I didn't have energy. I was sad, mad, angry, frustrated, and (most of all) disappointed. I didn't want to go out. I didn't even want to get out of bed. However, my son is the reason I woke up. He is the reason I pushed to clean, to eat, to even shower. I had no idea what PPD would be like. I felt ashamed. I thought that I wasn't fit to raise my son. I asked myself constantly, "How can someone who can't even keep herself happy, raise a son and make sure he is happy and knows that he is loved?". I felt like a bad mother and a terrible wife. I had just achieved one of the most remarkable things that I could ever do, and here I was unhappy.
It wasn't until 2 months after having my son I said to myself, "This isn't ok. This isn't normal. Maybe I need help".
You see everyone always raves about the JOYS of pregnancy and childbearing. That feeling when you first hold your baby. That excitement of their first cry, laugh, their first step, but no one tells you about the nasty, sad, dark side.
You give birth and it's a whirlwind of emotions at first, and most all of them are great. You are overjoyed about the precious baby you just brought into the world. You can't wait to show your friends and family the perfect human that YOU created! This precious bundle of joy that you made!
It isn't until you are alone, at home, with nothing but yourself, that you start to realize that you aren't as happy as you thought. It doesn't hit you all at once either. It builds gradually, like a storm waiting to explode in your mind and pour down all of these negative emotions. You start realizing that you aren't as pretty, your body is completely changed. You start to doubt that your husband or boyfriend thinks you are beautiful anymore. You start to think that you aren't good enough, or even worthy of love. That you aren't good enough to be a parent.
That's where you are wrong.
IT'S OK TO NOT BE OK!
You see, no one told me that it was ok to not be ok. No one told me that getting help isn't degrading and SHOULD not be embarrassing. In fact, it is brave. Being able to seek help when you need it, and trying to be ok for your family, is extremely brave!
You don't have to be "perfect" 100% of the time. So what if you have a messy house, if your babies are happy and fed, that's all that matters! This ideal of "the perfect housewife" is so engraved in our heads that we forget that the imperfections are what makes life perfect.
TALK TO SOMEONE!
Holding your emotions in is very self-destructive. The #1 thing that always helped me is talking to someone. Telling them how I was feeling. It doesn't have to be your husband, boyfriend, mom, or even dad. Going to counseling is sometimes better because you don't worry about judgement from someone you know.
NO ONE IS JUDGING YOU FOR HAVING PPD!
I was so scared of being judged because I had PPD. I had no idea that I had a HUGE support system that honestly just wanted to make sure that I was ok. They only wanted what was best for me. Sometimes we conceive an idea in our heads and we actually think that it is reality, when in fact it is the exact opposite. You'll be surprised at how many people understand and only want to help. The only person judging you is yourself.
IT IS OK TO TAKE MEDICINE TO HELP WITH YOUR DEPRESSION!
If you know me, then you know I don't particularly like taking medicine. Especially when I was solely breast-feeding. I wanted to make sure that Rayne wasn't getting anything that would hinder his health. I didn't want to take medicine. I wanted to try to help myself, which ended up in failure. I ended up hurting myself by waiting and trying to "fix myself" on my own.
YOU ARE A GREAT MOTHER!
I cannot tell you enough how hearing that actually helped! At first I didn't believe that I was a great mother. I would critique everything I did. " Did I clean that well enough?" "Did I love and hug my baby enough today?" "Am I doing a good job?", all of these things replayed in my mind. I finally had to realize that, "YES, I AM GOOD ENOUGH!". I love my baby more than anything. I would do anything to make sure he is fed, is happy, and is loved. I realized that he loves me. He thinks I am the next best thing compared to chicken nuggets! LOL
Do I have bad days still? Yes, of course. I am still battling my demons, but I know the healthy way to battle them. I know I can lean on my support system, I know not to judge myself, I know not to let my anxiety get the best of me.
Not every Mama gets PPD, but you should never forget that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You aren't the only one struggling. You aren't the only one who thinks they aren't worth anything. You aren't the only one who is sad, and angry at herself.
You are the only one who can help yourself though.
Listen Mama, when times get hard, look at your baby. Take a breath, and remember this will pass and that you are AMAZING!
I really hope this can help some Mamas out there!
I love you all!