“I think I’m finally in a place where I can admit I’m having some postpartum depression…“
The fall of 2019 was a hard season. Ears deep in a mountain of personal turmoil, I was also struggling to bond with my one month old baby. In hindsight, I can attribute that struggle to many things (like his NICU admission/experience), but I’m lying if I don’t say that amidst all that was going on, I had become one of the ten percent of women who experience postpartum depression.
In regards to our baby, things were going fine. Win was eating and growing and sleeping and being so cute. He was fussy a lot, but babies are like that some times, so we gave him grace.
It took me several weeks of feeling “not myself” before putting two and two together and calling a spade a spade. I’d always known postpartum depression was common, but now I know it’s a misnomer as well. I didn’t feel depressed. I had no urges to hurt my baby like they say you’re going to feel. I felt extremely anxious and indecisive and nowhere near as though my son was an extension of myself.
When I forgot to pack my daughter’s blankie for Grandpa and Grandma’s house, I literally could not decide if I should drive it over there before nap time. When my son’s flailing arms and legs were getting in the way of a middle-of-the-night diaper change, I had a panic attack. I was constantly counting down the time I had left on maternity, completely freaked out about whether or not I would be able to return to work a functioning adult. I was tired all the time – no matter the amount of sleep our kids allowed us at night.
I was rational much of the time, but I knew I was being irrational in every irrational moment I had. I just could not, for the life of me, flip the switch to rational. Some days were fine. Others were nightmares. Not many were all that great.
I danced around the words “postpartum depression” for a few weeks, telling my husband, “I’m just not myself,” and putting on a happy face for everyone else.
Depression? Not me. I would never!
But admitting to myself that maybe something is wrong right now (and will be ok again some day when I’m a little more postpartum), and maybe what people call this doesn’t actually sound like what it is, and maybe, even if it did sound like what it is, that would be ok, too – was a huge first step in the direction I needed to go.
It took me a while to say the words to myself. It took me longer to say them to my husband. But naming what was going on, opened up a level of acceptance of myself that cracked the door to healing.
“I don’t want to miss out on these times because I’m hormonally imbalanced. I just want to enjoy and love on my kiddos.”
In the stats:
Adjusted Age: 2 weeks
Actual Age: 5 weeks, 3 days