Momfession Monday :: Postpartum Depression Is Not Real

Did that get your attention? Are you ready to throw darts at your computer? Send hate email to the Fort Worth Moms Blog? Well, let me explain . . . .

If you had asked me about postpartum depression a few years ago, I might have said it was not a real thing. I might have said that mama was just tired, or that mama needed some help. I might have smiled and nodded at someone who said she was experiencing it. 

And then I had my second child.

Let me set the record straight . . . I am now a STRONG believer in postpartum depression! I will advocate for moms everywhere and say that this is a real thing. Never in my life have I felt so helpless, emotional, and out of control — and all while caring for a four year old and a newborn. 

It started about one month in. Of course, I was sleep-deprived and running on fumes, but something else was off. I could not complete daily tasks, I cried all the time, and I was not bonding with my newborn. I just wanted to be with my other child, who was older and easier to manage. Breastfeeding was awful, even though the first time it was a breeze. I was hating every. single. second of my life and spiraling down a deep tunnel. depression

One day, I texted my husband: “Baby is fine, but I can’t stop crying. I am scared.”

He promptly called me and then my doctor. I was crying so hard, I could not even make the phone call. The doctor’s office got me in, and so it began . . . my postpartum depression diagnosis. First, I stared a low-dose medication and was scheduled to come back in two weeks for a follow-up. Next, I stopped breastfeeding. This was a tough decision, but I needed help and sleep. My husband took over and let me sleep all weekend while he took the feedings. It is amazing what a few nights’ rest can accomplish; however, I was not out of the woods yet. 

During the first two weeks, I continued to have emotional spells and could not cope with life at times. I was at least more aware when these spells were coming on and would call in help. My village promptly took over during these dark days — caring for my children, bringing dinners, cleaning my house, and doing laundry. All the things that I used to take care of without even thinking. 

At my two-week appointment, my doctor asked how I was feeling. I told him that I was better but still not feeling 100 percent. To my relief, he told me that I would not feel that way until 6-8 weeks on the medication. As I write this, it has been six weeks, and I am so much better! I feel about 90 percent back to normal and can handle bad days with much more control. 

NewbornDon’t get me wrong. Life is still tough with a newborn, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel and can get myself through a day without sobbing. 

As a new believer in postpartum depression, my biggest piece of advice is to be honest with how you are feeling. Because I didn’t try to hide my emotions, my husband was able to see something was wrong and to get me help. I don’t even want to think about where I would be if I had tried to handle things myself (like moms tend to do).

Please do not let your misconceptions about postpartum depression prevent you from seeking help. It is a real thing and can hit any mother, at any age, at any time. Just because your first experience was easy doesn’t mean that you won’t be hit the second time around, like me. Call in your village and have hope that better days are ahead. 


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