I wrote this post a few weeks ago, and since then, have thought a lot about whether I should hit "publish" and share it with the world. I'm still not sure it's a good idea - probably too much too soon - but I want to be real.
It hasn't been all smiles and giggles over here the last 3 months. My baby is amazing. My husband is amazing. Our family and friends have been so loving and helpful. But it's been hard. Here's a quick view of what's happened in the last 3 months.
- After 36 hours of labor, I had a c-section
- I got mastitis
- Everyone in my house (except Owen and me) got norovirus on Christmas day
- Migraines overcame my life
- Nursing was so impossible I had to stop
- My incision popped open and husband had to clean and pack it until it finally closed
- I got food poisoning and had to be in the hospital for 2 days
- We got more than 108 inches of snow and were stuck in our house
If that wasn't enough (trust me...it was more than enough), I also have postpartum depression. There...I said it. I have postpartum depression.
This is one of those "pregnancy things" no one talks about, which I think actually think makes it scarier. Everyone talks about stretch marks, how hard it is to lose baby weight, and not sleeping...but when it comes to a lot of the big and scary things after the baby is born...crickets.
I've always been someone who thrives and REQUIRES a lot of social interaction. I'm at my best when there are 100 things going on and love the fast pace of my job. I love being busy and caring for others. Postpartum depression turned all of that upside down in just a few weeks.
Stimulation was (and is) my nightmare. If the TV was on, someone was talking to me, and another was on the phone, I felt like I would jump out of my skin. Public places or large groups of people were completely out of the question. I needed breaks from my baby, who I just wanted to hold. Anything stressful gave me nightmares. For no reason at all I'll become completely overwhelmed and anxious. It's nothing like I've ever experienced before, and it sucks. I was (am) a wreck.
Thankfully I have a support system (family, friends, coworkers, physicians) who have helped care for Travis, Owen and me. I've also gotten help from amazing doctors who, in addition to helping me work through this, fought for me to get an extension on my short term disability. Now I have a few more weeks before resuming normal life. My medicine is helping, and I'm learning techniques to help me keep calm in situations that I know will trigger anxiety. I've realized that this is not about circumstances or weakness...it's about hormones.
I hope you don't feel lied to from my posts. I AM happy. I have the most amazing little family and know how blessed I am for that. This has been one of the best and worst times of my life, which is why it's been so hard.
I'm certainly not well, but am so much better than I was...and eventually I'll be back to normal.
If you're experiencing postpartum depression, I encourage you to reach out to a friend, family member, your OB, or a stranger...whoever you can talk to...because it WILL get better.