The Postpartum Life

This post is one I have been thinking about writing for a few days. I quite honestly don’t know where to start. After giving birth, your body changes. Fast. Drastically. In a big way. It’s overwhelming. It’s scary. It’s depressing.Β 

After I gave birth to Nick, Hubs went right back to work. He wasn’t going to take any parental leave. I could handle two kids on my own. It couldn’t be that different from having just Alex. I was wrong. Within a month Hubs was home with us. I couldn’t do it. (It takes a lot to admit this) Anytime the kids cried, I had anxiety attacks. If only one of them cried, no problem. But put them together and I shut down. Hubs came home one day to find the three of us sitting on the floor in the playroom crying. He’d noticed that there was something off with me since I had the baby, he just wasn’t sure what. He went on parental the next morning to give me the support I obviously needed at home, and sent me into my Dr to talk about what was happening. The Dr diagnosed me with mild postpartum depression and moderate postpartum anxiety. Hubs and I did some research, we talked, and we coped with it. I started taking birth control to help regulate my hormones. I started going out once a week to interact with people. I had an amazing photographer take boudoir photos of me (amazingly it helped. A lot. I started feeling better. Then we decided we wanted another baby.

When we made the decision to have a third baby, I was excited. I couldn’t wait. Things were going so great with our family, but I felt like something was missing in our lives. Once we made the decision we wanted another baby, we knew that we needed to talk about what we could do differently this time around to make the postpartum period easier. We talked for a long time about the circumstances around Nick’s birth. We realized we had a lot of negative people in our lives. I decided I needed to get those people out of my life. So I did. Anytime someone was super negative about our situation (for example, criticizing our choice to have a third baby) I removed them from my Facebook. I got my friends list down from over 200 people to 70 people. We were excited to be expecting Zoey and my pregnancy progressed.
Throughout my pregnancy, there were a few ‘episodes’ when I would have anxiety attacks, but overall I was controlling it well and I was optimistic that things were going to be better. I was over it. It went away. Turns out depression and anxiety don’t really just ‘go away’ they are always there. In the background. Watching. Waiting. For the opportunity to present itself. When I had Zoey, I felt great. The delivery was easy compared to the boys, my recovery was fast. But my body. It was so so so so so different. Even more different then when I had the boys. The stretch marks. The saggy-ness. It was depressing. I know that it won’t look like this forever, rationally. But my rational self is on a shelf that I can’t reach right now. Leaving me very irrational. Leaving me feeling anxious about things I shouldn’t feel anxious about. I know I don’t need to worry about what my body looks like. Stretch marks and saggy-ness is to be expecting after having a baby, especially after having 3 back to back babies. I mean, I’ve already lost 30 lbs. I am doing good for having just had Zoey 3 weeks ago.
My body isn’t the only thing causing me anxiety. There are other things too. Things that, rationally, I don’t need to be anxious about. But I can’t control it. At all. It consumes me. So it’s all I can think about. But I don’t doubt my parenting. I know I am a good Momma. I doubt how great of a wife I am being lately. I doubt a lot of things about myself. But never my role as a Mother. That’s gotta be an improvement right?
I am going to see the Dr later this week. I know there is something wrong and that I need help. Hubs and I have talked about it. And now I have made it even more real by writing it here. The reason I wanted to write this, is because after I had Nick and was going through this originally, I felt alone. Anxiety and depression seem to be taboo topics to talk about. They shouldn’t be. They are real. And the people who feel them are real too. And we all deserve to be listened to. I don’t feel so alone now, I have found a support system. And that helps. A lot.

Love, hugs, and more to come later

Lynn

12 thoughts on “The Postpartum Life

  1. Lynn, after reading this I can say I totally understand where you are coming from. I have been there and am still going through it (mainly alone). Never underestimate yourself. You are an awesome mom, and a great wife to your hubby. I am so glad you have found a support system that is helping you get through it all. Depression and Anxiety should not be as taboo as they are. You have three amazing children and an awesome hubby and you are beautiful inside and out πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Lynn,

    Thank you so much for your honesty! What a refreshing post to read. My blog is called Life After Birth and there I gather and share stories from families coping with postpartum life. Would you be interested in sharing this or something else? Have a look and see what you think.

    You’re brave and strong for sharing what you do!
    Nina http://thelifeafterbirth.com/

  3. This was a wonderful read!
    While I myself have not had to go through this, I know other mama’s who have. It’s a hard thing to open up about, but this has given me more perspective on what they may be feeling.
    Very brave to speak of it, though I’m strongly of the opinion that these are the kinds of topics we as women should be openly talking about without fears or anxieties. If we can’t be open and honest about them, it’s hard to support each other. πŸ™‚

    • I completely agree and I really wish more women felt comfortable with sharing these emotions. I was amazed, as I started opening up to people, the number of my friends who had gone through the same things without saying anything to anyone!!

  4. I hooey you find the solutions you need. Yiu seem to have a great support in your hubby and that’s awesome. Having suffered anxiety and depressed myself I am a big believer that they do kind of lurk as you are simply a personality that is prone to that but that it is possible to learn the signs so things don’t escalate. Thank you for sharing. This shit is important πŸ™‚

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