Suffering from Postpartum Depression January 28 2015
Postpartum Depression is one topic that is still taboo amongst women. We are comfortable talking about everything with our girlfriends, however, when it comes to depression; we suffer alone. Some fear being judged or looked upon as being weak. I think if more women spoke about their experience, it would help others before we allow the depression to harm someone and ourselves.
See I know this feeling all so well. When I first had my son, I suffered from a very mild case of postpartum. I never told anyone, not even my husband. I didn’t want people to worry about me, or secretly judge me as a parent. I didn’t notice I was dealing with postpartum, until I went for my six week check-up.
I actually started feeling postpartum when I had my son. Every morning I would watch a birthing show, to get familiar of the birthing process, and each time the mom would cry being filled with joy from giving birth to her child. I just knew that when I had my son, I would have the same reaction as they did…..wrong!
When I gave birth, I was full of joy, but as far as the tears, there was nothing. I don’t know if I was full of epidural that I couldn’t cry, but my eyes were dry as the Sahara desert! LOL
When the evening ended and we were placed into our room, for the first time I felt unprepared. I felt uncertain and wasn’t sure if I was caring for my child correctly. Especially breastfeeding, since I was the first to do it, I really didn’t have anyone to ask, so I was winging it until the lactation nurse visited the next morning. We had to stay an extra day, due to trying to bring his body temperature up to normal. I really think if I could’ve done skin-to-skin right after giving birth, I would’ve felt more connected to him immediately.
Being in the hospital, there are nurses, doctors, and family constantly visiting, so you really don’t notice if there is any underlying issues going on with you. It wasn’t until I got home, I felt overwhelmed. When I got home something over came over me, everyone giving advice, telling you what you should or should not do; that I shut down and sat in my glider and looked out the window. My sister brought the baby in the room, because it was time to eat, and she just sat in there with me and said little to nothing, like she sensed I was overwhelmed and needed a moment. After he was finished eating, I was ready to join my family and enjoy their company. I just needed that time to decompress, and absorb everything I’ve been though the last 72 hours.
As each day went by, I felt more confident and started to enjoy motherhood. My husband had to go out of town to attend his sister’s wedding in California, and we couldn’t go. He was too young to be traveling, and I didn’t want to risk him getting sick. So this was the opportunity to bond just me and him. Actually I am glad we had that time together. Unfortunately, we were experiencing a heat wave, so being outside was limited. He was fussy for a few days, but it taught me how to calm him down, and be calm while doing it. It wasn’t easy at first, but after speaking to my mom, she gave me the will to push through it. She didn’t know I was dealing with it, but her words of encouragement helped a lot.
Postpartum comes in many levels. You may not have it at all or it can make you think evil things. I am just blessed that mine was minor and was overcome by bonding with my son.
I was watching Tamar and Vince, and she didn’t feel that overwhelming feeling of joy when she first had her son. She was a little down because she taught every woman gets that feeling and she didn’t. It’s not to say that you don’t love your child, it’s the expectation you put on yourself from what you see others do. When I saw that episode, it felt good knowing I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. Sometimes I would find myself crying for no apparent reason. I didn’t know I was experiencing PPD until I had to fill out a survey at the doctor to monitor if you had PPD or not.
I didn’t know that it was mandatory for you to take a survey monitoring if you have PPD or not. If you did not pass or if they see some cause for concern, your doctor would discuss the survey with you, before clearing you. This is how they monitor how severe PPD is.
I write this to encourage woman especially after having a baby to monitor your behavior. If you see that you are not feeling like yourself, after your hormones somewhat level out; please talk to someone! Please do not do like me and keep this inside. I am blessed that mine did not turn into something so severe. It doesn’t mean you are weak or you have mental illness, it shows that you strong and acknowledge you need help. I would hate to hear or read about you doing harm to you and your family, because you didn’t seek medical help!
I hope this has opened the dialogue and help more women become comfortable speaking about PPD!
Hello my name is Charise, and I am a PPD survivor!
Written by Charise
Picture by Quazoo