The Five Words That Helped Me Beat Postpartum Depression
I can't help but think about how far I have come since I've become a mother.
Soon after my son was born, I came face to face with something many mothers deal with but that some may be ashamed to speak about.
Honestly, motherhood hasn't been the easiest transition for me.
I was staying with my mom during my pregnancy while my husband was away at work and we also stayed there the first few weeks after our son was born.
My husband had to leave us and go back to work (which was two hours away) a WEEK after our son was born.
We wouldn't be able to reunite for another month or so due to follow-up doctor appointments and moving arrangements.
While I appreciated all of my mom's help during that time (Hi Mom!), I was truly devastated that my husband and I had to spend so much time apart during those first few weeks.
I cried ALL the time and missed my husband like crazy. I hated that we weren't living out this ‘picture perfect’ scene that I had envisioned for us once our son was here.
My heart ached for my husband because I could not imagine how hard it must've been to have to leave your newborn son so soon.
I was also extremely frustrated because I could barely do anything for myself since I was still recovering from my c-section.
To make matters worse, my son had trouble latching so breastfeeding wasn't an option. However, I was determined for him to have breast milk and as a result, I was constantly exhausted because I pumped ALL.THE.TIME.
This was NOT the beautiful world of motherhood that I thought would be waiting for me after I gave birth.
Through it all, I tried my best to remain positive. I just knew that once we reunited with my hubby things would start to look up.
However, once we did finally move, as bad as I wanted to be relieved, I felt empty.
I felt like I was failing at being the wife and mother that I wanted to be.
I would become so frustrated that I would cry at night if I couldn't get my son to sleep or if I didn't pump enough milk.
I still remember the day that I looked in the mirror and asked myself "Do I have REALLY have postpartum depression?".
See, at the follow-up appointment with my OBGYN, I remember her asking if I felt depressed at all, and if I did, she said she would be willing to prescribe something that would help.
Although I was extremely unhappy at the time, I chalked it up to my current circumstances and I thought that since I had finally gotten my staples taken out, got on a legit pumping schedule, and was gonna be reunited with my hubby, that I'd feel better.
Plus, I'm just not a huge fan of taking medication anyway - unless absolutely necessary. (Click the pic below to read about why I stopped using birth control).
The day that I
recognized admitted that I really was dealing with something bigger than frustration and anxiety, was the day that I realized that I had to be extremely intentional about motherhood and aware of my limits.
I remember breaking down one night to my husband and telling him how I really wasn't sure that I could do this. By this I meant motherhood.
I remember my husband embracing me and patiently waiting for me to calm down. When I finally held my head up, I remember him wiping my tears and telling me "You were made for this. It's gonna be okay."
He's always been such a safe place for me emotionally but that day I really grabbed onto his words.
He ended up putting our son to sleep that night and I sat there on the floor, in front of our bed watching them sleep, and silently praying for God to help me overcome this.
Progress didn't come easy but little by little my husband was there pushing me along. He made sure to tell me how good of a job I was doing exclusively pumping - even when I would forget my pump while we were visiting family back home in Alabama (this happened more times that I’d like to admit).
He showed me so much grace in moments where I wanted to hide my head in the sand.
One day I decided to do the same for myself.
I took it one day, one moment at a time.
I don't have one. I pray continually and I always take a few moments out of the day for myself.
Motherhood is such an organic thing and although we strive for perfection, we'll never be perfect. Simply being present in the moment sometimes is enough.
So what if the sink is full?
Who cares if the laundry needs to be done?
Sometimes taking the time to indulge in your favorite snack/hobby/tv show while your little one naps is all it takes to regroup.
Getting out of the house also helped me tremendously!
I'll be the first to admit, being a young, married, Stay-At-Home Mom comes with challenges that I hadn't even considered and I'm pretty sure that I can't even begin to fathom the challenges that I will face in the future.
BUT I've learned that there's no blueprint.
There are no secret formulas or perfect routines, you just have to take it one day at a time.
And remember mama
YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS