Hello my dears, welcome to another post brought to you by yours truly. Today on the blog I want to talk about something pretty serious, post-partum depression. The struggle is very real when it comes to things like depression, anxiety, and other similar mood disorders. Take it from me, I know the challenges they bring as I have suffered from depression and other issues my entire life. It’s not fun, it’s not easy and it’s definitely not something to be ignored. But in this post, I want to talk specifically about post-partum depression and it’s struggles.
I too went through a nasty deep depression both during and after my pregnancy. Already having depression and other issues it hit me hard and there were quite a few days I literally couldn’t even. More on that in a bit. So to answer the question I bet you’re thinking, yes you can have pregnancy related depression during your pregnancy too, not just after giving birth. These during pregnancy emotional rides are referred to as ‘perinatal mood disorders’ and affect around 20% of pregnant women. Symptoms such as feelings of deep sadness, anxiety, sleeplessness, lack of focus, energy and of dread about motherhood are common. Many things can bring this about during pregnancy, stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and most importantly emotional trauma and personal struggle. For me, already having depression it was probably inevitable for it to only increase with my spike of hormones when I became pregnant, but that was not the main reason I feel like it hit me so hard. During my very complicated and stressful pregnancy, I was going through the hardest time of my life. I wasn’t one of the lucky moms who felt joy and excitement when the pee test showed pink lines. I was 21 years old, still living with my parents, no job, had just been kicked out of college and had a very difficult and complicated relationship with my boyfriend. Being raised in an extremely strict Christian home my parents were less than overjoyed at the news. In fact they were heartbroken and at first wanted nothing to do with the child I would be having. My father wouldn’t even look at me for months following the news. It was a very painful time. I had no support, help, money, encouragement, or even the slightest clue of how to actually take care of a baby. During my pregnancy, all of the stress also caused physical complications, and I was in and out of the hospital constantly, even spending my entire 6th-month bedridden and all alone in a cold hospital room. Daily stress tests were part of my routine and eventually, I went into a very complicated and difficult labor weeks early resulting in having an emergency c-section before my little preemie baby boy came into the world. I wasn’t the first person to see him or hold him and had no idea if he was even ok as I spent hours all alone in the recovery room. When our meeting did finally come, I expected to feel emotional, cry tears of joy and the feeling of knowing that all of that drama was worth it. Instead, I wasn’t even given the chance to see my baby boy’s face before he was literally shoved into my breast immediately after being rolled into my room where my baby was being held by a total stranger. That was the onset of what then became post-partum depression for me. I was alone and deeply felt it. There were days I would wake up to my son crying in the morning and I was so tired and depressed I would start to cry myself and just keep laying there…..usually for hours. I am ashamed to admit that, but it’s what depression does to people. It stops us from being the best versions of ourselves. Almost 2 years later, however, the post-partum symptoms began to fade and my “regular” depression settled back in, but since he and I were such close buddies already it was no big deal….I guess. But motherhood became something I fought to be better at, and it was much easier to find little bits of joy in it. I suffered alone, but no one should have to.
1 in every 8 women suffers from some form of post-partum depression. With a wide range of symptoms such as feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, harmful thoughts, and lack of motivation for self-care and or caring for the baby it is so hard to understand what’s going on and ask for help. It’s more common than people realize and it’s high time we acknowledge that it happens to even the best of us. There is no need to go through it alone like I did so if you are pregnant or recently had a baby and feel like you may be suffering from something you don’t quite understand, talk to someone today. A parent, friend or even your doctor. Especially us single moms who don’t have partners to help with raising a child, it’s so important to not deal with these issues on your own.
If you feel like you need to talk to someone about your depression, head over to BetterHelp.com for information.
I hope this has shed a little extra light on the subject matter for you and you feel encouraged to either help yourself or help other moms around you. Much love & warmth…