiety/depression meds} Then I had a normal birth – just not the birth that I had planned and hoped for – I really wanted to avoid the C-Section.  Yes, I know births are never as planned, but it doesn't make it an easier.  I had a doctor who I felt didn't have my best interest/wants at heart, so that left me with a ton of "what ifs?" afterwards. I also was put on tons of medication for the anxiety, the blood pressure, the pain, and the panic attacks I had the night after Hadleigh was born. I swear the first week is still foggy in my mind – because that’s how I felt.  Hadleigh was an awesome baby and I did a damn good job taking care of her, but I was depressed. 
Going into the birth I was down and then the hormones after the birth just added fuel to the fire.  Breastfeeding came so easy to me, but it made me anxious not knowing how much she was getting, so I decided to exclusively pump.  Huge time commitment and being down, I ended up stopping when she was about 2.5 months old.  My best friend has since told me she thought I was crazy (not literally) for no longer nursing so quickly since it came so easy for me and not so easy for her. Body image was horrible, not to mention your body just sits differently after a kid.  On top of that, as a new mom (and even now as a mom of two) it’s still hard for me to get back to/figure out who I am outside of being a mother.
I finally started getting out of the post baby depression around the time I got pregnant with Hayden – that’s a whole 15 months.  Luckily, I was already on some anxiety medicine, I think my depression was somewhat mild because I didn't really think I was, until I wasn't anymore (does that make sense? Just go with it.) Maybe it just took me 15 months to put myself back together?  

My Experience with Hayden
This time around post-baby was WAY different.  I pretty much knew what to expect, so I tried to be prepared.  I upped my anxiety meds a little {with doctors consent} a couple weeks before her birth - I was having anxiety about having anxiety in the hospital, which I knew wasn't good. I went back to my regular dosage a month or so after she was born.  {And for me, the meds work.  They aren't for everyone, but if I wasn't on them I wouldn't be able to manage the daily anxiety I have}  I was on rest this time around, but not in the hospital, so my spirits were up. Hormones still went crazy and I still had the crying fits afterwards, but they went away.
I was very laid back this time with the feeding and didn't beat myself up over it.  I do however have the body image issues, and still figuring out slowly who I am outside of being a mother but that's for another post. 

All-in-all having kids is amazing, but it does take a toll on you emotionally. Your life totally changes, priorities change, you’re super tired, worn down, and you just have to get settled into your new normal.  Whatever that new normal is, and believe me – it will change as soon as you think you got it down!  I guess my purpose for writing is to get it out there and maybe it might help some mothers-to-be or moms who are living it or have lived it.

No story is perfect and no one’s experience is perfect.  I think that is part of the problem – pictures , other blogs, movies – well society in general make child birth / motherhood look like the easiest  thing to go through.  While it is amazing in the fact you have this beautiful being you and your love created, it’s damn hard.  

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