Postpartum Depression/Anxiety

Hello again, everyone. Let’s dive right in and talk about postpartum depression/anxiety. After I had my son back in May 2020, I became the victim of postpartum depression/anxiety. I fell into the trap of believing that I had to do everything on my own. I mean, I am the mama, right? Isn’t that our job? To handle everything on our own? To be superhuman? That was my mentality, and I certainly found out the hard way, that I could not physically or mentally do it all.

Right before I gave birth to my son, my husband and I moved into my parents home. We had been living in a two bedroom apartment, but did not want to sign another lease for a whole year. So, we decided to move in with my parents, save money for a house, and of course, get that extra support with our baby boy. I ultimately ended up needing to have a C-section to bring baby boy into this world. When I heard him cry for the first time, I was flooded with emotions: relief, happiness, excitement, and fear. Fear, because, holy shit! We have an actual human who depends on us for survival! It’s a lot of pressure! We both were so happy and grateful he was here. After two and a half days at the hospital, we were finally able to bring our sweet boy home. He was so small and fragile. My husband and I were so nervous to begin our new lives as parents.

After having my son, I became very emotional. Crying when he cried especially, and just crying because I love him so much! Every time I would look at him, my heart would explode with love and I would burst into tears. My husband found it sort of amusing. After a few weeks though, I was still so emotional. At first we thought maybe it was the “baby blues.” Which, according to the American Pregnancy Association, “approximately 70-80% of all new mothers experience some negative feelings or mood swings after the birth of their child.” So, if you are having negative feelings and mood swings right after having your baby, it is pretty common. Some symptoms include, “weepiness or crying for no apparent reason, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, mood changes, etc.” (American Pregnancy Association). These symptoms usually last for about a week after having you baby. I went through all of these symptoms, but we realized something was wrong when it went on for weeks.

I felt like a monster. I loved my baby boy SO MUCH. We had so much fun bonding during the day. So why did I still feel overcome with sadness and anxiety? I wanted to do everything myself and I did not want to ask for help. I wanted to be the only one to change my baby boy, feed him, put him to sleep, everything! By me doing everything, I was completely exhausted all the time. As a woman who had previous lost a baby through miscarriage in the first trimester, I was so paranoid and anxious after I had my son. I was just thinking the worse would happen. “What if he suffocates in his sleep, what if he puts something in his mouth and chokes, what if, what if, what if…?” I was a ticking time bomb. Then, at night, that is when I did the most crying because of course, as you all know, babies have no sense of time. So, he was awake most hours of the night. I was getting five or less hours of sleep at night. My husband always offered to help, but I just would not let him. How could anyone take better care of him than me? I was the best for the job, only me! At night, my son would never cry, he just wanted to be awake and playing, and I so desperately wanted to sleep. I became irritable 24/7, I was anxious, sad, and just always on edge. Oh, and don’t forget my postpartum body, my God what a mess. I felt huge and ugly. Don’t even get me started on breastfeeding. That was pure hell. I loved it for the bonding experience, but hated it at the same time. My nipples were so sore, cracked and bleeding. I lasted maybe two months, and I called it quits (which I felt so guilty about by the way. But hey, fed is best ladies!).

Fast forward to my six week checkup with my OB/GYN. She asked me how baby and I were doing, and I just burst into tears! I told her how great my baby boy is. But me on the other hand, I was a train wreck. She ultimately diagnosed me with postpartum depression. In case you’re wondering, here are a few symptoms of PPD, “feeling sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed, having thoughts of hurting the baby, having thoughts of hurting yourself, feeling worthless, guilty, or like a bad mother, sleeping too little or too much, etc.” (Office on Women’s Health). Please talk to your doctor if you are feeling these or any other feelings after having your baby. My doctor put me on an antidepressant, and after about a week, I started feeling like my old self again! I was no longer sad and irritable. I could breathe again! Who knew a little pill would be so magical? There is nothing wrong with needing meds to give you that little boost in the right direction.

It has now been a year since my sweet baby boy was born. I am much more confident as a mom now than I was when he was a newborn. I want all mammas who have gone through PPD and PPA to know that you are not alone, and to please seek help for yourself or anyone you know that is showing signs of PPD and PPA. You can overcome this. You can step out of the darkness.

Working Mom Guilt

Hello, everyone! It certainly has been a while! I have been so busy with working and ya know, doing mom shit. I haven’t been showing my blog much love. But, I do plan to carve out some time from my busy day to write. Since my last post, so much has changed. My sweet baby boy has turned into an unruly toddler! He started walking just two weeks before his birthday in May, and the rest was history! Even though he is a little sour patch kid now, he is still the most sweetest and loving little boy.

Things have been overwhelming I will admit. Work has been….work, and it pains me everyday to leave my sweet little boy for eight hours a day. I have had a TON of working mom guilt. I work of course to be able to contribute and provide for my son, but at the same time, sometimes I wish I could spend all day with him. Mom guilt alone is tough enough. But working mom guilt, is a whole different ball game. As a working mom you have the guilt of missing out on special things like milestones. Luckily, I have always been around when my son has discovered something new. But I do wish I could have more time with him during the day. You also just miss out on things like quality time. It truly is the little things that count.

In the workforce, moms just cannot win. Why is it that society expects mothers to work as if they do not have children, and to parent as if they do not work? Sounds like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation to me. Moms (or dads for that matter), should not have to feel guilty for things like taking time off to care for a sick child, or taking off for doctors appointments, school events, etc. I believe that companies should be more understanding and allow more work-life balance. There are some companies that do, but most do not.

I do my best to carve out time for my son every day. I work eight hours a day, but once I’m home with my son, I do all I can with him. We eat dinner, play for a bit, have bath time, and eventually bedtime. At most, I probably get four and a half to five hours with my son Monday through Friday, and that seriously bothers me. The weekends are all about family time. My husband and I always dedicate time during the weekends for family time and it’s the best.

I would love to hear from other moms about what they do to overcome that dreaded working mom guilt! I have not mastered that as of yet. But I would love to get some tips!

My Journey

Ah, motherhood. It’s such a beautiful thing isn’t it? I mean, you have this little person that you created walking around that was once inside your body! Yes, motherhood is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. But, it’s not always that way. There are days when I am tired, fed up, and just want to quit. But that’s the thing about us moms, when we feel down and out, we get right back up and step into the ring.

My pregnancy was surprisingly easy. I mean I didn’t have morning sickness, no aversions to food, no Braxton Hicks. It was a pretty chill pregnancy (until the last two months when my legs and feet swelled up real bad). But all in all, it was a pretty good pregnancy, physically. But what about mentally.

Let’s back up a bit. In January 2019, I found out I was pregnant. I remember thinking “How the hell did this happen?! I’m on birth control.” Nevertheless, my now husband and I were happy and excited. We scheduled my first appointment. When it came time to go in to the doctor, we were ecstatic. We got called to the back for the ultrasound. The woman put that cold gel on my belly and started searching for our baby. She searched and searched and ultimately, she couldn’t see anything. She told us that we may be a few weeks earlier than what we thought. So, they sent us to the hospital across the street. I was nervous, I just wanted to make sure everything was ok.

We got to the hospital and I was given a vaginal ultrasound. The sonographer was quiet. So, naturally I just had to ask, “can you see anything?” Ultimately she told me that only the doctor and let me know the results of the ultrasound. I was so scared, I just stared at the screen, not knowing what I was looking at, but hoping everything was ok. Unfortunately, we left the hospital with no answers. We did not know what was going on with our little baby. My husband assured me that everything would be fine.

Later that evening, we got a phone call from my OB! She told us that I was 6 weeks 3 days along, and was due September 22nd. I was so happy. FINALLY some answers. We told all of our immediate family and they were so excited to have a baby on the way. But suddenly, things took a turn for the worst. I started spotting, which I didn’t think too much of it for the first two days. I was spotting and had mild cramps. I went to Dr. Google (always such a bad idea by the way folks) and I searched my symptoms, “miscarriage” was the first word that popped up. I was terrified. I didn’t want to lose my baby!

As the week went on, things got worse. I continued to have spotting, we were in and out of the hospital for a whole week. Each time they were telling me “your cervix is still closed, it may be old blood coming out.” Then, one day, I used the bathroom and there was blood, a lot of blood. My husband rush me to the hospital and I cried and cried on the way there. I knew I was loosing my baby. We got to the hospital and ultimately, they told us that I was having a miscarriage. I was devastated. I remember thinking “how is this happening? My body was MADE to carry a baby? What’s wrong with me? My body has failed me.” The part that hurt most, was that we had to inform all of our family, that we had lost our baby. Everyone encouraged us that everything will be ok “you can try again,” “maybe there would have been something wrong with the baby,” etc. All words that were meant for good, but stung like alcohol to a wound. I didn’t want to “try again.” I wanted THIS baby.

I went into a very dark place. Full of anger, depression, I was just hurt. My husband was right there, always by my side when I needed to just cry and let it all out. I love him for that. As time went on it got a little easier to deal with. Of course I was hurt, and still am hurt about it. But it is easier to deal with and talk about now.

Fast forward to August 2019. My husband and I realized just how badly we wanted a baby. So we discussed it, and we decided for me to stop my birth control, and try for a baby! By early September 2019, I was pregnant! Oh how exciting it was. But also, there was fear. Fear that I would miscarry again. The first trimester was tough, but only due to the anxiety that I had. I was so scared, I didn’t even want to move. We went in for an appointment probably around 6 weeks and everything was fine. We got to see our little baby and heard his heartbeat. I balled my eyes out when I heard his heartbeat for the first time. From then on, every doctors appointment was reassurance for me that everything was ok. I had my moments of anxiety, but I mean, what woman wouldn’t be anxious after previously losing a baby. We let our families know but not until the second trimester, and again, everyone was thrilled!

Our baby boy was born in May 2020 and instantly, we fell in love with him. The first three months were amazing just watching him grow. There were tough times during this phase as well considering I fell into postpartum depression and had to be put on antidepressants. I was exhausted and in pain due to the C-section I had. But as time went on, I got better. Now our baby boy is almost a year old! He is the most funny, beautiful, smart, determined little boy I have ever known.

Oh, motherhood. It is a beautiful and trying journey. I know as time passes us there will be more laughter, pain, tears, good times and bad times. We are just so incredibly thankful and blessed that this baby boy came into our lives.

Well, that’s a little bit out me and my journey into motherhood. I am here to connect with other women. Miscarriage/infant loss is such a taboo topic. It happens so much more often than people think. Most women do not want to speak about it. But I believe more women should talk about it in order to help other women. It’s important for women to know that they are not alone, that there is help out there. Let’s not be silent.