It’s something that not many talk about. It’s just sort of something that happens to you, without notice, without your control, and something that many just live with. And to be honest…I never thought it would happen to me.
Postpartum anxiety/depression, A very real problem that happens to many women after giving birth. It’s so tough. For me it was more Anxiety. My anxiety can be so bad some days that my chest feels like it’s going to explode and some days tears just come rolling down my face from the stress. Thankfully there are ways to live with it and even make it better. But at times, I feel as though no one realizes just how i feel and what i’m going through. I know, every mom has gone through it. But that’s just it. That’s the problem with postpartum anxiety; it consumes you so much, that you feel completely alone and like no one can relate. That’s how I feel on the worst of days. On the best of days, i’m perfectly fine. What some might dub as “complaining” is an honest cry for help. I have taken on the “I can do anything and everything” role but I have realized that no person is perfect and that no parent can do everything they want to.
What’s most tough is having the people closest to you not realize how much pain you can be in. We have to make sacrifices to get through life. We have to work to pay the bills, we have to continue normal life after the baby is here. But nothing, and I mean nothing, prepared me for how tough it would be once i went back to normal life. I went back to work exactly 7 weeks after giving birth. So when my baby girl turned 2 months, I had been back to work for a week. It still affects me. Many things still affect me about leaving my baby at just 2 months. Yes i saw her every day, but not all day. I missed a few firsts but there is a positive to everything. I may have missed her first giggle, but when she giggled with me for the first time, later that same day, it was so beautiful. I cried.
You start to try to show yourself a lot more positives than negatives to get you through tough days. Yesterday I had a terrible day. And I’m going to get very real fro a second. I felt unattractive, I felt alone, and I missed my baby terribly while I was at work yesterday. I just couldn’t relax, I couldn’t get my chest to stop hurting. Everything about life, home and work was stressing me out. When I got home after picking up Olivia. She fell asleep in my arms and nothing could have brought me more peace than i felt in that moment with her. While she was in my arms sleeping, i broke down crying and hugged her a little tighter and she turned her head and tucked it just under my chin, as if she was saying, everything is ok mommy. And in that moment everything was ok. Her pure love, her comfort and feeling her heart against mine was everything I needed in that moment, and it’s like she knew. In that moment of being completely alone with my baby girl, I didn’t feel alone at all.
You see, life throws you a major curve ball after having a baby. For others it may be easier and for some, it may be harder. My baby girl is now 7 1/2 months, and if i’m being completely honest with all the other mommies out there, every single day is a struggle with my anxiety. I continue to work on it. I continue to try to cope with it and even try to make it better for myself. It’s just so difficult. I read an article that completely related to me today. And that mom happened to say that it took her 3 years to completely bounce-back both physically and emotionally. Physically i’m almost there. Emotionally, however, may take some more time.
To all you new parents out there struggling to the max and feeling alone. Know that you’re not. I have to remind myself of this sometimes as well. I would love for new parents struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety to reach out to me. And I would love to reach out to you. I think talking to each other can really help sometimes.
(Originally written on 7/15/2016)